Blog Guidelines for University Units

I. Purpose

Discourse and dialogue are fundamental to the learning process. West Virginia University draws its strength from the ideas and enthusiasm of its students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and friends. It is in this spirit that WVU seeks to foster the creation of platforms for communications conducted by members of the University community within their chosen areas of interest. This Blog Service is made available to WVU Units that wish to participate in an approved WVU blog. The following Guidelines provide information about the technical aspects of blogging, University requirements, and helpful tips for a successful blog.

II. Scope

Use of the Blog Service is subject to all applicable University policies, guidelines, and regulations, including, but not limited to: Board of Governors policies, Division of Human Resources policies, Administration and Finance policies, the West Virginia University Social Media Guidelines, and OIT standards and procedures, as well as local, state, and federal law. These Blog Guidelines apply to all bloggers who generate content on behalf of or in relation to a University unit, regardless of whether the blog is hosted by the Blog Service offered at West Virginia University. All bloggers should be familiar with the following:

A. World Wide Web Policy
B. Social Media Guidelines
C. Copyright References
D.Acceptable Use of Data and Technology Resources
E. Access, Security and Control of Data and Information Policy

III. Guidelines

A. Registration

Faculty or staff members are eligible to register for the Blog Service by submitting the registration form. A WVU MyID is required. Requests should be reviewed in ten (10) business days. Questions about the Blog Service should be directed to 304-293-5305. At this time, the Blog Service is not available to individual students.


B. Cost

The Blog Service is provided free to Units through University Relations - Digital Services.


C. Template

A default template will be provided for approved blogs. Requests to modify the default template will be accommodated by University Relations-Web as time permits.

Blogs will have the following disclaimer on each page: "The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the page author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of West Virginia University."

D. Practices Regarding Use, Storage, Posting, and Comments

1. The West Virginia University Social Media Guidelines are incorporated by reference into these Blog Guidelines. You should be familiar with the Social Media Guidelines prior to blogging.

2. You must not publish content that is obscene, defamatory, threatening, confidential, proprietary, infringing of intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy, or otherwise illegal. WVU reserves the right to remove at any time, at its sole discretion, any content that it deems in violation of University, local, state, or federal laws, rules, or regulations.

3. If you choose to permit reader comments, you are responsible for moderating comments to ensure they are relevant to the blog’s content and that they meet University web page guidelines. All blogs should contain a notice stating that content that is irrelevant to the blog’s topic, obscene, defamatory, threatening, confidential, proprietary, infringing of intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy, or otherwise illegal is prohibited and that the blog owner and the University reserve the right to remove any such content. Blog users must be put on notice that the IP address of all comments is recorded to aid in enforcing the conditions stated above and that any information entered will be stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third party without the user’s consent, the webmaster, administrator, moderators, and University cannot be held responsible for any hacking attempt that may lead to a breach of data security.

4. You are not permitted sell or advertise for non-University entities.

5. The Blog Service may not be used to create pages primarily for personal gain.

6. WVU intends to archive the content of all blogs in the Blog Service for non-commercial, historical purposes. By using the Blog Service, the author grant WVU non-exclusive rights to archive blog content in any format.

7. Information posted on the blog must not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others.

E. Blogging Tips

1. As a blog owner, you should strive to update your blog often to encourage a loyal following of readers. If you decide to change the frequency with which you post, let your readers know.

2. Because your blog will be University-approved and representative of your individual unit, proper spelling and grammar is of utmost importance. Leave ample time for editing your posts before you publish them.

3. If you permit comments, encourage relevant, well-reasoned comments that advance the topics being discussed. See § III.D.3.

4. You should strive to be a reliable source. When quoting others, be sure to quote accurately. When stating a fact, provide references. When stating an opinion, ensure that your readers know that you are stating your own opinion.

F. Modifications to Blog Service

WVU reserves the right to change at any time at its discretion the provisions of the Blog Service.

G. Terms of Use for Users

The Terms of Use below must be incorporated into all Unit blogs prior to permitting posts by any and all users:

PLEASE READ THIS AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE SUBMITTING ANY MATERIAL ON THIS SITE. BY USING THIS SITE, YOU INDICATE YOUR AGREEMENT TO THE FOLLOWING TERMS OF USE. IF YOU DO NOT CONSENT TO THESE TERMS OF USE, PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY MATERIAL.

As used in these Terms of Use, “University” means West Virginia University, or any division thereof. “User” means any person who establishes or accesses connection to a University web site for access to and use of the web site (“Site”). “Material” means any text, messages, postings, pictures, drawings, symbols, recordings, including but not limited to sound and video, and any other information whatsoever, regardless of form.

University is providing User with access to and the capability to post and submit Material on its Site. In consideration for this service, User agrees to comply with the terms and conditions set forth herein. Specifically, User shall not upload, submit, post or otherwise make available on the Site any Material protected by copyright, trademark, or other proprietary right without the express permission of the owner of the copyright, trademark, or other proprietary right. The burden of determining that any Material is not protected by copyright rests with the User. User shall be solely liable for any damage resulting from any infringement of copyrights, proprietary rights, or any other harm resulting from such a submission. By submitting or posting Material to the Site, User automatically grants, or warrants that the owner of such Material has expressly granted University the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate and distribute such Material (in whole or in part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or hereafter developed for the full term of any copyright that may exist in such Material. User hereby grants University the right to edit, copy, publish, remove, and distribute any Material made available on the Site by User. User agrees that User is not entitled to any compensation, credit, or notice whatsoever and that by posting or submitting Material to this Site User waives the right to make any claim against University relating to any Material provided, including but not limited to unfair competition, copyright or trademark infringement, or invasion of privacy. User acknowledges that University has the right to remove in its sole discretion any Material that it considers to violate these terms or the terms of any other agreement or policy that may govern User’s use of University’s networks and web sites.

If any provision herein is deemed unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, that provision shall be deemed severable and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. University reserves the right to change, at any time, at its sole discretion, the Terms of Use. User is responsible for regularly reviewing these Terms and User’s continued use of this Site constitutes User’s agreement to all such terms.