Communities of Practices: Rules and Etiquette

To ensure the best possible experience for all Community of Practice (CoP) members, we have established some basic guidelines for participation. By joining a CoP, you agree that you have read and will follow these rules and etiquette.


  • All defamatory, harassing, discriminatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal language or materials are strictly prohibited.
  • Behave in a courteous and professional manner. Treat all CoP members with respect, dignity, and consideration, in the spirit of valuing a diversity of views and opinions. Discuss differences and critique ideas in a non-confrontational manner.
  • Do not post any information or other material protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner. By posting material, the posting party warrants and represents that they own the copyright with respect to such material or has received permission from the copyright owner. In addition, the posting party grants CERF and members of this CoP the nonexclusive right and license to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit, print, and use such information or other material.
  • Do not post commercial messages. Contact people directly with product and service information if you believe it would help them.
  • Use caution when discussing products. Information posted on this list is available for all to see, and comments are subject to libel, slander, and antitrust laws. Messages should not be posted if they encourage or facilitate members to arrive at any agreement that either expressly or implicitly leads to price fixing, a boycott of another's business, or other conduct intended to illegally restrict free trade. Messages that encourage or facilitate an agreement about the following subjects are inappropriate: prices, discounts, or terms or conditions of sale; salaries; profits, profit margins, or cost data; market shares, sales territories, or markets; allocation of customers or territories; or selection, rejection, or termination of customers or suppliers.
  • Remember that other CoP members have the right to forward and reproduce postings.
  • The moderators reserve the right to reject any posting for any reason.


  • Include a signature tag on all postings that includes your name and affiliation.
  • State concisely and clearly the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject.
  • If you have several points you would like to make, consider posting them individually in separate messages.
  • All postings should add to the body of knowledge.
  • Only send messages to the entire list when it contains information that everyone can benefit from. Send messages such as "thanks for the information" or "me, too" to individuals--not to the entire list.
  • Do not send administrative messages, such as “remove me from the list”, through the list. You can change your subscription settings from the Google Groups website. If you have administrative questions about the CoP, please contact one of the moderators.
  • Please add to or respond to existing documents and forum posts before submitting any new material to avoid confusion or overlapping threads. It is likely that someone has already raised the issue you're interested in.
  • Avoid making judgments on existing posts but rather raise relevant considerations or pose clarifying questions that improve the community's ability to judge material for themselves.

The CoPs are provided as a service of CERF. We are not responsible for the opinions and information posted on this site by others. CERF disclaims all warranties with regard to information posted on this site, whether posted by CERF or any third party; this disclaimer includes all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness. In no event shall CERF be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of any information posted on this site.

CERF does not actively monitor the site for inappropriate postings and does not on its own undertake editorial control of postings. However, in the event that any inappropriate posting is brought to our attention, we will take all appropriate action. CERF reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not abide by these guidelines.