Mentor Research Institute (MRI): Web Site Policy

Revised: May 21, 2014


Table Of Contents

 


Abstract

The Internet World Wide Web (WWW) provides the mechanism to publish and distribute information to all Internet users. The WWW is a structured interface to the vast resources on the Internet. The WWW consists of web sites containing web presentations of one or more linked documents called web pages that are accessible worldwide, day or night, in any time zone. This document defines the Mentor Research Institute's acceptable-use policy for creating a Mentor Research Institute (MRI) reference library by publishing web pages accessible across the World Wide Web which will be published at the location OregonCounseling.Org. The Mission of Mentor Research Institute is central to policy, programs and activities of OregonCounseling.Org.


The Mission of Mentor Research Institute (MRI)

The purpose of Mentor Research Institute (MRI) is to identify problems relevant to the individual as well as the greater community and to disseminate information by promoting and conducting research and training that will contribute to a better quality of life marked by greater satisfaction, health, safety and well-being.


Access Policy

Mentor Research Institute (MRI) supports OregonCounseling.Org to provide easy access to appropriate information for external MRI affiliates and the public through access to Web pages containing reference MRI information. The MRI reference Web pages are created by MRI and distributed by a contracted external Web Presence Provider. This technology is provided by MRI for MRI Mission related business only. The MRI Web page server is a firewall protected standalone system that is not tied to any MRI application system. Access to the Web page server must not give the user access or a path to any other MRI server.


Page Content Policy

All Web page content must be approved by MRI’s Web Site Committee. Web page content for any information published may be discontinued at any time without prior notice to the author in the sole and absolute discretion of MRI’s Web Site Committee. Web page content must be consistent with the program's strategic communication goals, and comply with protocols established by MRI. MRI defines the presentation and format for MRI's Web site, which includes all programs and activities. The MRI Web presentation will give a united image to the public and present information in terms that are understandable and useable by the public. The OregonCounseling.Org home page will be the starting point for WWW access to information about the entire program.


Web Site Research Policy

Research conducted through the Web site must be financially self-supporting, consistent with the mission of MRI and conform to MRI policy for this Web site.


Use Of Editorial Committees

MRI will establish editorial committee(s) or designee(s) as needed. Those committee(s) or designee(s) will review, edit and recommend for approval to MRI’s Web Site Committee all content submitted for publication on the Web site: OregonCounseling.Org. MRI affiliates will be encouraged to review all materials internally prior to their submission to the MRI editorial review process. The MRI editorial committee(s) or designee(s) will be appointed by the MRI Board of Directors.


Guidelines For Web Page Creation

  • Web pages will be created following Mentor Research Institute’s presentation and format guidelines.
  • Web pages will be reviewed and approved by the MRI Web Site Committee or its designee.
  • Software applications developed and used on the site will be approved by the MRI Web Site Committee.

Mentor Research Institute’s Web Philosophy

The World Wide Web is an important tool for Mentor Research Institute (MRI) to achieve its mission and goals.

Informing citizens of all types (clients, families, advocates, decision-makers, service providers) about quality of life issues is a primary aspect of MRI's mission. Increasing public awareness, providing information, resources, referral and research opportunities is also critical to MRI's efforts to develop stronger community partnerships.

Use of electronic communications can lead to better efficiencies with regard to MRI mission and goals. For example, reduced costs for publications (paper, printing, storage), less front-line staff time providing basic information and directing inquiries, and a better informed citizenry and professional community.


MRI Web Site Goals

The Mentor Research Institute (MRI) Web site is a tool to help achieve MRI's goals: To provide Information, Resources, Referral, and enable Research that will support informed quality of life decisions by the public.

Key strategies to carry out the mission of MRI on the OregonCounseling.Org Web site:

  • Provide opportunities for civic engagement. Achieving independence, health, and safety requires a comprehensive approach from as many people as possible. The MRI Web site is a tool to encourage people to be actively involved in improving their lives and their communities. The MRI Web site is a tool to enhance community participation in the work done by MRI.
  • Promote public awareness. Achieving public awareness requires access to information and resources that are easy to understand and use. For people to be independent, healthy, and safe, they need information that is written for their needs, in terminology they understand, and tells them what they can do for themselves or for others.
  • Provide multiple opportunities to promote awareness and gather information. One benefit of the Web is the opportunity for people to interact with MRI and MRI affiliates. As technologies and support systems become available for the MRI web site, interactive opportunities will be used. Research and dissemination of findings will be implemented as programs are developed.

Guidelines For Preparing Web Page Content

The following guidelines are to be followed by Web site contributors and producers who are creating or placing information onto the World Wide Web through OregonCounseling.Org. The intent is to maintain credibility, consistency, readability and ease of use for readers of this information.

MRI World Wide Web Presentation Style

The term "presentation" in the language of the World Wide Web refers to the total Web site; what it looks like, how it flows, what it contains. The MRI Web presentation gives a cohesive image and presents information in terms that are understandable and useable by the general public.

The following guidelines and elements apply specifically to OregonCounseling.Org.

Design Grid

The design grid will be provided as a template by the MRI. The design grid consists of a header, body, and an optional footer. Handouts will follow or be similar in format to those already published on the site.

The Header

All other pages will contain a standard text format with no graphics. The Webmaster may have the discretion to publish a graphic provided it is essential to the content of the page and consistent with the mission of MRI.

The Body

The body is the content and the substance of the web page. See content discussion for information.

Subject, Author Name and Date

The body of each page is to begin with Subject, Author Name and Date.  It will include a created date and will be replaced with a revised date each time the page is updated. The author of a page, or the contact person(s) for the information described on that page must be included. A way to reach that author will be included when appropriate - preferably an active e-mail address. All other inquiries can be handled using info@OregonCounseling.Org .

The Footer

The footer is optional and at the discretion of the Webmaster.

URL

List the URL of the page: "http://www.etc...." OregonCounseling.Org.

The OregonCounseling.Org logo can be placed on pages at the discretion of the Webmaster.

Graphics

Graphics should be small for loading purposes (i.e., total maximum 30k per page, which takes approximately 10 seconds on a 28.8 modem to load). Images for links will be minimized to keep the site fast. Images should be cropped closely.

If a large graphic is indicated, an expandable thumb size graphic should be used. The browser can display the text first and fill in the graphics. This strategy makes the experience of downloading faster. Use embedded images. Minimize the use of "under construction" signs, they can be annoying. Animated graphics or Java script applets may be approved on a project basis by the Webmaster.

Alt Tags

Graphics are not required to have an "alt tag." The site is designed to minimize the use of graphics and will not use graphic links. Alt tags are necessary for those whose browsers don't support graphics, who navigate with graphics turned off, or who rely on speech synthesizers to read text. Providing few images is essential to MRI's ability to provide equal access to information for all Oregonians.

Navigational Aids

"Previous" and "next" connections will rely on the site visitors web browser. A navigation bar including contents will be on the home page for the next layer only.

Links Policy

All links must be relevant to the topic of the page and the mission of MRI. Links that could be of value to the reader but are not related to the content of that particular page should be listed where they are most relevant. Use internal links on long pages. Use relative links because full URLs could cause the browser to reload the entire page. List topics at the top of the page.  It is permissible to create links that are not yet ready. If you want to show the reader that an item will someday be a link, bold it and put an estimated completion date next to the link. Do not override the settings for the appearance of links. When links take the reader to something other than text, tell them (example: e-mail).

Linking to:

  • Other sites in general

Wherever possible let your counterparts know when you are linking to them, from where, and why.

  • State of Oregon sources

Use Standard linking at will.

  • Other government sources

Use standard linking at will.

  • Non-profits, other groups related to the work

Use standard linking page with approval of MRI Web Site Committee.

  • For profit (commercial) organizations

Avoid providing or linking to sites that contain advertising for vendors. Approval by the MRI Board of Directors is necessary. A disclaimer of supporting commercial purposes is always necessary if any link is made to vendor advertising sites.

  • Links to utility computer tools

Suggest linking to .edu or. gov sites. Use commercial purposes disclaimer.

  • Links to and Use of Commercial Sites

OregonCounseling.Org may use icons, program and links which give preference to a type of operating system, server, software, or other tools if they support the sites performance (note: The Webmaster for OregonCounseling.Org is seeking non-commercial FTP sites to download tools such as Acrobat Reader. Until that is done, it is acceptable to include links to commercial sites that provide tools necessary for the reader to interact with the OregonCounseling.Org site).

Information Not Allowed

Information concerning any content or links to personal (non-MRI) web pages will not be allowed except as approved by the MRI Board of Directors or the designated Webmaster.

Content Management

Each page needs to have a content "owner" - someone who is responsible for the accuracy of the information and for updating it as needed. The Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) will be written and installed by the designated Webmaster. Professional papers, articles and handouts will be linked to the Author's professional profile and background page.

Notes on Writing for MRI's Web Site:

Make sure people can use the information. Write with a bias towards common language use and civic engagement. The contents on the MRI web site should be written using a friendly voice. Use "we" statements as much a possible - not stuffy language. Avoid technical terms unless they are essential to the topic and can be defined. A definition should be included on that page and repeated in each additional file. You never know where someone will link to your site, do not assume spelling out an acronym needs to be done only once. Write following an inverted pyramid style. If you do not know how to do this, read the newspaper. Reporters usually write using this style, with the key information within the first paragraph or two.

Assume a variable screen size of 640 pixels by 480 pixels. Assume new users are aware that they can scroll down a page. Keep critical information viewable in the first 640 x 480 pixel screen. First paragraphs should give enough information so the reader knows if this page is where they want to be.

Use short sentences Use short paragraphs (5-6 sentences per paragraph). Use headings and subheadings. Use an outline format for very long documents (there is no need to use roman numerals, etc. if indentation and/or subheadings are used well). Set off key ideas - example: use indented paragraphs or blocked text with bullets or numbered lists (but don't overuse them). Try to keep articles and paper files below 1000 words. Larger articles can be approved by the MRI Webmaster. Avoid using more than two "and"s or two "or"s in one sentence. Break out listings into more than one line. Use numbered lists to show order of importance, or order in which items must occur. Use unordered lists for others. Make key words the active links instead of things like "click here." Make pages participatory - use forms, discussions, database inquiries (when OregonCounseling.Org and MRI begin supporting this).

Use Charts As Follows:

Pie charts for comparison of components

Line charts to show trends

Bar charts to do both

Use good design and typesetting techniques:

Do not use all caps (Internet protocol equates this to shouting)

Bold only to draw attention to something very important

Use italics to emphasize

Use silver for background

Use left alignment

Remember you cannot specify the typeface, unless it is part of a graphic.

Consider the following items when developing content, activities and ideas:

The content should be useful in plain text.

People who need text include those with vision impairments or motor impairments that prevent using a mouse well, and those with slow modems.

The content should promote professional participation, public awareness and consumer protection

"Is the content credible to colleagues, affiliates, the public and legislators? "

"Does the content, activity or program promote public interaction? "

"Does the activity promote involvement of professionals and usefulness of the site?"

Use Of E-Mail

Launching E-mail is available on the site for professionals contributing content to the site. Professional and ethical use of e-mail is the responsibility of each professional. Mentor Research Institute (MRI) does not monitor e-mail activities between professionals on the site and the public.

Cautions Concerning The Use Of E-mail

Mentor Research Institute (MRI) recommends that all professionals who request e-mail links be cautious and seek both training and consultation before attempting e-mail dialogues with mental health consumers. E-mail is not currently encrypted. MRI has several encryption systems for use on this site. MRI may work with professionals contributing to the site to develop secure E-mail communication for professionals involved with OregonCounseling.Org on an individual basis.

Copyright Of Published Materials

All professional papers and articles submitted for publication to Mentor Research Institute (MRI) and subsequently published to OregonCounseling.Org will be copyrighted by MRI. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis. Previously published papers and articles may only be reprinted with permission from the copyright holder(s).


Roles And Responsibilities Of The Mentor Research Institute Board Of Directors

To carry out their responsibilities with regard to the Website OregonCounseling.Org, all members of the Mentor Research Institute (MRI) Board will have access to the Internet with the ability to explore the World Wide Web. It is expected that members of the MRI and Affiliate Boards will spend time exploring the World Wide Web, including MRI links to other sites. MRI Board members, at the direction of the Board, will assume individual and or committee member responsibilities with regard to specific tasks of Website development and operation.


Exclusion Of Material From The Site

The Mentor Research Institute’s Board of Directors may choose to exclude any material, content or reference information from the site. Final authority to publish or post information on the site rests with the MRI Board of Directors. No contracts or agreements with other organizations will supercede MRI's final authority for approval or limitation of publication on OregonCounseling.Org.


Web Servers

Web server approval will be the decision of the Mentor Research Institute Board of Directors.


Roles And Responsibilities Of The Webmaster

On behalf of Mentor Research Institute the Webmaster may:

  • Interpret the presentation and format outlined for MRI's Web site.
  • Provide consultation to the MRI Board of Directors and Web Site Committee.
  • Act as the central agent for information that goes on the Web site.
  • Work with all partners to properly prepare documents for use on the web site.

Press Release Policy

There will be occasions for press releases and public announcements concerning this Web site and its contents. Until a Mentor Research Institute (MRI) press release policy is developed and approved, all press releases by affiliates of MRI that mention or refer to MRI or OregonCounseling.Org must be approved by the MRI Web Site Committee.

Press releases must include the name of a contact person, phone number, fax number and e-mail address. Press releases should include a synopsis of the Mentor Research Institute mission, values, goals as indicated on the MRI Web page. Press releases should include the story you have to tell, the information the public needs, and other information that will facilitate or encourage people’s involvement.


Advertising And Public Awareness

Mentor Research Institute (MRI) is non-profit and does not engage in commercial advertising. MRI, OregonCounseling.Org and MRI affiliates do not engage in the sale of virtual space for the purposes of banner advertising or other forms of advertising that promote or sell products. Rather, the primary goal of OregonCounseling.Org is to promote public awareness and interaction with timely, up to date and professionally developed informational resources. The distinction between advertising and promoting public awareness may appear unclear to the casual observer, but closer examination will reveal a significant difference in the goals and the content of such messages.


Disclaimers And Other Important Information

A link to a disclaimer will be published on the Home Page of OregonCounseling.Org.