Privacy, openness, copyright and licensing 


Terms and Conditions and Take Down Policy

All blog users must adhere to the service’s Terms and Conditions of Use. The University provides the Service on the understanding that content appearing on a blog remains the responsibility of the Posting User. The Academic Blogging Service has a Notice and Take Down Policy that outlines procedures if a person finds material on a blog that they believe to be inappropriate, including  material that may violate that person’s rights. The University has a statutory duty to uphold, as far as it considers reasonable, the academic freedom of its staff.

Think about the information you share on your blog

You can choose whether to keep your blog posts private, or whether to share them publicly.  Think about the content you share on your blog, particularly with regard to sensitive or personally identifiable information.

Take care if you are writing about topics that may be controversial or that some readers may find offensive or upsetting.

Think about how controversial you want to be. Calibrate the degree of controversy according to risk; in general, only be prepared to put something on a blog that you’d be prepared to say to someone’s face (or shout out in a crowded room).
Academic Blogging Top Ten Tips, Tom Crick and Alan Winfield, The Guardian

Dealing with comments

Unmoderated commenting is turned off by default on all blogs hosted on  In order for a comment to appear on your blog you must approve it first. This means that you are in control of what comments appear on your blog and whether you wish to answer them.  You are not obliged to answer any  comments you receive and you’re entitled to delete comments that are offensive or unhelpful.  You may choose to turn on unmoderated comments if you prefer. also has a variety of spam filters to help filter out spam comments.

CC BY, Lorna M. Campbell

Consider your Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint is the data you leave behind when you go online. It’s what you’ve said, what others have said about you, where you’ve been, images you’re tagged in, personal information, social media profiles, and much more. The University provides information and useful advice on Managing your Digital Footprint and how to create an effective online presence. This includes information on e-professionalism, professional bodies’ guidelines, taking control of your online presence, and much more.

Copyright and open licensing

We strongly recommend that you include a licence statement on your blog, e.g.

© Jane Smith, University of Edinburgh, 2018.

© Jane Smith, University of Edinburgh, 2018. This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike licence, unless otherwise indicated.

CC BY, Jane Smith, University of Edinburgh, 2018.

The University has an Open Educational Resources (OER) policy that encourages staff and students to share resources they create under Creative Commons open licences.

The OER Service provides advice and guidance to staff and students on finding, creating, and using open licensed content, and understanding open licences.  To find out about the OER Service’s workshops and training sessions visit our Events page.

If you share third party content, e.g. images or media created by others, on your blog you must make sure that they are in the public domain, have been released under open licence, or that you have explicit permission to use the content.  The University has a wealth of open licensed content on Media Hopper Create, Open.Ed, Flickr, and Image Collections, that you can add to your blog posts.

There are different ways to add  licence information to your blog.  You can add a licence statement to your whole blog using a text widget, this means the licence information will appear on each page.  You can add licence information manually to individual images. And also includes the Open Attribute for WordPress plugin, which you can use to add a Creative Commons licence to your blog posts.

An example of an open licensed image from the University’s collections:

Papers of William Speirs Bruce, No.686, © The University of Edinburgh Library, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Further information

(Playfair Architectural Drawings, CC BY, University of Edinburgh,