To ensure accuracy, information must be "single sourced" by linking to the official webpage that is the “owner” or origin of the information.
In other words, if you do not control and update the information you must link to the webpage or document that is always up to date.
A few examples of frequently used single sources include:
- program requirements and course descriptions in the catalogs
- academic calendars
- financial aid information
- PDF forms
Rules for Single-Sourcing
- Do not duplicate large chunks of content word-for-word on multiple pages. Paraphrases of similar information--especially for introductory page content are fine. Repeating key phrases like "Contact [Department name] for more information." is also allowed.
- Do not upload a new copy of a PDF if it already exists on another website. Link directly to the original PDF instead.
- Do not duplicate course details from the course catalog on a webpage. Two exceptions to this rule are:
Reasons to Avoid Duplicate Content
- It's easy to forget to request updates made in multiple locations.
- Students and staff will be confused if they find conflicting information from different sources.
- Your team will spend more time explaining the correct information when students and staff email, call or visit your office with questions.
- Duplicated content--especially from other websites-- could lead to copyright infringement litigation. Small amounts of content are allowed only if a link to the content’s original source is included.
- Duplicated content can hurt search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.