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UW-Madison Box - Project Directories
This document explains how to use Project Directories to collaborate in UW-Madison Box.
Important: Beginning June 15, 2020 All Project Directories will be capped at 50GB of storage.
Project Directories should not be used as a means of securing additional storage. If you are running out of storage in an existing account the first step should be to evaluate whether there is content that can be cleaned up or moved to a different service. For assistance please contact us for a Box Storage Consultation.
Why Use a Project Directory?
The main advantage of using a Project Directory instead of an individually owned collaboration folder is that files and folders contained within the Project Directory folder will not be deleted due to individual user's Service Deactivation.
If you plan on sharing files with a research group, department, or team of people over time, you can request a Project Directory to use for collaboration. A Project Directory is a UW-Madison enterprise licensed Box account that is not owned by an individual user. Instead, requesting a Project Directory results in the creation of a special collaboration folder that will be used to manage group files and folders.
Project Directories usually have more than one co-owner associated with them to insure continuity of access in the event that one of the co-owners leave the University. Once the folder is available the co-owners may then share folder access with other Box users as desired.
Requesting a Project Directory
Each Project Directory consumes a Box and an Microsoft 365 license seat so we ask that groups request a single Project Directory and create sub-folders to support different projects managed by the group. To request a Project Directory, please submit a request form with the appropriate information.
After clicking the Request Project Directory button to submit the form, your request will be reviewed and processed by the UW-Madison Box team, who will respond within 1-3 business days. Once created, Project Directories will appear as a folder in your Box home page. Co-owners of the Project Directory folder will be responsible for communicating with UW-Madison Box administrators once the folder has been created.
We strongly recommend that you configure your Project Directory to include more than one Co-owner. Project Directories with no Co-owners will be disabled and eventually deleted. See Project Directory Lifecycle
Note: Only individuals who are eligible for the UW-Madison Box service can request Project Directories. If you are currently going through deactivation we will not be able to provision a new Project Directory with your account as a co-owner.
Invitation Restrictions and Shared Link Access: By default Project Directories are configured so that only co-owners can invite other collaborators and only collaborators can access files via shared links. This is more restrictive than the default folder permissions which normally allow Editors to issue collaboration invitations and also allow sharing via open links. For more information on shared link access visit: UW-Madison Box - Managing Shared Link Security Settings
A Project Directory co-owner can change the default sharing permissions at the root folder level. Keep in mind that this will impact all sub-folders within the Project Directory. For more information see: Folder Settings
Folder Owner: The "Owner" of a Project Directory is a Box Service Account that is not accessible by end users and can not be logged into directly. The Project Directory owner usually appears to be prj_<Folder_Name>firstname.lastname@example.org. This can not be changed once set.
Folder Access: Folder access is granted through sharing permissions. The co-owners of the Project Directory can invite other users to collaborate on the folder or assign other users as co-owners. For more information on folder collaboration please see Inviting Collaborators and Understanding Collaborator Permission Levels .
A File or Folder has Disappeared: Co-owners and Editors can move or delete files. If a file is deleted, only the collaborator who deleted the file will see it in their Trash. For more information on recovering deleted items please visit UW-Madison Box - File/Folder Recovery.
Collaborator Permissions: It is important to carefully manage collaborator permissions. Box offers very fine controls over what actions collaborators can take. See Understanding Collaborator Permission Levels for more information.
Convert an existing Folder to a Project Directory: If you would like to transfer a folder to a Box Project Directory please follow the below steps:
- Request a Project Directory. You can find the Request Form here. You can expect the Project Directory to be created within 1-3 business days of the request.
- After the Project Directory is created you can now move the contents of your existing folder into the Project Directory. See Moving and Copying Files & Folders for more information about moving content in Box.
- If you want to transfer folders to a Project Directory you should always move the file/folder rather than transferring ownership. Transferring ownership will cause your collaborator status to change from Co-Owner to Editor and break the expected relationship between Project Directory Name and Owner. See
Moving and Copying Files & Folders
- for more information about managing Box content.
Project Directory Lifecycle
Box Project Directories must have at least one UW-Madison co-owner in order to remain active and available. Project Directories without any UW-Madison collaborators will be set to inactive for 180 days and then deleted.
Box Project Directories that do not contain any files and have not been used for more than a year will be considered abandoned and will be set to inactive for 180 days and then deleted.