By its very design and nature as a freely accessible source of news and information about higher education, Inside Higher Ed embraces the small-d democracy of open access (with the occasional messiness that comes with it). But the conversation into which we invite our readers has its limits -- our editors moderate it, using their judgment -- and participation in it carries with it some responsibility.

Commenters should understand that Inside Higher Ed reviews and approves comments prior to publication. While this results in delays in when comments appear, we believe that creating a community-oriented space for readers to share their thoughts is important enough to warrant such a system.

Inside Higher Ed strongly encourages comments to include real names and job titles. Many readers want to know who is making a certain point. Inside Higher Ed permits anonymous posts because some subsets of our readers (adjuncts without job security, for example, or those on the job market) might otherwise feel unable to participate in our conversations. In such cases, we encourage the use of descriptive screen names, such as “CompositionAdjunct” or “biomedphd17.”

Following are the standards to which Inside Higher Ed holds commenters (and by extension comments) on the site. Any comment submitted must meet these standards before it can be approved and published on the site. For example, if a reader submits a paragraph-long comment and the last sentence contains an attack on a person or group, Inside Higher Ed will not publish that comment.

  1. Commenters must not engage in libel.
  2. Commenters must not engage in an attack on a specific person or group. If you disagree with an opinion expressed in an article or in another comment, feel free to respectfully challenge that point of view with a thoughtful posting of your own. Commenters who engage in uncivil exchanges or other attacks will be warned and, if the behavior continues, blocked from participating.
  3. Commenters must not impersonate someone else. Comments from those who blatantly impersonate someone real or imagined will not be approved, and the commenters may be barred from participating.
  4. Commenters must post using a valid, verifiable email address.
  5. Commenters must stick to the subject (or subjects) discussed in the article, column or blog post. A news article about a financial aid proposal put forward by congressional Republicans does not clear the way for a derogatory comment about the GOP’s presidential candidate; a blog post about cultural studies does not invite a comment blasting affirmative action.
  6. Commenters must not post comments containing spam, commercially promotional material or self-promotional links.
  7. If a commenter makes a point that has been made several times previously in the thread on that article, we may reject it.
  8. Commenters may post comments containing links to articles that back up their points. But commenters may not paste paragraphs or entire copyrighted articles into a comment.
  9. Commenters should be concise. We suggest keeping comments to 150-300 words or fewer. Brevity is the soul of wit, after all.

Due to the volume of comments on the site, we are not able to respond to individual inquiries regarding comments that were not approved. Inside Higher Ed reserves the right to bar commenters for uncivil behavior or repeated violations of these guidelines.

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