Harvard Medical School Use of Name Policy
The University and its members have a responsibility to ensure that any implied association with the University is accurate.
The University and its members have a responsibility to ensure that the activities with which the University is accurately associated maintain standards consistent with its educational purposes.
The University and its members have a responsibility to protect its assets by seeking a fair share of the economic value that the use of the Harvard name produces.
Standards for Schools and Other University Units
A name that refers to the University as a whole may be used to identify an activity only with the approval of officials representing the University as a whole.
For example, the name Harvard Program in XYZ or the Veritas shield cannot be used without advance approval by the University provost. The provost will generally not approve the use of the name in this form unless the program represents a broad institutional endeavor, e.g., more than one Harvard school is involved in the program and the deans of relevant schools have approved the proposal. Requests from the Harvard Medical School community to the provost for approval to use the Harvard name in this way should first go to the HMS Office for Faculty Affairs.
A name that refers to individual schools or units (a unit is a department or organization that is part of the University but not part of any school, such as the Harvard University Health Services) may be used to identify an activity only with the approval of the responsible authority of the individual school or unit and, in certain cases, the provost.
For example, the name Harvard Medical School Program (Center, Institute, Division, etc.) in XYZ cannot be used without approval by the dean of Harvard Medical School, after review by the HMS Council of Academic Deans and the HMS Faculty Council. The dean and the councils generally will not approve the use of Harvard Medical School’s name in this form unless the activity includes and/or is open to faculty participation from all interested affiliated institutions.
The uses of individual school/unit names that require approval by the provost are generally those involving use of the name by outside individuals or entities, e.g., a venture undertaken with an outside firm to produce products or services sold under the Harvard Medical School name or fundraising or promotional activity for a non-Harvard entity.
Standards for Faculty, Staff and Students
Faculty members, staff and students may use or authorize the Harvard name (alone or in conjunction with the name of a specific school or unit) to identify any activity, individual, entity or publication only with the approval of their dean or the provost, except as described below.
Faculty members and staff may use the Harvard name to identify themselves (e.g., Jane Doe, professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School). In using or authorizing the use of the Harvard name to identify themselves in connection with activities conducted with outside individuals and entities, faculty and staff members should assure that the Harvard name is used in a manner that does not imply University or School endorsement or responsibility for the particular activity, product or publication involved.
For example, faculty and staff members may use their Harvard Medical School titles, and the School seal, for identifying themselves for the purposes of their faculty-related responsibilities. This includes using their faculty and staff title and the School seal on letterhead and business cards. However, faculty and staff members should never use the Harvard name and seal when participating in private outside activities not related to their faculty responsibilities. Faculty members should limit their identification with Harvard to listing their formal titles and then only when engaged in outside activities relevant to their professional expertise. In these uses, the title should be in the context of biographical information, not in a separate manner that would visually link the University or the School to the corporate or other outside activity. Please see the section on Use of the Harvard Medical School Name and Seal on Published Works below for the appropriate use of the Harvard name when authoring a book.
Standards for Alumni
Alumni may use the Harvard Medical School name to identify themselves as HMS alumni (e.g., Jane Doe, graduate of Harvard Medical School) solely to reflect their identification in the context of biographical information, not in a separate manner that would visually or otherwise link the University or the School to corporate or other outside activity.
In no event may alumni use the Harvard Medical School name and seal in a manner that implies University or School endorsement or responsibility for the particular activity, product, publication, practice or other outside activity.
Use of the Harvard Name in Internet Addresses, Domain Names, Web Sites and Other Electronic Contexts
Advance permission must be obtained (from the provost for “Harvard” or from the HMS dean for “Harvard Medical School”) before the Harvard name can be used in any form, including abbreviations or in combination with other words, in an internet address, an email address (other than one that contains solely an individual’s name, e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org), or a website identification. Student organizations should work through the dean for students in the Office of Student Affairs to obtain the necessary permission.
Any internet address that includes the name “Harvard” or any of its individual schools in any form, including addresses using common abbreviations such as “HMS” for Harvard, must be owned by the University. Individuals and non-Harvard organizations may not register these internet addresses in their own names. Harvard affiliated or approved organizations and units that have received advance permission (see above) must register in the name of “the President and Fellows of Harvard College.” Harvard’s network operations center (NOC) email@example.com should be notified in the case of all domain name registrations outside of the harvard.edu domain whose internet address includes “Harvard” or any of its individual schools. Harvard NOC is available to help with registrations for any University unit. These guidelines apply whether or not the Harvard University server or another server is used.
Responding to Requests from Third Parties for Endorsements
In general, requests for endorsements from outside parties are discouraged; they should be the exception and not the rule in business relationships with outside vendors. Promotional material that identifies some unit of the University as a customer or a client but does not give an opinion concerning the quality of a product may be permissible. In these cases, the name of the particular school or department may be used, but not “Harvard” or “Harvard University” more broadly.
Promotional material that gives an opinion about the quality of a product or service is only permissible when done by an individual in a personal capacity, not when done by a school, department or other unit of the University. In the case of an individual, reference to that person’s University title or position may be made only if there is explicit recognition that statements made do not officially represent the views of the University or any of its units or officers.
The use of the University or Harvard Medical School shield or other insignia will not generally be permitted.
Photographs of identifiable Harvard landmarks, buildings, statues, etc., which imply an endorsement of a product or service are not permissible.
Any written promotional material referring to the University or any of its units must be reviewed and approved in advance by the Office of the Provost.
Harvard Medical School Supplemental Rules
Use of the Harvard Medical School Name or Seal by Affiliates and by Affiliates of Affiliates
Harvard Medical School has formal affiliations with fifteen hospitals and research institutions, and it is appropriate for these affiliated institutions to use the Harvard Medical School name and seal on their institutional letterhead and other materials, along with their own names and seals, except in the case of continuing medical education materials (i.e., brochures) not administered by Harvard Medical School. In some instances, these affiliated institutions may have affiliations with other entities that do not have direct affiliations with Harvard Medical School. It is generally not appropriate for these affiliates of affiliates to use the Harvard name or seal on their letterhead or on other materials. These secondary affiliates may only note their link to the primary affiliate.
Use of the Harvard Medical School Name and Seal on the Internet
The Harvard University and Harvard Medical School names and seals may not be used on web pages other than those reviewed and approved consistent with this policy. Faculty members may use the Harvard Medical School name and seal on a personal web page that functions like a business card but may not use them on a web page describing a clinic or program not consistent with this policy or for a personal website that promotes books, consulting or other activities outside of faculty responsibilities. Web pages identified with University or School names or shields should never have links to corporate or commercial web sites without prior approval from the HMS Use of Name Committee. Inquiries to the HMS Use of Name Committee may be submitted here.
Use of the Harvard Medical School Name and Seal on Textbooks, Trade Books and Related Published Works
Use of the Harvard name on textbooks, trade books and related types of informational or educational publications, in either print or electronic form, is limited in the following ways:
Under the policy first adopted by Harvard Medical School in 1983 and revised in 1996, publication of a textbook, trade book or other related type of publication by a member of the Faculty of Medicine that proposes to use the Harvard name in its title in any form (e.g., Harvard, Harvard University or Harvard Medical School) requires prior approval by the dean upon the recommendation of the HMS Office for Faculty Affairs.
Use of the Harvard Name in Consumer Works
In addition to the general policy described above, publications for the consumer (lay) audience by individual faculty members may not use the names or logos of Harvard University or Harvard Medical School in a manner that suggests institutional sponsorship or endorsement.
Specifically, in any print or electronic publication, faculty members may not use the names “Harvard” or “Harvard University” without approval of the University’s Office of the Provost. Nor may faculty members use the name “Harvard Medical School” without approval of the dean, with input from the Faculty Publishing Review Committee.
Faculty members may refer to Harvard Medical School as their home institution (e.g., Robert Jones, MD, professor of ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School) on inside pages of print or electronic books, on the dust jacket flap where author information appears, or on the back cover of paperback books where author information appears so long as the words “Harvard Medical School” appear in the same font size as other author biographical information.
Books published through Harvard Health Publishing, the consumer publishing division of Harvard Medical School, may use the names or logos of Harvard Medical School on the cover.
Questions concerning this policy should be directed to Nancy Ferrari, managing director and executive editor of Harvard Health Publishing.
Use of the Harvard Medical School Name and Seal on Continuing Medical Education Programs, Materials and Websites
Under the policy first adopted in 1983 and restated in 1991, continuing medical education programs whose promotional or other course materials bear the Harvard Medical School name and/or seal in such a way as to imply sponsorship by the School must be approved and administered by the HMS Office for External Education, whether or not Category 1 continuing medical education credit is issued. Any web address (URL) for a site promoting or providing continuing medical education requires prior approval if it contains the Harvard Medical School name (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org).
Policy pertaining to the appropriate use of the Harvard Medical School name on continuing medical education programs, materials and internet sites is available from Ajay Singh, senior associate dean for global education and continuing education.
Process for Review and Approval of the Harvard University or Harvard Medical School Name
Requests for approval or questions on the appropriate use of the Harvard University and Harvard Medical School names and seals should be brought first to the HMS Office for Faculty Affairs. Depending on the issue raised, the matter may then be brought to the HMS Use of Name Committee, the HMS Council of Academic Deans, the HMS Faculty Council and the Office of the Provost. Questions on the use of the Harvard University and Harvard Medical School names and seals in publications generally should be brought to the Office for Faculty Affairs. Questions about the use of the Harvard University and Harvard Medical School names and seals in consumer (lay) publications should be brought to Nancy Ferrari, managing editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Questions about the use of the Harvard University and Harvard Medical School names in continuing medical education related materials should be brought to the Ajay Singh, senior associate dean for global education and continuing education.