Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

Editorial Policy of the Website Content

- 2019/04/09

Editorial Policy of the Website Content:

This policy represents a set of principles and rules governing the preparation of news items and reports to be published on the university website. The policy is derived from the Executive Regulations for Electronic Publication issued by the Ministry of Information.


This policy applies to all websites hosted under the university domain name.


To build and develop internally and externally correlated and integrated electronic systems.

To automate all the services and transactions.

Strategic Objective

To control the policies of publication on the university website.

Detailed Objective



  1. Giving attention to the integration and quality of the published material, in terms of good wording, smooth style, and correct punctuation.
  2. Focusing on conveying the news without giving a lengthy description of the circumstances accompanying the incident.
  3. Shortening and summarizing the news or reports as much as possible, as the space available for writing on these websites is not as vast as that available on media websites.
  4. Presenting the news objectively, without exaggeration.
  5. The news should answer questions such as what, who, where, and when. The published report should not answer “why” the incident happened. The purpose is not to give a reason or justification for an administrative decision or circular, unless a clear request for giving reasons and justifications is submitted.
  6. Hastening to publish the news, unless otherwise required, as the publication may follow a certain schedule and time.
  7. The news should neither touch on the individual's private life, nor give overviews of the university departments, administrations, and administrative positions.
  8. All the materials published on the website should be approved by the editor-in-chief.
  9. All the information and news shall be archived and kept to be used when the need arises.

Operational Policy and Procedures:

1. Rules Governing the Text of the Content:

1. Text Formatting:

  • Avoid underlining words and sentences (only links are underlined).
  • Avoid using itlalics or bold fonts to emphasize or highlight information.

2. Structure of the Text of the Content:

  • The head of the page should contain an attractive title that gives hints about its content.
  • Use brief phrases in the presentation of the ideas that will be published on the page.
  • Use the same wording in both the titles and subtitles.
  • On long pages, the subtitles should be in the form of hyperlinks at the top of the page.
  • On long pages, hyperlinks should be used to enable the user to move smoothly to the top of the page.
  • Each page should include only one topic and one objective.

3. Avoiding Repetition and Presentation of Outdated News:

  • Avoid repeating information or writing about outdated topics that are not appropriate in terms of timing.
  • Avoid repeating the information mentioned on other pages. The text should include a link that leads to this information when needed.
  • Each page should contain the date as part of its content.
  • Use specific dates in the text instead of words such as 'lately,' 'later on,' and 'recently,' especially when writing news.
  • Avoid using the future tense except when necessary, and always state specific dates.
  • Contact details should be related to work, and personal contacts should not be referred to.

4. Drafting and Formatting of Links:

  • The text of the link should be clear and informative to enable the reader to reach the desired page when they click on it.
  • It is preferable to place any link on a separate line or in a list of links.
  • It should be indicated if the link leads to a page on another website.
  • If the link leads to a PDF file, for example, you should indicate this and state the file size or the number of pages it contains.
  • Pages or news that contain broken links shall be rejected.

5. Instructions and Guidelines Pages:

  • The instructions and guidelines should be stated on separate pages, away from other types of texts (e.g., About the Website, Press File, etc.).
  • The instructions should be numbered and ordered in a logical and reasonable manner.
  • Use easy and clear sentences (e.g., Do so-and-so to reach such-and-such.).

6. Tables and Pages Formatting:

  • Avoid using tables when dealing with plain text, except when dealing with data (numbers and statistics).
  • Use small tables that do not need to be scrolled.
  • It is preferable to place the tables close to each other in order for the components of the page to look symmetrical.
  • It is preferable not to use a table if the text is written on two separate lines in any cell.

7. Content and Higher Search Results:

  • Use keywords relevant to the content and commonly used by the browsers in order to ensure higher search results for the content.
  • Use keywords from the content titles provided that these words directly refer to the content of the text.

2. Technical Rules:

  • The news should be written in the form of an inverted pyramid, starting with the most important information, without giving an introduction to the topic.
  • Use a simple and clear style and avoid complicated and ambiguous literary expressions to enable readers from different cultures to understand the text.
  • The title should be written in the present tense (e.g., The University Launches...) or using the verbal noun (e.g., Attendance of the Exams...).
  • When telling a story about public figures, you should have correct information about the job title and rank of each figure.
  • Use the official and full names of countries when they first appear in the text, then use their shortened names when referring to them again in the remainder of the text.
  • State the full names of princes and officials when they are mentioned for the first time, then use their shortened names when referring to them again in the remainder of the text.
  • Write the Hamzas according to the Arabic language grammar.
  • The difference between the Arabic letters ‘'Ya'' (e.g., Yahtawi) and “Alif Layyinah” (e.g., Muhtawa) should be taken into account.
  • The difference between the Arabic letters “Ha'' (بريده) and “Ta' Marbutah” (بريدة) should be taken into account.
  • Special software should be used for inserting Qur’anic verses. If it is not possible, a printed edition of the Qur’an shall be used for quoting.
  • Texts quoted from officials (announcements, statements, etc.) should be stated between inverted commas without any change, except for correcting spelling mistakes.
  • The Umm Al-Qura calendar should be used for news, in addition to the corresponding Gregorian calendar.
  • The title should be taken from the first part of the text, whose ideas are ordered by importance.

3. Rules for Photos:

Research results indicate the following:

  • 75% of readers are attracted to the photos.
  • 50% are attracted to the headlines.
  • 29% pay attention to the photo captions.
  • 25% pay attention to the text.

This means that photos are the best means to attract the reader's attention, as photos arouse the reader's interest in the content, so they view them first, then they read the text. In addition, photos accompanying the news remind the reader of its topic.

Therefore, the following should be taken into consideration:

  • Give special care to the news layout and the quality of photos to attract the reader's attention.
  • Photos are placed with the news not to give a beautiful appearance, but to clarify the accompanying news and to help the writer deliver their message.
  • Important photos should be accompanied with illustrative captions, especially those which are difficult to understand, such as graphs and similar materials.
  • Give a brief description of photos and Flash presentations. (This will be helpful to people with disabilities who use speech output software while navigating the internet.)
  • The photo size should not exceed 500 kilobytes.
  • The photo resolution should be 960 pixels.
  • The main photo and other important photos (3 photos, if available) should be placed as part of the content of the news.
  • Photos related to news, events, and media coverage are generally uploaded to the photo gallery, with the exception of the key photo and other important photos.
  • Photos should add something to the text published. Therefore, avoid repeating photos or text.
  • Never publish photos of morally offensive content that contradicts the Islamic Shari`ah, academic traditions, or rules followed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Pages or news that contain corrupt or inactive photos or photos with inappropriate dimensions shall be rejected.

4. Rules for Social Media:

  • Only the news headline and its link can be published prior to the news being published on the university website, with the exception of breaking news and crises that require speedy publication.
  • You are not allowed to reply to questions or comments on news published on social media. You may refer only to the emails of the officials responsible for replying to this type of question or comment.

5. Rules for Publication on the Press File:

  • Publish content relevant to the objectives of the university or the academic institution.
  • State the source at the bottom of the news for reference.
  • This type of news is approved without being edited or reviewed by the content management. The content is not translated into any other language, except for the headline of the page.

6. Rules for Publication in Foreign Languages:

  • Terms and names of departments and bodies should be translated according to the glossary approved by the Deanship of Information Technology. For any comments regarding the translated texts, please refer to the deanship.
  • The translator or the translation company are fully responsible for the translated content.
  • If the number of names of persons (e.g., candidates or graduates) stated in a separate table in the Arabic text exceeds ten, state the following in the translated text: “For reviewing the names of the candidates, for example, click on the link to the Arabic text.” If the number of names is less than ten, the names should be translated into the foreign language and placed in a table in the same format as the table placed in the Arabic content.
  • If the content contains only a banner, it shall be immediately rejected, because any banner should be accompanied with text, and the content owner shall be asked to write a brief text at the bottom of the banner. The translator should place the banner in its original language and translate the text accompanying it.
  • If the content contains a photo only, it shall be rejected permanently, because the content should contain text to be translated into other languages.

7. Rules for Publication of Contact Information:

  • Contact information should be clear, stating the person's department or administration.
  • Contact information should not include any person’s name.
  • The telephone exchange numbers should be written separately from the extension numbers.
  • The international country code should be added to the telephone, mobile, fax, and telephone exchange numbers stated in the Contact Information Form.
  • Stick to the system of writing the extension numbers, and place the extension numbers of the same department in one field. (e.g., 4012-4552-4782).

8. Role of the Editor in the Static Content:

  • The static content describes the tasks of the entity responsible for the portal. It can be created only once without any change; however, it may be updated if substantial changes have taken place or when it is necessary to add new information to the current content, such as amendments to the organizational structure, the addition of new departments, and the integration of administrations.

9. Role of the Editor in the Dynamic Content (News - Events - Announcements):

The major role performed by the editor in relation to dynamic web pages is to proofread the text and check the spelling of the content of the news, events, and activities. The editor deals with this type of content as a news story, according to the following:

Elements of the news story:

It consists of three main elements:

  • Introduction: It contains the most important part of the news, which should be written in a paragraph that does not exceed thirty words. It also contains a summary of the topic and reveals the persons and places relevant to the topic. It highlights the remarkable nature of the news, gives the latest details of the incident, and attracts the reader to continue reading the text.
  • Body: It consists of several parts that include details of the news in the form of an integrated unit, whose elements are set in descending order of importance. This means it should start with the most important incident, then the less important one and so on.
  • Background: It consists of the main reasons behind the incident or its previous details, divided into paragraphs, each of which includes a part of the early beginning of the incident. Together, they form an integrated unit whose elements are set in ascending order of importance.

Complete news is that which gives sufficient answers to the following six questions:

  • The person who plays the main role in the incident.

When? The time of the incident.

Where? Place of the incident.

What? What the incident is about.

  • Details of the incident.
  • It refers to the background or the cause of the incident, without giving lengthy details.

The editor should always make sure that the news has answered these questions. Not all news has a background; some news may not have an early beginning or a background.