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FAQ – Titling and Metadata

Original question:

When electronically transferring an email into an EDRMS can I change the title of the email in the metadata? There would be no alteration of the original email. In doing this, when we are searching the EDRMS for a document the title of the document could be very different to the actual title of the email.

PROV’s answer:

PROV has no concerns with an email having a title that is different to the original subject line. This practice does not result in any information being lost, as the original email is not altered. Rather, it is adding information which may assist in retrieval or management.

When an email is saved into an EDRMS, the usual default option is to give it the same title as the subject line of the email. The advantage of this is that the document gets a default title – it’s better to have a random title than nothing. However there will be cases where it would be more useful to use a different title. For example, the classic “Lunch” email may contain a reference to an important meeting that should be identified in the title.

Most users will stay with the default title for the majority of emails, which is not necessarily a problem. The system configuration may also influence document titling. If you have a user-friendly classification scheme with useful folder titles, the document title is less important. However it is useful to make users aware of this issue so that they can understand the benefits of giving documents useful titles. It is also fine to change the title of an email at a later date, as long as your system captures the action in audit logs.

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