Section 1 - Introduction
(1) The University's website is an important tool for achieving the University's mission. Its multiple uses are bound by legal, professional and ethical requirements. This policy identifies the principles that must guide website publishing and hosting at the University of Newcastle.
(2) The policy is applicable to anyone intending to publish on or in any University owned or controlled web resource.
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Section 2 - Policy Intent
(3) This policy provides the principles that will govern: (i) web-based content and (ii) the processes surrounding the publishing and hosting of web-based content on the University website.
(4) This policy specifically covers:
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- process management;
- web hosting;
- web publishing;
- sponsorship and advertising;
- accessibility; and
Section 3 - Policy
(5) The University considers web publishing to be a key strategic resource for communication, teaching, research, marketing, and administration. Appropriate use of this technology by the University community is required.
(6) University resources may only be used to create and publish web pages where the purpose and effect of the published information is in support of the University's objectives and Strategic Plan. This means that the content of web pages hosted on University resources must relate to the activities and functions of the University or relate to the specific role of members of the University community.
(7) Personal home pages are permissible under this policy to the extent that they contain information about the official functions and responsibilities of the University staff member.
(8) Web-based publishing has an important impact on the reputation and standing of the University and must therefore occur in the context of an official policy framework. The following principles and requirements apply to all information published on the University's website.
(9) The University of Newcastle website must be based on content that has been subjected to review and authorisation before publishing, to ensure that all information is accurate, up to date, relevant, consistent, and compliant with University policy and guidelines.
(10) All information published on University web servers must be authorised by at least one Content Area Leader.
(11) There will be one Content Area Leader for each Content Area of the Web. A Content Area Leader will be a senior University staff member identified by the Senior Executive in the unit.
(12) There will be a nominated content owner for all content on the web.
(13) Where Content Areas are “shared” or “referenced” by other Content Areas content will be referenced and not replicated.
(14) The Director Corporate Information is responsible for, the specifications for and the adherence to, the web information architecture including: the Content Areas, the Content Area Leaders, and the nature of the hierarchical content relationships between each of these following recommendations and consideration by the Web Steering Committee. The Web Team will be responsible for the implementation of the web information architecture.
(15) Web Publishing has the same legal requirements as print publishing. The same standards of authorship, design, editing and approval are required.
(16) It is the responsibility of the Content Area Leader to enforce the following standards in relation to content, language and appearance:
- Current and accurate information - information must be accurate and timely; if it becomes out of date or misleading, the Content Area Leader will remove it from the University website.
- Language - web pages must use language that is in accordance with the University's Inclusive Language Policy.
- Appearance - web pages must be constructed in accordance with technical and style (copy and design) guidelines published by the University.
(17) Unacceptable Content - web pages published on University resources must not:
- contain or link to offensive, illegal, obscene, defamatory or threatening material;
- either explicitly or implicitly contain material or link to material which contravenes State or Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation;
- either explicitly or implicitly contain material or link to material which endorses or promotes racism; or
- breach confidentiality or the privacy of personal information and health records.
(18) Pages deemed to contain inappropriate material which breaches one or more of the above protocols will be removed from University resources by the Director Corporate Information. Disciplinary action may be taken by the University if appropriate.
(19) Web pages must not contain 'copyrighted' material, including images, text and software, without the written consent of the copyright owner; such consent must be included on the web page.
(20) Any wording of disclaimers used on the web will be provided and/or approved by the Legal Unit following consultation with relevant staff.
Learning Management System Sites
(21) The location of Learning Management System sites will be covered within the web information architecture guidelines and therefore covered by this policy. The content within Learning Management System sites will be also covered by other university policies relating to teaching and learning, copyright and staff/student conduct.
(22) All University-owned websites including controlled entities must be hosted on www.newcastle.edu.au.
(23) No University websites can be hosted outside of this domain.
(24) The University may permit the hosting of web pages for external organisations where there is a clear relationship with the organisation (e.g. a research partnership). Approval will be the responsibility of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Services).
(25) Where the websites of external organisations are hosted on the University website, their objects and information must comply with this policy and must align with the strategic goals of the University.
Sponsorship and Advertising
(26) Advertising for the purposes of commercial gain is not permitted. A site cannot, for example, run advertisements as a revenue-raising venture.
(27) Advertising on the University's websites of private or personal consultancy services or businesses of any kind by University staff or students, is not permitted.
(28) Web pages must not include software (such as page hit counters) that carries 'built-in' advertising.
(29) Mention of a sponsor's contribution is permissible, where the sponsorship is for an activity relevant to the mission and goals of the University and relevant to the content of the web page. The sponsor must give consent.
(30) The inclusion of links to the website of companies sponsoring official University conferences or projects is permitted.
(31) Notwithstanding the above, mention of sponsors' names is not allowed on the main entry-points to the site (eg University home page, College home pages). As indicated in the University's Sponsorship and Advertising Guidelines and Web Page Design Guidelines.
(32) All web pages containing promotional-style references to external organisations or individuals should be referred to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Services) for approval.
(33) Mention of the particular software that was used to create a web page is not appropriate; nor are links to the personal or business pages of the web authors.
(34) The University is committed to working to meet compliance with the standards outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
(35) The University website is subject to all relevant legislation including:
- Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 No 133 (NSW)
- Copyright Act 1968 (and subsequent amendments)
- Internet Content Codes of Practice (Australian Broadcasting Authority)
- Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act 1975
- NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 No 48 (and related legislation)
- Commonwealth Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986
- Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984
- Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992
- NSW Crimes Act 1900 No 40 (and subsequent amendments)
- NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 No 40
- Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS).