Branding Guidelines and Policies for A&S Research Websites at WashU 

Acknowledgment of University Support

The research website must clearly acknowledge Washington University in St. Louis for any research conducted at or supported by the university. A research-focused website, even if created by an external entity and hosted outside of our wustl domain, should explicitly acknowledge Washington University in St. Louis for any research carried out at or funded by the university. However, there may be exceptions in cases where attributing the university would compromise research and associated data collection. Such exceptions must be submitted to Art & Sciences MarComm for approval before the website design process begins. 

Inclusion of University and School Logo:

To establish affiliation and recognition, it is important to prominently showcase the Arts & Sciences logo. If the work receives support from multiple schools, the university logo may be used. Ideally, the logo should be positioned in the footer of the website. Prior to launching the website, submission of logo placement and usage for review by Arts & Sciences MarComm is required. 

Image Usage Policy

 When incorporating images into the research website, ensure they are a university asset, are created by the website owner, or possess a valid Creative Commons License. Images must be properly attribute the source, if necessary. Unauthorized use of copyrighted images may lead to legal repercussions. 

  • Naming Structure for Image Attribution: When utilizing images that are not a university asset or original to the website owner, a specific naming structure for attribution must be followed. This structure should include the title of the image, the name of the creator, the type of license, and a link to the source of the image. The naming structure should be as follows: `"[Image Title]" by [Creator Name] is licensed under [License Type] and can be found at [Source URL]`. By accurately following this naming structure, we can ensure that we are compliant with copyright laws and respect the creative rights of the original content creators. 

  • Example: If you are using an image of a research lab taken by John Doe, which is licensed under Creative Commons, the attribution would read as follows: `"Research Lab" by John Doe is licensed under Creative Commons and can be found at 

Research Logo Placement and Size

 Research websites may want to display their official research initiative logo at a size that ensures clear visibility and recognition, typically in the website header. Logo placement should follow established branding guidelines and maintain consistency across different device types. 

Accessibility Compliance:

All research websites must adhere to accessibility standards, including the provision of alternative text (alt text) and ensuring appropriate color contrast for accessibility. The design and placement of logos should be inclusive and user-friendly for all visitors, including those with disabilities. 

User Agreement Approval

 If a research website requires a user agreement, it must be reviewed and approved by both Arts & Sciences MarComm, the WashU Office of General Counsel, and must abide by personal data protection guidelines for both the US and international regulations prior to the website's publication. This ensures the agreement aligns with university policies, legal standards, and safeguards the user's rights while protecting the university's interests. 


 The copyright ownership for a faculty member's work published on a university-owned website can be complex and is typically dictated by the university's intellectual property policy. Generally, Washington University's policy excludes scholarly works from university ownership, which may imply that a faculty member retains the copyright for their work, even when published on a university-owned platform. However, if the published work includes tangible research materials, the university might have an ownership interest. It is highly recommended that faculty members consult the Office of Technology Management to understand the specifics of their copyright ownership in such scenarios. 

Intellectual Property Policy 

Copyright Naming Structure

All copyrights must follow the standard WashU structure: the copyright symbol, followed by the year and name of the copyright owner in all caps. This standardized format facilitates uniform recognition and traceability. 


Newsletter Subscriptions

If a research website wishes to implement a newsletter subscription effort, it must undergo a review and obtain approval from A&S MarComm to ensure collection of personal data adheres to both US and international marketing and data privacy guidelines. This will ensure that subscriber data is held and processed responsibly, protecting subscribers' privacy rights while aligning with the university's commitment to ethical practices. 

Future Guidance: It should be noted that the above guidelines are subject to change, and additional guidance may be provided in the future. 

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