Standard Web Policies

Policy on Electronic Citizenship:

All websites hosted on Rensselaer servers must comply with the provisions of the Policy on Electronic Citizenship of the Institute. External (Public) vs. Internal content: Official Rensselaer websites are considered, by definition, to be externally focused; i.e., the content published is intended for public use by external audiences, exclusive of the internal Rensselaer community.

Internal content, intended for exclusive use by faculty, students, and staff, is not to be published within the pages of official Rensselaer websites. Examples include student rosters and contact information, faculty or staff meeting minutes, internal room schedules, lab fees, course materials, employee announcements, etc. Such content should be maintained in a separate, access-restricted website (intranet), or posted to department file servers as shared files within the department or group.

Required Page Content Elements:

The following information must be readily accessible on the main (home) page of an official site and each page within a site:

  • The name of the division, unit, or department represented by the page;
  • Means of contacting the person(s) responsible for maintaining the page content (email and campus phone).

Logo and Seal: 

The logo and seal are appropriately displayed and contained in the header and footer of the page layouts defined on the current standards page. They should not appear elsewhere unless within an image of other officially marked collateral. The size and position of these elements should not be augemented. 


Each page in a site must provide a link to the university home page ( Links to the home page must be easily identifiable and labeled as such.

Page Title:

Defined as the text set by the HTML <title> tag. For most browser software (Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.), the Page Title information appears at the very top of the browser window in the window name area. The page title is a critical element in the indexing of a page by search engines.

The page title on every page in a site must include the text, “Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,” preferably at the end of the title text. Example page titles:

Department of Biology | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Our Faculty | Department of Physics | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Public Safety | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Copyright Notice:

On all pages in a site, a copyright statement must be included with the text “Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute” as a link to the RPI home page. The preferred location for the copyright statement is at the bottom of the page. The copyright statement must use the following format:

©20XX Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The year must be included with the copyright statement and should be the year of the last material alteration of the site. Minor copy changes (such as updating a faculty list) do not represent a material change. A visual or organizational overhaul of the site, however, does represent material change.

If the site is new and has not had any overhaul, the year should be when the site was first published.

Elements NOT to Include:

The publication of private, personal information referring to faculty, students, or staff (SSN, DOB, etc.) is not allowed on official Rensselaer websites.

Individual dates or other specifically time-sensitive information on Web pages, unless you are thoroughly prepared to update them EVERY day, or unless you have an automated method for daily updates. It is important to maintain completely updated information.

Content Accuracy and Currency:

All content published on official Rensselaer websites must be accurate and up-to-date. It is the responsibility of the ‘local’ content manager to ensure that this standard is maintained through consultation with SCER.

Content Replication (Single Source Rule):

Information maintained elsewhere on the Web by the Institute (another division, school, department, administrative body) should not be copied and replicated elsewhere. Instead, link to that official information. For example, the Division of Enrollment Management maintains admissions information, job listings are maintained by Human Resources, news is published by SCER News and Editorial Services, alumni information is published by Institute Advancement, the online Academic Catalog is published by SCER.

Existing pages that ‘replicate’ such official content must be replaced by links to the official source page(s).

Copyrighted Materials:

While it is easy to download and copy files (text, photographs, graphics, sound, movies, etc.) from the Web, you must have permission from the copyright holder to use them on Rensselaer Web pages. Without such written permission, copyrighted materials may not be republished on Rensselaer Web pages. Under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Institute is obligated to take appropriate action if it receives a complaint that copyrighted material is being published on a Rensselaer website without permission from the copyright holder.

Commercial Links and Credits:

Official Institute pages may not link to commercial sites that advertise/sell products or services, and may not accept sponsorship from commercial entities in exchange for advertising and/or links to commercial sites. Specific exceptions may be allowed if the commercial links support the university's missions and/or provide an essential service to the RPI community.

Credits such as "Site powered by..." or "Site created by..." are prohibited.

Endorsement of non-University Services or Products:

Official Institute websites should strictly avoid endorsing, or giving the impression of endorsing, non-university services and products. Endorsements can include the placement of outside logos or advertisements in an official site, providing testimonials about a product or service, or recommending the use of a service or product. The acknowledgment of a third-party relationship, however, is acceptable as long as no recommendation or endorsement is made.

All such links on official home pages are subject to review by SCER.