Web Policies and Procedures
The following web publishing policies have been approved by the college’s Web Advisory Group.
1. In order to achieve consistency and coherence between the “Welcome Page” and subsequent pages, the format and content of information presented on the entire site must follow the format of the Welcome Page.
2. It will be the responsibility of each department to designate a web contact, attend trainings and perform the simple text maintenance of its existing web pages.
3. Those who have email addresses linked to the website should check their email for messages on a daily basis.
4. All Merrimack College content should comply with all laws governing copyrights, intellectual property, libel and privacy.
5. All Merrimack College content should not violate any policy, rule or regulation of the college.
6. The official Merrimack College website shall not be used for non-Merrimack-related activities.
7. All changes to the website must be approved by the appropriate department head.
8. Web initiatives that exceed the scope of simple maintenance or affect navigation should be sent to the webmaster to be prioritized in accordance with policies set by the Web Advisory Group.
9. All web initiatives, outside of routine page maintenance, representing Merrimack College, must be submitted to the webmaster for the Web Advisory Group to review. Nothing will be subcontracted to third parties without consultation.
10. No student information may be published on a web page without the student’s prior permission.
Individual Publishing Guidelines
Merrimack community members are asked to be mindful of the following issues when conducting web publishing on Merrimack College servers:
1. Third-party advertising or commercial promotion of non-Merrimack entities is not allowed on Merrimack websites. Advertising and commercial promotion raise questions of conflict of interest, neutrality and freedom from influence. Additionally, such advertising is considered to be a visual distraction on websites from Merrimack’s mission of education.
- Therefore, no banner or pop-up banner advertising will be allowed on Merrimack-related sites. This leads to the impression that Merrimack is co-branding or endorsing a particular entity.
- Outbound commercial text-based links will be allowed. However, these links must have an educational objective, and must link to sites that do not contain content considered sexually explicit, profane, obscene, harassing, fraudulent, racially offensive, defamatory or otherwise unlawful.
- Links that result in personal gain are not permitted.
- So that users do not construe an association between Merrimack College and external web entities, all outside links on Merrimack.edu must be targeted to a new window. This is important for the protection of Merrimack’s image to the public. An exception is made for faculty web pages as long as they do not use frames (which could directly display a Merrimack association in the same window as the external site). Targeting to a new window is encouraged in all cases, including faculty, unless there is a compelling user interface issue.
2. Respect for copyright and trademark protection.
3. No illegal activity of any kind.
4. No threatening, harassing or slanderous language.
5. All college policies apply. These are published in the Student Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, and the Employee Policies and Procedures Manual.
Case-by-Case Exceptions to the Individual Guidelines
In a small number of situations, there are some organizations which have been granted the right to utilize a publishing service that may contain commercial advertisements. Below are some guidelines to which such sites must conform. Even if the site conforms to all guidelines, all sites of this nature must be approved by the Web Advisory Group.
1. The URL would be not a www.merrimack.edu address; it would have its own .com or .net web address.
2. The page would open in a new window if linked from the Merrimack.edu site.
3. Web Services must have access to the system in case emergency content updates are needed (due to potential hacking, the posting of inappropriate content, etc.).
4. All requests for sites that are student-run and/or contain advertisements will need to be taken to Web Services and the Web Advisory Group, and permission will be granted for the project on a case-by-case basis.
5. Advertisements must be of appropriate content (no alcohol, cigarettes, ads of a sexual nature, or similar subjects that conflict with the guidelines in the previous section).
6. If students have access to post content to the system, there must be a faculty or staff adviser for the activity who will ensure that guidelines are being followed and that the publication is one of quality (it is kept up-to-date, it is carefully edited, etc.).
7. Any expenses associated with the project will be the responsibility of the department requesting the project.
8. Any problems or technical help is the responsibility of the advising department and will not require the intervention of Merrimack Web Services. Therefore, plans for dealing with technical problems must be addressed in the request. Any assistance that Web Services may provide (especially in terms of help in setup) will have to be agreed upon by the director of Web Services before the project is approved.
9. The site must reflect the visual identity of Merrimack College, so the final design of the site must be approved by Web Services.