The University recognizes that the Internet provides unique opportunities to participate in interactive discussions, research and collaboration using a variety of social media and online venues, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, interactive websites, listeservs, newsgroups and so forth. However, the use of non-University hosted sites, systems or networks can pose risks to confidential and proprietary information, the University’s reputation and brand, and compliance with applicable laws.

Be aware that data mining programs used by off-site hosts may result in the sale of participant data (name, email address, etc) to third parties for commercial purposes. Those permissions are granted by your acceptance of the terms of the third party host site’s license.

The University uses encryption to ensure the integrity and security of information transferred on its networks and systems. Accordingly, University research involving the online solicitation of personal information and other data must use email, sites, service and software that have been designated as secure by the Information Technology department. Additional security measures may be required, based on the sensitivity of the research data obtained. Consult your campus IRB for additional information.

Users of social media must recognize that the manner in which they communicate, interact and share information online must follow the same rules and guidelines that govern activity in the University community at large.

  • Protecting Confidential Information. Users must follow all applicable University confidentiality and privacy policies and related laws.
  • Refraining from Harassing Comments. Members of the University community who use online social media are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the same expectations of dignity and respect that govern other modes of interaction.
  • Respecting and Protecting Copyrights and Other Intellectual Property. All restrictions that apply in other contexts regarding copyrights and other intellectual property protections apply to social media postings as well.
  • Respect all copyright and other intellectual property laws.  For the University’s protection as well as your own, it is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright, fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, trademarks and other intellectual property, including the University’s own copyrights, trademarks and other brands.