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Best Practices and Standards (NEW VERSION)

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Creating a guide and assigning a guide type

When you create a guide you will be asked to assign a guide type as below:

guide type dropdown screenshot

The type you choose will not change the way your guide looks, but will make it easier to sort guides on the admin side. The types are fairly self-explanatory, and most faculty guides will fall under the 'Subject Guide' type.

Associate your guide with a subject

To optimise search functionality, you need to edit the 'Subjects' association on the guide page as below:

subject associations screenshot

Click the pencil icon to open up the list, and then choose your Faculty from the dropdown.

Structure, naming & layout

  • All guides should use the 'Side-Nav Layout 3 column' template.

  • The selected colours are in line with Macquarie University branding. Do not change the colours of your boxes or pages.

  • When naming guides use the title of the subject to name the guide. Use '&' in between the subjects if it is a combined subjects guide eg 'Psychology, Chemistry & Biomolecular Sciences'. For course guides use the course code in all capitals followed by the course name eg LAW115 Foundations of Law. REMEMBER the guide title is picked up by Google, so must be meaningful. 

  • Leave the description section under the guide title blank – the guide's purpose should be clear from the content. Feel free to assign appropriate subjects and tags to your LibGuide if you wish.

  • All guides should have a friendly URL assigned (see Friendly URLs).

  • Keep top-level pages to a minimum (around 5-7). Utilise subpages to assist with viewing (and minimise scrolling) on mobile devices in particular.

  • Limit page labels to a few words which clearly describe the purpose/content of the page.

  • Be specific in naming pages. 'Encyclopedias' is more meaningful to students than 'Reference tools'.

  • The organisation of pages should be consistent. Subjects and formats should not be mixed. For example, if one has an Education guide and one tab is 'Educational Psychology' and another 'Journal articles' students may be confused how to find an article on educational psychology.

Friendly URLs

Friendly URLs make it easy to quickly see and understand the purpose of the page. For example, /g=46515&p=365289 is not intuitive but /libguidesintro/thebasics carries meaning.

Friendly URLs:

  • should always be lowercase
  • can include letters, numbers dashes and underscores, but not spaces
  • should be limited to a few words.

Subject guides

Use guide titles to create the friendly URL. If the title is longer than 15 characters, we recommend abbreviating it for your friendly URL, or using initials. For example, instead of 'English literature', use 'English-Lit'.

Course guides

Use the course/unit code in lower case eg law115.


Consider adding friendly urls to subpages of your guide to aid deep linking from iLearn and other resources. These are created in the same way as the home page on guides. They must be created manually ie page by page.

Deleting a guide

If a guide is no longer being used, it should be deleted.

  1. Discuss with your DGL/Manager, Advisory services your rationale for deleting the guide and get sign off that the guide is no longer needed.
  2. Unpublish the guide so that it can no longer be accessed by the public. Click on "Change status and share" in top RHC of guide.

Click on "Change status and share" in top RHC

On the Publication status dropdown, select "Unpublished."


Under Publication Status, select Unpublished

3. Check each page of the guide and unhide any pages and assets in draft mode—draft pages and assets will not be included in a backup copy.

  • Mapped boxes will disappear from other guides. (what to do about this)
  • Mapped assets (e.g. links and A-Z lists) will remain in the system even if pages and boxes are deleted.

4. Delete your guide. From to Content dropdown list on the top toolbar, select Guides.

Select Guides from the Content drop-down list

From the list of Guides, select the one you want to delete and click on the x on the RHS.

Delete a guide

You will be asked to confirm you want to delete the Guide.

When you delete the guide, a ‘backup’ HTML version is automatically created and saved on the LibGuides platform. You will find it under the Tools/Data Exports/Guide HTML tab. You can then save a local copy for yourself (File/Save as) if you wish. NOTE although this is called a ‘backup’ it is in fact a legacy copy as you will NOT be able to restore the guide or boxes. To restore the guide or content you will have to rebuild pages, boxes and content from scratch.

5. Your backup guide will appear as one single long page, with horizontal lines and page titles showing where one page ends and another begins. NOTE that content in the RHC will not appear with other content on each page, but after middle column content on the last page (ie at the end).

  • Any pages and boxes that are in 'Draft' mode in your guide will not be included in the backup copy. 
  • Any descriptions associated with assets will be included (including custom descriptions, even if visibility was set to hover over text or behind the ‘i’ icon).
  • Links will still be live, but you will NOT be able to restore the guide or map boxes into other guides.

You can also create a backup of a guide at any time. HTML format is recommended over XTML for readability.