Policies: Netiquette

If you have a question about the appropriateness of a posting that you would like to make to the list, or if you have a comment or complaint about a posting that was made to the forum, please contact Info@npen.org

The purpose of the community forum is the exchange of information related to the topic of the forum among professionals and others. NPEN  has established the following points as part of its community forum policy related to general netiquette.

Respect for All Participants

It is expected that participants will respect the views of others on the list in all online conversations, regardless of how different the others’ views are from their own.

  1. Expressing opposing points of view can be done with consideration for the feelings of others. If you are upset and want to respond to a controversial posting, a good suggestion is to wait a day before sending your response.
  2. Use of profanity or derogatory comments is not appropriate.

Postings: General

  • New members: New participants are encouraged to follow the topics for a few days and then to comment and post an introduction about themselves.
  • Topic Title: To help other members screen messages that may be on topics of interest to them, use a short phrase in your subject line that describes the topic or topics included in your message.
  • Short responses: Do not send one-line responses or other responses that do not add substantively to the discussion.
  • Long responses: If you are responding to a long message, it is best to cut out those parts of that message that are not relevant to your response.
  • Copyrighted materials: It is important to be aware of copyright issues on the Internet. Members should not post copyrighted information to the list (e.g., an extended excerpt from a research article). Please note that email messages, like written letters, are considered copyrighted by the author of the message. Therefore, it is inappropriate to forward another person’s email message to the list without permission from that person.

Topics: Specific Types of Posts

  • Jobs: Job and conference announcements generally ARE appropriate. (See related document, “Community Forum Policy: Job and Conference Announcements.”)
  • Commercial: Commercial postings generally ARE NOT appropriate. (See related document, “Community Forum Policy: Advertisements of Products or Services.”)
  • You should NEVER post long unsolicited attachments. If you have a long document that you think some list members may be interested in, either put the document on a Web site and let members know the URL of the page; or post a note to the list that you have the document and you will be glad to send it to anyone who specifically requests it from you. Long Attachments: Generally, you should not post attachments to the forum. Because many participants may not be interested in the attachment, it is discourteous to require them to spend downloading time and disk space (some members may be paying for time and disk space) for a document they don’t want to read. Some email systems are unable to handle large attachments. Also, many participants are concerned about viruses that may accompany an attachment.
  • Questionnaires: Posting a questionnaire or other type of survey to the list IS NOT appropriate. If you would like participants to complete a survey, send a request to the forum administrator describing what you would like to do. The forum administrator will determine if it is appropriate for the participants. Then, the forum administrator will post a message to the participants describing the survey, and asking participants to contact you if they are interested in completing the survey.
  • Chain letters: Posting chain letters IS NOT appropriate. This refers to any type of chain letter, whether it is a money-making letter, a petition, or a “feel good” letter.
  • Personal messages: It generally IS NOT appropriate to post to the entire list a message of a personal nature intended for one person. Simply send such a message to the person him- or herself.

Administrative Issues

If you have a question about the appropriateness of a posting that you would like to make to the community forum, or a complaint or comment about a posting that was made to the forum, please contact the forum administrator or send an email message to Info@npen.org.

NPEN will contact individuals who appear to be unaware of this policy, reminding them of our purpose. NPEN reserves the right to remove individuals from the list who continue to detract from discussion by violating list netiquette.