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Help Desk

(402) 375-7107

Email: helpdesk@wsc.edu

 

Electronic Publishing Policies

 

Introduction

 

Wayne State College recognizes the dizzying array of opportunities provided by the unparalleled growth of the World Wide Web on the Internet.

 

Because of it's ease of use, the Web has become a logical form of communication for academic users. Its "point and click" technology makes accessing information on the Internet simple, and the ease with which institutions can continually provide up-to-date information to great numbers of Internet users is allowing colleges and universities to reach audiences much wider than those reached by conventional means.

 

Every program and service offered by Wayne State provides an opportunity to promote the institution and its goals to a wider community. Because many of Wayne State College's Web pages will be intended for external audiences, will be produced using College resources, and will bear the name or logo of the College, this WWW policy is intended to establish consistency and accuracy of information. WSC Web pages must present accurate information in a professional manner and in ways that benefit WSC's mission.

 

With these considerations in mind, the following policy seeks to:

  • Assure accuracy and currency of information published about Wayne State College;

  • Avoid unnecessary duplication of information and effort, and, more importantly, contradictory or erroneous information;

  • Advise WSC Web publishers on the organization of information in their pages, and its relationship to other pages in the "WSC Web".

This policy -- like WSC's presence on the web -- will be dynamic, subject to change. It provides a solid preliminary structure, a philosophical framework to foster the development of a comprehensive WSC contribution to the WWW.

 

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Existing Applicable Policies

 

Though this medium is new, many existing policies apply to its use. Some issues remain under the realm of laws. These include the following:

  • Copyright, "fair use", and intellectual property rights

  • Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

  • Federal Computer Abuse Amendment Act

  • Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1995

  • Nebraska use of state equipment for private use

  • Nebraska Science & Technology: A State Policy

  • Wayne State College Computer Policy Manual 1995

Others fall under established academic procedures such as official college announcements, development of publications and news media relations.

 

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Definitions

 

To avoid misunderstandings, certain terms used in the context of the Web Publishing Policy are defined, and the role and responsibilities of people involved in Web Publishing at WSC are explained.

 

Information Provider: Each Information Provider is responsible for his/her unit's web pages and for the links to other pages. This includes design, writing, accuracy of information, proofreading, abiding by the legal and ethical issues as well as keeping the Unit's information and links up-to-date.

 

Official WSC Information: Any information published by an officially recognized WSC division, office, or program is considered "official" WSC information, and may bear the WSC Logo. Various divisions, offices, projects, and programs are responsible for their own sections of this server. A specific Information Provider's name and a contact e-mail address must appear on each official WSC page. Publication of material on WSC's Web implies the Information Provider's consent to abide by these guidelines.

 

Personal Home Page: Home pages that reflect personal interests and information unrelated to a staff member's work are considered 'Unofficial WSC Information' and presently not permitted. See 'Unofficial WSC Information'.

 

Pornography: The display of pornographic or sexually explicit material, or publicizing access to such material, is not allowed, irrespective of the legality of material in the country of origin.

 

Professional Web Page: Professional Web pages for faculty and professional staff are recommended and supported given the appropriate supervisor approval. These pages provide information that is relevant to their professional experience, background or discipline. Special interests or activities related to the WSC Experience are encouraged.

 

Student Organizations: Sanctioned student organizations may create web pages. Subject to review and approval, these pages may be linked to an appropriate web page by a related Information Provider. The Faculty Advisor will review the contents of the student organizations web page and shall contact the appropriate Information Provider for loading the page on the WSC Web.

 

Unit: Any teaching, research, support department or group within Wayne State College which is officially recognized by the College.

 

Unofficial WSC Information: Material unrelated to a staff member's work and personal home pages are considered unofficial information and will not be permitted at this time.

 

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Copyright Issues

 

Although it is fairly easy to copy text or images for use elsewhere on the World Wide Web, this should not be done without permission. Unless rights of use are clearly stated with respect to an individual item, an assumption should be made that all text and images appearing on the WWW are protected by the U.S. Copyright Act and should not be reproduced without written permission from the copyright holder.

 

Under certain circumstances, the law of "fair use" allows short excerpts to be quoted without seeking permission from the copyright owner. The copyright law specifies a four-factor test to determine whether reproduction of a work constitutes fair use. The four factors are:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes such as criticism, scholarship, or research.

  • The nature of the copyrighted work (fact or fiction, with fiction generally accorded greater protection).

  • The amount or substance of the portion used in relation to the work as a whole.

  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for and value of the quoted work.

Because these four factors must all be weighed, the fair use standard is difficult to apply. In doubtful cases, users should consult with their own legal counsel before deciding to rely on fair use.

 

To reproduce images or text in excess of what is permitted under "fair use", permission should be sought from the copyright owner (usually the author). If permission is granted, the user should give proper credit to the author and include the phrase "used with permission" and a copyright notice. The proper form of copyright notice includes the word "Copyright" or the copyright symbol plus the name of the copyright owner and year of publication (e.g. Copyright 1995 Josephine Doe).

 

For more information regarding Copyright Issues and Fair Use, visit the Web site: HTTP//www.cetus.org/fairindex.html. This page explores Copyright and Fair Use Issues and contains links to related copyright sites.

 

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Style Guidelines

 

In order that pages produced by staff for the WSC Web are relatively consistent in terms of style, the following guidelines must be applied. It should be noted that while publishing on-line offers enormous advantages, the same care in the management of data needs to be exercised, as in conventional publishing. These guidelines include:

  • Use a consistent design

  • Communicate effectively

  • Design for interactivity

  • Lead easily to related information

  • Are sensitive to non-graphical browsers

  • Use graphics wisely (aid the reader without getting in the way!)

  • Are carefully checked for grammar, spelling, accuracy and broken links

  • Are reviewed and updated, at least, semi-annually

  • All dated events are placed in a timely manner and removed within seven days following the event.

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Web Page Requirements

 

Head Section
Home Page File Names: The file name for all home pages should be "index.html". Users entering a URL for your directory without a file name will automatically load the "index.html" file.

 

Head: This is the portion of all HTML documents that precedes the body of the document and does not show on the screen. This is a place for information about the document.

  • Title: Documents must contain a brief descriptive title. Titles are used by various search engines to generate lists of titles, appear in the title bar of the browser and are used in bookmark files. For example, the title of this document is :

    WSC Web Publishing
  • Author:The author of each document needs to be placed within the HEAD tags. This allows a student searching the WSC Web to find all the documents written by their professor. For example, the author of this document is : Josephine Smith

Body Section
Documents must include the following in the body of the document:

  • WSC Logo: If the reader is to understand that the document is an official publication of Wayne State College, the page must have the WSC Logo at the top of the page for the first three levels.

Footer Section
Footer information should be displayed in a smaller font than that used for the rest of the document.

 

Documents must include the following information as a footer:

  • Author's details (name, department, email address)

  • Document dates (issue date, revision date, expiration date)

  • Button linking back to the WSC Home Page

  • Button linking back to the preceding page

At the Information Provider's discretion, footers may also include:

  • The full URL (address) of the document. This is to ensure that the URL is visible on the document when printed. Later versions of Netscape print URL by default.

  • Copyright marks and language, copyright year.

  • Mailing address, phone and fax numbers.

Graphics & Other Media Files
Graphics make a web page come alive but please remember when using them:

  • All graphics used as hypertext links should be supported by an equivalent text link. Since many people use browsers that are text-based, do not make web documents totally image-dependent.

  • It's easy to go overboard with graphics; try to use graphics and other media files sparingly. While excellent graphics can add great value to a page, too many buttons and icons can obscure the message.

  • If you have a collection of graphics you'd like to display, shrink the graphic to thumbnail size and link it to a full-sized version.

  • Video and audio clips may take a long time to download. Keep in mind that you have no control over the type of browser a user may have. Many people don't have the ability to read/display these file types.

  • If comprehension of your material requires the use of complex graphics, video, or large audio clips, consider including the file size of these items in the text, so that users have an idea of the download time.

Photographs
Photographs make a web page come alive. When using photographs there are several items you need to consider.

 

Scanning: All photographs need to be scanned into a digital format. To obtain good results, a high quality scanner must be utilized. Presently, there are two locations for such scanners, one in Network Services and another in the MultiMedia Lab. You will have to make arrangements or check schedules to use these scanners.

 

Permission: You will need written permission from people to place their picture on the Web. College Relations has sample forms if you need them.

 

Links
Information providers should avoid duplicating documents appearing on other parts of the network. Don't assume that because the information is not up today, it will not be up tomorrow. If possible, check with the related department and see if they have immediate plans to post the information.

 

External links must go to educational information or institutions. Links to commercial sites can be a problem. For example, if you are writing a chemistry page, you can link to a chemical company's page describing chemical properties, but not to a page selling chemicals.

 

Before You Post It, Test It!
Don't assume that all your readers will use the same browser and defaults that you do. Try to stick with standard HTML 2.0 and 3.0 tags that are supported by major browsers. The use of Netscape or Explorer extensions can enhance image display and download time, but one must always keep in mind the effect of these extensions may have in other browsers. If it is possible, test all your web pages using various platforms, monitors, and web browsers to be sure your HTML tags are interpreted as you intend. It is easy to design pages that are impressive when viewed on speedy computers with fancy monitors. The challenge is to write HTML code that is equally functional with the text-only Lynx software, with Netscape, Explorer and Mosaic, or with the ever growing selection of web software available for general and commercial use.

Here are some specific things to look for when you test:

  • Using graphics alone to convey a message: If you want your graphic to be understood by all web software, include an "alt" attribute for inline images, and test your graphics with various platforms, monitors, and web software. It should look good, or at least coherent, on any monitor or browser.

  • Image Maps: If you use image maps, ask others to test your map for reliability.

  • Textured Backgrounds: On some monitors, text will dissolve into heavily textured backgrounds rendering it unreadable.

  • Load Time For Graphics: Test your page over a modem. Do pages load quickly or is it taking too long? Keep in mind that many viewers use modems or Internet Providers...so keep it short!!!

  • Print Your Pages and Inspect Them: This is a good way to proofread and edit your documents. Remember, spell checkers are not infallible.

  • Test Your Links: Do the links work? Is navigation easy? Try to view your pages as a new student would. Are the links rewarding?

Security
The passwords provided to an Information Provider give them access to the web server above the average user. These passwords are to be kept confidential and never shared. (see Wayne State College Computer Policy Manual, page 1.)

 

If an information provider finds it impossible to follow these general guidelines, he/she should step down from the position of Information Provider. Network Services needs to be notified if this should occur.

 

According to the Wayne State College Computer Policy Manual 1995, "Conduct which violates the College's property rights with respect to computing resources is subject to College disciplinary action".

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