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Guidelines for Student Web Pages
These guidelines were created for my students.  If you find them useful, feel free to link.
© Virginia Montecino 
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Your Web space on the mason/osf1 server is provided by George Mason University.  What you publish on the Mason Web server creates an impression of you and the university.  The Web, an important way to share information today,  is a great place for faculty to publish course material and for students to share their work with their professors and peers.  Some faculty require students to publish course work on the Internet; others make it optional.  Here are some general guidelines to help you and protect you. 

You shouldn't be alarmed about the possible dangers of posting on the Web; however,  think about the consequences of publishing  material which can be accessed all over the world.  Please review these GMU Web page guidelines. What you publish on the Web is posted in a public place and can be plagiarized. Placing a copyright symbol on your Web material can remind people that this is your original work and it should not be stolen and passed off as someone else's work. While publishing on the Web has advantages, some information posted on your Web pages, or on the pages with which you link, could have lasting negative effects, such as preventing you from getting certain jobs or aligning you with controversial causes.  What kinds of resources you link to say something about you. Information on your Web page could make it easier for someone to harass you. Do not reveal personal information about yourself or others.  Do not publish phone numbers or addresses. Some things you may share with close friends you might not really want posted in a public place. Some organizations require permission to link to their sites and have specific guidelines you must follow. 

Consider the sensibilities of the possible audiences for your Web page on the Mason server.  Students and faculty at GMU come from many different cultures.  Since the Web audience goes beyond the university,  your site can be accessed all over the world. You want to avoid unintentionally insulting or harassing someone because of race, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. Think about the image you might be conveying if you post sexually explicit material or link to such content. 

To protect yourself, remember that infringement of copyright laws, obscene, harassing or threatening materials on Web sites can be in violation of local, state, national or international laws and can be subject to litigation by appropriate law enforcement agencies. GMU can stop your university access to the Web if you fail to meet the computing policy conditions. 

Observe copyright laws and guidelines which protect YOU  from any possible legal problems, and from having your GMU account pulled. 

These are general guidelines for Mason Web sites:

  • Your Web site should adhere to the "Responsible Use of Computing Policy"  (http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/60.html) at GMU.
  • GMU Web page guidelines.(http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/administrative/60.html#6)
  • Web material should follow copyright guidelines.  See these basic copyright guidelines - http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/copyright-internet.htm.
  • For a more extensive list, see: Copyright and the Internet (http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/cpyrght.htm) .
  • If you are creating a Web page for a particular class, your professor will have specific requirements.
A main "home" page (the index.html page), will ordinarily include:
- your name
- a link to your email address
a copyright symbol, your name and date - to indicate the work is  your original work 
( html "tag" for copyright is © ). Example: 
© your name date    (Substitute "your name" with your name.)
other appropriate links which suit your audience and purpose
Subsequent pages should have a link back to the "home" page
- For consistency, use the same basic template/design.
It is okay, in general, to create links to other pages, but it is a violation of copyright laws if you copy a "page" or pages from a Web site and post the material on your Web site. 

Copying images off the Web without permission and putting them on your page is a copyright violation, even if you give credit to the source. Graphics on the Web are not free unless they are advertised as free.  Some free graphics distributors require you post a reference to the source when you use the graphic.  This is free advertising for their Web site.

To avoid plagiarism, be sure that you cite sources in your Web pages and in your students papers online. 

Keep graphics to a minimum and keep them small.  Large graphics take up space in your directory.  Your account has a generous amount of space but can be filled up quickly with graphics.  Large graphics also take too long to load and can frustrate users.  Before you post your picture or pictures of loved ones on your Web page, remember people all over the world will view these pictures and can download them to their own computers and use them for their own purposes.  You do not have unlimited space in your mason account, so do a quota check at the mason prompt: mason/osf1.gmu.edu> quota

You can design your own page (with the exception of page designs that may be assigned for specific classes): pictures, fonts, colors, background color/pattern.   Be creative in designing your Web page.  The originality of  your Web is a projection of your personality.  Be sure whatever graphics or backgrounds you use are not copyrighted.

Resources for Privacy Issues
Privacy Issues and the Internet
Resources for Web Publishing
Web Publishing 
STAR- GMU's Student Technology Assistance & Resources - for help with Web pages 
File Transfer (ftp) and Telnet
Netscape Composer guides
Resources for Copyright
updated Feb 2002
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