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#LibGuides at The University of Iowa Libraries: Guidelines and Policies

A guide for LibGuides authors


  • Do not change box colors.
  • Do not create a LibGuide for a page or pages that should be web page on the Libraries' website.
  • Enable a right-hand column profile for at least each guide homepage. An image or photo should be uploaded to the profile.
  • Create a “Friendly URL” for each guide (e.g., instead of This can be done when publishing the guide.
  • Apply at least one (but no more than 3*) subject category to each resource (e.g., Political Science, History, Medicine).  This allows the system to automatically organize and group guides by subject/department. Contact Lib-IT Help if you would like a new category created.
    *Contact the librarian(s) responsible for a particular subject before applying category.
  • Brand Hardin Library and Branch Library pages with a logo, image, or name in a center or side box.
  • Follow the rules and guidelines found in the University of Iowa Libraries Web Guidelines available on the Libraries' website.


  • Link to shared widgets and boxes from other guides where practical in order to reduce long-term maintenance.  Shared widgets can be found in the “LibGuides at The University of Iowa Libraries” libguide (
  • Use the Table of Contents box type to display tabs
  • Disable comments for each page and box.
  • Enter a description for each page.
  • Use "Links and Lists" and "Web Links" boxes when possible.  These boxes can be globally edited when a URL needs to be updated.
  • When using “Links and Lists” boxes, disable the option “Allow visitors to rate this resource.”
  • Provide a description for each resource either below the title or in the “more information” pop-up box.
  • Use PURL links for databases when possible to reduce the need for URL updating. 
  • Tag your guide with relevant keywords.  To reduce confusion and make similar guides easier to find, try to reuse tags from other guides rather than creating multiple similar tags.
  • If a guide has many tabs or submenus, consider dividing it into multiple guides.
  • Use the default user profile if at all possible - do not edit profiles on a page-by-page basis.  If the default profile is edited, changes will not propagate to edited profiles.
  • Add the course number to the Guide Title and apply the “Course Guides” category when publishing.


  • Pages without an individual author should be linked to a departmental profile (e.g. this page is owned by UI Libraries and displays the UI Libraries profile in the right column).

External Editors

Guide authors may request LibGuides accounts for UI-affiliated external editors including collegiate or clinical librarians.

External reviewers:

  • must agree to follow the rules and guidelines found in the University of Iowa Libraries Web Guidelines.
  • should not have active profiles (i.e. should not author guides or pages within guides);
  • should understand that the LibGuides service is provided as-is, with minimal technical support from Library Information Technology;
  • will not submit technical support requests to the LibGuides vendor, Springshare.

All questions about external reviewers should be directed to Lib-IT Help.