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Box External Collaboration FAQ

Find common questions and answers below for Box external collaboration.

What is external collaboration?

While all faculty, students, and staff can collaborate within the campus community, you may also request the ability to invite non-University members to collaborate within Box folders that you own. To do so, please submit the External Collaboration Request form

Files and folders that belong to a department are typically not shared outside of the University.

How do I get the ability to collaborate externally?

You can share links to your Box files and folders with non-University members by using the "People with this link" access type. This is similar to sending an email attachment because these links can be forwarded to others and anyone with the link can then access the file or folder once you send it (unless you later "remove" the link). Files and folders shared in this fashion can be viewed or downloaded by the recipient(s).

If you wish to invite external collaborators to interact within Box folders that you own, you must first request External Collaboration to be enabled for your individual Box account via the External Collaboration Request form. You will be notified via email when your account permissions have been updated.

If I share an external link with someone outside of the University of Richmond, do they need a Box account to open the link?

No, they do not need to create or login to their Box account to access the content you shared in the link. However, if you invite them to collaborate in a folder (instead of sharing via a link), they will need to login to their Box account or create a new Box account.

Can I share a departmental folder or file externally?

Files and folders that belong to a department are typically not shared outside of the University.  The reason for this is that departmental folders are intended for critical files needed to support long-term business and academic units.  These are often sensitive in nature and are accessed by diverse groups of faculty and staff.  Box makes it extremely easy for a single person to share files with others (intentionally or accidentally).  To minimize the likelihood of an accidental data exposure outside the campus community, the default configuration is to restrict collaboration within departmental folders to campus members.  If individuals wish to collaborate or share with others outside of the campus community, they are encouraged to do so via their individual Box folders.  In this way, an accidental exposure outside the University would be limited to the contents of that individual’s folder only.

However, if there is a demonstrated need to create a specific departmental folder for the purpose of collaborating outside of the University, a departmental Box co-owner can make the request by filling out and submitting the External Collaboration for Departments request form. (You can determine the co-owner of a departmental Box folder by viewing the Collaborator panel on the right hand side of the departmental folder.)

CAUTION: Content placed within an externally-shared folder will be accessible outside of the University and should therefore NOT be used for the storage or transfer of confidential or restricted information as defined by the University’s Data Security Policy as well as the University’s External Party Data Transfer Policy.

Why can't share I anything with someone outside the University of Richmond even though my account has been enabled to collaborate externally?

There are two situations in which this could be happening: 

  1. Once your account is enabled for external collaboration, you will need to go to your Account Settings and modify your settings for this new change to take effect. Under Content and Sharing, make sure your options mirror the ones shown below, enabling the "People with the link, People in your company, and People in this folder" option.
    account settings
  2. If you already have the ability to collaborate externally and your settings in Content and Sharing are set correctly, but you still cannot share or collaborate a certain folder, you may need to customize that folder’s settings.
    folder settings
    To access folder settings, navigate to the folder you want to modify, click the More (…) button and under Properties, choose Folder Settings. In Folder Settings, make sure Restrict collaboration to within University of Richmond and Restrict shared links in this folder to Collaborators Only check boxes are both unchecked as shown below. 
    collaboration settings

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