Information and Records Management

The below guidance is to help you better manage your information:

What is Information and Records Management?

The School's Records Management Policy was approved by Council at its meeting of February 2nd 2010. The policy states:

All members of staff who create, store, receive and use records must:

  • Treat records as a School resource; 
  • Ensure as far as practicably possible that records are accurate and filed in such a way that they can be easily located; 
  • Keep records no longer than they are needed; 
  • Keep confidential records in a secure environment; 
  • Keep records stored in a safe and cost-effective way; 
  • Allow people to access information only if they need or have a right to do so; 
  • Create records that are accurate and that do not defame another individual, expose the LSE to unnecessary risk or to tamper with records in a way that risks them becoming inaccurate; 
  • Save long term records in an open source or archival format to ensure readability even if systems change

Retention schedule

Introduction – what is a retention schedule?

A retention schedule is a list of the time periods that you need to keep records for. These are normally organised by the type of record, then give a time period after which the record can be destroyed or needs to be transferred to an archive.

Why this retention schedule is different

Retention schedules can be very detailed and therefore hard to work with. So, we have approached this from the other direction.

This means we start with a list of time periods, which are followed by the sort of records that need to be kept for that time period.

How do I decide which category my records fall under?

The categories given are fairly broad - this is intentional in order to keep the number of choices to a minimum. We have given the reasons for putting records in their categories below. Sometimes this is the School’s recommendation, however, sometimes this is due to an Act or other statutory instrument, which will be shown. Examples are also provided as illustration.

What if I am not sure which category fits?

If you think that your records could fit into more than one category, go for the longer time period. If you are uncertain which category they fit into, contact the Records Manager Rachael Maguire or the School’s Archivist Sue Donnelly, who will be able to advise you.

When does the time period start?

With regards paper files, from the date the file is closed. If this is not official recorded on the cover or anywhere else, a paper file can be considered closed from the date of the last piece of paper put on the file.

With regards electronic material held within a folder, from the date of the last document/email/etc added to the folder. It is a good idea to open a new folder on each subject for each academic year e.g. Complaints 2009-10, Complaints 2010-11 and only include the documents/emails relating to that time period. You could also use financial years for budget related folders. Project folders could have a closed date added to the folder title when the project finishes so you know the date to calculate the time period from.

With regards electronic material held in databases, you should be able to purge material that has reached it’s end of life on a monthly basis. Consider including a report that alerts you to when material is up for deletion and include deletion within the specification for any database.

There are some records included in the table below which tell you when the time period starts e.g. contract records. However, more general records should follow the guidance above.

You can access the School's retention schedule here.

Academic department retention

Academic departments may keep duplicate records where the original is kept by a service area. The retention of these duplicates and their originals is set out in the schedule.


Rachael Maguire, email, phone 0207 955 6481

Sue Donnelly, email, phone 0207 955 7947


The Records Manager has compiled the following guidance to help embed the principles of the School Records Management Policy across the School.

Managing records

Defining a record

How to organise your research data

Managing paper records

Managing electronic records

Transferring records to secondary storage

Committee Records

Information security and records management 

Destruction of physical records (procedure)

Where should my information go? 

Legislative issues relating to records

Data Protection and records (Coming soon)

Freedom of Information and records 


The following JISC guidance also serves as a useful resource on issues relating to research records and the Freedom of Information Act.