Use of Web Resources at USC

Implementation Policies Governing the Use of Web Resources at USC

Section 1. General Understandings

Because of the growing prominence of the World Wide Web as a means of information dissemination and communication, university Web authors should pay close attention to and take responsibility for the information placed on their sites. The Web fosters rapid creation and dissemination of information without close supervision. Before launching a site, users should take into consideration how other university policies and guidelines may apply to content within the Web environment. Policies specific to Web publishing are listed below, whereas, policies governing all computing at USC should be reviewed online (cio.usc.edu/policies).

University Web sites include those sponsored and maintained by academic and administrative units; student, faculty, or staff organizations; or their appointed designates. Each university Web site must provide an effective feedback mechanism (e.g., email or Web form) allowing visitors to communicate with the group responsible for the site. Such feedback mechanisms must be monitored regularly, and a site representative should either issue a response or route messages to an appropriate party in a timely manner. As with other forms of information and communication, appropriate university officials are accountable for Web sites in their area of responsibility.

Advertising by external agencies is not permitted on university Web pages, except as noted below. University Web pages cannot be used to promote or execute commercial or for-profit endeavors.

University academic and administrative units may acknowledge corporate sponsorships through text and/or the display of corporate logos or trademarks, which may link to sites beyond the usc.edu domain. For example, a unit’s Web page publicizing a performance or special event may display information and provide links to sponsors that underwrite the activity. USC academic and administrative units may use their Web pages to promote and market university services and products.

The USC Identity Program Guidelines – which govern how USC logos, symbols, and trademarks may be used – are in full force in the Web environment. Further information about the USC Identity Program and its guidelines is available online (www.usc.edu/identity).

The USC Web site checklist highlights three essential requirements for all university Web sites.

Section 2. Use of Personal Web Pages

The content of individual Web pages is primarily a matter of free speech and academic freedom that must be protected in a university environment. Web authors should be aware, however, that the Internet is a very powerful means for publishing ideas and opinions. Information made available in personal Web pages may be viewed by almost anyone who has Internet access. The University will not be held responsible for the content of personal Web pages. Personal Web pages shall not imply that they are representing or speaking on behalf of the University or any part of the University without prior authorization to do so.

The University does not actively monitor content of Web pages, however, it reserves the right to remove a Web page from any USC server found to be in violation of federal, state or local law, or any university regulations, policies, or procedures.

Such regulations include but are not limited to unauthorized replication or posting of copyrighted materials, commercial usage of your account, and violations of USC’s identity program. Further information about general policies governing all computing at USC is available online (cio.usc.edu/policies)

Section 3. Use of the Primary Web Server (cwis.usc.edu)

USC’s primary Web server (cwis.usc.edu) is intended for publishing university Web pages for departments and faculty/staff organizations. The Web server is to be used solely for distributing data pertaining to USC offices and organizations. It should not be used for email, program development, file storage, personal Web pages, or other purposes unnecessary to the development and maintenance of Web data.

Each Web site on USC’s primary Web server must be overseen by a Department Chair, Director, or President who is ultimately responsible for the content and presentation of data placed on USCweb. To indicate unit approval, a PDF application must be printed and signed by the unit’s Departmental Authorized Signer. A list of Authorized Signers is available online (https://itservices.usc.edu/accounts/authsigner/). In addition, a Web Primary Contact (must be faculty or staff) for each site should be readily available to the university Web administrators. The contact will be kept informed of any changes in server features, policies, and procedures, oversee regular maintenance of the data, and respond to questions, suggestions and problem reports sent by USCweb users. Each Web site must contain a valid email address for contacting a data maintainer or author. In addition, it is recommended to include information about the frequency with which data is updated, the last revision date, or expiration date and any known omissions, problems, or “bugs” in the data.

The Data Maintainer(s) will be assigned server accounts for the purpose of uploading and maintaining data. Each maintainer must have a valid computer account (SCF, RCF, or HSC, or a department facility administered by ITS) before an account on the main Web server can be created. Web server accounts must be renewed at the beginning of each fiscal year (faculty and staff accounts) or semester (student accounts). The Web account renewal is in addition to your standard computer account renewal. Both requests can be processed simultaneously by contacting your departmental authorized signer.

To conserve server space, only active files should be placed on the Web server; files not currently in use should be deleted from the server and stored elsewhere. To assist in managing disk resources, home directories on the Web server (cwis.usc.edu) have a quota of 10 MB.

Web files should be stored in the appropriate directory within the Web structure. Within the Web structure individual users are provided a quota of 50 Mb. Those who need additional space should request it by sending mail to consult@usc.edu indicating the amount of disk space requested along with an explanation of the intended use. Some requests may require the approval of the department’s authorized signer.

Section 4. Student Organizational Web Pages

USC computer accounts assigned to Student Organizations are intended for publishing Web pages and disseminating information pertaining to the organization. The computer account is to be used solely for distributing data pertaining to the organization for which it has been issued. It should not be used for personal email, program development, file storage, or other purposes that are disassociated from the goals of the organization.

Each Student Organizational computer account and Web page must be overseen by the account owner who is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the account including the content and presentation of data placed on USCweb. The account owner is the only person who is authorized to log into the account.

Student organizations that have academic or pre-professional affiliation must have the permission of the academic department. To indicate approval, the PDF application must be printed and signed by the appropriate Departmental Authorized Signer. A list of Authorized Signers is available online (https://itservices.usc.edu/accounts/authsigner/).In addition, each application must be approved and signed by Student Affairs and the Organization’s Faculty Advisor.

Each published Web site must contain a valid email address for contacting a data maintainer or author. In addition, it is recommended to include information about the frequency with which data is updated, the last revision date, or expiration date any known omissions, problems, or “bugs” in the data.