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.
It is possible a board administrator has disabled registration to prevent new visitors from signing up. A board administrator could have also banned your IP address or disallowed the username you are attempting to register. Contact a board administrator for assistance.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ranks, which appear below your username, indicate the number of posts you have made or identify certain users, e.g. moderators and administrators. In general, you cannot directly change the wording of any board ranks as they are set by the board administrator. Please do not abuse the board by posting unnecessarily just to increase your rank. Most boards will not tolerate this and the moderator or administrator will simply lower your post count.
When I click the email link for a user it asks me to login?
Only registered users can send email to other users via the built-in email form, and only if the administrator has enabled this feature. This is to prevent malicious use of the email system by anonymous users.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 or offensive material.
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.
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.
A usergroup leader is usually assigned when usergroups are initially created by a board administrator. If you are interested in creating a usergroup, your first point of contact should be an administrator; try sending a private message.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org right away.
You can use these lists to organise other members of the board. Members added to your friends list will be listed within your User Control Panel for quick access to see their online status and to send them private messages. Subject to template support, posts from these users may also be highlighted. If you add a user to your foes list, any posts they make will be hidden by default.
How can I add / remove users to my Friends or Foes list?
You can add users to your list in two ways. Within each user’s profile, there is a link to add them to either your Friend or Foe list. Alternatively, from your User Control Panel, you can directly add users by entering their member name. You may also remove users from your list using the same page.
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.
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.
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”.
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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