Your responsibility regarding shared IT resources
Appropriate use of shared resources
The technological resources centrally administered by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) or University Libraries, and the distributed resources provided by individual academic and administrative departments of the University are intended to be used for educational purposes and to carry out the legitimate business of the University. Such resources include campus computer clusters managed centrally or by individual departments, the University's World Wide Web server, departmental Web and file servers, Blackboard course management system, access to research databases, local-area departmental networks, the campus broadband and optical fiber network and global and Intranet network access, the University telephone and voice mail systems, general University multi-user computer systems and servers, individual departmental systems and servers, WebSpace, SharePoint, TigerTV, Dormnet and access to Princeton's central and departmental e-mail service, and other shared campus facilities and services.
Appropriate use of such resources includes instruction, independent study, authorized research, independent research, and the official work of the offices, departments, recognized student and campus organizations, and agencies of the University. All of these activities rely on reasonable performance from the component units and the connections that allow interchange among them, and on the security and integrity of the resources. For these reasons, and because there often are times when some resources are in shorter supply than can easily meet the demand, certain performance-related or sharing guidelines pertain.
OIT and other University departments that operate and maintain computer and/or network systems and/or servers are expected to sustain an acceptable level of performance and must assure that frivolous, excessive, or inappropriate use of the resources by one person or a few people does not degrade performance for the others who rely on such services.
Devices that are badly configured or that have been compromised sometimes behave in ways that disrupt network service for others. In such cases, service to the device may be blocked, or the device may be marked ineligible for network access, until the responsible party can be contacted to take corrective action.
Researchers and students with network experiments should not plan to use the University's production network services for their research without authorization, and should understand that disruption of normal network service will not be permitted.
Users of shared resources should be careful to avoid making available via those resources items that are prone to excessive or other uses that may degrade or otherwise compromise performance. If a research project requires very large amounts of a resource, the researcher may need to make special arrangements in advance of conducting the research.
Many of the databases, electronic periodicals and other publications that the University offers through its libraries are subject to license agreements with outside vendors that impose restrictions on your use of these resources. For example, such licenses often limit the number of documents that you may scan or the number of pages you may print and there may be restrictions on the types of use permitted. Violations of such restrictions can result in the termination of licenses and the loss of access to resources that are important to the University’s mission. Before using such licensed resources, you will be given notice of any relevant restrictions and are responsible for complying with them at all times.
There are national and international projects that rely on cooperation and collaboration of large numbers of computer systems to conduct research. You may not use your account on central University shared servers to cooperate in such projects, though you may elect to use a personally-owned device connected to the campus network so long as the quantity of data transmitted does not affect network performance adversely for the rest of the campus. Some departments may also give permission for their locally controlled computers to be used for such a purpose. Some cooperative projects, for example the TOR project, carry the risk of the Princeton participant's device’s being in violation of University policy because of the nature or content of network traffic passing through the device, particularly if it serves as an exit node. Those wishing to participate in such projects should be cautious for this reason and may be asked to withdraw from participation if violation of University policies occurs.
Temporary visitor access to IT resources
The University provides temporary visitor wireless network access service primarily for use by conference attendees, visiting colleagues from other schools, vendors making presentations, and other visitors with computers or other devices equipped for wireless access and who do not want or need to register their computers, smart phones, or other devices for more frequent network service. The temporary visitor wireless network access is not intended to provide service to devices used regularly on campus by Princeton University faculty, staff, or students, or to longer-term visitors. Such devices must be registered properly for network connectivity.
Members of the University community may use the temporary visitor network access with other wireless-enabled devices, provided such use is infrequent and the devices are not disruptive to network availability and performance. When possible, the eduroam service should be used as an alternative for infrequent wireless access. Temporary visitors and members of the University community who use the visitor wireless service must comply with the University Policy regarding network and Internet use. Abusive behaviors that disrupt campus service can result in a device being blocked indefinitely from further use of any University network services.
At Princeton, mass electronic mailings are permitted only as authorized by appropriate University offices. The same authority would govern e-mail to those constituencies, even if the sender does not use the official list, but creates multiple smaller groups to accomplish the same end. In general, the same authority approves the use of large e-mail lists as approves large paper mailings to the same audiences. You may not send large mass e-mailings or voice mailings without the appropriate University authorization.
Appropriate authorization also must be obtained to conduct Web-based or e-mail surveys, whether among members of the campus community or of people outside the University. Surveys related to research and instruction must obtain approval from the University’s Institutional Review Panel on Human Subjects, and, in the case of undergraduate research, from Office of Dean of the College. Special approval is not needed for departments seeking feedback on their courses or services, nor for recognized organizations canvassing their members.
"Spamming" is spreading electronic messages or postings widely and without good purpose. "Bombing," sometimes known as "spamming" as well, is bombarding an individual, group, or system with numerous repeated messages. Both actions interfere with system and network performance and may be harassing to the victims, which in the case of newsgroups can number in the thousands. Both are violations of University regulations. Sometimes, people spam unintentionally. If e-mail is sent to a large list of people with all the addresses visible (rather than blind-copied or via a group list) and someone accidentally replies to "all," rather than just to the sender, the reply is copied to everyone on the list. Deliberate replies of this nature will be considered a violation of University regulations.
Use of limited resources
You must refrain from unwarranted or excessive amounts of storage on central or departmental computing systems and servers, and from running grossly inefficient programs when efficient ones are available unless the responsible departmental authority has directed or approved such use for specific instructional or research applications.
You must refrain from running servers or daemons without prior permission on shared systems you do not administer.
You must be sensitive to special need for software and services available in only one location, and cede place to those whose work requires the special items.
You must not prevent others from using shared resources by running unattended processes or placing signs on devices to "reserve" them without authorization. Your absence from a public computer or workstation should be no longer than warranted by a visit to the nearest restroom. A device unattended for more than fifteen minutes may be assumed to be available for use, and any process running on that device terminated. You must not lock a workstation or computer that is in a public facility. You must also be sensitive to performance effects of remote login to shared workstations. When there is a conflict, priority for use of the device must go to the person seated at the keyboard rather than to someone logged on remotely.
You must consider the shared nature of the campus network bandwidth, and be careful to avoid transmitting large amounts of data unnecessarily. Providing servers on personally owned computers connected to the campus network can have an adverse influence on general network performance if large files are delivered or if many hundreds of people attempt to obtain the files concurrently. If you use peer-to-peer sharing applications on a personal device, you must limit uploads to no more than one at a time (ideally, to zero), to prevent excessive use of Princeton's Internet bandwidth by others on the Internet, and you must comply with copyright restrictions.
Where the University has obtained very limited licenses for software, you must use only one share, not several concurrently.
You must avoid tying up shared computing resources for excessive game playing or other trivial applications.
Paper and printing resources
Unnecessary printing is wasteful in dollar cost and is in conflict with the University's sustainability goals. Members of the University community should practice thrifty and judicious printing. When a work is in progress, editing should take place on-line whenever possible rather than on a printed draft. Information that can be shared effectively electronically should not be printed at all. When it is necessary to print notes or reference material, consideration should be given to placing multiple pages on each sheet of paper and using two-sided (duplex) printing whenever possible.
If someone without appropriate authorization removes paper or toner cartridges from departmental printers or copiers, or from computer clusters, to use for printing or copying elsewhere or for any other purpose, it will be considered a disciplinary matter.