Release 1.5.3 (23-7-17) - document folders, notification option updates, custom redaction reasons and detailed redaction log

New features in this release:

Organize documents into folders on the Documents Index

Overview: You can now view and update how documents are organized into folders directly from the Documents Index. If a document was placed into a folder on its request page, then that folder will automatically be shown in the Document Index. Updating a documents folder on the Documents page automatically updates it on its request page and vice versa.

How to use this feature: Click on the name of a document in the Documents Index, then click on an Edit icon (edit_icon.png) next to one of the document description fields. Enter the name of a new or existing folder into the new Folder field to move the document into that folder. You can view all documents in a folder in two ways: click the header of the new Folder column to sort by folder name or select a folder in the new Folder drop-down menu on the left to view only documents in a particular folder.

Things to be aware of:

  • Folders on a request and on the Documents Index are linked. Updating a document's folder on the Documents Index will update the folder the document is in on the request page and vice versa
  • If multiple requests have a folder with the same name, then there will be a single folder with that name on the Documents Index page that will contain all documents in those request folders

Change to notification options when being assigned to a request

Overview: The "Request Opened" notification under Email Preferences (on the Settings page) has been replaced with "You are auto-assigned to newly opened request". The situation under which this category of notification is sent out is the same, with the name being updated to more clearly convey what is covered. If this box is checked, you will be notified when a request automatically assigned to you at the time it is created based on the rules of the portal (either you are assigned to all requests by default, or your department is selected when the request is created and you are auto-assigned to all requests for your department). The separate options "You are added/removed as the Point of Contact" and "You are added/removed as support staff" cover notifications for when you are added to a request at some point after it is created.

How to use this feature: Like with all notification options, click Settings in the upper right, then under Email Preferences check the associated box if you want to receive that type of notification or uncheck the box if you don't wish to receive them. If you are an Admin and wish to update this setting for another user go to the Users tab, then click the Edit icon (edit_icon.png) next to that user's name, then check or uncheck the box under their Email preferences.

Things to be aware of:

  • The Email Preference "You are auto-assigned to newly opened request" has been turned on for all current users, including ones who had "Request Opened" turned off. From speaking to users we know there was a fair amount of confusion about the distinction between the "Request Opened" and the added to request notifications. We chose to err on the side of turning it on for more users than might prefer it rather than fewer. The notification can turned off by any user under the Settings page (see 'How to use this feature' above)

Fewer default notifications for new Staff users

Overview: Since Staff users only assist with requests internally, there are much fewer events that they need to be notified about by email. Some staff have reported finding the number of emails they receive when all notifications are turned on overwhelming. Now when new Staff users are created they will only have the most important notifications turned on by default. Individual notifications can still be turned on and off for these users at any time.

How to use this feature: The steps for creating a new Staff user are the same as previously. Go to Admin > Users > Create User and enter the Account details for that user, including selecting Staff for their role. Click the SAVE button when done. To change the notifications that are turned on open the user account for editing, make any changes under Email Preferences and click the SAVE button.

Things to be aware of:

  • The following notifications (and only the following) are turned on for Staff users by default:
    • You are auto-assigned to newly opened request
    • You are added/removed as the Point of Contact
    • You are added/removed as support staff
    • Internal message added
    • You are assigned to or removed from a task
  • All new Publisher and Admin accounts still have all notifications turned on by default

Change to process for sending messages

Overview: Instead of having a message field always open on the request page you now click the Internal Message (chat_icon.png) or External Message (envelope_icon.png) icon to open a menu where you type in the message. This was done to bring the process of sending a message in line with other actions taken on a request. In order to help ensure that users don't accidentally sent internal messages as external messages (being used to internal message selected by default) we've added a confirmation checkbox that they need to check before submitting an external message.

How to use this feature: Go to a request page and click either the Internal Message (chat_icon.png) or External Message (envelope_icon.png) icon. Type in the message you want to send and if it's an external message, check the box "Yes, send to requester (required). Then click the MESSAGE REQUESTER button (or MESSAGE STAFF button for an internal message).

Things to be aware of:

  • In the External Message menu, the MESSAGE REQUESTER button will only be clickable if the confirmation checkbox ("Yes, send to requester") has been checked

Custom redaction reasons

Note: This feature is only available to users who have purchased the NextRequest Redaction module. If you are interested in a trial of the redaction module email

Overview: You can now create custom redaction reasons to cite when redaction documents. The custom redaction reasons are created in the Admin section and then are available for use by all users within the redaction editor.

How to use this feature: If you are an Admin, click the ADMIN link in the upper right, then click the new 'Redaction' tab in the Admin sub-header, then select Redaction Reasons from the drop-down. Click the CREATE REDACTION REASON button, then enter a Name and Description for the redaction reasons. The Name should be a summary of the reason and the description should be a detailed explanation, possibly citing the relevant part of your State's public records act. Click SAVE when you are done. You can edit the redaction reason at any point or Deactivate it so it doesn't appear as an option when redacting a document. When any user on your portal is redacting a document they will be able to select the custom redaction reason you created.

Things to be aware of:

  • Custom redaction reasons consist of two parts: the Redaction Reason Name, which will appear in the redacted document itself, and the Redaction Reason Description, which will appear in the redaction log at the end of the document (another new feature that you can read about here).

Detailed redaction log

Overview: When you redact a document in NextRequest, a detailed redaction log is now appended to the end of the document. This log consists of 3 columns:

  1. The name of the redaction reason as entered in the new Redaction Reasons menu (more information here)
  2. How many times the reasons is used on each page of the document
  3. The redaction reason description as entered in the new Redaction Reasons menu

How to use this feature: You can continue to redact the document using the same steps as before this release. The new detailed redaction log will be automatically added to the end of the document when you save it.

Things to be aware of:

  • If you redact a document that already has been redacted once and has a redaction log, a second redaction log will be added to the end of the document. The two redaction logs will not be combined.
  • If you prefer not to include a redaction log with the redacted document, you can do so by clicking the Print option in the upper right instead of the Save option. In the menu that appears you will have the option under MORE OPTIONS to not include Redaction Reasons. This will keep the redaction reason in the document itself but will not print the detailed redaction reason description in a log at the end. You can then upload this document back to the request and release it to the requester or the public.