User-generated content: submitting material for publication
The Conversation only publishes material submitted by registered users. We accept no liability in respect of any material submitted by users and published by us, and we are not responsible for its content and accuracy.
The views expressed are the personal opinions of the experts named. They may not represent the views of The Conversation or any other organisation unless specifically stated. The Conversation attempts to provide a range of views from the academic and research community.
Users may submit material for publication under the following terms and conditions:
- Publication of any material you submit to us will be at our sole discretion. We reserve the right to make additions or deletions to the text or graphics prior to publication, or to refuse publication.
- You grant us a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide licence to republish any material you submit to us in any format, including without limitation print and electronic format.
- You warrant that any material you submit is your own original work and that you own the copyright and any other relevant rights. If you would like to tell us about material that isn’t your copyright and which we may want to use, please tell us who owns it so we can ask permission to republish.
- You warrant that the material you submit is not obscene, offensive, defamatory of any person or otherwise illegal.
- You agree not to post material that is deliberately intended to upset other users.
- You acknowledge that any breach of these warranties may cause us damage or loss and you agree to indemnify us in full and permanently against any third-party liabilities, claims, costs, loss or damage we incur as a result of publishing material you submit to us, including consequential losses.
- We reserve the right to remove your access to individual services completely if we believe you are abusing the services in any way.
Interactions with our site are governed by our Community Standards (see below), which expand on the points above and are incorporated in these Terms of Service. You will be deemed to consent to these guidelines if you choose to post any content or comments to the site.
General principles for authors, disclosure and peer review
The Conversation is committed to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct. Authors have a duty to ensure that their work maintains the good name of The Conversation and that of the academic and research community.
The Conversation requires authors to disclose any potential conflict of interest. A conflict exists where an individual's interests diverge from their professional responsibilities such that an independent observer might reasonably conclude that the author has been unduly influenced by their own interest.
Publication must include information on the sources of financial and in-kind support for the research, and must reveal actual or potential conflicts of interest.
Research, as a general principle, should not be reported before it has been subjected to a recognised process of peer review.
When you register, you are registering as a personal user of theconversation.com. Access to registration areas is by your email address and password. Your use of the site is an agreement to abide by our Terms and Conditions.
We allow you access to the registration areas of the site on the basis that:
- your email address and password are personal to you and may not be used by anyone else to access theconversation.com.
- you will not do anything that would assist anyone who is not a registered user to gain access to any registration area of theconversation.com.
- you do not create additional registration accounts for the purpose of abusing the site or other users; nor do you seek to pass yourself off as another user.
- you comply with these terms and conditions.
If, for any reason, we believe you have not complied with these requirements, we may, at our discretion, cancel your access to the registration areas of theconversation.com immediately and without notice.
Termination of Registration
If we wish to bring the agreement to an end, we will do so by emailing you at the address you have registered stating that the agreement has terminated. The agreement will terminate and your email address and password will become invalid on theconversation.com immediately.
How to complain and corrections
The Conversation strives to maintain the highest editorial standards at all times. However, we do not always get things right. Should you feel it necessary to correct or complain about an article, the means for doing so are contained below.
The Conversation strives for fairness and accuracy at all times, and we encourage users to advise us of any significant errors.
Community standards and participation guidelines
- We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), abuse and defamatory language will not be tolerated. Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions. We aim to maintain theconversation.com service as an inviting space to focus on intelligent discussions. Be courteous.
- We acknowledge criticism of the articles we publish. But for the sake of robust debate, we will distinguish between constructive, focused argument and smear tactics.
- We require real names. Contributors who want to comment must use their real names when signing up for an account on The Conversation. Organisation representatives creating accounts also must use their own names. Requiring real names helps us maintain a transparent and credible forum for discussion and debate. We reserve the right to delete comments made from profiles with partial names or aliases.
- We understand that people often feel strongly about issues debated on the site, but we will consider removing any content that others might find extremely offensive or threatening. Please respect other people's views and beliefs and consider your impact on others when making your contribution.
- We reserve the right to curtail conversations and refuse access. We don't want to stop people discussing topics they are enthusiastic about, but we do ask users to find ways of sharing their views that do not feel divisive, threatening or toxic to others. Personal attacks are a direct violation of these guidelines and are grounds for immediate and permanent suspension of access to all or part of The Conversation service.
- We will not tolerate racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia or other forms of discriminatory language or contributions that could be interpreted as such.
- We will remove any content that may put us in legal jeopardy, such as potentially defamatory postings, or material posted in potential breach of copyright.
- We will remove any posts that are obviously commercial or otherwise spam-like. Our aim is that this site should provide a space for people to interact with our content and each other, and we actively discourage commercial entities passing themselves off as individuals to post advertising material or links. This may also apply to people or organisations that frequently post propaganda or external links.
- Keep it relevant. We know some conversations can be wide-ranging, but if you post something unrelated to the original topic ("off-topic") then it may be removed to keep the thread on track. This also applies to queries or comments about moderation, which should not be posted as comments.
- Be aware that you may be misunderstood, so try to be clear about what you are saying, and expect that people may understand your contribution differently than you intended. Remember that text can be misconstrued: tone of voice (sarcasm, humour and so on) doesn't always come across when read by others.
- The platform is ours, but The Conversation belongs to everybody. We want this to be a welcoming space for intelligent discussion, and we expect participants to help us achieve this by notifying us of potential problems and helping each other to keep conversations inviting and appropriate. If you spot something problematic in community interaction areas, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org. When we all take responsibility for maintaining an appropriate and constructive environment, the debate is improved and everyone benefits.
In short: if you act with consideration for other users, you should have no problems. Take some responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you're participating. Help make this an intelligent place for discussion.
Moderation and Reporting Abuse
All community interaction is subject to some level of moderation to ensure the spirit of the community standards is upheld.
- In general, we will primarily rely on visitors to post-moderate community interaction to keep the conversation lively. However, because of the sheer quantity involved, this unfortunately means we can't guarantee all comments live on the site are appropriate or in the spirit of our community standards.
- Reporting abuse. While our staff will try to keep an eye on all community activity, we will rely on our users to report abusive, offensive or otherwise inappropriate comments when they appear by clicking on the "report abuse" link that appears next to each comment. This alerts us to problems and areas of concern to the community, which means we can make the space better for everyone: we're grateful for your help with this.
- Participants who seriously, persistently or wilfully ignore community standards, participation guidelines or terms and conditions will lose their posting privileges. This is not an action that we take lightly or arbitrarily. However, we are aiming to create and maintain an online experience consistent with the high value we place on civilised debate, and we reserve the right to make decisions that we feel support that.
- Please be aware that moderators may contact you by email in relation to your participation, especially where an issue comes up in relation to these community standards. Any advice they give/request they make should be adhered to, as our moderators are asked to enforce these community standards and create a constructive environment for everyone who contributes to our site.
- We will, when necessary, remove user postings or comments. If a contribution is perceived as breaching the community guidelines set out above, then it will be removed by the editorial team, in the interests of keeping community areas of the site appropriate for the vast majority of the people who visit. (Note: We will not edit user posts to change the meaning, spelling, or anything else intended by the user. Even if only part of a comment or posting is perceived as breaching community guidelines, the whole thing may be removed. Also, when a comment or post is removed for any of the reasons above, it is sometimes necessary to delete subsequent messages that refer to explicitly or quote from the original (removed) comment to preserve the conversational thread. This may also happen because a later comment quotes directly the problematic bits of the original comment, which just perpetuates the problem. In such cases not every deletion will be marked individually.)
What control do authors have on comments? None. Authors can't moderate comments on their own – or anyone else's – articles. If an author wants a particular comment removed, he or she should click on the “report abuse” and the comment will be assessed by the moderation team in due course and dealt with accordingly.
We reserve the right to take steps or implement measures that we hope will benefit the whole community of participants.
Because we are ultimately responsible for everything that appears on this site, all actions and decisions taken by our moderators are final. Unfortunately, the quantity of user content means we can't enter into correspondence regarding specific moderation activity, although all correspondence will be read.