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Thread: Biology Forum Moderation Standards

  1. #1 Biology Forum Moderation Standards 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Forum-Wide Guidelines

    This forum was created and is maintained for scientific discussion. All threads and all members will be held to certain minimum standards in order to foster interesting and civil discussions.

    I strongly recommend that all new users read the forum guidelines (posted in a sticky thread in General Discussion and Site Feedback).

    For emphasis I would like to repeat here part of the introduction to those guidelines:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Science Forum Guidelines
    View these rules as the rights of the moderators, not their duties. The moderators are free in their choice to warn or edit posts, or conduct their duties. If you feel their actions are not satisfactory, PM the administrator about it. Do not make a post or thread about it. It is not your duty as a member to remind moderators of their duties, or to advise a topic to be moved or closed. If you feel the moderators have missed something, PM them.
    If you disagree with these standards or my actions, feel free to start a thread in Site Feedback discussing it, to PM me, or to PM the admins Skinwalker and (In)Sanity. Please do not make comments about my moderation in the discussion threads themselves.

    Biology Forum Guidelines

    My primary standards as moderator of the Biology subforum are below. It is up to my discretion to decide when a thread or a poster has fallen below these standards. If you feel unsure about some of these rules, don’t worry – if you make a mistake or two you will be warned, and your posts possibly edited or moved, but you won’t get suspended or banned unless you are you are consistently causing problems.

    • Nothing Personal

      I have no problem with a little good-natured joking around, but moderator action will be taken if:

      1. You are making personal attacks, especially if you are using these attacks as a debating tactic.
      2. You’re spending more time talking about the personal qualities of another poster than talking about the topic itself, even if your intentions were only to be helpful.
      3. You’re being overly aggressive, using excessive profanity, etc.
      If you have something personal to say to another poster, do it via PM. Do not do it in the thread.

      It is up to you to make sure you are understood by the other members. If you think you’re just joking around or being sarcastic, but your posts are being censored or deleted, that means the rest of us don’t think you’re joking.

    • Back it Up

      In a scientific discussion, if you make a claim and someone else challenges you on that claim, it is your responsibility to provide support for your claim. Do not tell them to look it up themselves. However, this works both ways. If someone makes claim X, and you say “No, you’re wrong, it’s actually Y,” then you can be challenged to provide support for Y. (But if no one ever challenges you, providing a source is not required if you don't want to.)

      But what is “support”? Ideally, support is an article published in a scholarly peer-reviewed journal. Yes, this system is not perfect, but it is the only system of publication held to the high standards of science. Sources other than peer-reviewed articles may still be challenged.

    • Science Only

      Pseudoscientific topics are not acceptable in this subforum. Anything involving the supernatural, involving urban legends and/or myths that have never been substantiated by empirical evidence, or involving ideas that are simply inaccurate according to well established knowledge will be removed from this subforum. There are other places on this forum where these topics can be discussed; this subforum is simply not one of them.

      To address intelligent design/creationism specifically: these ideas involve a supernatural guiding intelligence. Therefore these ideas are not science. This is the Talk Origins Archive Index to Creationist Claims. The Talk Origins response to any of these claims is as good as my own. None of these claims will be sufficient to change my mind when it comes to the removal of ID/creationist posts.

    • Legal Issues

      Do not post links to torrents, youtube videos, etc of copyrighted material. This forum will not be associated with such violations.

      When it comes to text, I will not be actively looking for plagiarism. However, if I suspect that a post of yours was not written by you, I may ask you to provide a link crediting the source. If you do not comply with this request, your post may be removed.

    • Minor Issues

      Unless the topic/discussion is clearly inappropriate, it is unlikely that I will ever move, split, or merge threads without asking the original poster what they would prefer. If you would like a thread moved, split, or merged, send me a PM and I will look into it. Posting the same or extremely similar thread in multiple subforums is not allowed; if you can’t decide where your thread would fit, just pick one forum and try it for a while. If you later change your mind, you can always PM a moderator or an admin to move it for you.

      Spam is not allowed – this includes links to your website or blog, or any commercially based website, even if it is related to biology. If you have an informative link you’d like to share with us, either post it in the Links subforum, or PM me and I may add it to the list in the Research Tips thread.

    Thanks for reading, and happy posting!

    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre


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