Sciforums posting guidelines

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The following is a guide to some of the standard posting 'rules' for Sciforums ([1]).

General Comments on Posting Guidelines

The following rules and guidelines for posting exist to create and maintain a high standard of interesting and informative debate on forum topics, whilst abiding by relevant laws and general standards of civility and common sense. These guidelines are informed by the desire to create an atmosphere of respect for the different opinions of the many posters to sciforums.

Moderation

Moderation may include editing, moving, and deletion of posts or threads. Whilst moderation takes place according to these guidelines, posts and threads are treated on a case-by-case basis, in an effort to create a balance between competing points of view and to treat all posters fairly, given all the circumstances. However, in posting here you accept that the Moderators have the final say, and can moderate your posts for any reason they think fit. No arguments will be entered into regarding moderation.

In general, posters will not be informed that their posts have been moderated. However, a reason for editing or deleting a post will usually appear with the relevant post in a thread.

Specific rules and guidelines follow.

Specific guidelines for posting

Personal comments

Posts which attack a person rather than his or her views will be edited to remove the unnecessary personal remarks.

Examples of acceptable posts include:

  • You are wrong to say that relativity is flawed, because ...
  • You obviously don't understand quantum mechanics, because ...
  • Saying what you said clearly displays your ignorance of ...

Examples of unacceptable posts include:

  • You are a stupid crank who knows nothing about relativity.
  • You're a complete nutcase.
  • Anybody who'd write what you wrote must have severe psychological problems.

Stereotyping and name-calling

Be careful of assigning character features to another poster because of his or her membership of a group (such as people who do accept the theory of relativity). It is acceptable to point out similarities between members of groups, but only as long as this is backed up by some kind of argument or evidence. Posts which resort to name-calling will be edited or deleted. Unacceptable posts include:

  • Relativists like you are nothing more than blind followers of authority.
  • All scientists are closed-minded fools.
  • Backyard physicists (like you) are mindless fools who don't know anything.

Goading, flaming and trolling

Posts which, in the moderator's opinion, serve no purpose other than to attempt to provoke an angry reaction from another poster, will be deleted.

Blanket statements made about the beliefs and/or characteristics of posters, if posted without supporting evidence, may be deleted.

It is not expected that people who hold contrary scientific views will necessarily be friendly and receptive to contrary beliefs. However, this is not an excuse for the general disparagement of anybody who adheres to a belief system you personally find unpalatable or offensive.

Threats, racist comments

All racial slurs will be deleted.

Any post threatening another poster in any way will be deleted, and the poster will be banned from sciforums.

Gratuitous comments and images

Obscene, sexually-oriented or violent material will, in most cases, be removed. This is particularly applicable in the case of images.

Language

Cursing is tolerated. Excessive use of vulgar language will initially be edited. Posts that continue this trend will be deleted.

Cutting and pasting / plagiarism

  • General - Posting large verbatim extracts of text from other sites is undesirable for several reasons:
    • It uses up storage space on SciForums.
    • It duplicates information that is easily accessible elsewhere.
    • It can disrupt the flow of a thread, because posters have to scroll through large amounts of text that they may not wish to read.
    • It may breach copyright laws.

Therefore, we ask that posters abide by the following guidelines:

    • All quotes from other sites must be attributed (e.g. by posting a link to the site).
    • Quoted text should be restricted to a few lines or a paragraph unless the poster is quoting the text along with his or her, own detailed analysis (interspersed with the text).
    • Avoid verbatim reproduction of entire posts of other posters (e.g. from earlier in a thread). If you want to dissect a post, it is fine to split it into different parts, but do not simply quote the entire post and then add a one or two line comment.

Posts which deviate from these guidelines will be edited or deleted.

  • Quoting texts

Large extracts from texts which are readily available on the web or elsewhere will be removed.

  • Plagiarism

Plagiarism consists of copying another person's writings and passing them off as your own. If you post something somebody else has written, you must name the author, and preferably also reference the source. Posts which include material from elsewhere that is not properly acknowledged in this way will be deleted.

Off-topic posts

Posts that interrupt a thread with comments that do not relate to the original topic, may be deleted.

Repeated posts and topics

The moderators recognise that many topics in this forum are variations on a theme. That is to be expected in this kind of forum. However, topics which are mere cut-and-pastes from previous thread topics may be deleted or merged with a previous thread. Simiarly, cross-posting of the same message in multiple threads will result in the deletion of one or more of the repeated posts.

Interfering with moderation

Changing a moderator's edit for any reason may result in immediate banning from sciforums.

The Cesspool

A moderator may choose to move any thread to the "Cesspool" forum rather than editing or deleting it.

Repeat offenders

The moderators are not paid for their work, and have limited time. They do not look kindly on posters whom they have to watch continually for breaches of the forum rules. If they find that a member's posts are requiring continual moderation attention, the member will usually first be warned by personal message. If the inappropriate posts continue, the member may be banned either temporarily or permanently from posting.

Freedom of speech

Members are free to post or not to post on sciforums. However, posting there is a privilege, not a right. As such, by posting they agree to abide by the forum rules. Yes, this restricts freedom of speech to a certain extent. If a member cannot accept the restrictions which are in place, it is advised that the member looks for an alternative forum which suits him or her better, or perhaps starts his or her own site.