NASA WEB POLICY


Policy for NASA Information Published Over the Internet


The Internet is a fundamental tool for NASA science, research and education, as well as a ubiquitous media for global information dissemination and access. NASA fully uses the Internet where feasible, including as a mechanism for making NASA-acquired data resources broadly available to the public.

When information about NASA activities, missions, organizations, publications, etc. is posted on the Internet via NASA "servers" for public access, using World Wide Web, Gopher, or other Internet information service, there must be clear accountability for the contents of the information displayed. Descriptions, images, etc. representing the products of any NASA entity must be accompanied, to the best extent possible, by an identification of the NASA official responsible for that entity. A "NASA Center Home Page", for example, should identify the Center Director or appropriate designate, such as that Center's Public Affairs Office; displays of mission-acquired science data should reference the Project Manager or designate, such as the mission's data/operations manager or project scientist.

It is important that information made publicly available over the Internet by NASA personnel be properly supported, maintained, and validated by the cognizant NASA organization, to ensure integrity and authenticity of that information. It is a responsibility of NASA management at any level to ensure that NASA is appropriately represented to the public and to the world on this Information Superhighway. This accountability is independent of the creative flexibility available to Web designers, and recognizes the rapidly changing technologies and techniques used to implement these Internet information services, including the evolving standards and interfaces for indexing, displaying, and organizing multi-media data.

This policy applies to all NASA computers in the "nasa.gov" domain. To implement this policy, the names of both the Web Curator and, where applicable, the accountable NASA official/organization should appear in the signature line at the bottom of any Web Page presenting NASA-sourced information. For example:

Web Curator: x.xxxxx@host.center.nasa.gov
Responsible NASA organization/official: Dr. Y.Yyyyy, ZZZ Project

Each name should contain enough information so the public can contact the Web Curator or the accountable NASA Official. This may be done directly via the identifying signature, via links to expanded details (eg: full name, title, organization, postal mail address, telephones, etc), or via other means.

It is further suggested that Internet-based publications by non-NASA organizations display a disclaimer indicating that their use of NASA material is not official.
Tony Villasenor
Program Manager, NASA Science Internet
(updated Nov. 1994)