This guide walks through the most common actions you will take when working on a request in NextRequest. The following terms are commonly used:
- Requester - The member of the public who has submitted the request.
- Point of Contact - The staff member who owns and oversees a request.
- Support Staff - The staff member(s) assigned to help the Point of Contact fulfill requests.
- Create a Test Request
- Edit or Redact the Text of a Request
- Assign Staff
- Post an External Message
- Post an Internal Message
- Add an Internal Note to a Request
- Add Tags
- Upload a Document
- Release a Document
- Print a Request
- Close the Request & Determine the Final Visibility
Not finding what you are looking for? View additional resources.
Create a Test Request
To test out the various features in NextRequest you will need to first create a test request. It is important when creating a test request to use a different email address than the one associated with your existing NextRequest account. We recommend using a personal email or a second work address if you have one.
- Click the Signed In drop-down and select Sign-Out
- Follow the instructions to submit a public request
- Locate the request
Edit or Redact the Text of a Request
You can edit or remove text from the request description if the requester includes private information. If you wish to publish the request and don't want this information to be public, you can always remove it from the request description. A record of your edits will be tracked in the request timeline.
We recommend leaving a note as to what was redacted and why. An example of redacted request language: "I wanted to request the following records... My social security number is [social security number redacted] and my address is [address redacted]."
- Open the request
- Click the pencil icon to the right of the Request description
- Edit the text as needed
- Click the Update request text button
You can ask other people to assist you with fulfilling a request and in some cases, you may be asked to help with requests that somebody else is responsible for. In this task, you’ll add another user as Support Staff. You’ll still be the Point of Contact but they’ll also be on the request and can help as needed.
Follow the steps to Add Support Staff to a Request.
Post an External Message
You can use external messages to provide information about the request. You can use these messages to do things like give the requester a time or cost estimate or to clarify the scope of the request. When you have supplied all responsive documents that you are able to, you should send a message to the requester explaining what has been done.
Follow the instructions to send an external message.
Post an Internal Message
You can post an internal message on a request that will only be viewed by other internal users, not the requester (or the public). Only users assigned to the request will receive a notification.
Follow the instructions to post an internal message.
Add an Internal Note to a Request
Notes allow agency users to post status updates or key information for other Staff users on a request. Notes are not directed at any Staff and have a different trigger for email notifications, differentiating them from Internal Messages. Admins and Department Admins can pin notes to the top of the timeline for easier visibility.
Follow the instructions to add and pin notes.
Tags can be set up by administrators of the portal, and they are great for organizing the requests in your portal by different categories like requester type and request status. Once created, tags can be added to a request.
- Open the request
- Scroll down to the Tags section and click the pencil icon next to Assigned tags
- Select Tags from the drop-down
- Click the Save Tags button
Upload a Document
You can upload documents and release them to a requester, all within NextRequest. The requester can log into the system and download the files or view them within NextRequest. View instructions on how to Add a Document to a Request.
Release the Document (Publisher and Up)
Once documents are ready to release you can choose to release them to the requester only or to the entire public. View instructions on how to change the visibility and release documents.
Print a Request
- Open the request
- Select the Print request (printer) icon in the toolbar
- View the PDF that opens in a new tab. You can then print the request or download it to your computer.
Close the Request & Determine the Final Visibility
When you are done fulfilling the request you can close it out and notify the requester. Learn how to Close a Request.
You can see the request visibility in the visibility bar above the request's details. Certain requests may be sensitive enough that you want to permanently restrict access, however, requests that are appropriate for the public can be a resource for future visitors to the NextRequest portal.
In some cases, it may prevent a new request from being filed because the visitor finds what they need in a previous request. While you can change the visibility of a request at any time, the most common workflow is to publish a request after closing it out. Learn how to change the request's visibility.