SAS Guide to Publishing on the World Wide Web
- About This Guide
- What Is the World Wide Web?
- The SAS Web and You: Where We're Headed
- Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Web
- Resource Guide for Web Providers
- Content and Style Guidelines and
- Policy Statement: The Fine Print
- Glossary of Terms for the Non-Specialist
1. About This Guide
This Guide explains how to publish information about your SAS group on the
World Wide Web. It includes information about the Web, specific
instructions for publishing on the Web, and resources to help you. It
provides our current guidelines, recommendations, and policies.
An electronic version of this guide can be found on the World Wide Web at
this location: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/www-guide.html.
2. What Is the World Wide Web?
The World Wide Web (WWW) consists of an incredibly large number of
electronic documents, called "pages." Users can view these Web pages,
assuming they have an Internet connection, by using a World Wide Web browser, such
as Netscape or
Mosaic. You use the browser to connect to WWW servers, the
computer systems that are the sources of information on the Web. The SAS
Web Server is our server.
The World Wide Web allows links to connect pages to one another
easily. For example, if you are looking at this document on the Web, the
word "browser" in the previous paragraph is a link to a document which
lists a number of World Wide Web browser programs. Web pages can
contain links to other pages, to text files, to sound files, to
animations and graphics, and even to programs! An organized group of
linked pages is called a "web" or "web site."
The links between Web pages make it very easy to explore the Web. You can
find a lot of information just by tapping an arrow key or clicking a mouse
a few times. This power and ease of use is easier seen than described. If
you do not have a browser, call your computer support person and request
Much more information about WWW is available by using
your favorite browser to connect to
3. The SAS Web and You: Where We're Headed
The University of Pennsylvania plans to
make its entire admissions process electronic within the next few years.
Students will be able to examine University
webs to see if they are interested in attending Penn. They will even
be able to apply for admission electronically. This will save a lot of
paper. It will also mean that each department must have an up-to-date
"web" (its own small part of the World Wide Web).
More and more students are already using the World Wide Web. Thousands of
people from around the world consult SAS
webs each day. Therefore the School
of Arts and Sciences is encouraging you to publish information about
your group (your department or other recognized
group) on the Web. Both Penn and SAS have the beginnings of a
wonderful web, but we need you. Your web will be a vital part of
the SAS Web.
A departmental web will work like an electronic bulletin. You can publish
basic information about your department: undergraduate and graduate
programs, course listings, class schedules, faculty descriptions, and
calendars of events. You can also publish other information that would
never fit in a paper bulletin, such as faculty projects, pictures of your
staff, or course materials. You can even publish news and announcements.
Any information you currently have in PennInfo or on a Gopher or in printed
brochures and bulletins can now be accessible in one place -- your
group's web. You can include text, pictures, sounds, and even
small video clips.
There are several advantages to having this information on the Web.
- You can change any part of your information almost instantly.
- People from around world can consult the latest information at any time.
- You can save printing and mailing costs (by giving people the
address of your web instead of mailing them a package of paper).
You can put nearly any information on your web, at any time, and you can
change it almost instantly. It's an exciting prospect, and its time has
Fortunately, it's easy to move information onto the web, and we'll show
you how. SAS
Computing staff are providing training and support to allow each
department to create and maintain its own web. The rest of this guide
explains how you can be a part of the SAS Web. If any of this Guide
seems difficult at first, remember that we can train you how to do each
4. Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Web
There are six primary steps involved in getting the information about
your group published on the World Wide Web. They are:
Now let's go through them one by one.
- Identify a Web Provider for your group
- Identify a Web server that your group will use
- Collect the information you want to publish on your web site
- Convert the information into HTML
- Test your documents
- Announce your web site to the world
- Identify a Web Provider for your group
The Web Provider is an individual who should be more or less permanently
associated with your group. The responsibilities of the Web Provider
The Web Provider could, of course, delegate tasks to students or other
individuals. Web Providers and their delegates are eligible to receive
training (see "Resource Guide for Web Providers"
- Designing the initial Web pages
- Converting to HTML any documents to be made available
- Keeping the group's web information accurate and up-to-date
- Participating in a mailing list for Web Providers within SAS
- Being a contact person for SAS Computing for the department's Web
- Identify a Web server that your group will use
All groups within SAS are eligible to use the main School of Arts and
Sciences Web server, www.sas.upenn.edu. In order to use
that server, the Web Provider for the group must have an account on
mail.sas.upenn.edu. Note that certain restrictions apply when using
www.sas as your server.
Alternatively, some departments (the
Economics Department, for
example), maintain their very own Web servers. If you are unsure what
servers are available for you to use, check with your local computing
support person or contact
- Collect the information that you want to publish on your web
The next step is to begin assembling all the information that you want to
publish on your web site (your web). Good sources of this information
often include whatever printed materials you hand out about your group
(e.g., brochures, newsletters). Additionally, SAS Computing has compiled
content guidelines (see below) to help you identify
what types of information should be included on your Web site.
- Convert the information to HTML
Once you have assembled all the information you want to publish, you need
to convert it to a form usable on the Web: HTML. (HTML stands for
HyperText Markup Language.) There are many on-line references that explain
HTML, how to write it, and list the many tools available to you as a Web
Provider. See the "Resource Guide for Web
Providers" below for some links to help you get started.
Additionally, see the "Resource Guide for Web
Providers" below for information on training, scanning, support, etc.
- Test your documents!
Once you have completed the conversion to HTML and placed your documents
on whichever server you've chosen to use, it is critical that you test
your documents with a WWW browser (or two) to check that all the links in the
document work, and that the information in the document is accurate and
appears as you planned.
- Announce your web site to the world!
Depending on how widely you want to advertise your information, you may
wish to contact the following to ask that a pointer to your Web site be
You also may want to consider publishing the address of your Web
site in your group's future printed materials (for example, brochures).
- To add your link to www.sas, send your e-mail request to
- To announce your Web site to Internet-wide catalogs, visit
it!, a page which helps you submit information about your
site to the many Internet WWW search engines.
5. Resource Guide for Web Providers
SAS Computing provides the following resources for SAS Web Providers:
- The SAS WWW Server
- Educational Technology Services
- Other Resources
SAS Computing will offer WWW training in both group workshops and
individual consultations. For department Web Providers, the following
workshops will be offered:
Individual HTML training by SAS Computing staff, as well as on-line
tutorials, will be offered to supplement the group workshops.
- How to Use WWW Browsers
- How to Create a Home Page
- How to Develop and Maintain a Departmental Web
If you desire training, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SAS WWW Server
SAS Computing provides the use of the web server
www.sas.upenn.edu for all SAS
departments and groups.
Each department will be given disk space on the server to use for their
department page. SAS Computing also provides a variety of software to
assist in building HTML pages. Among these are various HTML editors
and icon libraries. For more information on these resources, contact
the webmaster at the web server you have chosen.
SAS Computing strongly encourages the use of the central server,
www.sas, or other SAS-administered department machines (i.e. Math,
Economics, Chemistry, English) for web server use. If, for whatever reason,
your department or group wishes to use another machine as its web
server, please contact email@example.com.
One of the SAS
Web Administrators will contact your department to determine whether
or not this is feasible.
Educational Technology Services (ETS)
SAS Computing also provides the facilites to copy pictures, sound
recordings, printed text and short video clips into a format suitable
for a web page. All SAS faculty and support staff are
encouraged to use these services, which are free of charge, at the ETS Prep Center,
located in 633 Williams Hall.
The Prep Center is open weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. You may
call the Prep Center at 898-9892.
In addition, Muk Rao
Services, is available by appointment for consultation on Web
publishing and other related topics. You may call Multi-Media
Services at 898-9892.
Other Web Resources
There are many on-line references for help in creating web pages.
Here are some links to get started:
is a mailing list for all SAS Department
Web Builders. It will be used by the Web Staff to provide up-to-date SAS
Web information. To subscribe to this list, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with only the
following line in the body of the message:
6. Content and Style Guidelines and
- Know Your Audience: Content Recommendations
- Style Recommendations
- Departmental Web Templates
- Selected Style Guides and HTML Tutorials
on the WWW
A departmental web is an information resource for various groups
with very different needs. Some of these groups may be:
- Know Your Audience: Content Recommendations
You should include information in your web that will be used by as wide
an audience as possible.
- Graduate Students
- Prospective Students
- Prospective Donors
It will make sense to consult these recommendations after you
have learned a little HTML.
The web is a wonderful academic resource for teaching and access to
research materials. Jim
O'Donnell, Classical Studies, has developed New Tools for Teaching,
materials which describe using Internet-based resources for teaching.
Other course materials are accessible on the Philae web server. You may also wish to
explore some of the available virtual libraries for useful,
discipline-specific subject matter:
SAS Computing maintains a list of
academic resources available on the School of Arts and Sciences Web.
The College of Arts and Sciences requests that specific information be
made on departmental webs which will help them present a coherent
structure to undergraduates. These recommendations are:
- The departmental web should include a separate page with
information relevant to undergraduate students; the College will
then be able to link to department-specific topics from its own web.
- This page should include links to pages for majors, prospective
majors, and students interested in taking one or two courses.
- The departmental web should include a page describing research
experiences available for undergraduates. Brief biographies of your
faculty and their areas of interest would also be helpful.
- You should consider appropriate ways to make course information
available through your web. Minimally, you should have a current
list of course numbers and titles that the department offers from
time to time. It would also be useful if your web could indicate
which of those courses you expect to field in the next semester.
Some departments have also published syllabi from courses from the
current or upcoming semesters.
- Please consider organizing course information according to such
broad categories as the following:
These categories may not be mutually exclusive, but the World Wide Web
allows for redundancy with appropriate links.
- Courses for freshmen only
- Courses especially appropriate as entry points to the major
- Courses listed in the various General Requirement sectors
- Intermediate Courses intended primarily for majors
- Advanced Courses (undergraduate and graduate) appropriate for
- Graduate Students
As with the web area for undergraduates, a separate page for graduate
students would be helpful. The following are suggestions for inclusions
on this page:
- Links to funding resources are very significant to graduate
students. The Graduate
Division maintains information on packages for which GAS students
are eligible and on the federal competitions in the Fall.
- Graduate policies and procedures are listed in the Vice Provost for
Graduate Education Web site. The departmental graduate student are
should point to the official
graduate policies and
- Course information for graduate students should have a listing
on a separate web page.
- Prospective Students
The departmental web should contain an admissions area which contains
the brochure and printed material currently distributed. Additional
links to other areas of your web may be useful:
- Faculty research information;
- Course information;
- How to contact the department for more information, with the email
address of the department (for both undergraduate and graduate
inquiries), phone number and the snail mail address;
- Graduate catalog
- Prospective Donors
You may wish to contact the Office of External Affairs to discuss their
recommendations for your group's web site.
The single most important style consideration when developing a web
is that all browsers do not have the same capabilities, and an effective
web design should work well with the spectrum of browsers available. In
Departmental Web Templates
We have prepared a collection of files that you are welcome to copy and
use as templates when developing your department's web. The template's home page
contains the links to the full collection of files.
- Do not use experimental HTML which will "break" a browser.
- While it is reasonable to use HTML that is browser-specific,
you should make sure that your document looks presentable on other
browsers too. For example, the use of the
tag was first implemented for the Netscape browser. You should
that other browsers such as Mosaic and Lynx display your page with
pizazz, even though they ignore the
- The use of inlined images (images juxtaposed with text) is an
effective way to present information. However, many Lynx users
be able to see this information. You should therefore include
alternative text with "alt=" which will replace the image when
in Lynx. For example, if you are using an icon inside an anchor to
point to the SEAS Web, you should make sure that the information
represented by the icon is also available to text-only browsers:
is represented as:
<img src="/Icons/seas.tiny.gif" alt="School of Engineering
and Applied Science">
- Imagemaps are a popular form of presenting menu choices.
(These are images that let you click on different parts to see
different pages. They are also known as "active images,"
"clickable maps," and "ISMAP images.") However,
because Lynx users cannot use the imagemaps, you should also
provide a "text only" page which presents these choices. On the
imagemapped page, include an anchor to your text-only page with an
explanation such as:
A textual representation of this page is also available.
The SAS Home Page is an
- Additionally, the departmental home page should have a link back to
the SAS home page:
<a href="http://www.sas.upenn.edu/">SAS Home
- Departmental web pages should use relative links when possible.
For example, use:
<a href="myfile.html">Link to My
where possible, instead of:
href="http://www.sas.upenn.edu/mydept/myfile.html">Link to My
- Every departmental home page should have an email address of the Web
Provider listed at the bottom of the page. Some software supports the
use of "mailto," so we suggest that a mailto link be included,
similar to this link to the webmaster:
Send mail to <a href=
Alternatively, a forms-based mail interface can be used; the SAS
Web has a comment
form, and the College Web has an excellent example of using
interface for questions.
- It is very helpful to indicate the date on which each page was last
- If possible, you should not move the location of or remove a Web
page without leaving a forwarding address of the new page. For
African Studies Web was moved from one machine to another to
accommodate its space requirements, and
notice of a new URL (location) was installed at the old
Selected Style Guides and HTML Tutorials on
Beginner's Guide to URLs
- NCSA's guide to the addresses used on the World Wide Web. A good
place to start, particularly the HTTP section.
Beginner's Guide to HTML
- NCSA's tutorial for learning HTML.
- NCSA's Quick Reference Guide for HTML.
Style Guide for Online Hypertext
- Tips from CERN about how to organize hypertext materials.
Composing Good HTML
- Williamette's Do's and Don'ts of HTML composition for improved
- Netscape Extensions to HTML
- Information about new HTML features, such as centering, font sizing, and backgrounds.
7. Policy Statement: The Fine Print
No official document would be complete without some disclaimers and
policies -- the fine print.
Applicability of These Policies
The policies outlined in this Guide apply to all individuals and
groups within the School of Arts and Sciences that publish information
on the World Wide Web via PennNet.
"Individuals and groups within SAS" are defined as:
- Any faculty member, research or visitor with a primary appointment
within the School.
- Any staff member employed by the School, or by a department or
group within the School.
- Any student enrolled in the School, graduate, undergraduate, or CGS.
- Any recognized department, graduate group, program, center, or
other group within the School.
- Any individual or group using SAS-owned computing equipment to
University-Wide Policies Apply
Any and all University-established policies with regard to publishing
information apply to this policy statement. Please see:
As in any medium where information is published, attention must be given
to applicable copyright laws. For more information, see:
Appropriate Use Statement
Because PennNet and University- and school-owned computing resources
are shared resources, restrictions may be placed on their use.
With regard to publishing information on the World Wide Web, users or
groups may be required to remove materials from a PennNet-connected Web
With respect to information published on SAS-owned equipment, SAS
Computing will be the sole arbiter of what constitutes excessive
bandwidth and academic value.
- Excessive bandwidth is consumed by users outside of PennNet
accessing the information, AND
- The information is of questionable academic value
Other Restrictions SAS Computing will limit the initial
allotment of disk space on www.sas to 10 megabytes for academic
departments, 5 megabytes for other academic groups. Requests for
additional disk space should be sent to email@example.com,
and will be handled on a case by case basis.
For security reasons, support of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scriptson
www.sas will be restricted solely to scripts and utilites written or
approved by the SAS Web administrators. SAS Staff will review all CGI
programs written by Web Providers before use.
8. Glossary of Terms for the Non-Specialist
- Common Gateway Interface (CGI)
- a system by which a Web server can access local computer programs to
create new Web pages
- HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
- a method of using tags to format a plain text document for the World
- a document on the World Wide Web
- the World Wide Web
- any organized group of linked pages on the World Wide Web
- Web browser
- a program that lets a user see Web pages and interact with them
- Web Provider
- someone who puts publishes and maintains a web
- Web server
- a computer system that contains HTML files and converts them into Web
- web site
- another term for a web
- World Wide Web (WWW)
- a hypertextual delivery system for information on the Internet
- Universal Resource Locator (URL)
- the unique address (location) of any Web page; for example, the URL
of this page is http://www.sas.upenn.edu/www-guide.html
Last updated 3 August 1995
Questions specifically related to this document can be sent to