Electronic Information Publication Policy

I. Purpose of this policy
This policy and the provisions contained herein are intended to ensure that information provided electronically to the world about Heidelberg University represents the school appropriately in a consistent, cohesive manner.
The exponential growth of the Internet in general, and the specific publication possibilities provided by the World Wide Web in particular, create new challenges and obstacles for information providers.
This policy strives to allow for the unique and creative publishing abilities of the many facets of the Heidelberg community (e.g. academic and administrative departments, campus organizations, and individual members of the Heidelberg family) while promoting and maintaining a consistent, easily navigable and readily viewable environment for the information seeker.
By publishing information electronically via a College information server (q.v.), the user agrees to adhere to and be bound by the principles and conditions outlined below. In addition, such publication implies the author's agreement with any policies and procedures described in the University's Computer and Network Use Policy document and graphic identity guidelines; those documents are available under separate cover.

II. Right of publication
The right to publicize information via any College electronic information server (EIS) is restricted to specific areas of the Heidelberg community: academic departments, administrative departments, officially recognized University organizations and other entities as approved by the information and computing officers of the University.
Individual members of the College community (e.g. students, faculty, and staff) who desire to publish "personal" information via a College EIS may do so only in compliance with the personal electronic publication requirements outlined in Section V of this document.
The right to publicize information via an EIS is different from the right to create an EIS; the latter requires programming expertise, processing power and significant computing resources and is best handled by the college's computing officers.

III. Initiation of an electronic presence (campus departments and organizations)
In order to initiate an area of presence on a College EIS, a department or entity must request such an information region (q.v.) from the manger(s) of the server in question.
By entering such a request, the entity agrees to comply with all principles and policies contained or referenced herein. In conjunction with such a request, a publication agreement will be initiated and filed for the entity. The agreement will include the designation of one support contact from the entity, through whom will funnel all pertinent requests and concerns from both within and outside the entity.
This agreement will also include a statement of purpose, wherein the entity identifies its purpose and goals in starting such an information region (IR). The entity must also include descriptions of the initial kind of material to be presented via the IR.
In the case of a student organization, two contacts will be identified: the member student who seeks to begin the EIS presence for the organization and a faculty or staff member who works with the organization and has agreed to oversee the creation and maintenance of such an area. Student organization pages will be subject to the following disclaimer:

This is a student organization page and in no way represents the opinions or ideas of the site on which it is located. All information on this page was written or compiled by a member of the student organization, which bears full responsibility for its content. Questions concerning the content of this page should be sent to the group's WWW liaison, (email address of faculty/staff liaison). Last Update: (update date) by (author's name).

As applies to the World Wide Web, the creation of an IR suggests the construction of at least a "home page" by the entity in question and the creation by the EIS manager of an appropriate link or links from the upper-level regions of the EIS to the new IR.

IV. Requirements for an electronic information region (campus departments and organizations)
In order to maintain consistency of presentation throughout the EIS regions, the pages of an entity's IR should include certain design elements specified by the server's manager. Examples of such elements may include, but are not limited to, an appropriate header identifying the page as an official publication of the College and entity in question, the date of last modification, a link to the "top-level" region of the EIS and the appropriate contact information for the author(s) of the page.
With regard to "home pages" in particular, the server's manager, in consultation with the information and publication officer(s) of the College, will design a template or selection of templates which should be followed to ensure the consistent appearance of all home pages provided by the EIS. These templates will help to enforce the graphical and visual consistency of such pages while providing appropriate areas of freedom for entities to develop as they see fit.
Along with templates for such pages, the server's manager will provide, again under advisement from and with assistance by the University's information officer(s), a growing series of "stock" images (e.g. photographs of college facilities and personnel, buttons and icons) for public consumption. An entity seeking to use images in its IR is strongly advised to link to such images in the EIS collection instead of attempting to duplicate similar images for its own use. This will not only provide consistency throughout the EIS but will also help save disk space and other limited resources.
Entities requiring "non-standard" elements for their IR (e.g. unprovided images or special computer programs to gather information electronically) may wish to seek assistance from the departments of information and computer science; personnel and resources may be available on a limited basis to assist in the design of such elements.
Entities must realize that their IR will represent an official publication of the College and, as such, should contain only proper language and grammar, only officially approved graphical representations of the College and only information consistent with the University's mission as an institution of higher learning. Entities will be expected to maintain and update their IR frequently with timely and relevant information.
Individuals authoring a section of an IR akin to a biographical sketch of themselves or others must be cautious to balance between relevant information demonstrating staff experience and qualifications (e.g. lists of academic credentials, current courses taught, research interests, etc.) and information which borders on the personal (e.g. "I like collecting vintage automobiles and my favorite band is Deaf Tiger," etc.). Information such as the latter is not suitable for an official IR and will be better served by the personal areas described below.
In all cases, IR providers will abide by laws of copyright, software license and authorial integrity as described in the Computing Ethics section of the College's Computer and Network Use Policy.

V. Personal electronic publication requirements
The College recognizes the value and potential benefits of personal electronic publication; the possibilities afforded by the growth of the Internet for literary freedom, academic and social collegiality and international collaboration are tremendous. As such, the College permits the creation of personal areas or "home pages" on its EIS.
Members of the College community will have regions of space set aside in which they may create their own personal pages. The contents of those pages may be essentially free-form, limited only by the points below:
(a) The space set aside for a personal page is part of a finite resource; users are expected to keep their resource consumption as low as possible. The University reserves the right to enforce restrictions on the amount of space available for personal pages. Pages which abuse these restrictions are subject to immediate removal.
(b) Every electronic request to view a personal page requires processing power from the EIS; pages which are found to negatively impact the processing resources of the server will be removed as necessary.
(c) Information and images provided in personal areas must comply with all local, state, and federal laws, and must be in keeping with the provisions of the College's computing ethics code as described in the separate Computing and Network Use Policy. Link to /technology/aup-policy
(d) Personal pages are not official publications of the College and must not be mistaken for such. Therefore, all personal pages will be subject to the following disclaimer, visible somewhere on the page:
This is a personal page, and in no way represents the opinions or ideas of the site on which it is located. All information on this page was written or compiled by (individual's name here), who bears full responsibility for its content.
Any pages without such a disclaimer are subject to immediate removal.
Individuals whose personal pages meet the above requirements may request that the EIS manager provide a link to their page from an appropriate area of the EIS (e.g. via a list of available home pages).
Neither the departments of information and computer science nor the manager of the EIS can be responsible for the content of personal pages or for the provision of assistance in their construction.

VI. Violations of policy
Any violations of the policies and procedures described above -- including any violations of the provisions specified in the College's Computing and Network Use Policy <technology/aup-policy document> will be grounds for discipline as specified in that document.

VII. Limit of liability
Heidelberg University makes no representations concerning the availability of service of its EIS systems and the integrity or retrievability of material placed on such services. Heidelberg University is not responsible for any damages resulting from the receipt and/or transmission of any electronic information. The University reserves the right to collect, process and retain appropriate information pertaining to the users and use of its EIS systems.
The College reserves the right to change or amend this statement of electronic publication policy at any time.

VIII. Terms and definitions

electronic information server
An electronic system which provides a means of viewing and retrieving information via any computer network; such systems include but are not limited to Gopher servers, telnet servers and World Wide Web servers.
information region
Space set aside on an electronic information server for information to be published by a particular entity.

This online version of the College's Electronic Information Publication Policy is provided for convenience only. It is not the official version of the policy document. The current, official version is available in paper format from the Heidelberg University Department of Computer Science. All efforts are made to synchronize this document with the printed version. However, if any discrepancies exist between the two documents, the printed version is to be considered correct.

Policy adopted: November 1, 1996