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All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of Physics Forums nor its developers will be held responsible for the content of any message. Short Summary: Most of the guidelines are common sense and basic courtesy. Other special guidelines are the following: We wish to discuss mainstream science. That means only topics that can be found in textbooks or that have been published in reputable journals. Homework must be posted in the homework forums and an attempt must always be provided. Furthermore, one must use the homework template. Full solutions on a homework problem should never be given. Only hints and explanations are allowed. Mission Statement: Our mission is to provide a place for people (whether students, professional scientists, or others interested in science) to learn and discuss science as it is currently generally understood and practiced by the professional scientific community. As our name suggests, our main focus is on physics, but we also have forums for most other academic areas including engineering, chemistry, biology, social sciences, etc. General Posting Guidelines: When posting a new topic, please select the forum that best relates to the subject matter of your topic. If you are unsure, contact a mentor or the admin. Language: All posts must be in English. Posts in other languages will be deleted. Pay reasonable attention to written English communication standards. This includes the use of proper grammatical structure, punctuation, capitalization, spacing, and spelling. In particular, "I" is capitalized, there's a space after (but not before) a comma, a period, and other punctuation. Multiple exclamation marks are also discouraged. SMS messaging shorthand ("text-message-speak"), such as using "u" for "you", "plz" for "please", or "wanna" for "want to" is not acceptable. 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Non-mainstream theories: Generally, in the forums we do not allow the following: Discussion of theories that appear only on personal web sites, self-published books, etc. Challenges to mainstream theories (relativity, the Big Bang, etc.) that go beyond current professional discussion Attempts to promote or resuscitate theories that have been discredited or superseded (e.g. Lorentz ether theory); this does not exclude discussion of those theories in a purely historical context Personal theories or speculations that go beyond or counter to generally-accepted science Mixing science and religion, e.g. using religious doctrines in support of scientific arguments or vice versa. Philosophical discussions are permitted only at the discretion of the mentors and may be deleted or closed without warning or appeal Links to web sites that fall in the categories listed above will be removed. Acceptable Sources: Generally, discussion topics should be traceable to standard textbooks or to peer-reviewed scientific literature. Usually, we accept references from journals that are listed here: http://ip-science.thomsonreuters.com/mjl/ Use the search feature to search for journals by words in their titles. If you have problems with the search feature, you can view the entire list here: http://ip-science.thomsonreuters.com/cgi-bin/jrnlst/jlresults.cgi?PC=MASTER In recent years, there has been an increasing number of "fringe" and Internet-only journals that appear to have lax reviewing standards. We do not generally accept references from such journals. Note that some of these fringe journals are listed in Thomson Reuters. Just because a journal is listed in Thomson Reuters does not mean it is acceptable. References that appear only on http://www.arxiv.org/ (which is not peer-reviewed) are subject to review by the Mentors. We recognize that in some fields this is the accepted means of professional communication, but in other fields we prefer to wait until formal publication elsewhere. References that appear only on viXra (http://www.vixra.org) are never allowed. Speculative or Personal Theories: Physics Forums is not intended as an alternative to the usual professional venues for discussion and review of new ideas, e.g. personal contacts, conferences, and peer review before publication. If you have a new theory or idea, this is not the place to look for feedback on it or help in developing it. For further explanation of our policy on personal theories and speculative posts, and the history behind it, see the following entry in the Physics Forums FAQ: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/physics-forums-faq-and-howto.617567/#post-4664231 Language and Attitude: Foul or hostile language will not be tolerated on Physics Forums. 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This includes Gifs or cartoons. Religious Discussion: Discussions that assert the a priori truth or falsity of religious dogmas and belief systems, or value judgments stemming from such religious belief systems, will not be tolerated. As a rule of thumb, some topics pertaining to religion might be permissible if they are discussed in such a way so as to remain neutral on the truth of, or value judgments stemming from, religious belief systems. However, it is essential to use good judgment whenever discussing religious matters to ensure that the discussion does not degenerate into a messy dispute. If in doubt, err on the side of caution. Because of the complexity and ambiguity of this subject matter, there are no hard and fast moderation rules that apply over all possible cases. Ultimately, it is up to the administrators and mentors to decide what is appropriate and what is not on a case-by-case basis. Discuss religious matters at your own risk: Administrators and mentors retain the right to lock or delete any religious thread or post at any time without warning or explanation. All administrator and mentor action taken with regard to religious discussions will be final and will not be up for dispute. Religious proselytizing is strictly prohibited! PF is not the place to promote or discuss particular religious dogma. Conspiracy Theories & Closed Topics: Discussion of conspiracy theories and certain perennial pseudoscience topics that have been "debunked" beyond any reasonable doubt are not allowed anywhere on the site. A list of such closed topics can be found in the post below. Illegal & Dangerous Activities: Explicit "how to" discussions of illegal and/or dangerous activities, or posts advocating such activities, are prohibited; such as: how to make explosives, manufacture crack, steal software, hack into the CIA, ... Additional details regarding discussion of controlled substances and chemicals can be found in the Chemistry Forum Guidelines. Legal and Health Implications: Physics Forums reserves the right to remove and block discussion where there is plausibility that discussion may lead to litigation or affect ones health. Copyright Violations: Copyright infringement is illegal. Physics Forums will adhere to the law to the best of its ability. Never post an article in its entirety. When posting copyrighted material, please use small sections or link to the article. When posting copyrighted material please give credit to the author in your post. Solicitations for copyrighted materials of any form will not be permitted. Posting links to unauthorized downloads of copyrighted material will not be permitted. Advertisement of locations where copyrighted materials may be obtained will not be permitted. Soliciting: Soliciting or offering financial payment for any reason is strictly prohibited. Advertising & Spam: Advertising for personal gain of any kind is not permitted in any forum. Commercial spam will result in an immediate ban. Posting science website links will be permitted occasionally, but will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Homework Guidelines Posts Belong in the Homework Forum Any and all high school and undergraduate homework assignments or textbook style exercises for which you are seeking assistance are to be posted in the appropriate forum in our Homework & Coursework Questions area--not in blogs, visitor messages, PMs, or the main technical forums. This should be done whether the problem is part of one's assigned coursework or just independent study. The reason for this is that the scientific and mathematical sections of Physics Forums are to be reserved for discussions and not academic assistance. Since graduate level assignments are meant to be more thought provoking (and hence more worthy of discussion), graduate level questions will be allowed in the relevant part of the main section of PF, provided that the graduate student attempts the problem and shows his work. Attempts are mandatory You MUST show that you have attempted to answer your question in order to receive help. You MUST make use of the homework template, which automatically appears when a new topic is created in the homework help forums. Once your question or problem has been responded to, do not go back and delete (or edit) your original post. Cheating We do not support cheating in any form: Do not ask for solution manuals, answers to exams, or instructor's manuals. Every school and instructor has their own policies or honor codes on what constitutes cheating, and it is up to the individual student to adhere to those policies when seeking help here. 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