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About the Library: Presentations on Vendor Products

Presentations on Vendor Products

Presentations on Vendor Products
Yale Library

Presentations involving vendor products should avoid the perception of representing a product endorsement. The presentation’s content and context are important dimensions to help determine when library staff engagement with vendors might be seen as a product endorsement. These guidelines do not apply to bibliographic instruction or workshops where library staff are giving instruction on using a given vendor product.

The content of the presentation or paper should focus on the project, work or service with the discussion of vendor product(s) within that framework. For example, the presentation should focus on the problem being solved rather than the vendor tool or product being used. The product may be discussed in terms of how it relates to meeting the goals and objectives of a project or solving a problem. Please try to avoid using the product name in the presentation title, although citing the product(s) in the abstract is fine.  

The platform or venue for the delivery of the presentation must be considered. For example, a presentation made at a professional conference is acceptable, however, the same presentation delivered via a vendor sponsored webinar or site would be considered an endorsement.

Please keep these points in mind:

  • Focus on the project or work and not the product.
  • Avoid vendor sponsored webinars. Webinars sponsored by associational/professional groups, even if co-sponsored by vendors, are okay.
  • Avoid written case studies, testimonials, and product endorsements for use on vendor websites and marketing publications.
  • Providing vendor recommendations in one-on-one conversations is acceptable. Only caveat is to not share information (typically business terms) covered by a non-disclosure agreement, if applicable.
  • It is acceptable to participate in customer user groups. 
  • Nothing in these guidelines is intended to limit library outreach and instructional activities.  
  • Yale receives federal funding and so cannot engage in practices benefitting a private company unless the public is also benefitted. Note, this is a blanket institutional statement and is not restricted to the funding source used to purchase any given product.

If you have questions with a presentation, please consult with your supervisor. Any exceptions to these guidelines would require consultation with the University Librarian, who may consult with the General Counsel and Office of Trademark Licensing.

Relevant university policies: