Understanding SharePoint Discussion Board Permissions

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SharePoint Team Discussion Board is commonly used to solicit feedback on documentation, product, service etc. Permissions can be set up to determine who can access the Team Discussion Board and who has access to edit feedback items. Permissions can be broadly classified into the following categories.

  1. General
  2. Advanced


Settings > Discussion Board Settings > Permissions for this discussion board

This gives the option to grant access to users and groups to the Team Discussion Board. The permissions that can be assigned include the following

Read only: Assign Read only access if you would like the users to read or review the feedback workspace contents but not take participate in any discussions

Contributor: This access gives the ability to enter new feedback items or reply to feedback items

Full Control: Grants full privileges to the SharePoint Board. This gives the right to create public views, create columns, modify existing column values etc

Example:  A new User Manual is planned for review by circulating to users drawn from several departments.  To facilitate this, a feedback discussion board is created in SharePoint. In this scenario, grant access as follows:

Contributor: To the reviewers so they can initiate feedback on the user guide

Read Only: To users or groups who should have the ability to review the feedback discussions

Full Control: Typically the SharePoint Administrator or Power user of the group


Apart from the general permissions that can be setup as above, there are Item level permissions to be considered.

discussion board settings

Click Advanced Settings

Read Access

You can specify which items users can read; whether they can read all items or only their own

Edit Access

You can specify which items users can edit. The options available are

  • All items
  • Only their own
  • None

None makes it restrictive and the users cannot edit any feedback item, even the ones created by them

At the other end of the spectrum is All items; this gives permissions to modify all items including the ones created bu other users

Only their own is middle of the ground; this gives the access to modify only items created by them

The Edit Access settings do not impact the ability to reply on a feedback item. The user will still be able to reply on or create feedback items even if None is selected for Edit Access. The ability to create feedback or reply on a feedback is granted under Permissions and Management (refer General section above)

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