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‘Netiquette’ for AuthorAID discussion forums

While most participants implicitly know how to interact on a discussion forum, we occasionally come across inappropriate posts. Here's a quick list of things you should and should not do:

You should:

  1. Make sure your posts are relevant to the purpose of the platform or the topic under discussion.
  2. Ensure your messages are polite and respectful of people of other cultures and traditions, especially when expressing a disagreement
  3. Be aware of conversational style – Email discussion should be conducted different to the conversational style of SMS and instant messaging, such as WhatsApp. Emails should address other members (e.g., “Hi Ahmed”; “Dear Dr Smith”; “thank you for your contribution, Sara”), and the context of discussion should be provided where possible
  4. In email discussions, please sign off messages with your name and institution or organisation (an email signature is recommended, so readers can find out more about you).
  5. When responding via email to a group member you wish to collaborate with, email them directly, do not post in the discussion list – any messages in the discussion list will be rejected by the moderators unless they add value to the discussion for other members.
  6. Emoticons or GIFs can be used on occasion to let the reader know how you feel. As we cannot see each other’s facial expressions emoticons fill this gap to some extent. However, do not use emoticons or GIFs excessively.

You should NOT:

  1. Display any kind of bias towards people of any kind based on their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, or anything else. Any material which constitutes defamation, harassment, or abuse is strictly prohibited. Material that is sexually or otherwise obscene, racist, or otherwise overly discriminatory is not permitted on this forum.
  2. Write in a harsh or insulting manner to anyone in the group. If you are angry, please wait at least 10 minutes before posting.
  3. Discuss things unrelated to the purpose of the discussion group.
  4. Avoid linking to other products, services or forums without providing sufficient context on their purpose or relevance to the discussion.
  5. Advertise commercial products or services without permission from the AuthorAID Team.
  6. Post requests to complete surveys (unless you have permission from the AuthorAID team).
  7. Avoid excessive promotion of external products, services or forums, even if you perceive them to be relevant.
  8. Avoid excessive duplicate messaging or ‘spamming’ of forums
  9. Ask any other user to divulge their personal contact details on a general discussion forum
  10. Provide links to websites that may have illegal content, such as pirated software, scanned books, and copyrighted journal articles that are not meant to be shared openly. Uploading any such content directly to the list is also forbidden.

If you're in doubt, check with the AuthorAID team (authoraid@inasp.info)

AuthorAID reserves the right to remove any posts that we consider to be in breach of the above.