Web Policies

Why Create a Web Policy

The manner in which material is presented as well as the quality of the in formation published by the College of Science at SJSU plays an important role in conveying its reputation and image. The policy presented here has been developed to ensure that official College information published via the Web is 1) representative of the College and the University; 2) accurate, well-written, and visually appealing; and 3) on par with the same high standards as other official publications which appear in print or other formats (audiovisual, etc.).

The following policies and guidelines have been developed to provide direction to College departments and organizations in developing and maintaining local Websites. These guidelines attempt to provide flexibility and creativity at the department level while maintaining a consistent and professional tone. 

Who May Publish

College of Science faculty, staff, administrative departments, research programs, institutes, journals and official student organizations may post Web pages that are linked off the College of Science Web site as a Web Information Publisher[i]. However, anyone publishing Departmental[ii], Program[iii] or Associated[iv] pages will be responsible for assuring that they comply with the policies and guidelines presented here. They will also be responsible for providing Network and Computing Services (NCS) with their contact information and the specific page(s) they maintain.

Each unit within the College should have a designated representative[v] appointed by the Dean, their Director or Department Chair. There may be multiple representatives per unit, but o?nly o?ne individual should be in charge of a specific page or link. These designated reps will be responsible for checking that the content of the unit's Web page(s) adheres to the appropriate policies and guidelines. Although these reps may also act as Web Information Publishers, their main role is to monitor their unit's Web space to assure the information presented is up-to-date and accurate. They are responsible for the integrity of their Web page content. Departments and other groups maintaining pages within the College of Science should provide NCS with the contact information for their representatives and what pages they are maintaining. Any group or individual posting pages within the College of Science domain must be approved by and answerable to either a department within the College of Science or the dean's office.

Responsibilities of Publishers

Anyone posting electronic documents o?n any University hosted Web site is responsible for their content, including their compliance with local, state and federal laws and with CSU and SJSU policies. These policies include the SJSU Responsible Use Policy [pdf].

Other considerations, such as making the page accessible to the disabled and acknowledging copyrighted material should be part of the page design. More information can be in the SJSU Web Policy and Guidelines.

The designated representative is responsible assuring that their web pages comply with University and College policies as well as for the accuracy and completeness of the information presented in the page. Inappropriate use or failure to meet relevant guidelines will result in a request by the College Webmaster or the unit representative to modify the page. If the resulting action is not satisfactory, as judged by the College of Science Computer Committee, the Webmaster may remove the page from the College site.

Rights of Publishers

Nothing in this document is intended to restrict the academic freedom of the faculty authors; if a question arises concerning academic freedom of the author of a web page hosted within the College of Science, then the Dean in consultation with the Council of Chairs shall appoint a review committee of faculty to attempt to resolve the issue.

Nothing in this document should be construed as an intention to limit a faculty member's intellectual property rights in any way.

Appropriate Use

Use of the College of Science Web servers should be in keeping with the statements written in this document. Use of the College of Science Web pages for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited. Links from a page in the College of Science websites to a non-University site must not imply University endorsement of the site's products or services. A disclaimer, approved by the College, should be displayed if non-endorsement is not evident from the content, for instance:

“Links to commercial sites do not represent endorsement by the College or its affiliates.”

Support Options

Departments can assume complete responsibility for their entire site by running their own servers and pages or by designating others to do so for them. This is acceptable as long as appropriate links are maintained between these pages and pages hosted on the central server. However, these units should be aware that problems with their server or links between it and the central college server might make their pages inaccessible.

Units may also opt to maintain their Departmental or Program pages, but have them hosted o?n the central College server. In this case, NCS would provide access to files and space o?n the server to Web Information Publishers as requested by their designated representative. Publishers are encouraged to use this resource as it is optimized for this purpose.

If they prefer, units can request that the College Webmaster maintain their pages for them. The designated representative would still be responsible for the accuracy or timeliness of the information, but would contact the Webmaster to actually post this data.

College of Science Publication Policies and Guidelines

All official College pages are required to include certain key items, as well as adherence to some general guidelines. These include style elements, accuracy of information and consistency in the type of information provided. These policies are in no way intended to minimize the individuality of the sites, but are rather an attempt to present the user with a common navigation system across all College sites.

College Policy

Each page is required to have:

1. The name of San José State University and the College of Science should appear on the main page of every department's web site. Your audience should know exactly where they are when they are viewing your main web page.

2. The date the information was last updated

3. An email address for feedback. For Associated Pages, this address may be the individuals personal email account, but for all other College pages, it is recommended that there be a separate and somewhat generic account set up for contacting the person who maintains the page (e.g.; webmaster@physics.sjsu.edu). NCS staff can help you set up these accounts, if so desired.

General Guidelines

  • Every effort should be made to make the page menu items easy to interpret and access. For example, designers may want to consider keeping menu items in a common location for all linked pages they administer. Interactive web pages as well as other types of pages may pose security risks to the College of Science. Servers should be closely coordinated with the department or College technical staff.
  • Navigational aids should be provided, such as links back to the corresponding Homepage, the College of Science Homepage or to the appropriate Official Page.
  • Specific information that should be included or, if applicable, linked to each Departmental or Program Homepage:
    • List of classes
    • Schedules of classes, seminars, etc.
    • Department Office and contact information
    • Enrollment and major information
    • List of staff, which may include links to personal pages
    • Associated clubs or organizations
    • List of faculty, including:
      • office location
      • Phone number
      • email address or a link to the faculty member's web page
      • and preferably:
      • courses and sections taught
      • office hours
      • area of specialty
      • brief bio
      • links to personal pages

Policy for Personal Webpages

The College of Science encourages faculty and staff to create their own personal Web pages providing relevant information to the individuals role at the University. However, College resources may not be used for personal gain or be linked to a personal business, except as permitted by other University policies.

If a page is found to be in violation of any of these or other applicable guidelines, the unit must either deactivate the unsuitable links or remove those pages from College-owned computing equipment as requested by the representative designated by the College Computer Committee.

Suggested Guidelines for Web Page Development

The following are general guidelines for any Web page development.

  • For pages longer than a few screens, you should also provide links back to the top of the page.
  • Be cautious when developing pages that are dependent on graphics. Many users configure their browsers to not display graphics by default. For non-decorative images, use an ALT attribute within the image tags.
  • Be cautious when creating pages that are based on a specific client, such as IE or Netscape. Be aware of how your pages will appear when viewed on browsers that may not support such protocols. Be conscious of your audience's differing connection speeds. Try to present pages that will appear in a reasonable amount of time with a slow modem connection. If you need to use images, try to keep their file size small. When developing pages, it should be remembered that people often use different browsers than you or may have slow connections; they're not going to wait for a page that takes too long to download or messes up their screen.
  • Be aware of your audience's screen size. A page developed for viewing at 600 x 800 may be too large and require excessive scrolling for someone with a screen that has 640 x 480 resolution.
  • Place the most important information on the first screen your viewers see.
  • Whenever possible test your pages thoroughly on as many platforms and with as many browsers as possible (i.e., Macs, PCs, Netscape 4.x, Netscape 6.x, IE, Opera, WebTV). This is especially important when creating pages with vendor specific applications such as Microsoft's FrontPage application. Make sure all links and images work.


  1. Web Information Publishers -- anyone posting material on a College of Science Web page, whether it be the College Homepage or their own personal pages.
  2. The Departmental Homepages are found as links off the College's Homepage. Each unit is responsible for the information o?n their pages, including its timeliness and accuracy. The content and integrity of these pages are the responsibility of the unit's designated representative.
  3. The Program Pages contain information specific to a department, program or other College affiliated unit. Although various Web Information Publishers may design these pages, they are ultimately the responsibility of designated unit representative, who should review the content for accuracy and appropriateness. The College Webmaster also reserves the right to review such pages for adherence to guidelines.
  4. All other pages linked to the College, including personal Web sites, are considered Associated Pages. Their design and content are primarily the responsibility of an individual Web Information Publisher, but are subject to review by the designated representative or the College Webmaster.
  5. Designated representative -- individual appointed by the Dean, their Director or Department Chair to be responsible for maintaining the information o?n the unit's Web page. There may be multiple representatives per unit, with each individual in charge of specific pages or links. Each rep should provide NCS with contact information as well as which pages they are maintaining.