Use of Harvard Names and Insignias in Electronic Contexts

These Guidelines provide instruction on how Harvard’s trademarks (names and insignias) are to be used in domain names, websites, social media sites and other electronic contexts in accordance with the Policy on the Use of Harvard Names and Insignias.

  1. The approved name of a Harvard School, unit, or activity must be used as the primary representation in all electronic contexts. In subsequent text, a shorter reference such as an abbreviated name or acronym may be used, so long as it accurately represents the entirety of the approved name. If a given electronic context cannot accommodate the approved name as the primary representation, an abbreviated name or acronym that accurately represents the approved name may be used with advance written permission from the Harvard Trademark Program. In the case of a School’s name, or the name of a unit within a school, permission must be obtained from the relevant Dean’s office.
     
  2. Advance written permission must be obtained before any Harvard name or the name of any Harvard School, unit or activity in any form (including acronyms, abbreviations, or the use of the Harvard name in combination with other words not containing "Harvard" in them) may be used in a domain name or email address.1   For use of the Harvard name or the name of any University unit other than those residing in a School, advance written permission must be obtained from the Harvard Trademark Program in the Office of the Provost. For use of a School’s name or the name of any unit within a School, advance written permission must be obtained from the relevant Dean’s office.
     
  3. In most cases, the appropriate domain for websites related to Harvard Schools, units and activities will be “harvard.edu" (or “hbs.edu” for HBS units and activities) in order to make clear the affiliation with the University. Domain names using an extension other than ".edu" (e.g., .com, .org, .info) to host a website devoted to a Harvard-affiliated project or activity or as a pointer to a Harvard website are permitted only with advance written permission from the Trademark Program and from the relevant Dean’s office or University administrator and are approved only in cases when an unusual, specific need can be demonstrated.
     
  4. Advance written permission is required from the Trademark Program for use of a third level domain name of the form "xyz.harvard.edu" or for use of a general Harvard email address of the form "xyz@harvard.edu". To be considered for a "xyz.harvard.edu" domain name or for a "xyz@harvard.edu" email address, the Harvard program or entity making the request must meet the standards for being recognized as a University-wide activity as outlined here: https://trademark.harvard.edu/frequently-asked-questions-use-of-harvards-name. To request a third-level domain name or a general Harvard email address, a Domain Name Request Form (for "harvard.edu") and/or Email Alias Request Form (for “@harvard.edu”) must be completed via the Trademark Program website: https://trademark.harvard.edu/pages/policies-forms. School-related domain name and email address requests (e.g., xyz.fas.harvard.edu, xyz.hls.harvard.edu, @hbs.edu, @hms.harvard.edu) should be directed to the electronic context administrator at the relevant School.
     
  5. When a Harvard department, unit, or activity uses any of Harvard’s trademarks (names and insignias) on websites or on social media sites (e.g., Twitter, Facebook), only its approved name (or an accurate abbreviated version of the name as needed to fit a particular social media platform or handle such as “@xyz” and “#xyz”) may be used along with the corresponding University or School shield.  Use of a School shield must be approved through the relevant Dean’s office.  Advance written permission for establishing a social media site or a website for a Harvard department, unit, or activity must be obtained from the appropriate administrative officer(s) (most often the Director of Communications or the Dean’s office) at the School or unit to which the Harvard department, unit, or activity reports. The creation of any social media accounts and the use of social media sites must also comply with the Guidelines for Using Social Media.
     
  6. When acting in their own, individual capacities, faculty members and staff may use the Harvard name (but not insignia) for identification purposes only, where appropriate and consistent with the Policy on the Use of Harvard Names and Insignias (e.g., Jane Doe, Professor of Economics, Harvard University), on social media sites and in other electronic media and contexts not affiliated with Harvard. At all times, the use of the Harvard name in such instances must be accurate and factual and the Harvard name may not be used in a manner that implies University endorsement or responsibility for the content posted.
     
  7. Student organizations should contact the Dean of Students office in the School where they are officially recognized, in addition to the Trademark Program, in order to obtain the necessary permissions before using any form of "Harvard" in a domain name or email address. Student organizations may only use their officially approved name and the relevant School shield (with permission from the School) and must clearly and prominently identify themselves as an “Officially Recognized Student Organization of (XYZ) School” on social media sites, websites, and in all other electronic media and contexts. Determinations concerning the appropriate location and presentation of the identity statement shall be made by the Trademark Program in light of the standard of accurate representation contained in the Policy on the Use of Harvard Names and Insignias.
     
  8. Alumni use of Harvard’s trademarks (names and insignias) in electronic contexts is only permitted to alumni groups that are officially recognized by the University (e.g., Harvard Alumni Association approved Harvard Clubs and Shared Interest Groups or alumni groups that have been officially recognized by one of Harvard’s Schools). Harvard Clubs, Shared Interest Groups, and School-based alumni groups should work with the relevant University alumni office and the Trademark Program regarding appropriate representations of their approved alumni group names and logos within electronic contexts.
     
  9. In accordance with the University’s policy of non-endorsement and Principle 5(c) of the Principles Governing Commercial Activities policy, web pages residing on harvard.edu and hbs.edu must remain free of third-party advertisements and endorsement of any third-party goods or services. These principles also apply to the Harvard units or activities that reside on websites with domain extensions other than “.edu”, except when expressly permitted otherwise.
     
  10. Just as the names of Harvard’s Schools, units, student groups, clubs, and other activities incorporating “Harvard” or any other University trademarks (names or logos, abbreviated or otherwise), are used by permission of and are owned by Harvard University, all domain names, social media sites, and other electronic activities covered under these guidelines are similarly used by permission of and owned by the University and must be registered to “The President and Fellows of Harvard College” (the University’s legal name).
     
  11. Harvard Schools, units and activities are not authorized to act independently to file “takedowns” against social media sites containing infringing “Harvard” names or content or to take any actions against third-party “Harvard” domain names. Please contact the Trademark Program for assistance with any unauthorized uses of Harvard’s trademarks (names and insignias) on the Internet.
     
  12. These guidelines apply to all systems and services hosting, managing or maintaining Harvard’s electronic content – including those owned and operated by Harvard University as well as third-party systems and services (including “cloud” services) used by the University, its schools, units, and activities.

Please contact the Trademark Program with any questions you may have about these guidelines at trademark_program@harvard.edu

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1  Requests concerning email addresses that consist solely of an individual's name, e.g., jane_doe@harvard.edu, are not covered by these Guidelines and should be referred to the HUIT Identity & Access Management Office at iam_help@harvard.edu.


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See also: Policies