WEB PUBLISHING POLICY (3.9)

Policy Number: 
3.9
Date Issued: 
8/97,6/02
Applicability: 
TOTAL UNIVERSITY

Role of the World Wide Web 

World Wide Web services at the University of North Texas provide information as well as services to members of the University community, prospective students, and the general public. The Web plays a vital role in helping the University fulfill its mission. Consequently, the structure of the Web's information and its ease of use are of paramount importance to the University community.

Types of Information

Official information refers to the governing or authoritative documents of the University or information that is published as part of the normal course of doing the University’s business. Web pages containing official information generally are authored by or for departments, colleges, schools, and administrative offices at the University.

Personal Information is published by individuals and is unrelated to person’s official work role at the University. Examples of personal information are student pages, faculty members’ vitas that are published independently of their department’s information about their faculties, and staff members’ pages that represent personal interests such as hobbies. Personal publishers are responsible for the content of the pages they create, and the views and opinions expressed on a personal page are strictly those of the page author and do not represent the University. However, personal publishers must comply with all University rules and policies as well as state and federal laws concerning appropriate use of computers.

Structure of the University Web 

The UNT Information Resources Council (IRC) will establish standards for the structure and operation of UNT's Web services as well as develop policies and procedures needed to maintain Web sites that serve the mission of the University in an effective manner. 

Responsibility for Official Information

Because official information represents the University to a worldwide community, it must be timely, accurate, and consistent with University policies and local, state and federal laws. Furthermore, the presentation of official UNT information via the Web must adhere as closely as possible to UNT's editorial and graphic standards, just as printed publications are subject to these same standards. Web Publishing Guidelines, approved by the IRC, assist Web authors in preparing materials that meet those standards.

Each Vice President, or the President in the case of those areas that do not report to a Vice President, is the "owner" of the official information that is created or maintained by his/her area of responsibility. An owner is defined as "a person responsible for a business function; and for determining controls and access to information resources supporting that business function. " Texas Department of Information Resources. Information (I TAC 201.13(b)G.3, Information Security Standards, Adopted August 13, 1998.) The owner of an official Web document is the person responsible for overseeing the management of that official information. Each Vice President may delegate the management of this official information to department heads, deans, or directors, as appropriate. Only the owners of information, or their designated information managers, may change the content of the information that they manage. Owners must routinely review the official information placed on the Web by their staff to ensure its timeliness and accuracy.

Any UNT Web document may provide access to any official UNT information that is on the Web, but this should be accomplished by a link to the information, rather than a duplicate copy of that information. In other words, managers of Web documents should not duplicate information that they do not manage, but instead should refer the reader to the original copy. 

Maintenance of Official Information

Owners of official information will identify the information managers who will implement information services within the UNT Web structure, determining how their information maintenance needs can best be met within existing resources. These individuals must follow the standards and procedures developed by the IRC for the University's Web implementation. 

Legal and Intellectual Property Responsibility

Persons responsible for Web development are required to adhere to all applicable state and federal regulations and internal policies and guidelines associated with security, risk measures, and copyright compliance. Permission from the copyright owner must be obtained in advance before publishing copyrighted material (text, graphics, etc.) on UNT Web sites and notification of copyright should be shown on pages containing those materials. 

Privacy Statement

All UNT web sites must provide a privacy statement on their top-level web page (also called home or index pages). Each privacy statement must identify the information collected from site visitors, describe its use, and assure site visitors of the integrity of their information during transmission and storage. 

Privacy Notice

Each privacy statement must identify both passive and active information collected from site visitors and describe its use. Passive information is collected without alerting the site visitor. Active information is purposely provided by the site visitor.

Examples of passive information include:

  • browser detection: browser type and  browser version
  • remote host name: the DNS entry for the computer accessing the web site
  • cookies: hidden identifiers used to store data during a visit, and cumulatively over time

Examples of active information include:

  • name of the site visitor
  • email address of the site visitor
  • comments or answers to questions provided by the site visitor

 Security of Private Information

Each web site at UNT will assure site visitors of the integrity of their information, in transit and in storage. This assurance should include whether or not the data is encrypted in transit via Secure Socket Layers (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS), the positions or UNT employees that will be able to access the information, and under what conditions that information will be accessed.

Because the University has special responsibilities to protect students’ information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, any department with a university Web site collecting data falling under FERPA guidelines must carefully review its handling of such data and insure that its procedures adhere to the act.

Commercial Sales, Solicitations and Advertisements Via University Department or

Organization Web Pages

All commercial sales, solicitations or advertisements by University departments on University web sites must reflect the mission and purpose of the University and follow its contract policy.  Unless the sale is of products produced by academic or administrative departments within the University (such as College of Music CD’s,) a formal contract between the commercial organization and the University must be in place before a sale, solicitation, or advertisement is published on a University Web page. Student organizations, the alumni association, the UNT Foundation, and other affiliated or outside organizations with web pages hosted by the University must receive written permission from the Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs and Finance and Business Affairs before posting advertising or solicitations. Such advertising or solicitations must have a demonstrable benefit to the university for approval.

Unauthorized solicitations by individuals for commercial or personal gain are prohibited.

Corporate logos and external links advertising products may not exceed 10% of any web page as viewed on a single computer screen unless an exemption to this rule is specifically approved by the Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs and Finance and Business Affairs.

Exemptions to the use of corporate logos and/or advertising may be made in designing university Web sites that provide links to free software downloads that provide necessary functionality for viewing Web content, such as Adobe Acrobat files and RealVideo streaming video files.

Accessibility, Web Page Standards, HTML Coding Requirements, and Common Links to Information and Resources 

University Web pages must conform to all University of North Texas Web design, coding and accessibility policies which are available at www.unt.edu/webinfo.