Withdrawing content means it’s still available at the same URL. You will not be able to create any new versions of the content while it’s withdrawn but you can edit the public explanatory text that appears on the page.
Withdrawn publications will still appear in Google search results and attachments can still be reached directly.
Before you withdraw content:
- Remove any attachments from the document and add a statement or watermark to each attachment - for example ‘This publication was withdrawn on 1 January 2016’.
- Add ‘[Withdrawn]’ to the start of attachment titles.
- Re-upload the attachments to the document.
You do not need to add a ‘withdrawn’ message to HTML attachments. Whitehall Publisher does it automatically when you withdraw a document.
Links to the withdrawn document from within body copy will not be automatically removed from other pages.
To withdraw content:
- Select the ‘Documents’ tab in Whitehall publisher and search for your document.
- Click on the document you want to unpublish.
- Click on the ‘Withdraw or unpublish’ button.
- Always leave a reason in the ‘Public explanation’ field explaining why you’re withdrawing the document. You can include Markdown and provide users with a link to a new page or document.
The withdrawn document will still appear external search engine results but it will not appear in internal site search results. If the withdrawn document is featured on your organisation page, it will continue to be listed there until it’s un-featured.
A withdrawn document will not be visible in:
- document collections it is part of
- related document sections on the public site, for example, an organisation’s ‘Documents’ section
- the list of announcements on a person’s profile page
- specialist browse
- atom feeds
- govdelivery notifications
Withdrawn content will show as ‘withdrawn’ in Whitehall publisher.
If an organisation closes, only withdraw material that’s no longer relevant. Examples of items that should not be withdrawn are:
- guidance that’s still useful about things people can still do (consider reassigning this to the new organisation if there is one)
- transparency data
- freedom of information responses
How to unwithdraw content
Only managing editors can ‘unwithdraw’ content, for example if a content item was withdrawn by mistake or they need to fix an error in the content.
Find the document in Whitehall publisher and select ‘Unwithdraw’. You do not need to republish the document.
If the document has attachments you’ll need to re-upload them. They will not appear automatically.
If you’re making a change, you must withdraw the content again. This will not email subscribers or give any notification to users.
The withdrawn date will change to the date you last withdrew the content.
Find out when you can edit withdrawn content.