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Guidelines for the Presentation of the University on the World Wide Web

With its immediate and worldwide availability, the Internet is a particularly effective medium for providing information about research and teaching at TU Dortmund University. The Rectorate strives for a comprehensive presentation of the different areas of the university (departments and faculties, facilities, administration, student body) on the university's websites, which serves both the public relations of the university and the needs of those seeking information.
A pronounced diversity of the information offered is entirely in keeping with the nature of a university; on the whole, however, the presentation of the University of Dortmund on the WWW must reflect the structure prescribed by its basic order and be oriented towards a uniform overall appearance. Precisely because the decentralized management of the information offering makes sense, clear regulations must also be made regarding responsibilities and duties of conduct. The following regulations for maintenance as well as recommendations for the design of the web pages serve these purposes.

I. Regulations for the Maintenance of the Websites

The use of the servers and the data network of the university is basically reserved for university purposes only. Exceptions to these guidelines are regulated by the rectorate.
The responsibility for setting and maintaining the information lies primarily with the respective areas themselves. This is the only way to ensure continuous updating and accuracy. Responsible for the creation and maintenance of the web services for their area are:

For the University and the Central Bodies of Self-Government The Rector
For the Central Administration The Chancellor
For Departments and Faculties and their Facilities The Dean
For Central Facilities The Leader
For the Student Body The Chairperson of the General Student Committee

Any website published by the University should clearly indicate the level or institution of the University from which it is offered. It must contain a reference to its publication date as well as the person responsible under press law.
Commercial or private use is generally not permitted at any level of the university's web services. Links to pages that do not serve university purposes must be specially marked. The university may charge a fee for advertising references.
Personal information will only be included to the extent that it is directly related to the university. Information that goes beyond official functions must be deleted immediately if the person concerned so requests.
Websites whose content obviously violates the law are to be removed immediately by the management of the institution.

II. Recommendations for the Design of the Web Pages

The content structure of the information offered on the WWW of TU Dortmund University is based on its organizational structure.
The content and formal structure of the pages and in particular of the entry pages, each of which opens up a new information area, should follow a uniform pattern and have the following basic structure:

  • Page header
    • Meaningful title and logo
    • Link to a text-only version for disabled persons
    • Links to the homepage and to the main pages of the university
    • Links to other language versions
    • Link to the homepage of the respective institution, if applicable
  • Page content
    • Space for current daily news (optional)
    • General short information
    • Subdivisions, organs and cooperating institutions
    • Teaching and studies (obligatory for all departments and faculties)
    • Research (obligatory for all departments and faculties)
    • Education and training (optional)
    • Staff and group representation (optional)
    • Information and services (optional)
    • Address of the institution and responsible management
    • Keyword index (if not covered by central index)
  • Page footer
    • E-mail contact address
    • Return to page header
    • Time of publication or last revision
    • Responsibility under press law (imprint)

Important pages - especially lead pages and entry pages - should alternatively be available in other languages - at least in English, preferably also in French and Spanish.
The layout developed for the websites at the central level should also be used as much as possible for decentralized information offerings.
All pages should be designed in a barrier-free manner so that access to the information offered by TU Dortmund University is not made difficult or even impossible, especially for users with disabilities.

Status 01.01.2003 / Schwichtenberg