Conditions of Use
The Internet is a cooperatively-run collection of computer networks that span the globe. The World Wide Web is a global hypertext system that uses the Internet as its transport mechanism. In other words, the World Wide Web is the system of pages interconnected, like a spider's web, by the links between pages and which you can view or browse on the Internet.
The University of Adelaide has access to the Internet primarily via its membership, along with other Australian Universities, of AARNet2.
The University has a World Wide Web presence on the Internet through:
- its institutional webpage,
- the webpages of faculties, organisations associated with the University, and
- any other material which is electronically stored on computers connected to the University network and which can be 'served' to a suitable browser, by the software on them. This material can be viewed anywhere and by anyone who has access to the Internet.
Used well, the Web offers an exciting and constantly expanding opportunity for the University to enhance its national and international reputation for excellence in research, scholarship, teaching and business and community links. The Web also provides an excellent information resource for staff and students of the University by way of Intranet pages.
This code of practice provides guidelines for all University staff involved in the use of the Internet and the World Wide Web.
Publishing. Placing material on the Web is legally the same as publishing in printed form. As a general principle, the same systems and standards of authorship, design, editing and clearance as are applied to printed documents should be observed before information is published on the Web. This includes adherence to the University's visual identity.
Purposes. In keeping with University policies and AARNet guidelines, material placed on the Web and linked to University or faculty home pages must relate only to the research, educational, community service and administrative purposes of the University.
It is the responsibility of all staff to observe this requirement. Staff in supervisory roles are expected to monitor material placed on web servers under their management and control. Guidance on what constitutes a University purpose may be obtained from the Director, Marketing and Strategic Communications Office.
Audiences. While much material will be intended for specific target audiences, Web material can be accessed by anyone, anywhere. All material linked to the University should be presented in a professional and responsible manner, in appearance, content, editorial style and use of technology.
It is the responsibility of all staff to observe this requirement. Staff in supervisory roles are expected to monitor material placed on web servers under their management and control. Guidance on content, style and the visual identity is available from the Marketing and Strategic Communications Office, and on the use of technology from Information Technology Services. Guidance is also available from this web guide and the University's Visual Identity Standards.
Links. Hypertext links are the means by which readers can move from one document to another document or one part of one document to another part in the same document. Links provided should enhance ease of use, and should be appropriate to the research, educational, community service and administrative purposes of the University. Links that do not meet these criteria should not be made.
Staff (and students) are expected to use their judgement about what is appropriate for the University's purposes. Supervisors are expected to monitor, or make arrangements for monitoring, webpages emanating from their faculty or area.
Personal home pages. Staff (and student) home pages stored on University-owned or controlled computers must reflect professional and/or academic interests. Staff (or students) who wish to develop a separate webpage reflecting personal interests should seek to have it stored and available from a private commercial service provider rather than stored on University owned or controlled computers.
Upkeep of Webpages. In general, authors/originators of webpages have the responsibility for their upkeep and modification as appropriate. They should review their pages regularly to ensure material remains current.
The Online Media Unit will periodically monitor pages and may request that material be updated or removed.
Monitoring. The University is liable for what appears on its webpages. Pages whose content is offensive, illegal or inappropriate may be removed.
Multimedia. These guidelines apply equally to all multimedia aspects of web materials including audio, video, text and images.
The University's web facilities should not be used for:
- creation or transmission (other than for properly supervised and lawful research purposes) of any offensive, obscene or indecent images or material
- creation or transmission of any material likely to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety
- creation or transmission of defamatory material
- storage or transmission of material that infringes the copyright/intellectual property of another person other than in accord with copyright laws and licences
- purposes unrelated to the staff member's employment or to the research, educational, community service or administrative purposes of the University.
Laws and policies which affect, or may affect, the use of the Internet and WWW include:
- Crimes Act (Commonwealth) (includes provisions relating to the use of computers and telecommunications services); and other Commonwealth and State legislation which regulates the use of telecommunications networks
- Copyright Act and other legislation relating to the protection of intellectual property
- The University of Adelaide Act 1971
- The Racial Vilification Act (Commonwealth)
- Legislation and common law relating to defamation
- Equal Opportunities Act (South Australia)
- Guidelines issued by the Equal Opportunity Office, the University of Adelaide
- AARNet Institutional Affiliate Policy (approved by the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee, 14 March 1995).
Introduction. The accessibility of a webpage is its ability to be viewed across all browsers, regardless of the browser's age or version. The accessibility of a webpage is also its ability to be read by users with specific requirements, such as vision-impaired people.
For a web document to be accessible it must be able to be read by:
- text-based browsers
- screen readers or text-to-speech converters
- various monitor resolutions and colour depths
- various hardware and software platforms
- older browsers
- browsing environments configured to omit images or other elements
- browsing by sight-impaired or colour-blind users
Equal access to all webpages for people with a disability is required by the Disability Discrimination Act.
This requirement applies to any individual or organisation developing a World Wide Web page in Australia, or placing or maintaining a webpage on an Australian server.
Therefore, all pages on the University of Adelaide website must comply and be accessible to all users under the Disability Discrimination Act.
Individuals responsible for particular pages or faculty websites are required to monitor compliance of all pages within their domain. Pages that do not comply may be removed.
It is important to ensure that all pages on the University of Adelaide web site are accessible to all users, in order to offer the best service we can to all customers, to ensure we do not discriminate against anyone and to meet legislative requirements.
Webpages can be made to be accessible by following the Page Authoring Guidelines published by the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) working group. There are also advisory notes on the Disability Discrimination Act from the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
These documents will provide a checklist of accessibility techniques to ensure that webpages are accessible.