#forum.finds.org.uk Community Rules

Welcome to New Users

The forum.finds.org.uk Forum is intended to be a friendly and supportive place for discussion where users feel safe from inappropriate behaviour. We look forward to your contribution and hope that you enjoy taking part in our Community. All users are encouraged to make other users feel welcome and valued.


Moderators help maintain our community and deserve the Community’s respect. To contact Moderators if you have any concerns about your own posts or the posts of other users send a Private Message not a public post. Private messages must also follow the Community Rules.

Spirit of the Forum

This Forum is a friendly and supportive place to share in the general discussion of:

  • Archaeological small finds - their identification, and resources to aid this.
  • Local, regional and national archaeology and history.
  • Database functions and technical queries.
  • Photography and image manipulation.
  • Training requirements, opportunities and feedback.
  • Staff and volunteer support and chat.

However, this Forum is not a suitable place for:

  • Questioning the purposes and management of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS).
  • Lobbying for changes to the PAS or the laws regarding Treasure or metal detecting.
  • Discussing named individuals, grid references and other data deemed sensitive by Moderators.
  • Questioning the authority or conduct of Moderators.
  • Personal discussions. Private messages are more appropriate for this purpose.

Users are also expected to conduct themselves politely and appropriately with respect to other users, as you would in any other medium of discussion, or in person.

The following behaviours will not be tolerated:

  • Any discrimination on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
  • Posts that are potentially libellous (in particular, personal attacks concerning the conduct of finders).
  • Personal attacks on others.
  • Offensive language (swearing etc.).

Forum users are also reminded of the following clauses from the User Agreement:

  • Not to post details of finder names or personal details, grid references and other information that identifies precise findspots.
  • Not to use the forum to sell or solicit goods or services from others for financial gain.
  • Respect and abide by decisions taken by Moderators.

Additional Community Rules

This is a civilised place for public discussion. Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource – a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely aids to the human judgment of our community. Use these rules to keep this a clean, well-lighted place for civilised public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Please spend some time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But, remember to criticise ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling.
  • Ad hominem attacks.
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content.
  • Knee-jerk contradiction.
  • Blunt or tactless responses such as ‘This identification is wrong. It’s clearly type 10b’.

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

Your Participation Counts

The conversations we have here set the tone for everyone. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.

The Forum’s platform, Discourse, provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: favourites, bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.

When you see bad behaviour, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behaviour by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

Always Be Civil

Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:

  • Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
  • Respect each other. Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalise the forum.

These are not concrete terms with precise definitions – avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of The Evening Standard.

This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language, links, and images safe for family and friends.

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.

Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.

Post Only Your Own Stuff

You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without their permission. Even when you have obtained permission, make sure to always give proper credit to the original creator of the content and to acknowledge the fact that you have posted it with their knowledge and consent.

You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

Please refer to the User Agreement for further information about copyright.

Last updated 7 July 2016.