Using The NodeIf this is your first time on the Node, please visit this Introduction to the Node.
If you have any questions, check below to see if it’s answered there. If not, feel free to contact us.
What topics are discussed on the Node?
Anything that is of interest to the community of developmental biologists. It could be a paper or research topic that you really want to discuss, a technical experimental problem you’ve experienced that you want to share and seek advice on, a report about a conference you are at or have been to, a post about career options, information about funding, a review of a book/film/exhibit that is related to developmental biology, interviews with scientists, or interesting local news that you want to share with the world (new research institute openings, etc.). Please post about whatever you want to discuss, but try to keep it relevant to developmental biologists, and please make sure that your post can be understood by an English-speaking audience.
You can also post details of upcoming events, or job openings in your lab.
Why register for the Node?
If you register, you don’t have to type your name and e-mail address every time you leave a comment. In addition, you can help moderate the site’s content by reporting posts that are inappropriate, and subscribe to email notifications of updates in specific categories on the Node. But the main reason to sign up is that, as a registered user, you will be able to add your own posts to the site! Posts from the Node are regularly featured on the Development homepage, and reach a wide community of developmental biologists. There is a waiting period after you register before you will be able to post. More information on that is below.
How do I register or change my profile information?
Click “register” at the top right side of the Node front page. This will take you to a page where you can create a username. This is the name you will use to log in to the site, but not necessarily the name that will be displayed with your posts and comments. Your password will be sent to you by e-mail. If you want a different password, you can change it from the dashboard panel after you’ve logged in.
When you log in (via the link in the top right corner of the Node’s site), you will be taken to the Node’s dashboard. In the sidebar here is a link that will take you to your profile. Please fill in your full name (so we know who is using the site) and choose a name to be displayed with your posts and comments. We would prefer it if this was your real name, or a recognizable nickname. Since the Node is a community website for and by developmental biologists, you will probably not just run into each other on this site, but also at conferences and meetings, and we’d like you to be able to recognize each other. For this same reason, we also ask that you add a brief biography in your profile. At the moment, biographical information is not public on the site, but this may change in the future.
How can I leave a comment?
Anyone can leave comments on the Node by clicking on the “make a comment” button, or on the speech balloon, on any of the posts. If you are a registered user, and you’re logged in, you can start typing your comment right away. Unregistered users will be asked to leave their name and e-mail address. If you have left a website address with your comment or in your user profile, your name will be linked to the site once your comment is published.
Can I edit a comment I wrote?
Not once it’s published, so think before you click “submit”.
How do I get an image to show up with my comment?
The images that show up next to some users’ comments are hosted by an external service called Gravatar. Gravatar lets you upload an image that is associated with your e-mail address, and any web site that uses Gravatar (such as the Node) will then display your image with your comments. To link the image to your Node account, make sure to use the same e-mail address to register for both Gravatar and the Node.
What are the thumbs up and thumbs down icons?
To show your approval (or disapproval) of a particular post or comment, you can click the appropriate icon. Comments that receive a certain ration of “thumbs down” votes will be hidden from view.
How do I report spam?
Posts come with a “report this” link that you can use to report inappropriate items such as spam. You must be a registered user of the site to be able to report a post through this link. Both unregistered and registered users can e-mail us if they see inappropriate posts or comments. Site moderators will remove spam as soon as they find it. The full procedure for the removal of spam is outlined in our Acceptable use Policy.
How do I report an inappropriate or offensive post or comment?
Similar to reporting spam, as described above, you can use the “report this” link, or contact us. We will review the reported content, and make a decision about the reported content and potential offender. Inappropriate content includes profanity, libelous content, threats, or copyrighted content, but do have a look at the Terms and Conditions for the complete list of what is considered to be inappropriate. The full procedure for the removal of inappropriate content is outlined in our Acceptable Use Policy.
How do I write a post or add an event?
Only registered users can post or add events. Once you’ve created your account, you can log in through the “log in” link at the top right side of the screen. Once you are logged in, you will be taken to the WordPress dashboard panel, from where you can edit your profile. You won’t immediately have the ability to add a post or event. This is to prevent inappropriate use (e.g. the creation of spam accounts). We’ll have a look at your profile and comments and if everything looks okay you should be given posting authorization within a week. For this reason, it is especially beneficial to fill in your full name and a brief biography when you register. Once you have been approved as an author, you will receive an e-mail with detailed instructions on how you can post and add events.
What are tags and categories?
Tags and categories both describe the content of blog posts. Categories are fixed, and only the Node’s editors can change them. They are very broad descriptions of the types of posts that exist on the website, and your post probably fits into at least one of them. If you want to suggest a new category, let us know.
Posts that are in the category “Jobs” do not show up with the rest of the posts on the front page, but appear in the sidebar, as well as on the “Jobs” category page.
Tags are keywords related to your specific post. They will make your post easier to find, and collectively they show a trend of what people are talking about.
Can I edit a post I wrote?
If it’s still an unpublished draft, then yes, of course. If it has already been published, then we’d prefer it if you didn’t change anything. As soon as you publish a post, the text is picked up in RSS feeds, and any edits will not change that original version. Instead, you’ll end up with multiple versions of the post, and that is extremely confusing, especially if there are comments on it. (You can, however, correct minor changes that don’t affect the content of the post: typos, spelling errors, or formatting mistakes — but you should have checked all that before you submitted the post!) Any other additions to the post can be left as a comment, or as a follow-up post.
If you posted a job ad, you may ask us to remove it from the site after the position has been filled, or we may decide to remove it at least one month after the job’s application deadline.
If your post has an image with text next to it, you may find that you’ll want to change the space between the image and the text. Here’s a pdf that explains how to do that.
A note about meeting reports
We’d love to hear about any meetings you’ve gone or are going to that are of relevance to developmental biologists. The meeting doesn’t have to be specifically about developmental biology but it should be on a topic that informs research in this community. But please be very careful when writing about the scientific content of the meeting. If the meeting has a specific policy about blogging, please adhere to that. If there are no clear guidelines, let us know which meeting you want to cover, and we’ll get in touch with the meeting organizers. In most cases, you will still need to ask a speaker’s permission before writing about any unpublished data presented in their talk. If their talk covers findings already in the public domain, then you are free to go ahead and write about them and about any discussions that followed.
If you don’t get permission to write about unpublished data in a talk, you can still write about published findings, and about any themes that emerged at the meeting, points of discussion or debate, and about the meeting itself: its location, the general topic of the meeting, who the organisers were, and who is speaking (if this is publicly available information). You can also write about your experience of the meeting: Did you have to choose between sessions? Was the hotel close to the meeting site? Were there many people there? Did you make any new contacts? Did a particular talk inspire your research? But remember: if you want to cover scientific information that is not on the meeting website or unpublished findings, ask for permission. If a meeting organizer or speaker asks us to remove a (section of a) meeting report pertaining to them, we will do so.
If you have photos of the meeting, you can add those to your post, but if the photo has people in it, check the meeting policy for this as well. You might need permission. Don’t post any photos of slides or posters with data on it without the presenter’s permission.
Don’t be discouraged by the strict rules about the reporting of data from meetings. Readers of the Node are interested in getting a general update about the meetings they missed, and the very specific scientific details of the talks may well eventually appear in journal reviews of the meeting. See also our tips for blogging from meetings.