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Home » Web Site Policies and Important Links

Web Site Policies and Important Links

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The National Eye Institute (NEI) is making every effort to ensure that the information available on our website is accessible to all. If you use special adaptive equipment to access the Web and encounter problems when using our site, please let us know. Write to: and we will provide the information to you in an alternate format. Please be as specific as possible when describing the information you need. If you prefer, you may call the NEI's Information Office at (301) 496-5248.

To learn more about the regulations governing the accessibility of Federal electronic information products, visit the Section 508 page.

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Updating your Browser

Certain web pages are best viewed by using recent versions of Internet browsers. If you are using an older browser version, you may have trouble viewing certain webpages. Download a new version for free:

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PDF Files

Portable Document Format (PDF) files preserve all the fonts, formatting, graphics, and color of a printed document once it is placed on a website. Several documents on the NEI Website are provided in PDF format. PDF files require the free Adobe® Reader® software for viewing. If you have a visual impairment, please visit for help in working more effectively with PDF files.

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Privacy Policy

The NEI website automatically collects and temporarily stores the following information about your visit: the domain name from which you access the Internet (such as ""), the date and time you access our site, the pages you visited, and the address of the Web site from which you came to our site. This information is not associated with individual users, it is used to measure the number of visitors to the various sections of the site and to help make the site more useful. Unless it is specifically stated otherwise, no additional information will be collected about you.

When inquiries are e-mailed to us, we store the question and the e-mail address information so that we can respond electronically. Unless otherwise required by statute, NEI does not identify publicly who sends questions or comments to our website. We will not obtain information that will allow us to personally identify you when you visit our site, unless you chose to provide such information to us.

While visiting the NEI Web site, your computer will receive one temporary, anonymous session cookie. A cookie is a small file that a website transfers to your computer's hard disk allowing our server to "remember" specific information about your session while you are connected. Requests to send cookies from our website are not designed to collect information about you, but only about your browser "session." The cookie makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of the NEI Website. The cookie and the information about your session will be destroyed automatically shortly after you close your browser--it is not permanently stored on your computer. Unless we specifically notify you otherwise, we will not collect and maintain personal information about you.

To assure the integrity of information on this server, we reserve the right to monitor system access if malicious actions are taken to disable our on-line services or intentionally gain unauthorized access to NIH systems.

Questions about NEI privacy policies should be sent to the NEI Privacy Act Coordinator .

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Copyright Policy

Most of the information on our site is in the public domain and can be used without charge or restriction. There are a few exceptions; at times the NEI site may contain documents or links to documents, such as full-text journal articles, that may be copyright protected. Permission to reproduce copyrighted documents may be required. Also, some materials that can be ordered from our site are subject to cost-recovery fee; however, in most cases, a single copy of any NEI publication can be ordered for free.

While you can reuse content found on our site, please note that many of our on-line health publications are updated as we learn more about that specific disease or condition. Occasionally, we see sites that copy and re-post our materials but fail to check for updates, which results in out-of-date information being offered to users. For that reason, we urge you to link to our resource documents rather than re-posting. If you do re-post, please check back periodically to see if there are revisions, and please give source credit to the National Eye Institute.

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Linking Policy

Although organizations are welcome to link to the NEI Website, NEI policy limits outside links to other Federal government agencies, selected NEI grantees, National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) Partnership members, and selected eye-related organizations. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. For example, temporary links may be established with an organization that is conducting a meeting for which the NEI is providing sponsorship. In addition, links to the developers of tools that assist visitors in using website technology are provided. Currently, the NEI Website links to free versions of the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader, QuickTime® player, and RealPlayer® viewer.

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Schedule for Posting Content

We post information as available, unless otherwise required by law. Some areas of the NEI website are updated daily while others may not be updated for weeks or months.

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Information Quality Guidelines

NEI is your trusted source for reliable information. Read more about the NIH information quality guidelines.

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Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, provides individuals with a right to access to records in the possession of the federal government. The NIH website has information regarding FOIA requests.

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The links to outside Internet sites provided on our website are provided as a service to our users and do not imply endorsement by NEI or the National Institutes of Health. NEI is not responsible for the availability or content of these individual organizations' websites.

It is not the intention of NEI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and NEI urges you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions.

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This page was last modified in May 2008