UW-Madison Box - Collaboration
Sharing Files and Folders
Box offers several different options for sharing files and folders with other people.
- Creating Shared Links
- Create a Box Embed Widget
- Understanding Folder Permissions
- Managing Collaborators
In addition to the articles above, please also note the following:
- You can use the instructions above to share with any Box user, including those outside of UW-Madison; however, non-UW Box accounts will not automatically populate in the email address field.
- It is recommended that you enter a user's default UW Madison Microsoft 365 email address (i.e. email@example.com) when adding them as a collaborator.
- The first.last or departmental addresses will only work if the account owner has specifically registered the address as an alias within Box.
- For instructions on registering your own departmental email account as an alternate address for Box, please see: UW-Madison Box - Linking Alternate Addresses
- Google Groups, Microsoft 365 Groups and WiscLists can not be used to add collaborators to a Box folder. You need to add each group member individually.
Shared links provide an easy way to grant access to your files and folders. By leveraging a variety of additional permissions options, you can use shared links to facilitate multiple levels of access and collaboration.
Shared link options include:
- Customized URL
- Password protected links
- Ability to set link expiration
- Limit who can view content via a link
- Set access to "view only" or "view and download"
For more information on generating shared links and customizing permissions, please see: Shared Link Settings
Note: UW-Madison Box Enterprise configuration doesn't allow Shared Links with "Can edit" permissions. You will receive an error if you attempt to set the "Can edit" access level on a shared link.
If you know that you will be collaborating on multiple files with the same group of people we recommend that you organize your content into folders that can be shared with groups of collaborators. For instructions on creating folders and enabling collaboration, please see: Create New Files And Folders
For university, department, or group collaboration, Project Directories are the recommended way of sharing content that should not be owned by a single user.
Advanced Collaboration Features
There are a number of settings that allow you to customize permissions and view options for collaboration. For more information on the various options available to you, please see: Understanding Box Folder Settings and UW-Madison Box - Folder Structure and Permissions
For more information on issues related to collaboration and sharing, please see: Collaboration Frequently Asked Questions
In Box, permissions are generally set using access levels, which essentially equate to "roles". Each one of these roles entails a specific set of actions that a user with that access level can perform.
For a breakdown of the actions that can be performed by users who are granted these various access levels, please see: Understanding Collaborator Permission Levels
Collaboration and Deactivation
When a UW Madison Box user leaves the University their account is deactivated. Any content that is owned by the deactivated account will no longer be visible to collaborators including collaborators who were invited to be Co-owners. Please use Project Directories for storing and sharing Box data that should not be deleted as part of user account deactivation.
For more information about account deactivation, please see: Help Desk - Resources for Microsoft 365, Google, Zoom, Box, and Qualtrics account changes or deactivations.
In addition to user-based enterprise Box accounts, UW-Madison Box also offers the option to request a project directory for long-term group collaboration. For more information on how Project Directories work and how you can request one, please see: UW-Madison Box - Project Directories
Box Collaboration Best Practices
Things to consider when you share files or folders:
- What type of data is being stored?
- University data should not be stored in personal UW Madison Box accounts. Data associated with personal accounts will be deleted when/if the Owner leaves the University.
- Project Directories insure that university data will stay within the department even if positions within the department change.
- Restricted data should NOT be stored in UW Madison Box.
- HIPAA protected data (Protected Health Information, PHI) can be stored in Box but only in specialized folders setup by a HIPAA Security coordinator.
- For more information, visit the SecureBox page.
- Sensitive data can be stored in Box, but it is your responsibility to understand and set folder and file sharing permissions to prevent unauthorized access.
- Consider using the link expiration setting on shared files
- Remember to remove departing staff as collaborators on shared folders and Project Directories.
- Review external collaborator permissions on a regular basis.How long will the collaboration last?
Note: Collaborator expiration is not enabled for UW Madison Box.
- What permissions do collaborators require?
- UW Madison Box team recommends granting the least privileges necessary.
- Keep in mind that Owners, Co-owners, and Editors can all delete Box content
- See Understanding Collaborator Permission Levels for the full list of collaborator permissions.
Collaboration with External (non-UW Madison) users
When you are collaborating with organizations outside of UW Madison it is important to understand what collaboration tools are licensed by the partner organization. If Box is not a service that is officially licensed by the partner organization we recommend that you choose a different service for sharing and collaborating on files.
Other options include:
- Microsoft 365: Microsoft 365 - Getting Started with SharePoint Online
- G Suite: UW-Madison Google Workspace - Getting started with My Drive and Shared drives
Note: Users who are collaborating using personal Box accounts are assuming personal responsibility for any data/security breaches that may occur as a result of using their account to store or access university data since they have personally clicked through the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA).