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Policies and Standards for Creating Web pages

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Policies and Standards for Creating Web pages Contents
    1. Introduction
    2. Policy Statement
    3. Policies and Standards for Content
    4. Policies and Standards for Design
    5. Policies and Standards for Technical Requirements
    6. Additional Information and Standards for University recognized student group Web pages
    7. Changes in Policies
    8. Interpretation of Policies
    9. Web Site Maintenance Plan

A. Introduction

This document is intended to be used by those members of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) community who will be preparing HTML documents for placement on, or links from, University owned and/or operated servers. The language is necessarily technical, and any questions should be directed to the University Webmaster or System Administrator. If you are writing Web pages and any of the terms in this document are unfamiliar to you, it is recommended that you attend an HTML workshop or purchase a book on HTML. Material that is illegal or used in violation of copyright laws is prohibited on the University website. All Web pages included on the University website or being served from computers on the University network must conform to the University Policy for Responsible Use of Computing Resources, as well as the Policies and Standards for Creating Web pages.

B. Policy Statement

The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia provides resources on the World Wide Web to support its mission of teaching, research, and service. Departments, administrative units, faculty, and other USP recognized groups are encouraged to create Web pages which fulfill one or more of the following goals: 1) provide information to prospective students, 2) provide information to the current campus community, 3) enrich students' educational experiences, 4) promote effective communication within the University community, 5) support educational opportunities and 6) aid in the discharging of administrative functions. We recognize that we are unable to control links to our site contained on documents not sponsored by the University. However, the content of the Web pages which are on University owned and/or operated servers will be limited to those resources which support the University’s mission.

  • Faculty and staff who wish to mount supplemental web pages on USP provided server space or establish a link from a USP Web page to Web pages residing on outside servers may do so if the Web pages support the mission and goals of the University.
  • Individual students who wish to mount Web pages on University provided server space or establish a link from a University Web page to Web pages residing on outside servers may do so if the Web pages directly support their University coursework. These students should work with a faculty member or department chair to develop appropriate Web pages.
  • University of the Sciences-recognized student organizations who wish to mount Web pages on USP- provided server space or establish a link from a USP Web page to Web pages residing on outside servers, should work with the Student Affairs Department to develop appropriate Web pages.
  • External Web pages which are linked to or from a Web page running on University provided server space must be appropriate to the University mission of teaching, research and service.
  • A disclaimer must be included on the home page of any individual faculty, staff, student or student organization web page. The disclaimer is as follows:
The views expressed in these pages are strictly those of the author and may not necessarily represent the opinions of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. The author of these pages is responsible for obeying all relevant laws and USP policies including those delineated in the University Policy for Responsible Use of Computing Resources, and the Policy and Standards for Creating Web Pages.
  • The disk space available for any Web Page may be limited based upon available resources. The department responsible for web server resources will determine such limitations.

C. Policies and Standards for Content

Required for specific "home pages":

  1. Contact information on the "home page," including: official name of the department or group, official name of the institution, mailing address, phone number, and email address with live email link. A departmental or personal email address is encouraged but use of the "webmaster@usip.edu" email address may be used to fulfill this requirement. Contact the Department of Information Technology to set up a departmental email account.
  2. For example:
    Department of Information Science
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
    600 S. 43rd Street
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
    215.596.8960
    webmaster@usciences.edu

    Required for every Web page:

  3. A clear statement of who is responsible for the page’s content.
  4. The full URL of the page.
  5. Text links to accompany all graphical links (for text-only browsers).
  6. The date when the page was last changed (substantive change in content).
  7. No use of browser specific or communications software specific terminology (for example, "Click on the Reset button").
  8. No use of "Under Construction" statements or graphics as the predominant content of a Web page.
  9. A title line (using the <TITLE> tag).
Recommended:
  1. File size stated for links to any large files or graphic images.
  2. Testing with both graphical and text-only browsers.
  3. Copyright statement
  4. Personal or departmental email link
  5. An email link on each Web page

D. Policies and Standards for Design

Required:
  1. A button or link on every Web page which links to the University home page <http://www.usip.edu/>.
  2. A button or link to the parent page (i.e., home page) on each supporting Web page.
  3. The Office of University Relations is responsible for the overall design of the institutional website and will provide a template for departments.
Recommended:
  1. A short and simple home page, with links to the supporting documents.
  2. Pages which are no longer than 3-4 screens (unless there is a specific reason for them to be longer, such as perceived need to download/print entire document).
  3. Navigational aids (menu bars, buttons) included on each page of site with many pages or complex materials.
Not recommended:
  1. Graphics for the sake of graphics.
  2. Large graphics (will take a long time to load).
  3. Including many graphics on one page. Many browsers limit the number of graphical files per page that they will load.
  4. Using logical tags to force graphical layout. For example, <H1>, <H2>, etc. are intended to be used as headings, not to increase font size or to bold words.
  5. Unusually colored backgrounds with white or colored letters (documents are not easily printable).
  6. Heavy use of physical style tags; logical style tags should be preferred.

E. Policies and Standards for Technical Requirements

Required for the "homepage":
  1. Exclusive use of HTML tagging which is supported by the top three browsers in use worldwide (at the time of this writing these are MS Explorer, Netscape Navigator and Lynx).
Required for every Web page:
  1. Inclusion of the high level elements (<HTML>, <HEAD>, and <BODY>) in every Web page.
  2. Spell checking, proofreading, and testing of pages by the author of the Web pages prior to uploading.
  3. A written maintenance plan (to be kept on file by the University webmaster) which includes the following:
    • The name of the individual responsible for executing the maintenance plan.
    • A schedule for revisions and updating of pages. Pages must be updated at least once per year. For Web pages which are not ongoing, the University webmaster must be provided with an "expiration date" on which the Web page should be removed from the server.
    • A schedule for testing links included on pages.
  4. Inclusion of the ALT attribute in all <IMG> tags.
Recommended:
  1. Create HTML documents with white space and include remarks when appropriate.
  2. Avoid use of browser specific tags on any Web page. Consider your audience when deciding whether the use of browser specific tags is necessary or appropriate.

F. Additional Information and Standards for University-recognized student group Web pages

Students are reminded that information on their organization's Web page is available to current students, faculty and administration, alumni, prospective students, parents, potential employers and, in general, to anyone with access to the internet. Therefore, pages should be developed that represent the organization, and therefore the University, appropriately.Copyrighted material (including text, photographs, artwork, or graphics) used without permission is prohibited. Web sites may not be used for financial gain or contain commercial links. Organizations will be held to the standards of the University posting policy which prohibits cryptic messages and references to the use of alcohol and other drugs. This policy covers any links established on the Web page.

Only those organizations that have been granted recognition from the University through the Student Affairs Committee (student government affiliated organizations) or through the Office of the President (fraternities and sororities) are permitted to place a Web page on University owned and/or operated servers or have a link to their site from the University web site.

If the organization web site is physically located on a University provided Web server, space made available to accomodate the Web pages and associate files for each organization may be limited based on available resources.

Student group web pages must be kept up to date. Sites where the home page file or a majority of the site files have not be updated in more than one year (by the date stamp on the files) will be removed from the server and the link from the site clubs listing page will be removed. Backups of files removed from the server will be kept for one year.

Student groups must have their sites reviewed by their faculty advisor and/or a staff member in Student Affairs prior to initial placement on University owned and/or operated servers and/or prior to linking to the site from other university web pages. Faculty advisors and/or staff in student affairs must also agree to regularly review pages (at least once per semester.)

A disclaimer must be included on the home page of any student organization web page. The disclaimer is as follows:

The views expressed in these pages are strictly those of the author and may not necessarily represent the opinions of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. The author of these pages is responsible for obeying all relevant laws and USP policies including those delineated in the University Policy for Responsible Use of Computing Resources, and the Policy and Standards for Creating Web Pages.

G. Changes in Policy

These Policies and Standards for Creating Web Pages will be periodically reviewed by an ad-hoc committee representing University faculty and staff, and chaired by the University Webmaster. A committee of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Information Technology, Vice President for Executive Affairs, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Director of Library and Information Services will approve changes in policy.

H. Interpretation of Policies

Questions regarding the interpretation, implementation and enforcement of these polices should be directed to the University Webmaster. A committee of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Executive Affairs, Vice President for Information Technology, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Director of Library and Information Services will make final policy interpretations.I: Web Site Maintenance PlanReturn to the top of this document.If you have questions concerning this policy, or would like to create a Web page, please contact Amy Christopher, Webmaster at 215.596.8730.


University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104-4495
Telephone: 215.596.8800
Last Revised March 2008
webmaster@usciences.edu