Acceptable Use PolicyCOMPANY OF BIOLOGISTS LIMITED
ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY: THE NODE
1 USE OF THE NODE
This Acceptable Use Policy (referred to below as the “Policy”) shall apply to the use by you of the blog contained at the URL http://thenode.biologists.com (“The Node”).
The Node is made available to you by or on behalf of Company of Biologists Limited of Bidder Building, 140 Cowley Road, Cambridge, United Kingdom CB4 ODL (“the Company”, “we” or “us”).
We may modify this Policy at any time in our absolute discretion, without giving individual notice to you. You will be deemed to have accepted any modifications if you continue to use The Node after the modifications have been posted.
You are permitted to incorporate links to other websites in your posts or comments uploaded onto The Node, subject to the rules of this Policy.
However we do respond to reports of inappropriate comments or posts made by users in accordance with the ‘complaints & take-down policy’ set out below.
In addition however, we retain sole discretion at all times to remove comments or other content expeditiously, and/or suspend or terminate user accounts, where we consider that such content is unlawful or relates to an unlawful activity or we are made aware of the same (whether or not such content is reported to us).
4 COMPLAINTS & TAKE-DOWN POLICY
All published posts contain a “report this post” link. Registered users of the Website can use the “report this post” link to report inappropriate posts. Both unregistered and registered users can report any inappropriate content or posts by filling in this form or emailing us at email@example.com.
The Node receives notification of complaints about site content in the following ways:
• when a post is reported through the “report this post”, e-mails are sent to certain individuals include The Node’s Community Manager, and the Executive Editor and Reviews Editor of Development (collectively referred to below as “Moderators”);
• users may also e-mail The Node at any time to report contentious posts or comments
As soon as Moderators receive notification of a reported (or “flagged”) post or comment (whether by e-mail or through the site’s administration system), they will read the content that is being reported, and decide how to proceed, as follows:
• If the flagged content is obviously spam, it will be removed. User accounts created for the sole purpose of adding spam will be removed as well. If a user contributes regularly, and only posts spam once, they receive a warning. Repeat offenders lose the ability to write posts.
• If a comment or post is reported because it contains explicit and offensive language, threats, or other well-defined breaches of the terms and conditions, the Moderators may choose to remove the offending post or comment or parts of the post or comment and notify the author, or ask the author to rewrite a particular section.
• In some situations, however, flagged content may not be as straightforward to remove. These situations include (but are not limited to):
(a) if removing flagged content would affect an ongoing discussion (For example: a post may have a lot of comments, and be linked from other sites, before someone flags it);
(b) if Moderators do not reach a consensus on whether something needs to be removed or not; or
(c) if the flagged content concerns a matter of scientific debate.
In such cases, the Moderators will contact The Node’s curators for advice, who will make the final decision on any contentious content when this decision cannot be made by the moderators alone. This process is described below.
In some situations, the Moderators may request the help of curators to decide whether to remove content that has been reported as contentious, in accordance with the following policy considerations:
• for any given decision, the curators involved will be three, or at a minimum two, people from the following group: The Company of Biologists’ Publisher, Executive Editor of Development or Executive Editor of the Journal of Cell Science, Development Editor in Chief, a Development Editor or a Director of the Company of Biologists who is a member of the Development Advisory Group;
• no individual can be both a Moderator and curator in the same decision, and if the post or comment reported concerns a matter of scientific debate or research, at least one of the curators involved should be a working scientist
The time it takes to make a final decision on whether to remove content varies depending on the content and the people involved in the decision process, as follows:
• spam is removed as soon as possible;
• most other inappropriate content is dealt with within 24 hours of receiving the report if no curators are involved;
• if curators are involved, a decision will be reached in 2 days if the matter is not one of scientific content, or up to one week if an academic expert needs to be consulted.
In all situations described above, the Moderators may choose on a case by case basis to hide the reported content or have it remain visible for the duration of the decision period.
5 SUSPENSION AND TERMINATION RIGHTS
Without prejudice to our rights of termination or suspension under the Terms and Conditions of Use, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate your user account, and your right to use The Node, where in our discretion you have failed to comply with this Policy. This right does not preclude us from exercising any other right or remedy available to us at law.
We may also choose to limit or increase a user’s access to the site’s functionality, for example through disallowing posting to the front page of The Node while letting the user keep their account. This decision can be reverted at any time at the discretion of the Moderators.
(last updated: January 24th, 2011)