University of Massachusetts
World-Wide Web Guidelines

I. PURPOSE

This policy is issued pursuant to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees' Policy Statement on the World Wide Web (Doc. T99-059 adopted August 4, 1999) and University of Massachusetts World Wide Web Guidelines. This policy:

  1. Addresses the development and maintenance of University of Massachusetts-Worcester Campus web pages/publications and applications/databases.
  2. Outlines responsibilities related to the development, maintenance and monitoring of official Campus web pages/publications.
  3. Institutes guidelines on the design and content of official Campus web pages/publications.
  4. Institutes guidelines for the structure of the Campus web site(s).
  5. Institutes guidelines for the development of web based applications/databases which access Confidential, Private or Restricted data.
  6. Addresses the use of the World Wide Web as a communication tool.
  7. Provides methods for monitoring and enforcing these guidelines.

II. APPLICATION

This policy shall apply to all web pages/publications or applications/databases contained on any campus web site/server, and any communications accomplished through the use of the Internet. This Policy supersedes conflicting policies or procedures developed for individual web sites/servers.

III. POLICY

A. RESPONSIBILITIES

Information Services, on behalf of the Chancellor, is responsible for reviewing campus official web pages/publications to ensure that they comply with the official web page/publication design and content standards.

Information Services, on behalf of the Chancellor, has the authority to modify or remove from Campus web sites/servers those web pages/publications that do not comply with this policy in accordance with established grievance procedures.

Information Services, on behalf of the Chancellor, will determine procedures for denying or limiting computer resource access for any campus employee or student found violating these guidelines in accordance with established grievance procedures.

Information Services, on behalf of the Chancellor, will ensure that appropriate procedure for appeal regarding web page/publication modification or removal and computer resource access denial/limiting are in place.

A Web Advisory Committee shall be created by Information Services with broad campus representation. This committee is responsible for ensuring that web page/publication design guidelines meet the educational, research, administrative and public service missions of the campus.

Web site/server administrators responsible for sites with official web pages/publications shall develop and maintain web hardware/software requirements of their site, including but not limited to, providing backup of, security for and integrity of the data and system.

Web page/publication developers creating official Campus web pages/publications will:

  1. Comply with the page/publication design guidelines noted within this document and any other University/Campus publishing policies/guidelines/procedures.
  2. Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act by designing web pages/publications that are accessible to screen reading devices that are used by people with visual impairments.

The web page sponsor of an official University web page/publication will appoint a web page/publications administrator to oversee the maintenance of their page/publication.

The web page/publication administrator for an official page/publication is responsible for:

  1. Enforcing University/Campus policies and guidelines, along with any additional relevant guidelines or Campus procedures pertaining to the web page/publication for which they are responsible.
  2. Ensuring that the web page is on-line and available to users.
  3. Reviewing official University web pages/publications under their control to ensure that the material presented:
    1. is correct and current,
    2. complies with the official web page/publication design and content guidelines within this document, and
    3. complies with other University or Campus publishing policies, guidelines and procedures.

Web application/database developers will comply with the application/database guidelines noted within this document.

Each department is responsible for managing the time their employees’ spend using the Internet (surfing, etc.) and the location of the sites they visit.

B. UNIVERSITY WEB SITE STRUCTURE

The Internet homepage of the University of Massachusetts-Worcester Campus is http://www.umassmed.edu.

The Intranet homepage of the University of Massachusetts-Worcester Campus is http://inside.umassmed.edu.

All campus entities are required to have an Internet entity web site that is consistent with the official campus "look and feel" for web pages/publications as determined by the Web Advisory Group.

All campus Internet entity homepages (e.g., the top-level page) will contain a link to and will be a destination of a link from the Campus homepage.

All Campus Internet entity homepages will be linked to the campus site map.

Each entity homepage will be linked to a search engine that has access to all official campus web pages/publications.

C. WEB HARDWARE/SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

Campus web pages/publications (i.e., Official or Unofficial web pages/publications) and applications/databases may be located on any Campus web site/server.

Web page/publications developers with web pages/publications on Campus web sites/servers must adhere to appropriate Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) conventions.

D. WEB PAGE/PUBLICATIONS - GENERAL GUIDELINES

Two types of web pages/publications are on Campus web servers:

  1. Official web pages/publications are those web pages/publications on Campus web servers that have been created by the Campus, its schools, departments, entities or other administrative offices, for University business. Official web pages/publications DO NOT include, among others, web pages/publications created by individual faculty, staff, students or student organizations. Official web pages/publications shall contain the statement, "This is an Official Page/Publication of the University of Massachusetts__________________ (Campus, unit name - e.g., Worcester Campus Information Services Department) and must meet Campus guidelines for design and content." The word "Official" in the statement above will link to a page containing the following disclaimer:
    As a service and for informational purposes only, the Campus may provide listings of and/or links to web pages/publications maintained by Campus faculty, staff, students, student organizations, non-university organizations and others. The Campus is not responsible for and does not monitor the content or administration of these pages. These pages and their content, including but not limited to factual statements and opinions, are the sole responsibility of their creators and do not represent, explicitly or implicitly, positions, policies or opinions of the University of Massachusetts-Worcester.
  2. Unofficial web pages/publications. All web pages/publications that are not official web pages/publications are Unofficial web pages/publications.

The Campus reserves the right to remove from Campus web sites/servers any web page/publication which violates or contains material in violation of Campus policy, Campus procedures or the laws and regulations of the United States, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or any other political division of competent jurisdiction. This includes all applicable federal and state laws which govern the privacy and confidentiality of data, and the use and content of electronic publishing and the Internet, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (as amended), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 34 C.F.R., Part 99; the Massachusetts Fair Information Practices Act, M.G.L. c66A; the Massachusetts Public Records Act, M.G.L. c. 66, section 10; Federal Copyright Law (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) ,and the University's Intellectual Property Policy (T-96040), Policy on Faculty Consulting and Outside Activities (T-96-047) and Policy on conflicts of Interest Relating to Intellectual Property & Commercial Ventures (T96-039). Additionally, University guidelines (e.g., Electronic Communications Guidelines, Data Security & Classification Guidelines, Computer System Security & Usage Guidelines) may impose certain restrictions that are not specifically covered by state and federal law, or other regulations. The University does not represent by this or any other statement that it shall monitor or assume responsibility for the content of any Unofficial web page/publication.

Campus Internet/Intranet resources may not be used to create web pages for personal business or financial gain, except as permitted by other Campus policies. The Campus does allow for employees' individual pages that provide information that is relevant to that individual's role at the Campus.

Limitations on the size and number of unofficial web pages/publications may be imposed if resources become overburdened.

No private or confidential data will be accessible on the WWW without the permission of the appropriate Campus data custodian. WWW access to such data shall be secured in a manner that is commensurate with the classification and confidentiality (see the University Data Security & Classification Guidelines) of the data contained on the page/publication.

E. OFFICIAL WEB PAGE/PUBLICATION - DESIGN AND CONTENT GUIDELINES

Because the quality and accuracy of information published by the Campus (and on Campus Web servers) directly affects its reputation and image it is essential that such information follow minimal guidelines of content and structure. It is also essential that information published electronically is consistent with the same high standards as other forms of published information (e.g., print, audiovisual, etc.). The official web page/publication design and content guidelines have been developed to provide an overall supportable standard design for official pages/publications while also providing for the individualization. These guidelines also delineate current supported technologies. These guidelines are not intended to limit production of material. The guidelines will be reviewed and updated regularly by the campus Web Advisory Committee. The current design guidelines can be found at http://www.umassmed.edu/help.

Official web pages/publication prohibit the following:

  1. Displaying information disparaging to others based on race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or religion.
  2. Posting or, publicly displaying or printing unsolicited materials that are of a fraudulent, defamatory, harassing, abusive, pornographic, obscene or threatening nature on any University system.
  3. Display information that solicits or results in personal gains (as in the case of personal or fraudulent donations and "chain letters").

The sending of such messages/materials will be handled according to University codes of conduct, policies and procedures.

Official web pages/publications shall:

  1. Be created for the purpose of carrying out Official Campus business.
  2. Be approved by the web page/publication administrator.
  3. Contain the statement, "This is an Official Page/Publication of the University of Massachusetts Worcester Campus -____________(entity name - e.g., Information Services Department). Additionally, the word "Official" is the statement above will link to a page containing the following disclaimer:
    As a service and for informational purposes only, the Campus may provide listings of and/or links to web pages/publications maintained by Campus faculty, staff, students, student organizations, non-university organizations and others. The Campus is not responsible for and does not monitor the content or administration of these pages. These pages and their content, including but not limited to factual statements and opinions, are the sole responsibility of their creators and do not represent, explicitly or implicitly, positions, policies or opinions of the University of Massachusetts-Worcester.
  4. Additionally, the campus designation in the statement above (e.g., Worcester Campus, entity name) will link to the Campus' homepage.
  5. Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act by being accessible to screen reading devices that are used by people with visual or hearing impairments.
  6. Contain the following basic components:
    1. The title of the web page/publication, subtitle (if any) and the name of the organization/department/unit publishing the page.
    2. A contact email address and postal address so that questions, corrections, or comments can be appropriately directed.
    3. The last revision date.
    4. Links to the campus homepages, as appropriate.
    5. Point to available resources as appropriate (e.g. directories, sitemaps, help sections, search engines).
    6. Use text-labeled button bars or other navigation aides. Pages should not contain items that look like buttons but do not work like a button.
    7. Be designed to address the issues of varying user screen resolution and the slow loading of images. Additionally, all navigational aids which are inline images or image maps should also contain alt tags giving equivalent informational or navigational functions for users of web browsers that can't display images.
    8. Not have dead-end or malfunctioning links.
    9. Comply any other pertinent University publication policies/standards/guidelines or Campus procedures.
  7. The University of Massachusetts Worcester prohibits advertising on its web site.

Web pages/publications will comply with HTML standards as defined by the Web Consortium (http://www.w3c.org). This link goes to an external web site

Information contained on official web pages/publications shall contain no statements of a fraudulent, defamatory, harassing, abusive, obscene or threatening nature. Such information will be removed from display. Additionally, the Campus has special concern for incidents in which individuals are subject to harassment or threat because of membership in a particular racial, religious, gender or sexual orientation group.

F. WEB COMMUNICATION

Existing University and Campus policies/guidelines and Campus procedures related to communication (e.g., Email Usage Policy) shall also apply to web-based communication and conversation (e.g., "chat", on-line conferencing, class discussions, etc.).

G. WEB APPLICATION/DATABASE DEVELOPMENT

Applications/databases developed for use on the WWW which access Confidential, Restricted, or Private Data (as defined in the University's Data Security and Classification Guidelines) shall support and include:

  1. User authentication
  2. A level of security that ensures only authorized users have access to appropriate data
  3. Inter-system communication security
  4. Journaling
  5. Monitoring
  6. Trace facilities

H. COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT

Web pages/publications that do not comply with these guidelines may be modified or removed from the Campus web site/server(s). This may involve removing a pointer to a file, or removing a pointer to a homepage containing or referencing the file. Additionally, any individual found violating these guidelines may be denied or given limited (i.e., to allow for the performance of required academic or employment related tasks) access to Campus computing resources and shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

I. OTHER RELATED POLICIES

UMMS Email Usage Policy
University Data Security & Classification Guidelines