Best Practices, Guidelines, and Requirements for Staffweb Editors
Best practices, guidelines, and requirements for staff who add, edit, manage, and maintain content on Staffweb.
Staff who are responsible for adding, editing, managing, and/or maintaining content on Staffweb are obliged to follow the best practices, guidelines, and requirements outlined below. In doing so, they will promote organizational transparency, communication, usability, efficiency, and security of the UW Libraries content management system.
If you edit Staffweb, you must receive training. Contact Carolyn Aamot, Coordinator, Web-based Content Management Support to schedule an appointment.
Update your Personal Preferences
Use the following settings when updating your Personal Preferences:
- Content editor: Use TinyMCE. Do not change to HTML!
- Language option: Keep Language Neutral (site default).
- Appearance option: Keep Plone Default.
Transparency, safety, & security
The guiding principle is to maintain open communication and organizational transparency while providing appropriate levels of confidentiality and security. See Content Types & States Guidelines.
Never add confidential content to Staffweb. Never add content that would place the University, Libraries or staff at risk, if it were inadvertently Published or Restricted.
Private vs. Restricted
Content that is sensitive or inappropriate to share with public or staff at large should be kept Private.
Restricted vs. Published
Whenever possible, Publish or Restrict content. Opt for the most public option possible, but be mindful that sensitive information should be Restricted to the Libraries or kept Private. Published content can be searched by external search engines. Restricted content can be viewed only by individuals who have permission to log into Staffweb. If unsure which state to choose, err on the side of Restricting rather than Publishing.
Exception: Folders, except Archive folders, must be Published (content of folders can be Private, Restricted, or Published.) Published state of the folder is not inherited by the contents of the folder. If you click on a link and the link flickers but does not load the page, the folder is either Restricted or Private. Published folders are user friendly.
Staffweb vs. www.lib.washington.edu
Staffweb is a communication resource for the UW Libraries staff. If the content is meant for the public, put it on www.lib.washington.edu. Never link to the Staffweb from www.lib.washington.edu. It's OK to link from the Staffweb to www.lib.washington.edu. Content that needs to be shared with a relatively small audience, such as colleagues at another institution, can be put on Staffweb. Be sure that the content is Published and placed in a Published folder.
DO NOT add to or retain in Staffweb
- Any information that would put the University, Libraries, or staff at risk if it is accidentally published.
- Contracts or other legal documents.
- Donor acknowledgments, information, records.
- Passwords of any kind.
- Personnel evaluations, actions, recommendations.
- Outdated content. Remain in compliance with the UW General Records Retention Schedule and UW Libraries General Records Retention Schedule.
ADD to Staffweb / MUST be Private
- Archived content that cannot be deleted according to the UW General Records Retention Schedule and UW Libraries General Records Retention Schedule.
- Content under development--not ready for audience.
- Personal contact information for staff, home phones, addresses, etc. (Whenever possible, SharedDocs or a locked drawer is preferable to Staffweb.)
- Sensitive committee work.
ADD to Staffweb / MUST BE Restricted
- Budget numbers.
- Copyrighted images, screen-shots, photographs, typically used for training/procedures.
- Libraries letterhead stationary--uploaded files.
- Pages that link to SharedDocs.
- Plone forms.
- Position descriptions and performance factors.
- Reports that include sensitive information not intended for the public.
- Sensitive information that should not be shared with public.
- Staff contact information--work related.
- Staff schedules.
ADD to Staffweb / MUST BE Published
- Event items.
- External links.
- Folders, except archive folders where the content is entirely private. Top level Unit and Committees & Group folders are required to be published, along with the default page for the folder (if there is one). Publishing avoids that annoying flicker that happens when you click on the folder and it can't load in your browser. Content of folder can be Published, Restricted, or Private.
- Weekly Online News (WON) pages.
ADD to Staffweb / Published OR Restricted depending on nature of content and level of risk. Opt for open and transparent whenever possible.
- Forms, signs, labels (upload files).
- Procedures, training documents, manuals for staff and students.
- Statistics, spreadsheets that do not include sensitive information or budget numbers.
- Presentations (PowerPoint, video, sound files)
- Meeting minutes and agenda, committee working documents.
- News items published to collections or portlets.
- Reference and liaison instructions and information.
Adding & managing content, improving usability
Abbreviations and acronyms
Abbreviations and acronyms should be identified within the description and/or document. Include the full name, followed by the abbreviation or acronym. Examples:
- Libraries Intranet Operations Group (LIOG).
- Statistics reported to Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
Before archiving or deleting content on Staffweb, review and follow the UW General Records Retention Schedule and UW Libraries General Records Retention Schedule. Archived materials should be made private and added to an archive folder. Avoid e-hoarding!--review and archive or delete content at least once a year to ensure currency and appropriateness. Contact Carolyn Aamot to make arrangements to archive/delete Units or Committees & Groups folders.
Use Categories only when posting an Event, News, or other content item to a Calendar, Portlet, or Collection. Select appropriate category from existing list. Do not add new Categories.
If you enable Comments, you will not be able to delete them. Send a message to ITS to remove.
Add the full name of individuals who contributed to the development of a content item or who are also responsible for maintaining it. By adding contributors names, you recognize the contributions of your colleagues, provide information for historical purposes, and facilitate content management. Each Contributors should be listed on a separate line.
Never create additional copies of content items. See Duplication.
Descriptions are required for each content item added to Staffweb. A good description provides context, improves searching by adding metadata, helps users decide if the content is what they are looking for, and aids editing. Descriptions should be concise, but sufficiently robust to describe contents accurately. Descriptions can include information about the contents, audience, special instructions. Add full name of the unit or committee followed by abbreviation in parenthesis, etc. to Be sure to add Descriptions to uploaded files and external links.
- Bad description: Statistics.
- Good description: Collection size statistics for 2011-2012. Includes additions, withdrawals, discards, and transfers; summaries for Main, Branches, and Health Sciences Libraries.
- Good description: Local procedures for access services for the Bothell Campus Library (UWB).
Never duplicate content in Staffweb. Link to existing content from a page that frames why the content is relevant. Employ the Related Items feature (see below) to ensure that the link remains current. "Thou shalt not duplicate" is a cardinal rule of content management.
Use external links to link to content that exists outside of Staffweb. Never add external links to content items located in Staffweb. Use Related Items to point to related content in Staffweb or add internal links directly to pages as alternatives to External links to other Staffweb items.
Use the TinyMCE editor, which is the default content editor in Plone. Avoid using HTML coding. The point is to create a uniform look and feel that will facilitate usability across Staffweb. You will also want to make it easy for others to update the content in the future. Use the drop-down styles creatively to improve the appearance of pages. Note that it is possible to apply more than one style at a time.
History is an editing feature that allows you to document changes to content and revert to previous versions. When making significant changes to the content, archiving, or co-editing, update the Change note in Edit. Use the History tab to revert to earlier versions as necessary. Employ the History feature strategically to avoid creating multiple (and confusing) versions of a document.
Links to SharedDocs
Avoid adding links to SharedDocs from Staffweb to avoid security problems. If you need to direct users to SharedDocs, indicate the path or add text that describes where to find the item. Links to SharedDocs from Staffweb work in Internet Explorer, but not Firefox. Pages containing links to SharedDocs must be restricted or private.
The person who creates a content item automatically becomes the Owner. Change the name of the creator to the UW NetID (not personal name) of the person who is actually responsible for managing the content. The UW NetID automatically creates an email link under the title, so that other staff can send email directly about the content.
Add Related Items to pages, folders, external links, uploaded docs. In Edit, add Related Items from the Categorization button.
- Related items move with the document and are automatically updated if the target item is moved or renamed.
- Related items enhance usability by providing easy to find links for additional relevant content
Shorten URLs/Short Names
The title becomes the URL for an item. In Plone, Short Names are the URLs. For long titles, shorten the URL, especially when a long URL will be shared with others as a link in email, etc. To shorten a URL, click on Rename in the Contents tab or in View, select 'Action' on the right, then select 'Rename'. Only use lower case. Use dashes between words. Do not use spaces in Short Names:
- Bad Short Name: Financial Services Policies
- Good Short Name: financial-policies
Table of Contents
To improve use of long pages, consider adding a Table of Contents. The table of contents is built from Headings and Subheadings and they are an easy alternative to anchors. In Edit, click on Settings. Click on Table of Contents.
Content titles should be as descriptive as possible. Avoid using abbreviations and acronyms in titles, unless identifying a Libraries campus or unit. To distinguish unit practices, policies, procedures, guidelines, etc. from Libraries-wide, identify the unit in the title and in the description to improve searching and editing:
- Bad title: colstats06-07. Good title: Collection Size Statistics, 2006-2007.
- Bad title: IRC. Good title: Information Resources Council.
- Bad title: Emergency Plan. Good title: Libraries Emergency Plan
- Bad title: Travel Form. Good title: Travel Form (UWT)
The content of uploaded documents cannot be searched. The best practice is to create or convert the content to a Page whenever possible to improve searching, enable links, and other features. Files that need to retain their original structure can be uploaded, but must include robust descriptions to aid searching. If possible convert to .pdf, then upload. Examples of files that should be uploaded:
- PowerPoint presentations (.ppt)
- Excel spreadsheets (.xlsx), unless the data can be easily displayed in a Plone table.
- Forms, signage, labels, reports, letters, etc. (.dotx and .docx).
- Tip! Clear your browsing history before replacing uploaded files. See Tools on the Internet Explore and Firefox menu bar.
Requirements and content management best practices for unit folders
See Unit Folders: Requirements and Content Management Best Practices for details.
Requirements for committees & groups folders