Internet and Computer Use Policies

Marx Library User Guidelines



The University of South Alabama Library makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, with respect to the information available on the Internet. The Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed and cannot be held responsible for its content. Information on the Internet may be reliable and current or it may be inaccurate and out-of-date.

Marx Library computers are public workstations; you should be very careful about putting private information such as credit card numbers on any public workstation, whether it's at this library or any other location. Our first priority is database use and cookies must be enabled to use these. We cannot guarantee that your information will remain private.

The Marx Library is not responsible for any misuse of copyright or any other violation by the library user. For more information on copyright, see Copyright & Fair Use from the Stanford University Libraries. Information from the Internet must be cited to avoid plagiarism. The Library has several electronic citation guides available at the Reference Desk for in-library use. 


Unless otherwise posted, use of workstations is on a first-come, first-served basis. However, priority will be given to currently enrolled USA students, faculty and staff doing library research.

The workstations are provided for academic research purposes. Priority will be given for access to library catalogs, indexes and databases necessary for academic work.  Due to the limited number of workstations, we also reserve the right to limit Internet access to 30 minutes when other researchers are waiting.

Patrons may use only one computer workstation at a time.

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Supervising Children’s Use

Parents and legal guardians of children under the age of 18 are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of the Internet and for deciding what is appropriate for their children.

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Acceptable Use

The workstation and software must be used as installed. Users are not permitted to add, delete or modify the installed hardware or software.

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Computer Use Policy Summary

The following is a summary of the official University of South Alabama Computer Use Policy. Users are expected to be familiar with it.

All persons using University of South Alabama computing and telecommunication resources must comply with the University's Computer Use Policy.

The Policy applies to all computer workstations, servers, network devices, software, databases, and related equipment accessed directly or indirectly through the Internet. The University encourages authorized users to make acceptable use of computer resources, consistent with its educational, research, and service-related mission. Users must also comply with all applicable federal and state laws and University regulations regarding intellectual property, including federal copyright law, and with all applicable licenses or contracts regarding the use of software.

In situations where access to computer resources is limited, priority use of these resources must be granted to educational and research-related activities. Recreational and personal use of University computer resources is permitted only to a limited extent and only when they are not needed for educational research activities.

Certain uses of University computer resources are never permitted. These include the following:

  1. Interfering with the operation of the USA computer and telecommunications systems, including "hacking" or "cracking"
  2. Altering or damaging computer hardware or software
  3. Transmitting obscene communications
  4. Using unauthorized passwords or circumventing system security
  5. Broadcasting unsolicited messages ("spamming")
  6. Invading the privacy of another person
  7. Using University resources for personal commercial or financial purposes, including the sales of lecture notes or the intellectual property of others
  8. Intentionally viewing, downloading, printing or sending unlawful material, including pornography, threats, or harassing communications

Users are responsible for the accuracy of all information posted on the Internet or on University-related home pages. In addition, any University web site must be consistent with the guidelines of USA Web Services.

The foregoing is a summary of key points of the official University of South Alabama Computer Use Policy. Further details can be found in the individual sections below. Users are expected to be familiar with it. Violation of the terms of the Policy can result in denial of privileges, and other penalties as outlined in the Policy. If there are any differences between this summary and the official Policy, the terms of the Policy shall supersede this summary.

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General Policy for Faculty/Staff

The University of South Alabama, through its Computer Services Center (CSC), provides an academic network and multi-user Unix systems to be used by faculty, staff and students for instructional and research activities. The CSC also houses the center of the University networks, including the main campus fiber networks and the wide-area links to the USA Hospitals. Anyone using the campus network, mainframe systems or computer equipment owned by the University must be authorized to do so, and must adhere to all guidelines stated in the USA Faculty/Staff Computer Use Policy.

The CSC also complies with the Alabama Research and Education Network (AREN) Acceptable Use Policy. The University's gateway to AREN (formerly the Alabama Supercomputer Network) and the Internet is located at the CSC. All users of University network facilities are obligated to adhere to the terms of this policy.

All University employees are required to adhere to the policies listed throughout this document. However, these policies do not preclude individual departments from making more specific guidelines for their employees based on the nature of their work.

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General Policy for Students

USA provides student access to computer resources through its departmental labs located throughout campus. Students using these labs must adhere to all University policies regarding the use of computers and computer networks, including the USA Student Computer Use Policy and the Alabama Research and Education Network (AREN) Acceptable Use Policy

Lab privileges can be denied to anyone using this equipment for illegal or unethical purposes. Any illegal behavior observed in the labs may be reported to appropriate University officials or law enforcement agencies. All students are required to adhere to the policies pertaining to them throughout this document. However, these policies do not preclude individual departments from making more specific guidelines for their students or facilities.

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Alabama Research and Education Network Policy

The University of South Alabama and the University Libraries also adhere to the Alabama Research and Education Network's Acceptable Use Policy as stated below. This policy is reprinted completely from the most recent version as of 3/15/2005 on AREN's homepage. For any changes, see the AREN web site at

Alabama Research and Education Network Acceptable Use Policy


The Alabama Supercomputer Authority, a state non-profit corporation (1975 Alabama Code §§ 41-10-390 to 41-10-406), administers the Alabama Research and Education Network (AREN), a statewide education network, and operates the George C. Wallace Supercomputer Center. The purpose of this policy is to provide a definition for acceptable use by authorized clients of ASA services and to indicate recommended action if the policy is violated. In those cases when information is transmitted across regional networks or Internet, ASA clients are advised that acceptable use policies of those networks apply and may limit access.


ASA services are for the use of individuals legitimately affiliated with ASA clients, to facilitate the exchange of information consistent with the academic, educational, and research purposes of its member organizations.

  • It is not acceptable to use ASA services for illegal purposes.
  • It is not acceptable to use ASA services to transmit threatening, obscene, or harassing materials.
  • Access to the INTERNET is provided through agreements with INTERNET Service Providers. These agreements allow ASA to grant access to the INTERNET to government, education, and industrial clients. Charges may be assessed by ASA to facilitate network and Internet connectivity.
  • The reselling of the ASA services is prohibited unless approved in writing by ASA.
  • It is not acceptable for ASA clients to interfere with or disrupt network users, services or equipment (intentionally and unintentionally) through the use of ASA services. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, unsolicited advertising, propagation of computer worms or viruses, and using AREN to make unauthorized entries to any other computers accessible via the network. ASA clients are responsible for maintaining an acceptable security status on all assets connected to AREN.
  • ASA clients must respect the legal protection applied to programs, data, photographs, music, text documents and other material as provided by copyright, trademark, patent, licensure and other proprietary rights mechanisms.
  • Authorized ASA clients are required to protect their attached computers, servers, and networks from computer viruses or worms that cause a systemic disruption to ASA and its INTERNET services.
  • Authorized ASA clients are required to provide current and accurate client contact information to enable ASA representatives to have ready access for resolution of problems.
  • Information and resources accessible through ASA services are private to the individuals and organizations which own or hold rights to those resources and information unless specifically stated otherwise by the owners or holders of rights. It is therefore not acceptable for an individual to use ASA services to access information or resources unless permission is granted by the owners or holders of rights to those resources or information.

The intent of this policy is to identify certain types of uses that are not appropriate, but this policy does not necessarily enumerate all possible inappropriate uses. Using the guidelines given above, ASA may at any time make a determination that a particular use is not appropriate.


All organizations authorized to access ASA services are responsible for informing their users of this acceptable use policy. All users of ASA services are required to follow the acceptable use guidelines, both in letter and spirit.

ASA reserves the right to monitor and review all traffic and data on ASA provided services for potential violations of this policy. Violations of policy that are not promptly remedied by individuals or ASA clients may result in termination of access to ASA services. ASA will only release sensitive, confidential or personally identifiable information to third parties when required by law, or when in ASA's judgment, release is required to prevent serious injury or harm that could result from violation of this policy.

Final authority for the determination of violation of the ASA Acceptable Use Policy and subsequent penalty rests with the ASA Board of Directors.

It is the responsibility of ASA clients to contact ASA, in writing, regarding questions of interpretation. Until such issues are resolved, questionable use should be considered "not acceptable".

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