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Computing facilities

Conditions of use

IT Terms and Conditions

1) User registration

The University’s IT and communication systems are intended to promote effective communication and working practices within the University. These conditions of use outline the standards you must observe when using these systems, the circumstances in which we will monitor your use and the action we will take in respect of breaches of these standards.

These conditions of use do not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend them at any time.   

All University staff, researchers and students are entitled to register as users of the University Computing Services. No person shall use the computing services without first becoming a registered user. 

The University staff or student identity card shall represent authorisation to use the facilities. Any person using the Computing Services shall be deemed to have accepted these Conditions of Use and be bound by them. Authorisation to use the Computing Services shall normally continue throughout the user's period of membership of the University, subject to compliance with these conditions. 

2) Use of Computing Resources

Access to, and use of, computing resources by the user is at the discretion of the Director of IT Services (ITS) or their representative as determined by operational considerations and the policies of the University. 

A user may use the Computing Services for bona fide University use only. For a member of staff, "University use" is that arising from his or her contractual duties to the University. For a researcher, "University use" is that use arising from the pursuit of his or her research topic(s). For a student, "University use" is that use arising from the courses of study he or she is undertaking at the University. A user wishing to use the Computing Services for purposes other than University use must obtain the prior permission of the Director of ITS. The user will be required to reimburse the University for the cost of the resources used, as determined by the Director of ITS.

A user is responsible for the security of the equipment allocated to or used by him /her and must not allow it to be used by anyone other than in accordance with these Conditions of Use. 

A user is responsible for the security of any computer terminal used by him/her. A user should lock his /her terminal or log off when leaving it unattended or on leaving the office, to prevent unauthorised users accessing the system in a user’s absence. 

Anyone who is not authorised to access the University network should only be allowed to use terminals under supervision.   

The IT Services Department will, on request, advise a user on what further reasonable precautions can be taken. In particular, a user must ensure that their password remains confidential. It is a disciplinary offence to use another user’s computing resources. 

A computer account which goes unused for a period longer than eighteen months, may be deleted without notice.

3) External Funding

A user applying to a Research Council for an award which involves the use of the Computing Services must obtain prior confirmation from the Director of ITS[1] that the necessary computing resources will be available. A user who is otherwise funded for undertaking work which involves the use of Computing Services or the expertise of the IT Services Department will ascertain, from the Director of ITS, the cost of the resources to be used, and will ensure that the University is reimbursed for the cost of those resources. 

4) External Services, Internet and LJMU website

A user who, by means of the Computing Service, makes use of externally provided facilities, including communication networks such as Janet/Internet, must abide by any conditions imposed by the providers of such facilities and networks, including the Janet Acceptable Use Policy as published by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee). Any such conditions are additional to, and in no way replace, these Conditions of Use. A user will be responsible for payment of any charges arising from the use of any externally provided facilities. 

5) E-Mail and Discussion Boards/Usage Monitoring

E-mail and discussion board facilities are provided for responsible usage only. The abuse of email as outlined in the IT Services Disciplinary Procedures is strictly prohibited. Abuse of discussion boards or online conferences, whether through offensive, antisocial, or inappropriate postings is similarly prohibited. 

In accordance with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, the Director of IT Services[1] has the power, where abuse is suspected, to require any computer usage to be monitored, including access to email and files that are stored on the University's computer network.

6) Privacy of information

A user shall treat as confidential any information which is the property of another person and which becomes available as a result of using the Computing Services. The user shall not copy, modify, disseminate or in any way use such information without the permission of the owner. If the IT Services Department designates information as proprietary, or otherwise confidential, then all users must observe the guidelines stipulated by the Director of ITS1 concerning the way in which it can be used - see the Information Security Policy for further information.

7) Software Licensing

All software used in the University shall be legally licensed. Software provided for use on University computer systems may not be copied for use elsewhere (unless specifically permitted under the relevant licences). Use of software supplied under the terms of the Eduserve licencing agreement is subject to the conditions of the Eduserve Code of Conduct as ratified by all Higher Education institutions. This Code of Conduct embodies principles which apply to all software held within the University. 

8) Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988)

A user must not breach the legislation embodied in the Copyright, Design and Patents Act and its Amendments. Failure of a user to abide by the Act may result in him/her receiving a criminal conviction and being subjected to fines and/or imprisonment.

9) Data Protection Act (1998)

A user must comply with the legal obligations provided for by the Data Protection Act (1998). Failure to comply with the Act can lead to a criminal conviction and /or fines. All members of staff or researchers who process personal data should ensure such use falls under the scope of the Act and, if in doubt should consult with the University’s Data Protection Officer for further guidance.

Students are strongly advised not to store personal data on computer systems; if they have a requirement to do so, they should do it under the direct supervision of a member of staff. The IT Services Department will provide advice to any user who may need to register and will, if necessary, direct him/her to the University's Data Protection Officer. The IT Services Department will take all reasonable steps to ensure that all information entrusted to its care is kept confidential and will, on request, advise a user of appropriate safeguards to be adopted.

10) Prevention of Radicalisation, Extremism and Terrorism in Higher Education

All computer usage must comply with the provisions of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (“Act”) and follow the guidance in the Prevent duty guidance  (PREVENT Legislation for Higher Education (prevention of radicalism, violent and non-violent extremism and terrorism)). Pursuant to section 26 of the Act, the University has a duty to have due regard to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. The University will take all action required by the Act and follow any guidance issued under section 29 of the Act to meet its duties. Such action may include, but not be limited to, monitoring your computer usage and reporting any use which the University considers necessary pursuant to the Act to the relevant authorities. 

Research into extreme material must be subject to the University’s ethical approval process. Researchers in such fields should be aware that access to material covered by the Act, as part of their learning or otherwise, will be monitored and could result in an investigation and require subsequent verification of their research.

11) Acceptable Use under English Law

All computer usage is subject to English law. Attention is drawn specifically to the Computer Misuse Act (1990) which identifies three offences:- unauthorised access to computer material , unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further  offences, and unauthorised modification of computer material . Failure to abide by the Act is a criminal offence and may result in fines and/or imprisonment. ITS will, on request, advise a user of what conduct constitutes an offence under the Act.

Users' attention is also drawn to the Defamation Act (1996) and the Obscene Publication Act. Abuse of computer systems as outlined in the Disciplinary Procedures is a disciplinary offence which is subject to the disciplinary procedures and if necessary to due process of law.

12) Property Ownership

All materials produced or developed by an employee of the University which involves the use of Computing Services under the terms of University use, as defined in Section 2 of these Conditions of Use, are the property of the University. The employee will, if required, make all such materials available in source form to the University.

13) Operating Rules

A user must abide by any rules or guidelines that the Director of ITS or their representative stipulate which concern the operation and use of the Computing Services. 

14) Wilful Damage

A user shall not, by any wilful or deliberate act, jeopardise the integrity of the Computing Services, computing equipment, systems programs or any other stored information accessed through use of the Computing Services. 

15) Complaints Procedure

A user who has a complaint about any aspect of the Computing Services must, in the first instance, make the complaint to the Director of ITS or their representative. If the user is not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint, then he/she may invoke the University Complaints Procedure. 

16) Breach of Conditions

A user in breach of these Conditions of Use will be subject to the Disciplinary Procedures of the University.

If the Director of IT Services (or their representative) has reason to believe that a user is in breach of the Conditions of Use, then they may suspend access to any or all of the Computing Services available to the user.

Where a breach of these conditions has had an effect external to the University, thereby bringing the University into disrepute, this will be regarded more seriously in determining what disciplinary sanction should be applied.

For more information contact us via the IT Services Helpdesk (tel.5555 or email Helpdesk@ljmu.ac.uk)