Web Rules


  • DOI and its bureaus and offices will not use robots.txt files (or any technology) to deny search engines the ability to index the contents of websites. This would be especially offensive if used to exclude content required by law or regulation to be posted.
  • On the off-chance that the above directive from OCO is unpersuasive, check (more recent) OMB Memorandum M-17-6, Section B. 3., "Agencies must ensure that all content intended for public use on their website can be indexed and searched by commonly used commercial search engines."

New Sites

  • No new websites may be established without prior approval of your bureau or agency public affairs and CIO offices.
    • The "No new websites" rule applies to all sites, including (but not limited to) .org and .net sites, not just .gov sites.
    • The "No new websites" rule applies to all sites, including (but not limited to) joint and partnership sites, not just agency/bureau/office sites.
    • Just to be super-clear: The "No new websites" rule applies to all sites.
  • We appreciate that this rule exists elsewhere in different form, but it seemed handy to have a copy here for easy reference.

DOI.gov Style

  • Don't make your dot-gov site look like DOI.gov. Only DOI.gov should look like DOI.gov.
    • Anything else would be confusing.
    • When we change our styles, your styles probably won't, and then your site will look silly -- or at least out-of-date.
    • If you have content that's meant for DOI.gov and it needs to be generated off DOI.gov, don't fake-up a DOI.gov look for your new site; just craft your material so it can be embedded or otherwise displayed or interacted with (an API, perhaps? hint, hint) from DOI.gov.
  • We won't swipe your look & feel. Don't swipe ours.

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