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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.

Registration

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

Community standards

We want The Conversation to be a place for intelligent discussion. By posting, you'll be contributing to independent, fact-based debate. We want the discussion of an article to be, if anything, more illuminating than the original article and we need your help to do that. Follow these guidelines to help keep things on track.

In brief

  • Don't attack people and don't respond to attacks – report them and move on
  • Keep your posts on topic and constructive
  • Take responsibility for the quality of the conversations you take part in
  • Above all, respect others and their opinions.

Be you

We require real names: they help us maintain a transparent forum. We reserve the right to delete comments made under aliases.

If you've signed in via your Twitter account our site will use your Twitter handle by default. Please change it to your real name using your Conversation profile page.

Be considerate

We're here to talk about ideas, not the people behind them.

We'll delete: personal attacks directed at anyone; all forms of discrimination (or posts that could be interpreted as such); posts we believe exist only to provoke or mislead; and comments that are commercial or repeatedly shared external links.

Be respectful

Treat people with the respect you'd like to receive. Admit when you're wrong. You'll come across opinions you disagree with. That doesn't make them invalid.

Be on-topic

Keep comments relevant to the article and replies relevant to the initiating post. We reserve the right to delete off-topic comments to keep threads on track.

For example: in an article about the policy response to climate change, comments that deny the science of climate change will be considered off topic.

Be constructive

Explain why you disagree or agree with something. Your reasoning is as important as your opinion.

“This article sucks”

will be deleted.

“I disagree with this article. Here's why...”

won't be.

“You're an idiot”

will be deleted.

“Have you considered...”

won't be.

Back up your ideas with evidence and fact where possible. Ask any questions you have for the author or your fellow commenters.

Aim to add a new idea to each approach rather than repeating what's already been said. Move on if things get stuck.

We'll distinguish between constructive comments and smear campaigns.

Be legal

Don't post anything that may put us in legal jeopardy – nothing defamatory, nothing in breach of copyright.

Be proactive

Take responsibility for the quality of the conversations you participate in; only reply to things you consider worth your attention.

Report posts you think violate these standards. Tell people when they post something you appreciate and press the 'Recommend' button on their post.

What we'll do

We reserve the right to remove comments that breach these standards and lock accounts of commenters who breach them repeatedly.

Replies to comments that have been deleted may themselves be deleted, either to remove the thread or because they don't make sense out of context. Comments may be closed if these standards aren't met.

We won't discuss moderation on the site. If you need to discuss anything, contact our Community Manager: moderation@theconversation.com

Moderation disputes are handled by our Community Manager, escalated to our Managing Editor and then Editorial Board.

Last updated: 3 April 2014

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.