[Univ of Cambridge] [Dept of Engineering]

CUED WWW House Style

THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN SUPERCEDED BY http://www-h.eng.cam.ac.uk/help/www/webstyle/











This document describes the procedures to be followed by providers of information available on CUED's WWW servers and gives details of the editorial control mechanisms which exist to ensure that the information provided and its presentation are of high quality.


In 1997 the department's Web Strategy Committee discussed the future structure, appearance and maintenance of our WWW material. This will be an ever more important issue. Already there is evidence to suggest that the WWW version of some CUED documents (the Annual Report for example) are read over 20 times more than the paper versions, and a high proportion of new Ph.D students say that WWW material is an important factor in their selection of university. The success of our WWW material depends on the usefulness, accuracy, currency and quality of presentation of the information which it contains. Some basic style and format elements are required to portray a consistent, predictable and cohesive appearance. A well co-ordinated and properly managed service is essential in order to present a quality image to internal and external users. Prompt action is necessary if we are not to fall behind those competing with us for students and funding, so we have prepared this "house style" for CUED WWW publications. All authors of official documents are expected to conform with these guidelines.

Staff and students mounting unofficial material on the WWW are asked to set similar standards of presentation to those described here and to inform themselves of departmental requirements. One requirement is that privately published material must not contain any material which gives the impression that it is an official publication and must indicate who is publishing the material. In particular, the University crest should not be used on unofficial pages.

Site Structure

The advantage in reproducing on the WWW the existing administrative structure of CUED is that it would be easier to identify who should maintain what. However, it was felt that the internal structure of the department might confuse some external viewers, so a more user-centred approach has been adopted. In particular, the divisional structure of the department will not be emphasised online.

Tree structures are to be adopted where possible, though cross-links will be used if they're easy to maintain and are considered useful.


The University's Press and Publications office are encouraging a house style for paper publications. We have decided to adopt the paper House Style wherever practicable and appropriate.

Colors and Identifiers

However, there are many aspects that we have decided upon ourselves. These features can be achieved by using
<BODY BGCOLOR="#ffffff" TEXT="#000000" LINK="#0000A3" VLINK="#760076" ALINK="#FF0000">

In general visitors will not arrive through the "front door" of the departmental Home Page, so on each page there needs to be a CUED identifier and a way for visitors to get to the departmental Home Page. This identifier is in a small and large form

[Dept of Engineering] and [Dept of Engineering]

and will link back to the departmental home page.

These identifiers, when used as a banner header need to be separated by some white space. GIFs to provide the appropriate amount of space are available. Their use is demonstrated by the following code which produced the header on this page

<A HREF="http://www.cam.ac.uk">
   <IMG BORDER=0 ALT="[Univ of Cambridge]" 
   <IMG BORDER=0 ALT="" 
<A HREF="http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk">
   <IMG BORDER=0 ALT="[Dept of Engineering]" 

Page Structure

The basic structure of a Web Page contains three main sections; the header, body and footer. The example official pages contain the required elements in the header and footer. Little or no modification of these is required so that authors may focus their efforts on the information they wish to present in the body. The header is used to indicate document status, indicating whether the page represents the views of the department, a group or an individual.

Official Page Types

We have identified 4 main types of official pages -

Departmental Home Page

Our home pages for external and internal (intranet) use are stable now.

Research Group Pages

Across the top should be the University Identifier, the CUED Identifier and optionally, a link to a division. There should then be a horizontal rule, the title of the page (in <H1>, and including the text CUED) and then another horizontal rule. Headings should be

Introduction - Introduction and mission statements
* Research Topics
* People - with links to staff profile pages
* Research Seminars
* Current final year projects
* Prospective final year projects
* Recently completed PhD thesis abstracts
* Web Links
* Contact Information

An Announcements item can be added as the first header if there are jobs, courses, or anything else of a similar nature that a group wishes to draw immediate attention to. Then there should be horizontal rule followed by a centred line of text links to "higher levels"

[Cambridge University | CUED | Division]

followed by the footer. An example is the draft structures group page

Staff Profile Pages

An official profile page for each staff member has been created (the URL is http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/~uid). If the information on these pages is wrong, mail operators@eng.cam.ac.uk so that they can update the underlying database.

You can edit the page using the Teaching System's edit_homepage command to add a college address, a link to your research group home page, and various sections as described below. Mail webadmin@eng.cam.ac.uk if you would like calls to this page forwarded to a page you've already written on a reliable research machine. Note that replacement pages need to conform to the following style -

Across the top there should be the University Identifier and the CUED Identifier. Then there should be a horizontal rule, the name of the person (title, initials, surname) in <H1> with a link to a photo and a link to the research group (if any) and then another horizontal rule. Headings should be

* Introduction - Introduction, including short biography
* Research
* Teaching
* Other Work - which may contain a link to the person's personal Home Page on www2.eng.cam.ac.uk
* Publications
* Contact Information

Sections can be omitted, if appropriate, (they're left out of the default home pages) but any other information should be held on the person's personal home page. Finally there should be another horizontal rule then a centred line of text-links to "higher levels"

[Cambridge University | CUED | Research Group]

followed by the footer. The page shouldn't be much bigger than a screen's worth. An example is Chris Burgoyne's draft home page.

Divisional Pages

These should be minimal, providing access to other areas of departmental information. This access should be provided as clear links with additional description where necessary. In general, there should be no more than 10 such links. The links at this level should not be contained within flowing text but should be isolated in some way. A single block of links in an unnumbered list can be used; acceptable alternatives are graphic bullets and sections separated by headings. Where graphics are used alternatives should be provided and consideration given to the speed with which they are likely to be delivered. Large graphics for links or a mapped graphic page are probably not desirable for the front entry point.

Across the top should be the University Identifier and the CUED Identifier. There should then be a horizontal rule, the title of the page (in <H1>, and including the text CUED) and then another horizontal rule. Headings should be

* Introduction - Introduction and mission statements
* Staff - with links to staff profile pages
* Teaching - with links to syllabus pages
* Research - with links to Research Group pages.

Then there should be another horizontal rule followed by contact information.

Other Official Pages

There are many official pages (those covering Research and Teaching, for example) that are not covered by the 4 sections above. Though no specific details are given here, they should follow the general guidelines.

Maintenance and Responsibility

Responsibility for the material on our Web servers rests ultimately with the Head of Department but in practice is devolved by him through the Computer Systems Committee to the Web Strategy Committee. This committee includes Divisional Web Administrators and representatives from Admin and the Teaching Office who have authority delegated by the Head of Department to ensure that others produce the required material. They may further delegate responsibility and authority to those in charge of Research Group Web sites.

An individual (or group of individuals) will be assigned responsibility for each page. This individual or group will be responsible for

  1. its content
  2. compliance with the Worldwide Web Departmental Guidelines and appropriate licensing agreements relating to intellectual property,
  3. its maintenance (e.g., accuracy, currency).
The person(s) will be expected to signify acceptance of or compliance with these provisions and computer account agreement prior to such pages being posted or linked to the Home Page level. If these pages contain links to non CUED pages, the person(s) assigned responsibility for these pages may wish to include an appropriate disclaimer adjacent to such link or prior to any transfer to that page.

For some locally produced material a copyright notice may be appropriate. Contact the department's web administrators (webadmin@eng.cam.ac.uk) in the first instance for further information.

The department's web administrators undertake to do periodic automated scans of online material to

but the main responsibility for these issues rests with the authors.


The WWW has complicated the copyright issue in various ways. As well as making material much easier to copy, it has blurred the distinction between documentation and programs, and, by using frames, web-authors can seamlessly incorporate distant material into their own. Adding a copyright statement may help with issues relating to liability and intellectual property. We suggest that you add the following code (with the appropriate year) into the <ADDRESS> -
      <A HREF=http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/copyright.html> (copyright  &#169; CUED, 2001)</A>

Accessibility and the Law

The Disability Discrimination Act (Part III) requires that providers of information and services available through the web make them accessible for people with disabilities. See http://www.disability.gov.uk/dda/ for the code of practice.

Skill publishes information about the impact on technology of forthcoming legislation on Disability in Higher Education.

It is the information provider's duty to anticipate the need for access by disabled people, so the W3C Accessibility Guidelines (http://www.w3.org/) should be understood and acted upon. We require compliance with Priority 1 issues. See the checklist at http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/full-checklist.html for details. The University's Access Guidelines provide further information.

Good Practice

The practice we would like to promote includes the following points (not necessarily in order of priority): See the Technical Guidelines for more technical details.

Support and Resources


The following documents were consulted: Heriot-Watt's handbook, the Moray House Style Guide, Indiana University Guidelines, McMaster University Guidelines, the Yale C/AIM WWW Style Manual.

Chris Burgoyne, Patrick Gosling, Michael Gray, James Matheson, and Paul Taylor all contributed to this document.

Updated December 2001
Tim Love, tpl@eng.cam.ac.uk