Community guidelines


The Royal Society provides a number of opportunities for people to discuss content that we publish. We expect participants to abide by these guidelines when participating in such discussion.

These guidelines apply to

Our aim is to ensure our websites, blogs and social media accounts are inclusive and safe and that discussions are constructive and polite.

Moderation rules

We ask that all comments be brief, polite, on subject and not say anything illegal.

We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated.

We acknowledge criticism of the content we publish, but will not allow persistent misrepresentation of anyone, including the Royal Society, our Fellows or our staff to be published on our website.

We try to respond to some of the comments and questions but we are unable to respond to all of them.

We will use the following guidelines to determine whether a comment should be published. We will not publish comments which:

  • Do not meet our standards in our acceptable use policy
  • Include contact details such as phone numbers, postal or email addresses
  • Are written in anything other than plain, intelligible English
  • Posts containing the same, or similar, content posted multiple times
  • Are considered to be off-topic for the discussion
  • Are inflammatory or appear to be written with the intention of disrupting the conversation

On some services we operate a policy of pre-moderation and on other services we moderate comments once they have been published. We reserve the right to refuse publication or remove a comment or material based on any of the above criteria. Where we moderate a service, this will usually be on a 24 hour basis on business days. Comments and other user material posted during weekends or bank holidays may not be moderated until the next available business day.

Please note that, subject to applicable legal obligations, the Society’s decision about whether a comment should be published or removed is final. In most cases we are unable to enter into discussions about why a comment has been refused.

Please remember that by using the Royal Society website community features you also agree to our terms of use.

Participants who ignore these community guidelines or our terms of use and conditions may have their registration suspended or posting privileges withdrawn (as applicable).

If you have suggestions or questions about any aspect of community participation on the Royal Society website, please contact us.