Login and Registration Issues

Why do I need to register?
You do not have to be logged in to browse the Ask an Expert forums. If you wish to post a question, however, you will need to be logged in with a Science Buddies account. This helps us ensure that the forums are used appropriately and safely to provide answers to K-12 science project questions.
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I registered but cannot login!
First, check your username and password. If you need a password reminder, visit https://www.sciencebuddies.org/account/password-recovery.
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Why can’t I login?
There are several reasons why this could occur. First, ensure your username and password are correct. Science Buddies recently changed its login system so that you can access all Science Buddies resources with a single login. Please use your Science Buddies login to access the Ask an Expert forums. If you used Ask an Expert in the past and are having trouble accessing your existing Ask an Expert account, please contact scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.
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I registered in the past but cannot login any more?!
Science Buddies recently changed its login system so that you can access all Science Buddies resources with a single login. Please use your Science Buddies login to access the Ask an Expert forums. If you are having trouble accessing your existing Ask an Expert account, please contact scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.
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I’ve lost my password!
To reset your password, visit https://www.sciencebuddies.org/account/password-recovery.
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Why do I get logged off automatically?
If you do not check the Remember me box when you login, the board will only keep you logged in for a preset time. This prevents misuse of your account by anyone else. To stay logged in, check the Remember me box during login. This is not recommended if you access the board from a shared computer, e.g. library, internet cafe, university computer lab, etc. If you do not see this checkbox, it means a board administrator has disabled this feature.
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User Preferences and settings

How do I change my settings?
If you are a registered user, all your settings are stored in the board database. To alter them, visit your User Control Panel; a link can usually be found by clicking on your username at the top of board pages. This system will allow you to change all your settings and preferences.
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How do I prevent my username appearing in the online user listings?
Within your User Control Panel, under "Board preferences", you will find the option Hide your online status. Enable this option and you will only appear to the administrators, moderators and yourself. You will be counted as a hidden user.
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The times are not correct!
It is possible the time displayed is from a timezone different from the one you are in. If this is the case, visit your User Control Panel and change your timezone to match your particular area, e.g. London, Paris, New York, Sydney, etc. Please note that changing the timezone, like most settings, can only be done by registered users. If you are not registered, this is a good time to do so.
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I changed the timezone and the time is still wrong!
If you are sure you have set the timezone correctly and the time is still incorrect, then the time stored on the server clock is incorrect. Please notify an administrator to correct the problem.
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My language is not in the list!
Either the administrator has not installed your language or nobody has translated this board into your language. Try asking a board administrator if they can install the language pack you need. If the language pack does not exist, feel free to create a new translation. More information can be found at the phpBB® website.
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What are the images next to my username?
There are two images which may appear along with a username when viewing posts. One of them may be an image associated with your rank, generally in the form of stars, blocks or dots, indicating how many posts you have made or your status on the board. Another, usually larger, image is known as an avatar and is generally unique or personal to each user.
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How do I display an avatar?
Within your User Control Panel, under "Profile" you can add an avatar by using one of the four following methods: Gravatar, Gallery, Remote or Upload. It is up to the board administrator to enable avatars and to choose the way in which avatars can be made available. If you are unable to use avatars, contact a board administrator.
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What is my rank and how do I change it?
Ranks, which appear below your username, are used to identify certain classes of users, e.g. moderators, Experts, and administrators.
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Posting Issues

How do I create a new topic or post a reply?
To post a new topic in a forum, click "New Topic". To post a reply to a topic, click "Post Reply". You may need to register before you can post a message. A list of your permissions in each forum is available at the bottom of the forum and topic screens. Example: You can post new topics, You can post attachments, etc.
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How do I edit or delete a post?
Unless you are a board administrator or moderator, you can only edit or delete your own posts. You can edit a post by clicking the edit button for the relevant post, sometimes for only a limited time after the post was made. If someone has already replied to the post, you will find a small piece of text output below the post when you return to the topic which lists the number of times you edited it along with the date and time. This will only appear if someone has made a reply; it will not appear if a moderator or administrator edited the post, though they may leave a note as to why they’ve edited the post at their own discretion. Please note that normal users cannot delete a post once someone has replied.
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How do I add a signature to my post?
To add a signature to a post you must first create one via your User Control Panel. Once created, you can check the Attach a signature box on the posting form to add your signature. You can also add a signature by default to all your posts by checking the appropriate radio button in the User Control Panel. If you do so, you can still prevent a signature being added to individual posts by un-checking the add signature box within the posting form.
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How do I create a poll?
When posting a new topic or editing the first post of a topic, click the "Poll creation" tab below the main posting form; if you cannot see this, you do not have appropriate permissions to create polls. Enter a title and at least two options in the appropriate fields, making sure each option is on a separate line in the textarea. You can also set the number of options users may select during voting under "Options per user", a time limit in days for the poll (0 for infinite duration) and lastly the option to allow users to amend their votes.
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Why can’t I add more poll options?
The limit for poll options is set by the board administrator. If you feel you need to add more options to your poll than the allowed amount, contact the board administrator.
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How do I edit or delete a poll?
As with posts, polls can only be edited by the original poster, a moderator or an administrator. To edit a poll, click to edit the first post in the topic; this always has the poll associated with it. If no one has cast a vote, users can delete the poll or edit any poll option. However, if members have already placed votes, only moderators or administrators can edit or delete it. This prevents the poll’s options from being changed mid-way through a poll.
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Why can’t I access a forum?
Some forums may be limited to certain users or groups. To view, read, post or perform another action you may need special permissions. Contact a moderator or board administrator to grant you access.
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Why can’t I add attachments?
Attachment permissions are granted on a per forum, per group, or per user basis. The board administrator may not have allowed attachments to be added for the specific forum you are posting in, or perhaps only certain groups can post attachments. Contact the board administrator if you are unsure about why you are unable to add attachments.
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Why did I receive a warning?
Each board administrator has their own set of rules for their site. If you have broken a rule, you may be issued a warning. Please note that this is the board administrator’s decision, and the phpBB Limited has nothing to do with the warnings on the given site. Contact the board administrator if you are unsure about why you were issued a warning.
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How can I report posts to a moderator?
If the board administrator has allowed it, you should see a button for reporting posts next to the post you wish to report. Clicking this will walk you through the steps necessary to report the post.
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What is the "Save" button for in topic posting?
This allows you to save drafts to be completed and submitted at a later date. To reload a saved draft, visit the User Control Panel.
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Why does my post need to be approved?
The board administrator may have decided that posts in the forum you are posting to require review before submission. It is also possible that the administrator has placed you in a group of users whose posts require review before submission. Please contact the board administrator for further details.
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How do I bump my topic?
By clicking the "Bump topic" link when you are viewing it, you can "bump" the topic to the top of the forum on the first page. However, if you do not see this, then topic bumping may be disabled or the time allowance between bumps has not yet been reached. It is also possible to bump the topic simply by replying to it, however, be sure to follow the board rules when doing so.
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Formatting and Topic Types

What is BBCode?
BBCode is a special implementation of HTML, offering great formatting control on particular objects in a post. The use of BBCode is granted by the administrator, but it can also be disabled on a per post basis from the posting form. BBCode itself is similar in style to HTML, but tags are enclosed in square brackets [ and ] rather than < and >. For more information on BBCode see the guide which can be accessed from the posting page.
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Can I use HTML?
No. It is not possible to post HTML on this board and have it rendered as HTML. Most formatting which can be carried out using HTML can be applied using BBCode instead.
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What are Smilies?
Smilies, or Emoticons, are small images which can be used to express a feeling using a short code, e.g. :) denotes happy, while :( denotes sad. The full list of emoticons can be seen in the posting form. Try not to overuse smilies, however, as they can quickly render a post unreadable and a moderator may edit them out or remove the post altogether. The board administrator may also have set a limit to the number of smilies you may use within a post.
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Can I post images?
Yes, images can be shown in your posts. If the administrator has allowed attachments, you may be able to upload the image to the board. Otherwise, you must link to an image stored on a publicly accessible web server, e.g. http://www.example.com/my-picture.gif. You cannot link to pictures stored on your own PC (unless it is a publicly accessible server) nor images stored behind authentication mechanisms, e.g. hotmail or yahoo mailboxes, password protected sites, etc. To display the image use the BBCode [img] tag.
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What are global announcements?
Global announcements contain important information and you should read them whenever possible. They will appear at the top of every forum and within your User Control Panel. Global announcement permissions are granted by the board administrator.
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What are announcements?
Announcements often contain important information for the forum you are currently reading and you should read them whenever possible. Announcements appear at the top of every page in the forum to which they are posted. As with global announcements, announcement permissions are granted by the board administrator.
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What are sticky topics?
Sticky topics within the forum appear below announcements and only on the first page. They are often quite important so you should read them whenever possible. As with announcements and global announcements, sticky topic permissions are granted by the board administrator.
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What are locked topics?
Locked topics are topics where users can no longer reply and any poll it contained was automatically ended. Topics may be locked for many reasons and were set this way by either the forum moderator or board administrator. You may also be able to lock your own topics depending on the permissions you are granted by the board administrator.
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What are topic icons?
Topic icons are author chosen images associated with posts to indicate their content. The ability to use topic icons depends on the permissions set by the board administrator.
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User Levels and Groups

What are Administrators?
Administrators are members assigned with the highest level of control over the entire board. These members can control all facets of board operation, including setting permissions, banning users, creating usergroups or moderators, etc., dependent upon the board founder and what permissions he or she has given the other administrators. They may also have full moderator capabilities in all forums, depending on the settings put forth by the board founder.
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What are Moderators?
Moderators are individuals (or groups of individuals) who look after the forums from day to day. They have the authority to edit or delete posts and lock, unlock, move, delete and split topics in the forum they moderate. Generally, moderators are present to prevent users from going off-topic or posting abusive, offensive material, or inappropriate material.
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What are usergroups?
Usergroups are groups of users that divide the community into manageable sections board administrators can work with. Each user can belong to several groups and each group can be assigned individual permissions. This provides an easy way for administrators to change permissions for many users at once, such as changing moderator permissions or granting users access to a private forum.
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Where are the usergroups and how do I join one?
You can view all usergroups via the "Usergroups" link within your User Control Panel. If you would like to join one, proceed by clicking the appropriate button. Not all groups have open access, however. Some may require approval to join, some may be closed and some may even have hidden memberships. If the group is open, you can join it by clicking the appropriate button. If a group requires approval to join you may request to join by clicking the appropriate button. The user group leader will need to approve your request and may ask why you want to join the group. Please do not harass a group leader if they reject your request; they will have their reasons.
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Why do some usergroups appear in a different colour?
It is possible for the board administrator to assign a colour to the members of a usergroup to make it easy to identify the members of this group.
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What is a "Default usergroup"?
If you are a member of more than one usergroup, your default is used to determine which group colour and group rank should be shown for you by default. The board administrator may grant you permission to change your default usergroup via your User Control Panel.
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What is "The team" link?
This page provides you with a list of board staff, including board administrators and moderators and other details such as the forums they moderate.
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Private Messaging

I cannot send private messages!
Sending personal messages is disabled in the Ask an Expert forums.
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I keep getting unwanted private messages!
You should not receive private messages from any other user in the Ask an Expert forum. If you receive a private message, please contact scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org right away.
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I have received a spamming or abusive email from someone on this board!
You should not receive email from any other user in the Ask an Expert forum. All posts are made within the forums, and it is against the rules of the site to post or exchange personal contact information. If you receive email from someone in the forum, please contact scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org right away.
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Searching the Forums

How can I search a forum or forums?
Enter a search term in the search box located on the index, forum or topic pages. Advanced search can be accessed by clicking the "Advance Search" link which is available on all pages on the forum. How to access the search may depend on the style used.
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Why does my search return no results?
Your search was probably too vague and included many common terms which are not indexed by phpBB. Be more specific and use the options available within Advanced search.
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Why does my search return a blank page!?
Your search returned too many results for the webserver to handle. Use "Advanced search" and be more specific in the terms used and forums that are to be searched.
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How do I search for members?
Visit to the "Members" page and click the "Find a member" link.
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How can I find my own posts and topics?
Your own posts can be retrieved either by clicking the "Show your posts" link within the User Control Panel or by clicking the "Search user’s posts" link via your own profile page or by clicking the "Quick links" menu at the top of the board. To search for your topics, use the Advanced search page and fill in the various options appropriately.
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Subscriptions and Bookmarks

What is the difference between bookmarking and subscribing?
In phpBB 3.0, bookmarking topics worked much like bookmarking in a web browser. You were not alerted when there was an update. As of phpBB 3.1, bookmarking is more like subscribing to a topic. You can be notified when a bookmarked topic is updated. Subscribing, however, will notify you when there is an update to a topic or forum on the board. Notification options for bookmarks and subscriptions can be configured in the User Control Panel, under "Board preferences".
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How do I bookmark or subscribe to specific topics?
You can bookmark or subscribe to a specific topic by clicking the appropriate link in the "Topic tools" menu, conveniently located near the top and bottom of a topic discussion.
Replying to a topic with the "Notify me when a reply is posted" option checked will also subscribe you to the topic.
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How do I subscribe to specific forums?
To subscribe to a specific forum, click the "Subscribe forum" link, at the bottom of page, upon entering the forum.
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How do I remove my subscriptions?
To remove your subscriptions, go to your User Control Panel and follow the links to your subscriptions.
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Attachments

What attachments are allowed on this board?
Each board administrator can allow or disallow certain attachment types. If you are unsure what is allowed to be uploaded, contact the board administrator for assistance.
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How do I find all my attachments?
To find your list of attachments that you have uploaded, go to your User Control Panel and follow the links to the attachments section.
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phpBB Issues

Who wrote this bulletin board?
This software (in its unmodified form) is produced, released and is copyright phpBB Limited. It is made available under the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPL-2.0) and may be freely distributed. See About phpBB for more details.
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Why isn’t X feature available?
This software was written by and licensed through phpBB Limited. If you believe a feature needs to be added please visit the phpBB Ideas Centre, where you can upvote existing ideas or suggest new features.
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Who do I contact about abusive and/or legal matters related to this board?
If you need assistance in the Ask an Expert forums, please email scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.
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How do I contact a board administrator?
If you need assistance in the Ask an Expert forums, please email scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.
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