- Explanation of Material Transmitted: The purpose of this chapter is to provide the NIH policy and procedures for the review and approval of any materials that bear the logos and/or names of NIH or any of its entities or programs. Materials include but are not limited to those originating from NIH entities or joint programs in which NIH or its entities are involved including partnerships, Memoranda of Understanding (MOU); collaborations; Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs); Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), and programs in which gifts may be involved. This chapter provides policy and procedures for the written and electronic use of NIH names and logos and is designed to ensure that the use of NIH logos and names by employees, contractors, partners, and grantees, etc., is consistent with the HHS and NIH mission; objectives, policies, and any applicable regulations, policies and professional standards. (The term HHS refers to the Department as a whole and/or its components and subdivisions, including the NIH. The term NIH refers to NIH as a whole or any of its components and subdivisions, including the ICs.)
*Partial revision on 02/13/2013: In 2013, the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) issued revised guidance (“Identity Guidelines”) concerning the NIH logo and those of related Institutes, Centers, and Offices. OCPL maintains responsibility for protecting the NIH names and logos. This chapter has been revised to reflect those changes, which are centered around (1) a set of graphics standards (“Identity Guidelines”) and (2) the role of designated NIH communications contacts within individual, sponsoring Institutes, Centers, and Offices.
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Insert: NIH Manual Chapter 1186, dated 04/28/2009 – updated 02/13/2013 .
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The purpose of this chapter is to provide policies and procedures concerning the review, approval, and use of the NIH names and logos in any material regardless of form, e.g., written, oral, electronic, etc. The policy applies to any use of the NIH names or logos. No use of the NIH names or logos should occur in the absence of compliance with the provisions of this manual chapter.
This chapter applies to the review, approval, and use of the NIH names and logos in any materials, including but not limited to, advertisements, press releases, advisories, conference and symposia materials (e.g., invitations, registrations, posters, agendas, audiovisual materials, handouts, publicity, participant lists, and websites); patient recruitment materials; printed educational and health information materials, and items related to or produced through agency partnerships. In addition this governs the use, review and approval of NIH names or logos by Extramural awardees; collaborative and/or cooperative research programs (e.g., CRADAs; Public-Private Partnerships, and MOUs); off-campus Intramural research projects (e.g.., hospitals, clinics, and centers); and other NIH-sponsored, co-sponsored or supported programs, activities, and events. The term support includes funding as well as in-kind support or joint participation. In addition, for purposes of this policy “NIH names and logos” includes the agency name, logos, and associated taglines as well as any name or logo associated with an NIH entity or component, e.g., ICs, or any of their programs.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and NIH expect programs sponsored by component agencies, including the ICs, to be compatible with Departmental, NIH and IC objectives and policies. The purpose of these clearance processes and procedures —as well as those of the Department—are to control the use of the HHS and NIH names and logos not only to protect the institutions and their reputations but also to promote the public trust. Materials which misuse or misapply the NIH names and/or logos can create an endorsement or the appearance of endorsement of the material by NIH and/or one of its components or programs and lead to criticism of the agency, e.g., the appearance that NIH is endorsing a commercial product, and may even lead to harm to individuals, e.g., misuse of a the name or a logo in an ad for a health care product.
The policies and procedures contained in this Manual Chapter extend to any materials intended for public dissemination and distribution Examples of materials include but are not limited to those for meetings, symposia, publication of research studies, recruitment efforts; collaborations and cooperative projects, websites, health educational programs and campaigns, media events, and training programs. This chapter applies to information disseminated in print form, on the internet, or through other media, including audiovisual and broadcast materials.
Oral, written, or electronic statements or other information that use NIH names or logos may cause individuals to believe that those materials reflect the official opinions, determinations, findings, or experience of the NIH, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Government. Use of a symbol, logo, seal, or name of HHS, NIH or any of its components or programs may constitute an endorsement and/or may be misleading. The granting of permission through advance clearance and review procedures are designed to distinguish between usages of the agency’s names and logos that may mislead, imply favoritism, or construe endorsement, and usages that are permissible and consistent with the mission of the agency.
It is the general policy of NIH and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that any reference to NIH or any of its ICs or components, as well as use of Government names, symbols, logos, and other identifying marks, shall not be used for endorsement or implied endorsement of any non-NIH entity, product or service. Further, it is NIH policy that any use of the names, symbols, logos or identifying marks of NIH, its component Institutes and Centers, offices or programs must be reviewed and approved consistent with the provisions of this Manual Chapter.
The NIH names and logos shall not be used to misrepresent the agency or to suggest that NIH endorses any private organization, product, or service. The NIH names and logos are for Government use only and not for the use of the private sector, including grantees, vendors, and contractors, regardless of whether the grantee, vendor, or contractor is a non-profit institution.
Responsibility for protecting the HHS seals, name and logo falls under the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA). The HHS seals, name and logo shall only be used as expressly provided in guidance issued by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (OASPA), unless an exception has been grant by OASPA. Requests for exceptions must show that the intended use of the name or logo is in the best interests of HHS. See, e.g., HHS Logo, Seal and Symbol Policies at https://www.hhs.gov/web/policies-and-standards/web-policies/logo-seal-and-symbol-policies/index.html
In 2013, the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) issued revised guidance (“Identity Guidelines”) concerning the NIH logo and those of related Institutes, Centers, and Offices. OCPL maintains responsibility for protecting the NIH names and logos. The NIH names and logos may only be used with the express permission of the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison through designated NIH communications contacts within individual Institutes, Centers, and Offices. If use of an NIH name(s) or logo(s) is desired, a request must be submitted to the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison for OD review and approval and/or to the sponsoring Institute, Center, and Office for review and approval. Requests shall be submitted, reviewed, approved before the NIH logo or name may be used on any material (See I, “Review and Approval Procedures for Use of NIH Names or Logos.”)
ICs may assume responsibility for protecting names and logos associated with them and their programs upon adoption of a central point of contact for review and approval of such use and policies and procedures for review and approval consistent with this Manual Chapter. In such instances, the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison retains responsibility for review and approval of the NIH name and logo as well as any reference to NIH, the National Institutes of Health, or any Office of Director component or program.
If a conflict or problem is identified, NIH and IC program staff and leadership should consult with the HHS Office of the General Counsel at NIH for advice.
- The HHS and component seals are the official identifiers of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its components and are intended for use on Departmental documents. (HHS Logo, Seal and Symbol Policies at https://www.hhs.gov/web/policies-and-standards/web-policies/logo-seal-and-symbol-policies/index.html.)
- HHS and Principal Operating Component Names, Logos, Symbols: The HHS name, logo and Symbol, and those of the Department’s component agencies, are for the official use of the U.S. Government. Unauthorized use of the HHS name or logo is governed by 42 U.S.C. § 1320b-10, which prohibits their use unless authorized by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. (The Office of Inspector General has the authority to impose civil monetary penalties for violations (42 CFR Part 1003)).
Use of NIH names or logos must be consistent with the mission of the agency and any use must be approved by OCPL and designated NIH communications contacts within individual Institutes, Centers, and Offices consistent with the provisions of this Manual Chapter.
- Examples of Activities Which Might Generate Requests for Use of NIH Names or Logos in Materials: Appropriate use of NIH names or logos is important. Any use of NIH names or logos on any materials regardless of whether produced by NIH or an outside entity for use in an NIH associated activity are subject to prior review and approval by OCPL consistent with the provisions of this Manual Chapter. Some partnerships/collaborations which are likely to produce materials—and which therefore require prior review and approval by OCPL—are mentioned below.
- Meetings and events: Meetings and events that are solely sponsored NIH conferences, seminars, symposia, educational programs, public information campaigns, and similar activities related to the NIH or IC mission, as well as those events jointly developed between the Department or one or more component agencies and one or more non-Federal entities that share a mutual interest in the subject matter, e.g., under an MOU or other agreement, may generate materials for which use of the NIH names or logos is appropriate.
- Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). See the NIH Manual Chapter concerning Public-Private Partnerships at https://policymanual.nih.gov/1167.
- Web sites: An outside entity may link to NIH websites with approval as described in section I. In establishing such links, the entity must avoid creating the impression that NIH is endorsing or promoting the entity or any of its product or services. Cases of misuse of the NIH logo will be referred to the office responsible for approval of use of the logo for appropriate action and in some cases, to the NIH Office of the General Counsel (OGC). Any reference to NIH aside from the link [which can be no more prominent than other links], and other information aside from the link—either on the website or elsewhere—which may somehow suggest endorsement or imply endorsement of its activities by NIH or one of its programs, should be accompanied by a disclaimer and have prior approval of OCPL.
- Use of Non-Federal Names, Logos, Trademarks: Originators of jointly sponsored or collaborative activities resulting in materials using NIH names or logos may also wish to use non-Federal names, trademarks, symbols or logos to refer to sponsors, partners, etc. Such references may be viewed as endorsement or implied endorsement of the non-Federal entity. Their use on NIH materials is prohibited without review and approval by NIH following a determination that use is consistent with the mission of the agency and necessary for inclusion. Use of a disclaimer should be considered unless it is clear to someone reading or hearing the material that no endorsement by NIH of the non-Federal entity is implied. Consideration may also need to be given to inclusion of a statement such as the following:
“The views expressed in these materials [or by participants at the event, etc.] do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH or its components; nor does the inclusion of trade names/logos/trademarks/or references to outside entities constitute or imply an endorsement by any Federal entity.”
Due to the inconsistent proliferation of logos at all differing levels of the NIH, a practice which serves to dilute the identity and mission of the agency, effective November 1, 2008 the creation of any new logos below the IC or OD level at NIH must receive written, prior permission from OCPL in advance of planning, design, and development. Design of logos developed below the IC or OD level at NIH, including logos created for specific offices, divisions, and programs, will occur only under extraordinary circumstances and only with the express, written permission of OCPL in advance of planning, design, and development.
If creation of an NIH logo for offices, divisions, programs, and other entities below the IC or OD level is desired, a request must be submitted to the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison for review and approval before planning, design, development can commence. (See I, “Review and Approval Procedures for Use of NIH Names or Logos.”)
Originators should ensure that items intended for an external audience have been reviewed and approved through NIH internal planning, review, and approval processes in advance of final production. Because individual ICs vary in structure, size, and mission, they have the flexibility to implement the review and approval requirements discussed herein in the most sensible manner for their organization, as long as they are consistent with the policies and procedures in this Manual Chapter.
- The NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison is responsible for establishing a process and maintaining controls to ensure competent and timely review and approval of any material using the NIH name or logo or the name or logo of any component of the OD or any IC or other NIH entity or program that has not established a review and approval procedure consistent with this Manual Chapter.
- OD/NIH Approval: The NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) is accountable for the method used to ensure that Departmental management controls are implemented and working. Each proposed product must be approved by the Director of the originating component or by the Director’s designee. When the subject matter of a program or presentation overlaps with the program of another NIH component, another Federal agency, or any non-Federal agency or outside entity or individual, the concurrence of such component, agency or individual must be obtained by the originating office before submission of proposed products to OCPL/OD/NIH. A proposal should be reviewed and approved in OCPL/OD/NIH in advance of production and distribution. Prior to being set in type, prepared for camera-ready copy, printing, or production, each IC publication or audiovisual must be approved by OCPL/OD/NIH, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (OASPA), HHS.
For each item requiring approval in the OD/NIH, the originator must submit the proposal to the Editorial Operations Branch (EOB), OCPL/OD/NIH, Bldg 31, Room 5B52, 301-496-2125. The EOB serves as the coordinating office or central source for IC in matters related to publications, including printing, HHS/PHS/NIH clearance and review procedures, Joint Committee on Printing, U.S. Congress, and Government Printing Office printing and binding regulations and copyright rules. The EOB is the principal publications review office for NIH. For addtional guidance. see NIH Manual Chapter 1184, Scientific Technical, and Other Professional Information Presented by NIH Employees: Review, Approval, and Distribution. https://policymanual.nih.gov/1184
- Role of the NIH Director: In certain cases, a subcommittee of the NIH Steering Committee will serve as a Naming Committee and shall consist of three Institute or Center Directors appointed by the NIH Director. It shall convene as necessary to review requests relating to the use of NIH’s name in conjunction with that of an outside entity other than a U.S. Federal, State or local government or other cases referred to it by the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison. Its determination will be advisory. In making its determination, the Subcommittee shall consider the NIH’s potential interests in the program or activity associated with the naming opportunity, which might include:
- Recognition of leadership and/or scientific contributions to the field; or
- Recognition of shared and/or complementary participation in a broad partnership comprising more than an NIH extramural funding initiative;
- harm to the reputation or public perception of the NIH;
- the potential for an otherwise unwarranted shift in NIH’s scientific priorities;
- the appearance of an implied endorsement by the NIH; or
- the reality or appearance of a quid pro quo for the contribution.
- IC Directors (or their delegates) are responsible for establishing and maintaining controls to ensure competent and timely review and approval of any material using the ICs name, logos, marks or symbols for public dissemination.
- Records Management: This manual chapter only addresses the review and approval requirements for use of NIH names or logos. Other NIH policies and procedures may be applicable and require additional reviews and approvals. For example, employees should follow specific instructions for the communication planning and clearance process developed by their IC. ICs may determine how best to meet clearance requirements; however, note that materials requiring clearance at the IC level must be approved for content and appropriateness by the Director (or designee) of the employee's ICs. In the case of policy implications, materials must be approved additionally by the director of the IC’s policy office.
Each NIH publication (e.g., pamphlets, posters, periodicals, booklets, exhibits, and public affairs related materials) intended for distribution and dissemination outside HHS must clearly identify the originating organization as a component of NIH and HHS. Logos should be used for all communication purposes and media (e.g., printed pamphlets, posters, flyers, booklets, periodicals, releases, and advisories), including exhibits and Internet websites. The words "U.S. Department of Health and Human Services" and "National Institutes of Health" (departmental imprint) must appear in full and in that order on the cover of a publication or in a prominent location on non-printed materials, such as exhibits. The NIH identification should be displayed with the HHS identification with the NIH identification placed below or secondary to that of HHS. An example follows:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
For logo specifications, developers, designers, and other production staff members shall consult the current version of the NIH Identity Guidelines by consulting with the OCPL for Office of the Director requests, review, and approvals and NIH communications contacts within individual Institutes, Centers, and Offices.
- Graphic Standards: Developers, designers, and other production staff members shall consult the current version of the NIH Identity Guidelines by consulting with the OCPL for Office of the Director requests, review, and approvals and NIH communications contacts within individual Institutes, Centers, and Offices.
- File format: Developers, designers, and other production staff members shall consult the current version of the NIH Identity Guidelines by consulting with the OCPL for Office of the Director requests, review, and approvals and NIH communications contacts within individual Institutes, Centers, and Offices.
- IC Contacts: To see a list of NIH communications contacts within individual Institutes, Centers, and Offices, including officials within the OD OCPL, see http://www.nih.gov/news/media_contacts.htm.
All records (e-mail and non-e-mail) pertaining to this chapter must be retained and disposed of under the authority of the NIH Manual 1743, can be viewed online at https://policymanual.nih.gov/1743
NIH e-mail messages, including attachments that are created on the NIH computer systems or transmitted over the NIH networks that are evidence of the activities of the agency or have informational value are considered Federal records. These records must be maintained in accordance with current NIH Records Management guidelines. Contact your IC Records Liaison for additional information.
All e-mail messages are considered Government property, and if requested for a legitimate Government purpose, must be provided to the requester. Employees' supervisors, the NIH staff conducting official reviews or investigations, and the Office of Inspector General may request access to or copies of the e-mail messages. E-mail messages must also be provided to the Congressional Oversight Committees, if requested, and are subject to the Freedom of Information Act requests. Back-up files are subject to the same requests as the original messages.
The purpose of this Manual issuance is to ensure that information disseminated to the public by the NIH is of maximum quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity. This is achieved through review and approved through an internal NIH process outlined in this chapter.
- Office Responsible for Reviewing Internal Controls Relative to this Chapter: The NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) is accountable for the method used to ensure that management controls are implemented and working.
- Frequency of Review: Ongoing.
- Method of Review: On an ongoing basis, OCPL evaluates input concerning this policy from users based on e-mail, telephone calls, meetings and memoranda, and makes appropriate changes as needed. Formal review of this policy is conducted annually by the Associate Director for Communications and Public Liaison. Comments concerning this policy, including agency controls, compliance, and reporting requirements, may be addressed to John T. Burklow, Associate Director for Communications and Public Liaison, NIH at 1 Center Drive, Room 344, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, 301-496-4461, fax 301-496-0017.
- Review of Reports: are sent to DDM, DDER, and DDIR upon request. Reports should indicate that controls are in place and working well or indicate any internal management control issues that should be brought to the attention of the report recipient(s).
- HHS Logo, Seal and Symbol Policies at https://www.hhs.gov/web/policies-and-standards/web-policies/logo-seal-and-symbol-policies/index.html.
- NIH Manual Chapter 1184, Scientific, Technical, and Other Professional Information Presented by NIH Employees: Review, Approval, and Distribution: https://policymanual.nih.gov/1184
- NIH Manual Chapter 1167, Public-Private Partnerships https://policymanual.nih.gov/1167
- NIH communications contacts within individual Institutes, Centers, and Offices, including officials within the OD OCPL, see http://www.nih.gov/news/media_contacts.htm
- NIH Manual Chapter 1743, Keeping and Destroying Records, Appendix 1, NIH Records Control Schedule: https://policymanual.nih.gov/1743