A method is disclosed for efficiently transferring documents stored within a data processing system. An identifying reference is created and associated with a particular document within the data processing system, the identifying reference including identifying information and at least a location wherein the document is stored. Thereafter, the identifying reference may be selectively transmitted to selected users. In one embodiment of the present invention, an originator of a document may identify a first group of users to receive only the identifying reference and a second group of users to receive the document. Upon the identification of the first and second groups of users, the identifying reference is automatically transmitted to the first group of users while the document is automatically transmitted to the second group of users. The originator of an identifying reference may also assign different levels of access authority to the selected users. The access authority levels are preferably transmitted with the identifying reference. In another embodiment of the present invention, the originator of an identifying reference may also request notification when the intended recipient user accesses a document designated by the identifying reference.
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