Web content policy

Intent

This policy provides clear direction for the creation, delivery and governance of content within the University’s web presence.

Scope

This policy applies to all RMIT staff members who contribute content to the RMIT web presence.

Exclusions

This policy does not apply to:

  • courseware, including scholarly work, student work and learning and teaching materials
  • websites that have no relationship to RMIT (for example, personal or private sites)

Objectives

1. To provide a single source of truth for timely, relevant, accessible, current and compelling content about RMIT

2. To support web publishing activities across the University throughout the content life cycle

3. To ensure that content across the RMIT web presence meets the needs of its audience within the University and the needs of a global audience

4. To reduce legislative exposure associated with out-of-date or incorrect content or compromised accessibility standards

Policy provisions

1. Planning Web Content

1.1. User-centred content

RMIT web content must be written, structured and presented to target user tasks and needs. User segments of RMIT’s web presence include prospective students, influencers of prospective students (such as parents and careers counsellors), current students, alumni and graduates, staff and affiliates and partners. Content must serve both international and domestic audiences.

1.2. Content ownership

In order to make content timely, relevant, accessible, current and compelling, content owners have accountability for their content at a portfolio level. Content owners ensure their content complies with web standards, accessibility and copyright.

1.3. Single source of truth

External users see the RMIT website as the official version of content for our organisation. For external users, the website represents their single source of truth requiring web content to be authoritative and up to date.

Within RMIT’s content management system, content may be drawn from another system (such as a course guide system) which is the source of truth for a specific area (in this example, programs). Content should be edited or updated at this source. Content should not be duplicated across multiple systems but aim to draw from a single source of truth.

2. Creating Web Content

2.1. Content types

Web editors must structure their content according to the Content Type Instruction to ensure that new content is searchable, accommodated within the information architecture and used effectively across websites, channels and devices.

2.2. Web editors

Only University-approved web editors who operate according to RMIT’s Web Content, Brand (Visual Identity) Policy, Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Resources Policy and User Experience Policy and follow the University’s Web Accessibility Policy can publish content.

The University will provide new and existing web editors and managers with training in these policies and their supporting procedures and standards.

2.3. Metadata standards

When preparing information for the RMIT website, web editors must follow the metadata schema endorsed by the Metadata Procedure.

This schema supports the RMIT content management system’s dynamic functionality, ensuring content is fed to its appropriate location on a web page. Poorly applied metadata not only compromises content integrity but also hinders users when searching for information.

2.4. Create Once Publish Everywhere (COPE)

As the single source of truth, RMIT’s content management system serves as a central point from which content can be delivered to multiple channels, devices and audiences.

The Mobile and Social Media policies provide direction for web editors using social media, user-generated content and mobile channels.

2.5. Web Content Standards

To ensure content is consistent across websites, channels and devices, web content should comply with the Creating Text Content Procedure and Content Type Instruction.

2.6. Accessibility standards

RMIT is committed to ensuring that its web presence is accessible to all users and that the availability of content is not limited by a user’s level of ability. Web editors therefore must comply with the standards provided by the Web Accessibility Policy.

2.7 Copyright compliance

All written and visual content within the RMIT web presence must comply with national copyright legislation, as defined in the Australian Copyright Act (1968), RMIT Intellectual Property Policy and RMIT Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Resources Policy.

3. Maintaining Web Content

3.1. External sites

External sites that are part of the RMIT web presence defer to the main site as the single source of truth. Web editors who contribute content to external sites must comply with the New Websites Policy and ensure that their content does not conflict with or duplicate information on the main website.

3.2. Content lifecycle

When managing and maintaining content, web editors must follow the stages described in the Content Lifecycle (plan, develop, manage, deploy, preserve and evaluate).

Appropriate authorisation must occur prior to publishing, including authorisation from the content owner. Content owners should delegate appropriately within their portfolios to a web manager.

Digital and Customer Experience Strategy will review content and identify issues with content owners. Breaches that create legislative exposure will be removed immediately with follow-up with content owners.

The Deleting and Archiving Web Content Procedure provides direction for storing information in accordance with the Public Records Act (1973), Information Privacy Act (2000) and Records Management Policy. Failure to adhere to these standards will cause the web presence to accumulate large quantities of irrelevant data, which can hinder searches and compromise the web presence’s role as a single source of truth. Deletion without review and archiving may also represent a breach of the Public Records Office of Victoria standards.

[Next: Supporting documents and information]