Guidelines on Publishing
Please Note: Issues raised by the use of electronic information networks for the publishing (or
self-publishing) of academic work are currently under consideration by the Planning & Resources Committee.
These guidelines will be revised in the light of those discussions.
This is the ninth draft, produced on November 1st, 1994.
- 'Publishing' and 'publications' refer to information of whatever
sort which is issued, or stored electronically, by whatever means such that
- someone else may be able to have access to it, understand it or use it;
- the publisher or the source of the information may be traced back
- 'Information' is not limited to words but may include for example
visual images and computer programs. Publishing includes specifically the
use of electronic systems such as Gopher and World-wide Web; computer
bulletin boards, conferences and discussion groups; and e-mail. Fax should
also be treated as a means of publication, because of the risk that faxes
may go to the wrong number or are seen by people other than the addressee.
- 'Publisher' may include:
- any full-time or part-time student who is enrolled on a course for
which UCL bears some responsibility;
- anyone who is authorised to use or have access to UCL's facilities;
- anyone who works for UCL, whether salaried or not, or who holds an
honorary appointment or who is authorised to use UCL as a work address.
- In any form of publishing:
- nothing must be published which might bring UCL into disrepute;
- publications must be legal, decent and accurate;
- publications should be consistent with the standard and (where
appropriate) the style of UCL's official publications; where they might
influence the public perception of UCL, their tone should be positive;
- personal opinions must not be published in a way which might make
them seem to be the College's views (e.g. a letter to the papers on UCL
- publications which may be regarded as publicity for potential
students must go through a formal audit procedure;
- publications must not infringe others' intellectual property
rights; in particular publications should not compromise UCL's legal
protection of its logo and name;
- avoid giving away your own intellectual property rights, e.g. by
premature revelations which may invalidate a patent claim or prejudice
future publication in journals or at conferences;
- publishers will be held personally responsible for any costs or
other legal liablility which they incur as a result of publishing, unless
the College has previously agreed in writing to exonerate them
(for academic publishing the approval of the head of department will
normally be sufficient);
- if you have any doubts about the suitability of material to be
published, consult in the first instance your head of department (about
academic work) or External Affairs (about publication for a general
audience inside or outside the College).
- In electronic publishing, additionally:
- publications must not contravene the Data Protection Act
(NB: the terms under which the College and individual departments are
registered under the Act may differ);
- information for public consumption must be clearly distinguished
from items of only parochial interest;
- this code of practice applies to any information whatever which is
issued, stored or forwarded (i.e. republished) in electronic form via any
computer system or network in the College.
- heads of department have overall responsibility for ensuring that
staff and students adhere to the code of practice, insofar as departmental
equipment or computer links are used as part of the publishing process.
- Anyone who registers an address for an electronic information
system in an external index must not make it appear that their address is
the principal access point for all UCL systems. The home page of
independently registered systems must contain a pointer to the UCL home
- Where it is not possible to have a single access point for UCL
publications (for example, with World-wide Web):
- departmental or individual WWW servers must be registered with the
Information Systems Divison;
- every 'home' page must follow a standard design, to be specified by
the CWIS Working Group (contact via Adrian Barker, Information Systems
- information which is common to all or several departments (e.g.
maps of the College) should be stored on the College WWW server, not a
departmental or individual server;
- on its home page (and wherever a cross-reference is appropriate)
the departmental or individual WWW server should contain pointers to
UCL-Info (the College electronic information service) and the UCL WWW
- information relevant to readers outside UCL (other than
subject-specific research information) must be stored or duplicated on
- information should be marked 'no liability or contract is accepted
or implied by the publication of these data' unless the opposite it true.
- A summary of some of the legislation relating to publishing is
attached for information, but it remains the responsibility of the
individual (as publisher) to stay within the law.
Technical aspects of electronic publishing
Auditing of recruitment publications
- Susan Nettle, External Affairs
Other publicity and public relations
- Susan Trubshaw, External Affairs
Editorial policy for UCL-Info
- Susan Nettle, External Affairs
Use of UCL logo and name
- Susan Trubshaw, External Affairs
- Departmental data protection officer; or Lewis Kirby,
Some legislation relating to publishing
Copyright, patents and intellectual property
The owner of intellectual property (e.g. writings, visual material,
computer programs) must give permission before it is used. Usage includes
storing or displaying material electronically. Several people may hold
rights over different aspects of one publication (e.g. the script, music
and graphics of a video tape).
Facts concerning organisations or individuals must be accurate and
verifiable, and the organisations and individuals must not be portrayed in
a way which could damage their reputation. Beware of storing research data
electronically from which organisations or individuals could be identified.
Research or consultancy for governmental bodies may be covered by these laws.
Equal Opportunities and Race Relations
Published material which discriminates, or encourages others to
discriminate, against people on the grounds of race, sex or gender is
illegal. More wide-ranging discrimination, for instance against disabled
people, will contravene UCL's policy on equal opportunities and could bring
UCL into disrepute or even involve the College in legal liability.
Protection of minors
Material which might be damaging to minors must not be stored
electronically or published. This applies particularly to violent or
pornographic material and could include, for instance, transcripts of
research material. An increasing number of secondary schools is linked to
the Internet and therefore has access to electronic information systems at
Data Protection Act
Any information about a living person which is stored on a computer falls
within the scope of the Act. The information may be gathered and used only
in the ways specified in the department's and/or the College's registration
under the Act - and only if the people who are recorded have individually
given their permission. In the case of minors, permission must be given by
their legal guardians. Permission is needed in particular if the data
might allow the subjects to be identified by gender, race or colour: this
applies also to information systems such as World-wide Web which can store
Computer Misuse Act
Unauthorised access or modifications to computer systems are prohibited, as
is publishing material which encourages or allows others to gain
unauthorised access. This includes storing or re-issuing material from
abroad which may be legal in the home country but illegal in the UK.
Publications which may incite others to commit criminal acts - or even to
contemplate them - are likely to be illegal.
In some cases illegal publishing by a member of the College may implicate
UCL - for instance as the provider of the computer facilities which allow
publication to take place.
Comments and queries
Last modified 28/11/1995