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Acceptable use policy

This acceptable use policy sets out the terms between you and us under which you may access our sites. This acceptable use policy applies to all users of, and visitors to the following sites (our sites).

Your use of our site means that you accept, and agree to abide by, all the policies in this acceptable use policy, which supplement our General Terms of Use.

Acceptable use policies for other websites associated with the Royal Society are available here:

  • royalsocietypublishing.org, including the following subdomains:
    • rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rsbm.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rsnr.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rsob.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rsfs.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rstl.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • rspl.royalsocietypublishing.org
    • pictures.royalsociety.org
    • prints.royalsociety.org
    • e-gap.royalsociety.org

Prohibited uses

You may use our sites only for lawful purposes and in accordance with this policy. You may not use our site:

  • In any way that breaches any applicable laws or regulations.
  • In any way that is unlawful or fraudulent, or has any unlawful or fraudulent purpose or intention.
  • To post messages aimed at vulnerable persons or a person under 14 years of age.
  • For the purpose of harming or attempting to harm any other person in any way.
  • To send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use or re-use any material which does not comply with our content standards (see below).
  • To transmit, or procure the sending of, any commercial messages, advertising or promotional material or any other form of similar solicitation (spam).
  • To knowingly transmit any data, send or upload any material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time-bombs, keystroke loggers, spyware, adware or any other harmful programs or similar computer code designed to adversely affect the operation of any computer software or hardware.

You also agree:

  • Not to reproduce, modify, publish, link to or exploit (for any commercial purpose) any Content appearing on our sites in contravention of our General Terms of Use.
  • Not to access without authority, interfere with, damage or disrupt:
    • any part of our sites;
    • any equipment or network on which our site is stored;
    • any software used in the provision of our site; or
    • any equipment or network or software owned or used by any third party.

Interactive services

We may from time to time provide interactive services on our site, including, without limitation:

  • Chat rooms.
  • Bulletin boards.

(interactive services).

We will do our best to assess any possible risks for users (and in particular, for children under 14) from third parties when they use any interactive service provided on our site, and we will decide in each case whether it is appropriate to use moderation of the relevant service (including what kind of moderation to use) in the light of those risks. However, we are under no obligation to oversee, monitor or moderate any interactive service we provide on our site, and to the fullest extent legally permitted we expressly exclude our liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of any interactive service by a user in contravention of our content standards, whether the service is moderated or not.

The use of any of our interactive services by a person under 14 is subject to the consent of their parent or guardian. We advise parents who permit their children to use any interactive service on our sites that it is important that they communicate with their children about their safety online.

User Content standards

These user content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

  • Be accurate (where they state facts).
  • Be genuinely held (where they state opinions).
  • Comply with applicable law in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

  • Contain any material which is defamatory of any person, business or organisation.
  • Contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory.
  • Contain or promote sexually explicit material.
  • Promote violence.
  • Promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • Infringe any copyright, database right, design rights, trade mark or intellectual property rights of any other person.
  • Be likely to deceive any person.
  • Be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence.
  • Promote any illegal activity.
  • Be threatening, abusive or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.
  • Be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person.
  • Be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person.
  • Give the impression that they are approved by or emanate from us, if this is not the case.
  • Advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Suspension and termination

Failure to comply with this acceptable use policy constitutes a breach of these terms of use. We will determine, in our discretion, whether there has been a breach of this acceptable use policy through your use of our sites. When such a breach of this policy has occurred, we may take such action as we deem appropriate including, but not limited to, any of the following:

  • Immediate, temporary or permanent withdrawal of your right to use our site.
  • Immediate, temporary or permanent removal of any posting or material uploaded by you to our site without notice.
  • Issue of a warning to you.
  • Taking legal action against you.
  • Reporting the issue to the police or law enforcement authorities if we reasonably feel this is necessary.

To the maximum extent legally permitted, we exclude liability for any actions we take in response to breaches of this acceptable use policy.

Changes to the acceptable use policy

We may revise this acceptable use policy at any time by amending this page. You are expected to check this page from time to time to take notice of any changes we make, as they are legally binding on you. Some of the provisions contained in this acceptable use policy may also be subject to modification or supplemented by other terms or notices published elsewhere on our site.