Using eDiscovery in SharePoint Online

What is eDiscovery?

Auditors, Record managers and litigators can use eDiscovery to discover content in electronic format. It allows to collect content from multiple sources such as documents, files, emails etc. which could be used in a legal case.

eDiscovery discovers the content based on the specified criteria. Then, it puts a hold on it. This is to ensure that the required information is preserved. All the related data will be stored in the eDiscovery center.

Creating an eDiscovery Center

Navigate to the SharePoint online admin center. See SharePoint Online External Users for information on how to access this.

In Site Collections section, click New-> Private Site Collection

SharePoint Online New Site Collection

  1. Give any title
  2. Select any managed path e.g ‘/sites’ and give a site url e.g ‘ediscovery’
  3. For template, click on Enterprise tab. Select eDiscovery Center
  4. Specify the Administrator
  5. Specify how much space you want to allocate for this site collection in the Quota
  6. Click OK

eDiscovery Center Creation

It takes a while to create the site collection. After it is created, click on the link to open it. It should look as shown below:

eDiscovery Center

Working with an eDiscovery case

Here we can click on ‘Create new case’ to create a new case. Give a title and a url and click on Create. This creates a new site for the case.

eDiscovery Case Site

Here you can create a new eDiscovery Set by clicking on ‘new item’ in that section.

In the form click on Add & Manage Sources. You can add exchange mailboxes or url locations of SharePoint sites or fileshares. Lets add a SharePoint site url.

eDiscovery Source

Once you have the source set up, you can filter the results by specifying query terms, start date, end date, author, domain for exchange. By clicking on Get Statistics, it will return the results which match the criteria.

Once you are happy with the results which are retrieved, you can enable an in-place hold by selecting the radio button and clicking on Save. This will make the content which was retrieved as read only and it will disable the delete option.

By clicking on the new item in ‘Search and Export’, you can download or view a report of the required query and filter criteria.

eDiscovery Search and Export

Click OK on the next screen after selecting the required options such as versioning required etc. You will get the screen which has options to download the report.

eDiscovery Download Screen

Once all the required information is retrieved and finalized, on the main screen click on the gear icon and select ‘case closure’. This will release any holds which was put. Once a case is closed, it cannot be reopened.

Today, we explored eDiscovery, how to create an eDiscovery center and working with cases.

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