Information Services Regulations
These Regulations inform all Information Services (IS) users about the rules governing use of IS facilities and services. The Regulations are designed to ensure that all IS users have the fullest opportunity to make proper use of our many facilities and services. Ignorance of the Regulations may lead to inconvenience for other users and to fines and penalties for you, so please take the time to read them. The Information Services Service Standards show the standards of service which you have a right to expect from us. In return we ask you to follow these Regulations for the benefit of yourselves and other users. IS produce further detailed Regulations relating to the acceptable use of IT together with guidelines and policies to explain more fully how IS facilities and services should be used. All users have a responsibility to familiarise themselves with these documents and adhere to them.
The Regulations cannot cover every eventuality and we recognise that there are occasions where a strict interpretation of rules may not be justified. Please contact a member of IS staff as early as possible if there are potential difficulties and we will try to assist before problems arise. If you are dissatisfied with the application of any of these Regulations or your treatment by our staff, University staff, visitors and members of the public should refer to the Information Services’ complaints procedure.
Students should follow the University complaints procedure.
1.1 Full access to IS facilities and services is normally permitted to registered users only and is conditional on observance of the Regulations and associated guidelines in force at the time. These Regulations also apply to walk-in users, visitors and guests. The Regulations are from time-to-time updated to reflect changes in law and local experience. All users are fully bound by such changes. Major amendments are advertised via the AU weekly bulletin, which is emailed to all registered users, and via the IS News webpage. All registered users are therefore presumed to know and agree to these Regulations and any associated guidelines and policies which are available via the University Web pages.
1.2 Throughout these Regulations the term Information Services (IS) means all or any of the library, computing, web and timetabling services of Aberystwyth University or any services that you access via an AU username and password, and buildings where such services are delivered. Use of facilities means use directly associated with the academic, administrative or business work of the University, or personal use by registered users. Throughout these Regulations the word University refers to Aberystwyth University.
1.3 IS staff are empowered to levy charges for specific services, as displayed within IS and in general publicity.
1.4 The Director of IS is authorised to suspend the IS privileges of any user and to impose fines or other appropriate penalties for breaches of the Regulations. The power to impose a fine or suspend facilities may be delegated by the Director to a member of IS staff. Any action taken by the Director under this Regulation may be reported to the appropriate authorities.
1.5 All users undertake to indemnify Aberystwyth University against all actions, suits, proceedings, claims, demands and costs (including any legal costs or expenses properly incurred and any compensation costs and disbursements paid by the University on the advice of their legal advisers to compromise or settle any claim) occasioned by the University in consequence of any breach of IS regulations or breach of national or international law which they commit.
1.6 These regulations also apply away from Aberystwyth University, where network access is gained using Aberystwyth University credentials.
Access to Information Services
2.1 Members of staff and registered students at the University, together with any others who have appropriate privileges as members of the University are entitled to the use of Information Services facilities. Students who have taken their final examinations cease to have full access. After graduation they may register as associate readers under regulation 2.2.
2.2 Graduates of the University may use the libraries for reference purposes (associate reader). A fee will be charged for borrowing privileges.
2.3 Staff and students of certain other institutions are entitled to use IS facilities in accordance with the terms of the agreement between the institution and the University. Such users agree to comply with the Information Services Regulations of Aberystwyth University.
2.4 Access to IS facilities is primarily provided in furtherance of the University’s activities. Although a limited amount of non-academic activity is allowed as a privilege to our users, such access and any resources thereby used will not be allowed to conflict with our primary aims.
2.5 Any use of IS facilities for commercial purposes must be authorised by the Director of Information Services and a fee may be levied for such activity.
Access to data held by Information Services
3.1. IS staff do not normally inspect the contents of emails or data files belonging to users in any way except in cases such as the following:
- Where a virus or large-scale emailing is threatening the functioning of the email system or is likely to delete or corrupt user data, in which case email headers and other patterns of data may be examined to identify and delete the material involved.
- Where there is a firm suspicion that IS facilities have been misused under the terms of these Regulations or where it is suspected that other University regulations have been breached.
- In co-operating with the police where it has been established that such co-operation is in the direct furtherance of a criminal investigation.
- Where access is required to support use of Blackboard (and submission of assignments).
4.1 An Aber Card is issued only for the use of the person named on it. It must not be lent to, or transferred to, or used by any other person. An Aber Card is only valid if the user is a current member of staff of the University or a current registered student (not temporarily withdrawn or excluded), or is held by others who have appropriate current privileges as members of the University.
4.2 Users must carry their Aber Card or other identification with them and must be prepared to show this to IS staff or other authorised University staff on request.
4.3 An IT account personal password must not be divulged to any other person. Users will be held responsible for misuse of Information Services facilities attributed to them.
4.4 Any behaviour likely to disturb or inconvenience other users or be detrimental to the property of IS is forbidden. Users of IS facilities must not behave in a manner likely to bring the University into disrepute, must not disrupt teaching, studying, examining, research or administration in the University nor should obstruct any member of the University in pursuit of their studies or the performance of their duties.
4.5 Users must not mark, deface, or damage books, journals, computers, printers or other property of IS. Users will be charged for replacement or repair for any such damage, to the satisfaction of the Director of Information Services.
4.6 Users must not attempt to remove any property belonging to IS except such as may have been properly issued to them under the borrowing regulations. All members of IS staff are authorised to inspect any books, bags or other goods in the possession of users entering or leaving IS premises. IS staff are entitled to routinely access library lockers and carrels made available to users, at all times and without notice to the user for the purposes of security, maintenance and repair, searching for unissued loan materials and all other purposes deemed necessary.
4.7 Smoking, hot food and alcoholic drinks are not permitted on IS premises. Users must abide by local regulations relating to the consumption of food and drink.
4.8. Study spaces and study rooms in IS premises must be left clean and tidy after use.
4.9 Animals (other than those providing disability assistance) may not be brought into any IS premises.
4.10 The informal reservation of seats in any IS premises is not permitted. Books and other articles left unattended for any length of time may be removed by staff.
4.11 The University accepts no responsibility for personal belongings left anywhere in IS, including lockers, at any time.
4.12 Mobile devices must be set to silent and there must be no audible sounds from headphones or audio devices in libraries and other IS premises.
4.13 Use of laptops and other mains powered equipment is allowed in IS premises if it is used in a safe manner and it does not cause an obstacle or hazard to other users. It is the responsibility of the owners of mains powered equipment to have it tested for electrical safety, and use is conditional on the owners’ acceptance of responsibility for damage to University property caused by their equipment.
4.14 Users must observe the law of copyright and the terms of any licenses for materials they use. Information about copyright and about the University’s licence agreements with the Copyright Licensing Agency and other organisations covering print, audio visual, electronic and other materials, is available on the University webpages. By registering to use IS, users agree to abide by copyright legislation.
4.15 Users must be aware that their use of services, software and databases must comply with the relevant product licences.
4.16 Users must be aware that their use of the JANET wide area network (which includes the AU network) must comply with the "JANET Acceptable Use" policy which is available on the University webpages or on application in any Library.
4.17 Users must not use the University network to create or display information that could give offence to other reasonably-minded people, including material capable of inciting hatred of any individual(s) or racial or religious groups. This applies both to textual and graphical material. If, as part of your research work, you do need to create or display material that reasonably-minded people would find offensive you must ensure that your Head of Department is made aware of your research requirements and that the Director of Information Services has similarly been informed.
4.18 All users must abide by the terms of the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 or equivalent legislation in other jurisdictions where the University operates and have due regard to the guidelines provided on the University webpages.
4.19 Users must not access or attempt to use any computing facilities without authority. This includes using a password which belongs to another user, however obtained. Any attempt to alter or delete material belonging to other users or to tamper with hardware or software will be an offence against University regulations and may also be a criminal offence.
4.20 The University accepts no responsibility for problems caused by loss of service or for the correctness of data and no liability for any direct or consequential loss or damage.
4.21 To comply with data protection, information security and intellectual property rights legislation and to comply with contractual regulations, users are responsible for the secure transfer of any data which they may legitimately keep before their University staff contract expires or they are no longer a current student at the University.
4.22 Users must leave the libraries and other IS premises by closing time, immediately on hearing a fire alarm, or on the request of IS staff.
4.23 Users must immediately report any accident, theft or other such incident involving IS property to a member of IS staff.
4.24 Users must not film or take photographs in IS premises without prior permission from IS and completion of the online IS Filming and Photographing permissions form.
4.25 The University uses email as an official form of communication with staff and students. Registered users must regularly check their Aberystwyth University email for such communications.
4.26 Users must treat other users and IS staff with respect and courtesy at all times.
5.1 Users may borrow materials up to the limits applicable to their status. These limits are determined by IS and published on the Information Services website.
5.2 Users will be required to use their Aber Card to borrow materials, including equipment, from any Library.
5.3 Users must not attempt to remove materials from any Library which are not available for loan except as permitted by IS staff. Certain materials will be subject to restricted loan availability.
5.4 Users must return library loans by the date specified or upon demand. It is the responsibility of users to ensure that they are in a position to respond promptly to recall notices. The Library will send notices, including recall notices for items on loan to the user’s University email address. External library users, such as Associate users, should inform the Library of any change of contact details for receipt of Library notices.
5.5 Fines or charges on overdue materials will be levied as determined from time to time by Information Services. Unpaid fines or charges and non-return of recalled items by their amended due date may prevent users from borrowing materials. Users will be notified of these restrictions as appropriate.
5.6 Users must not lend any book or other IS property issued to them to another person.
5.7 Any user who loses IS books or other property on loan will be required to bear the cost of a replacement and any fines incurred. Should the item subsequently be found and returned to the library, the replacement cost will be refunded but the user will still be liable to pay overdue fines.
5.8 Any charges accrued by the user when returning library materials and equipment to IS when not using the IS postal loan service, should be met by the user themselves. This may include import charges.
6.1 For the breach of any Information Services Regulations which are not simultaneously covered by the wider University Rules, the penalties may be a warning, a fine, or suspension or withdrawal of the right to use IS facilities.
6.2 Compensation must be paid for damage to, or loss of, IS property.
6.3 For the breach of Information Services Regulations relating to the borrowing of books and other items, fines may be levied at a rate to be determined from time to time by IS.
6.4 In any case involving a breach of University Rules, penalties may be imposed as set out in appropriate University regulations.
Procedures for imposing penalties
7.1 In the case of penalties relating to borrowing or loss of items fines may be levied by any authorised member of IS staff in accordance with the rates currently in force for different materials.
7.2 In the case of any other breach of Information Services Regulations the matter will be referred to the Director of Information Services or their nominee for attention. The matter will be discussed between the user, who may be accompanied to the hearing, and the appropriate member of IS staff and if a case is proven a penalty will be determined in accordance with the severity of the offence.
7.4 In the case of any serious breach of University Rules the matter will be referred to the appropriate authority, although IS will reserve the right to take further disciplinary action as appropriate.
Related Policies see https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/about/regulations/
These Regulations are maintained by Information Services, were last reviewed in June 2022 and are due for review in June 2023