The Conversation

Terms & conditions

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 organization 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:

  1. 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.
  2. You grant us a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide license to publish and communicate to the public any material you submit to us in any format, including without limitation print and electronic format. You also agree that we may permit other parties to publish and communicate to the public any material you submit to us in any format.
  3. 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.
  4. You warrant that the material you submit is not obscene, offensive or otherwise illegal.
  5. You agree not to submit material that is deliberately intended to upset other users.
  6. You will take reasonable steps to ensure that any material you submit is not defamatory of any person. If you suspect that material may be defamatory (or if you are not sure), you must tell us at the time you submit the material to us.

You acknowledge that any breach of these conditions may cause us damage or loss. 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 your breach of conditions (2) to (6) above. You must act honestly and in good faith in your dealings with us and (if requested) you must provide us with reasonable assistance to settle, defend or investigate any third party claims arising as a result of our publication of material you submit to us.

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.

Trust in our expert voices to express, assimilate and interpret information as a human creator is paramount to The Conversation. We ask that authors do not use generative AI to create the content of articles. In line with our policy of disclosure of conflicts of interest, authors must disclose to their editor if generative AI tools have been employed for any part of their article.

Research, as a general principle, should not be reported before it has been subjected to a recognized process of peer review.


When you register, you are registering as a personal user of 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:

  1. Your email address and password are personal to you and may not be used by anyone else to access
  2. You will not do anything that would assist anyone who is not a registered user to gain access to any registration area of
  3. 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.
  4. 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 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 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.

When commenting on The Conversation, you are like our guest at our dinner party. You've been invited into our space and we ask that you behave with respect and courtesy to help us create a positive fact-based discussion. These are the ground rules:

  • We treat our comments streams as a curated editorial product. We reserve the right to publish or remove comments to make the conversation better.
  • Comments are only open on selected articles and are typically open for 72 hours.
  • We require your real name and we reserve the right to delete comments made under aliases. If you've signed in via Twitter, please change your Twitter handle to your real name using your Conversation profile page.
  • Stay on-topic. Comments should be relevant to the article and replies relevant to the initiating post. We reserve the right to delete off-topic comments.
  • We reserve the right to delete any comments including: personal attacks, all forms of discrimination, posts identifying or sharing the personal information of another person (including children), comments that are commercial or repeatedly-shared external links, comments that are defamatory, breach copyright or put us in legal jeopardy, deliberate attempts to misinform, distort facts, provoke or misrepresent the opinions of others, the thread of replies if the original comment is deleted; and other comments at editorial discretion.
  • We reserve the right to lock accounts, in particular where commenters repeatedly breach standards.
  • Disputes: We won't review routine moderation decisions, but if you do need to discuss anything, contact our Community Manager:


Who is allowed to comment?

All readers of The Conversation can log in and comment. Commenters must use real names.

Can commenters remain anonymous?

No, we have a strict real names policy. Anonymity will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances. To discuss an anonymous post please contact the Community Manager:

How do commenters log in?

Create a Reader Profile by clicking on Sign In at the top right of the page.

How does The Conversation verify commenters?

We ask that commenters to be honest and use a real name. If you log on via an account like Twitter or Google, please enter your real name on your profile page and use a real name, not a pseudonym or social media handle. From time to time, we may ask users to verify their identity using a trusted, third party site.

Who reviews comments?

The Conversation's editors moderate comments. Readers and other commenters can report comments for our editors to review.

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 willfully 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 civilized 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.

Last updated: Feb 2021