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Acceptable Use Policy

The Company of Biologists Limited
Acceptable Use Policy; The Node and preLights

 

1. Use of the Node and prelights

This Acceptable Use Policy (referred to below as the “Policy”) shall apply to the use by you of the blog contained at the URL https://thenode.biologists.com (“the Node”, including “the Node Network”) and https://prelights.biologists.com/ (“preLights”).
The Node and preLights are made available to you by or on behalf of The Company of Biologists Limited of Bidder Building, Station Road, Histon, Cambridge, United Kingdom CB24 9LF (“the Company”, “we” or “us”). As community sites for the biological community they should only be used for relevant professional purposes.

This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Privacy Policy which can be read here, and the Terms and Conditions which can be viewed here, all of which shall apply to you as if set out here in full.

We may modify this Policy at any time at our absolute discretion and without giving individual notice to you. However, we will use reasonable endeavours to notify you of any such changes by using the email address that you have provided us with to register onto the site. You will be deemed to have accepted any modifications if you continue to use the Node and/or preLights after the modifications have been posted.

2. Linking

You are permitted to incorporate links to other websites in your posts or comments uploaded onto the Node and preLights, subject to the rules of this Policy

3. Monitoring

The Node

We are under no obligation to oversee or moderate the Node and we do not proactively monitor or edit any comments or posts made on the Node nor do we proactively monitor or edit changes to content made by a member of the Node Network after their first upload of information on their profile. Without prejudicing any general liability provisions contained in the Terms and Conditions, to the fullest extent permissible by law we expressly exclude our liability for any loss or damage caused due to the use of the Node by any user in contravention of the Terms and Conditions, and the Acceptable Use 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).
On the Node Network, we check all Node Network member profiles and all content included on the member profiles when they are first uploaded and before they are made available to other registered users and members of the Node Network to ensure the entry is relevant to the purposes of the site.

 

preLights

All users and members of preLights are part of the preLighter community, therefore all users and comments made on preLights posts are overseen and moderated however, posts made on the site are not moderated.

Without prejudicing any general liability provisions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use, to the fullest extent permissible by law we expressly exclude our liability for any loss or damage caused due to the use of preLights by any user in contravention of the Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, and the Acceptable Use 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 and take-down policy

All published posts on the Node contain a “report this post” link and all post on preLights contain a “report content” link.

Both unregistered and registered users of either site can report any inappropriate content or posts on the sites by the following methods:

• On the Node by filling in this form or emailing us at thenode@biologists.com.
• On preLights by filling in this form or emailing us at preLights@biologists.com.

On the Node complaints about site content are handled in the following ways:

• When a post is reported, e-mails are sent to certain individuals including the Node Community Manager, the Executive Editor and Reviews Editor of Development (collectively referred to below as “Moderators”);

• 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 breaches of this policy or 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.

• On the Node, there are some situations where 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:

o 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;

o 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;

o 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:

a) Spam is removed as soon as possible;
b) Most other inappropriate content is dealt with within 24 hours of receiving the report if no curators are involved;
c) 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. Use of the Node Network

Use by Registered Users of the Node Network is contingent on compliance with the provisions below.

Registered Users accessing the Node Network agree to use the content only for scientific/professional purposes and must not copy, download or store some or all of any records contained in the Node Network, or otherwise create their own records of any of the personal data that is available on the Node Network. Registered Users may contact Members of the Node Network via an email contact form or otherwise, and should in all cases refer to the Member’s current profile on the Node Network immediately prior to making contact. Registered Users may only contact Members on the basis of the current information contained in such Members profile, and may not refer back to other information that was previously contained in such Member’s profile which has since been removed or changed.

Registered Users may not incorporate links to their own or any other Member’s profile on the Node Network in any other web-page. However, Registered Users and Members may include links to their own personal webpage, to their biographies and appearance on social media sites in their profile, but no other website links may be included on the Node or Node Network.
Registered Users may only contact Members listed on the Node Network for professional and scientific purposes only.

Registered Users should be aware that some personal data that they are permitted to access on the Node Network comprises a special category of data (or sensitive data) and so in all cases must be used appropriately and for scientific and professional purposes only.

Please note that any emails that are sent by one Registered User to a Member of the Node Network via the website form on the Node Network site will not be monitored by The Company of Biologists, but will be stored by The Company of Biologists in case of any reported issues for a maximum of 3 months. The email will be deleted from The Company of Biologists’ systems after 3 months.

Any person not adhering to these terms and our other policies may be withdrawn from being able to access the Node Network, will be contacted, and where necessary details may be passed on to the relevant authorities. All Registered Users should only provide personal data relating to themselves and should not provide any personal data relating to any third party.

6. 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 and’or preLights, 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 and/or preLights while letting the user keep their account. This decision can be reverted at any time at the discretion of the Moderators.
If we deem that someone has been using the Node Network for inappropriate uses, we reserve the right to remove their user access or member profile from the site.

 

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