The Science Forum Guidelines
There has been some question, now and in the past, as to censorship, and the need for 'insulting/flaming' on a science-oriented board versus the maturity and the 'ability to look past political correctness'. The results of that debate has led to the formation of these rules.
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 threat about it. It is not your duty as a member to remind moderators of their duties, or to advice a topic to be moved or closed. If you feel the moderators have missed something, PM them.
The Administration askes you to read these rules and abide by them. This is no dictatorship, but repeated offenders will be punished.
To you new members, perhaps you will find it worthwhile to lurk around for a while and see how members post. There are unwritten rules as well, and knowing how to post can increase the quality of replies in your thread.
2. QUESTIONABLE CONDUCT
The guidelines under this section are the lifelines of the community. They are generally forthflowing from common sense, and will be met with swift retribution when violated. A warning might not apply to the breaking of these rules. Thus, if you are unsure whether or not something goes against the rules, PM a moderator or administrator.
2(a) No posting of pornographic or images of questionable nature; What content is and is not questionable/pornographic is up to the discretion of a moderator. Using common sense, however, goes a long way. PM a moderator whether in doubt.
2(b) No hateful remarks about race, sex, religion, sexual orientation and the like; this includes use of the word 'gay' as a negative word. Pointing out faulty points in one's logic is okay. But try not to connect it to personal traits. Moderators may warn when they feel it is inappropriate or directing the thread in a negative way.
2(c) No discussions which directly or indirectly encourage illegal activity. This includes linking to pirated files, sharing piracy information and trading warez links, but also the endorsement of the actual construction of any sorts of illegal weapons. Though we recognise that the creation of some 'weapons' (also referring to biological agents and others) is easily found on the web, the discussion of experimental construction or planning to construct such expiments is not allowed.
1(d) No racially, sexually or religiously motivated images or text that are deemed, by Moderators, to have great potential to cause personal offense to other users and/or promote prejudice shall be tolerated. Though we encourage breaking taboos, we also hope that you try to adapt your medium. Discussion of the existence of the holocaust is one thing, posting kiddieporn for the sake of provocation another.
3. BASIC GUIDELINES ON TOPIC CREATION
The following are guidelines. Still, misconduct and failing to improve can lead to reduced posted priviliges, or a ban.
3(a) When creating a topic (aka thread), make sure it is posted in the correct section. When in doubt, try the section you feel it is best suited in. If you as a member feel a thread is located in the wrong area, don't post it in the thread. Rather, PM a moderator.
3(b) Formulate the title of the thread properly. Make sure it fits the topic, is to the point, and try to use normal spelling. Don't overuse capitals or exclamation marks.
3(c) When posting a topic, wonder whether the thread is indeed a contribution to the board, and as something new/different/interesting to offer. If it doesn't, it is considered Spam, and moderators may delete it.
3(d) The creation of a thread with the intent purpose of advertising another website is discouraged, especially in the case of 'one-posters', who merely join and post with the intent of advertising.
4. BASIC GUIDELINES ON POSTING
If you follow the rules in Section 2 you should be fine, but there are still some specific things we don't like to see on our forums.
4(a) Don't reply to your own post if you forget to add something, i.e., post two consecutive posts. Instead, edit the initial message. If you need time to think, don't post a "Let me think.." message. Think, than post your message.
4(b) Do not engage in flame wars. Meaning, don't follow members around sections flaming them wherever they go. Fights you had with members on other boards do not concern the administration here. Live with it, swallow it. The breaking of rules will be punished despite of it.
4(c) Do not repeatedly post on the same subject. If members didn't respond the first time you posted it, chances are they'll like it even less the second time around with a new post. If you've made great improvements, at least reply to your original topic. Don't go starting a whole new topic on the exact same subject.
4(d) Do not post the same topic or similiar topic on multiple boards across the forums, most, if not all, will be deleted. If you posted a topic in the wrong forum, contact a Moderator to have it moved.
4(e) Before replying, please ask yourself the following question: "Does my reply offer any significant advice or help contribute to the conversation in any fashion?" If not, do not post it as it will be considered spam.
4(f) Refrain from excessive use of profanity. There are no word filters, so there is no need to experiment what is and what is not possible. Excessive use will be noted and warned against. Again, the verdict is up to a moderators, if you are in risk of a ban, ask the moderators for what you can and can not do, or, even simpler: Don't use profanity at all!
4(g.1) You are responsible for your posts. Make sure you credit the original author(s) if you make a reference, or citation. Though it is not neccesary to use the APA-norm (or similar forms), assuring that people know where they can find the original source is encouraged.
4(g.2) Posts containing large amounts of copied content are discouraged. A small (quoted!) paragraph, with a link to the original source is preferred.
5. REPORTING POSTS
We encourage users to report posts for breaking the above rules, but we ask you to make sure you follow the following pointers.
5(a) If you feel a topic is spam, do not reply to it stating so. Simply ignore it and send a private message to a moderator about it. By replying, you only help keep the spam active.
5(b) Do not flame or in any way insult those who you feel have acted outside of the rules, as you only stoop to their level. Again, ignore the content and inform a Moderator or Administrator via PM.
6. CONTACTING MODERATORS
We do not mind users messaging us about our decisions as Moderators, however we will not tolerate questioning on the forums.
6(a) If you complain about what you feel are shortcomings of the current Moderation team, the topic will most likely be deleted as it will create a topic which is a target for spam and abuse.
7. NICKNAME CHANGING
7(a) Changing your nickname, by fault or simply for a new look can be done by PM-ing an administrator. Be reasonable. Do not expect an administrator to be your personal assistant.
8(a) Repeated or extreme offenses are rewarded with a permanent or temporary ban. Bans are only issued by administrators, and if you feel that you have been mistreated, contact the Administrator through email.
9(a) The above rules are subject to change without notice.
9(b) The above rules are guidelines to the administration. They are not rights. If your actions are deemed inappropriate by the administrations, but abide by the rules, do not expect to get away with it.
10. CONTACTING ADMINISTRATOR(s)
10(a) You can contact the administrator(s) through PM. Sending Spam, threats or otherwise improper messages will result in consequences.
Follow these rules, use your common sense, and be nice to each other, and everything will be fine. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to PM the administrator(s).
[Alternatively, you can also create a thread in Site Feedback Section]