Social networking is a great way to keep in touch, share your views and become part of the global debate.

Student guidance

RGU students are encouraged to use social media and advised to follow this guidance.

There is a reputational risk to the university if content posted online by students is perceived as detrimental.

  • Publication and commentary on social media therefore be published responsibly in line with off-line behaviour.
  • You must not post content or take any action in social media that infringes or violates someone else's rights or is defamatory, insulting or offensive to another individual. 
  • All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards that RGU students must follow. 
  • These are contained in Academic Regulations:

A3 - Section 2: Student Misconduct Procedure

Protect confidential information

  • You must not post confidential or proprietary information about RGU, its students, employees, or alumni.
  • Confidential information includes unpublished details about planned projects, courses or new products in development, financial information and research.
  • Students must follow applicable UK legislation as well as all applicable university privacy and confidentiality policies. Each social media provider will also require adherence to their own terms and conditions of use which may go further to protect the individual.
  • Students who share confidential information do so at the risk of disciplinary action or termination.

Respect copyright laws

  • It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including RGU’s own copyrights and brands.
  • You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else's work, and always attribute such work to the original author or source. It is good practice to link to others' work rather than reproduce it.
  • The library provides more information on copyright issues.

Policy on copyright

Terms of service

Obey the Terms of Service of any social media platform employed.

Staff guidance

RGU staff are encouraged to use social media and advised to follow this guidance.

There is a reputational risk to the university if content posted online by students is perceived as detrimental.

  • Publication and commentary on social media should therefore be published responsibly in line with off-line behaviour.
  • You must not post content or take any action in social media that infringes or violates someone else's rights or is defamatory, insulting or offensive to another individual. 
  • All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards that RGU employees must follow, which are contained in contracts of employment.

Protect Proprietary or Confidential Information

  • You must not post confidential or proprietary information about RGU, its students, employees, or alumni.
  • Confidential information includes unpublished details about confidential or planned projects, courses or new products in development, financial information, research, and trade secrets.
  • Employees must follow the applicable UK legislation as well as all applicable University privacy and confidentiality policies. Each social media provider will also require adherence to their own terms and conditions of use which may go further to protect the individual.

Employees who share confidential information do so at the risk of disciplinary action or termination of employment.

If you are unsure about any aspect of Information Governance, please contact the Student Records team.

Respect copyright laws

It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including RGU's own copyrights and brands.

You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else's work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others' work rather than reproduce it.

Terms of service

Obey the Terms of Service of any social media platform employed. Breaches of these can lead to profiles being closed down by the host network.

Social media and the law

There have been an increasing number of cases concerning employers taking action against employees, for what is viewed as inappropriate use of the internet and social media.

Ensure you comply with:

HR policies of RGU

In particular, but not limited to:

  • breaches of any academic, or professional standards
  • bullying, harassment or offensive behaviour, either physical, verbal or psychological
  • breach of confidence. e.g. unauthorised disclosure of information relating to an individual or the University

The university is a legitimate User Organisation of the Joint Academic Network, (JANET) paying annual charges for the services. As such, all users must comply with:

Course content on social media

RGU regularly reviews it's courses, and implements changes to course content and/or structure. The university endeavours to ensure that all course information is up-to-date. Find out more about the Course Disclaimer.

Managing social media for RGU

If you post on behalf of an official university account please read the following guidance.

New accounts

Using one of the pre-existing channels may be preferable to setting up a new account. The centrally managed accounts have already grown a sizable audience and are managed by experienced and trained staff.

If you still feel that you wish to manage your own university profile please see our guidance on creating a new social media account.

University managed accounts

There are hundreds of social media pages which are affiliated with the university and have been set up by member of the RGU community.

See a list of the main RGU accounts

Already managing an account?

If you post on behalf of an official university account please read the following guidance.

Link back to the university

  • Ideally, posts should be brief and point followers to content hosted on RGU’s website.
  • When linking to a news article about the university, check first to see whether you can link to a release on the RGU site before considering external sources.

Protect RGU's reputation and voice

Posts on social media sites should protect the university’s institutional voice by remaining professional in tone and in good taste.

RGU Ambassadors

Student ambassadors are RGU employees and as such, this will also apply to them. Alumni Ambassadors are not employees, however their agreement to assist the university also covers contributions to social media.

IPR and copyright issues

Protecting your IPR

Make sure that you protect the rights in the work that belong to you and/or the University.

Check the site's terms and conditions to make sure it does not claim copyright to content posted, and that it does not state that any posted content becomes public domain.

Be aware that posting content on a social media site may affect other potential uses. For example, posting a draft of a research paper may affect publication of that material in the future if this is considered to be prior publication.

Protecting the IPR of others

The laws regarding copyright and intellectual property rights apply to all web content including social media.

Issues surrounding copyright and other intellectual property rights are complex. The safest course of action is only ever use content (text, images, audio, video, etc) where you have explicit permission to do so.

You may be able to use content on your site, provided clear attribution is in place. Creative Commons licensing is now widely used but this still carries with it a responsible attitude to the use and reuse of content. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright, but are based upon it.

See our Creating and Managing a New Account section for more details about RGU branding and intellectual property.

Social media privacy issues

How do you protect your online privacy?

When you register for a social media account, you will be asked to provide personal details and should be advised what will be made public and what will remain private.

If you have a public profile, it can be seen by anyone using the social media site and might also be available to people searching for profiles. A private profile allows only invited friends and members of chosen networks to view your content.

Social media sites change their privacy settings regularly. The best advice is to read their updates and make sure you are comfortable with your settings.

The key thing to bear in mind is to always be in control of your own data and online contributions.

Useful links and contacts

The RightClick toolkit serves as guidance for staff and students around social media usage at the university.

Below are some useful contacts and links to further details should you require additional information about any of these areas in relation to social media usage at RGU.

General

New university affiliated social media accounts
Department: Marketing
Email: social-media@rgu.ac.uk

Use of logo, images and university identity
Department: Marketing
Email: social-media@rgu.ac.uk

Promotion of a service or event
Department: Marketing
social-media@rgu.ac.uk
(Please note that if you wish to run promotions through The Bulletin, Nexus, press and other communications channels you should contact the Communications team)

Information governance and data protection
Department: Planning and Policy
Email: DataProtection@rgu.ac.uk

Students

Bullying, harassment or offensive behaviour
Who to contact: Head of School/Associate Dean

Academic misconduct (eg plagiarism)
Who to contact: Head of School/Associate Dean

Staff

Breaches of academic or professional standards
Department: Human Resources
See HR web pages for contacts

Bullying, harassment or offensive behaviour
Department: Human Resources
See HR web pages for contacts

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