Linking Policy

(386 DM 3, DOI Web Standards Handbook, section 3.4)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Links must be consistent with sound public policy and support the mission of DOI and/or the bureaus and their programs.
  • If DOI and/or the bureaus have a formal relationship with organizations or businesses, the DOI or bureau Web sites may link to their sites. All participating partners in a business venture with and/or the bureaus must be treated equally.
  • Links to commercial sites must avoid even the perception of favoritism or bias relative to other similar commercial sites. If other sites exist which offer similar products, information, or services there must be a link to all sites or none.
  • DOI and the bureaus must regularly review the quality and usefulness of the sites to which they link. However, DOI and/or the bureaus cannot be responsible for the content or privacy policies of those sites, as noted in the Disclaimer of Endorsement below.
  • Web sites that are separate from DOI and/or the bureaus, but which are funded or supported in whole or in part by DOI and/or the bureaus, are considered part of DOI and/or the bureaus' overall web presence. Therefore direct links from DOI and/or the bureaus' Web sites to these sites can be provided without notification or disclaimer.

Links to Non-Federal Web sites

  • All links and pointers to sites that are not part of the U.S. Federal Government are considered "non-Federal links". DOI and bureau Web sites will attempt to disclaim these “non-Federal” Web sites to the citizen.
  • In rare instances, DOI and bureau Web sites may link to Web sites that are not government-owned or government-sponsored if these Web sites provide government information and/or services in a way that is not available on an official government Web site. DOI and the bureaus provide these non-government websites as a public service only. The U.S. Government, including the Department of the Interior, neither endorses nor guarantees in any way the external organizations, services, advice, or products included in these Web site links. Furthermore, the U.S. Government neither controls nor guarantees the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of the information contained in non-government Web site links.

Disclaimer of Endorsement

  • The inclusion of links and pointers to Web sites is not intended to assign importance to those sites or to the information contained on those sites. It is also not intended to endorse or recommend any views expressed or products or services offered on these sites.
  • DOI and the bureaus do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained on a linked Web site.
  • DOI and the bureaus do not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked Web sites, nor the views they express or the products/services they offer.
  • DOI and the bureaus cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Visitors must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site.
  • DOI and the bureaus are not responsible for any communications visitors receive from linked Web sites.
  • DOI and the bureaus do not guarantee that outside Web sites comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act.


  • DOI and the bureaus will not link to any Web site that exhibits hate, bias, or discrimination.
  • DOI and the bureaus reserve the right to deny or remove any link that contains misleading information or unsubstantiated claims, or is determined to conflict with DOI and/or the bureaus' mission or policies.

For further information


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