LINCS Community Code of Conduct

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—Policies for membership, etiquette, privacy, and informal norms of behavior

The LINCS Community is an interactive online learning community designed to advance our profession by expanding evidence-based practice in adult education. The LINCS Community is for adult education stakeholders—researchers, policymakers, administrators, practitioners, students, and others—to discuss critical issues in the latest research, promising practices, and literacy policy as well as to share experiences and resources. If you want to improve your practice in adult education and help others to do the same, then join the LINCS Community!  The LINCS Community provides forums for you to ask questions of subject matter experts (SMEs) and keep up-to-date on topics pertinent to adult education. LINCS partners with SMEs to facilitate discussion. A team provides community management and governance in the LINCS Community. To join the LINCS Community, please read and accept the User Code of Conduct below.

Open Discourse and Inclusion of All Perspectives

LINCS encourages open discourse and an exchange of information, ideas, and practices among all LINCS Community members. We strongly encourage all community members to share differences in perspectives and ideas while conducting discussions in the spirit of inquiry, curiosity, and mutual respect. See Community Guidelines for Participation.

Post and Review Process

LINCS Community members should monitor their own activity in the LINCS Community and interact within parameters set forth in this User Code of Conduct and Community Guidelines for Participation. The LINCS Community Manager and Group Administrators will remove posts that violate the User Code of Conduct.

Community members can also report content they think does not abide by the User Code of Conduct. Posts reported three (3) times will be automatically removed and reviewed by the LINCS Community Manager and Group Administrators for appropriateness. The LINCS Community Manager and Group Administrators monitor the community daily and remove activities that violate the User Code of Conduct.

Off-Topic Discussions

Keep contributions focused within the purpose of each group. Comments, suggestions, references, and ideas posted to the groups should serve as resources for enhancing the field's capacity and knowledge base within the purpose of each group. Group Administrators will relocate off-topic posts to the more appropriate group. Group Administrators will encourage participants in off-topic discussions to continue the conversation in the group or groups where the discussion is more applicable. If off-topic discussions are inappropriate, the LINCS Community Manager or the Group Administrators will remove the post. If the off-topic discussions are not applicable to any other group, the group SME will redirect the discussion to focus on the designed purpose of each group.


Anti-lobbying laws prohibit the use of appropriated funds for lobbying. The LINCS Community is maintained with appropriated funds; therefore, messages that may be interpreted as direct or indirect lobbying are not permitted nor are messages that contain direct links to other websites or web pages whose purpose could be interpreted as lobbying. The relevant language from the Anti-Lobbying Act states:

"No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, whether before or after the introduction of any bill, measure, or resolution proposing such legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation". 18 U.S.C. § 1913.

Signature lines and any accompanying quotes or sayings are also subject to the anti-lobbying restrictions described above as well as in the Community Guidelines for Participation.

Sharing Resources For-Profit

LINCS Community members cannot use the LINCS Community as a promotion tool for commercial products or resources. However, a LINCS Community member may post a message that refers to a resource or product in the context of a discussion that relates to the purpose of the group (for example, when members give feedback on their experiences with a product). In addition, no-cost/no-obligation opportunities for members to learn about and compare commercial materials are permitted in the LINCS Community. 

However, any message that mentions or discusses a resource or product and whose primary purpose is to generate financial benefit for the community member is not permitted and the message is subject to removal by the LINCS Community Manager or Group Administrators.

Document Sharing

As a federal government website, files on our server must comply with Section 508 standards of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998. As a LINCS Community member, you can share files with others in various ways:

  • If the file exists on a website, copy and paste the URL (web address) of the file into your post.
  • If the file is saved only on your computer, consider uploading it to one of the many web services available on the web. GoogleScribdSlide Share, and others have web applications that allow you to upload and share documents.
  • If the file is small and contains only text (no graphics), consider copying and pasting the contents of the file into your post.
  • If the three options above do not apply, then send the file to with a request to share the file with the LINCS Community within a specified topic area group. The document submitted must be 508 compliant in order to be posted in the community. 

Responsibility to Prevent Harm

Community members are responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, comments, materials, links, or other user-generated resources posted in any of the LINCS Community groups.  By making content available, you represent and warrant that:

  • The downloading, copying, and use of the content will not infringe the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the copyright, patent, trademark, or trade secret rights of any third party.
  • You have fully complied with any third party licenses relating to the content, and have done all things necessary to successfully meet any required terms.
  • The content does not contain or install any viruses, worms, malware, Trojan horses, or other harmful or destructive content.
  • The content is not spam, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead community members as to the source of the material (such as spoofing).
  • The content does not slander against, defame, or damagingly represent other individuals, groups, or organizations.


Postings to the LINCS Community will display the username of the member posting. All discussions threads and comments posted in the LINCS Community are stored and searchable. When posting to a public group, group members agree to have their discussion posts and comments stored in the LINCS Community. This means that posts in public groups are also available for search on the World Wide Web. LINCS Community members should be alert of this when including their personal information within the body of their discussion posts, comments, and signatures.

In addition, community member profiles are accessible to other members in the community. Profiles contain the required fields: member’s first name, membership length, and zip code. Other optional fields include: last name, job role, organizational affiliation,  member interests and bio, and member social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn).  Members of the community can also view each other’s contributions, bookmarks, and groups joined.

When subscribing to the LINCS Community, members should avoid using an email address they wish to remain private. The LINCS Community employs a contact feature that allows members to send private messages in the form of emails to other members. As a LINCS Community member, by using the Contact feature, you acknowledge that you are sharing your email address with the recipient so that s/he can reply back to your message.

Finally, community members can create and edit their own discussion posts within their groups; however, members cannot delete their own posts.  Members must submit a request for consideration to the LINCS Community Manager or Group Administrators in order to delete their own post. The LINCS Community Manager and Group Administrators will determine the appropriateness of deleting a post within the community and will send you a written notice of the decision.


The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) funds the LINCS Community. Messages posted to the LINCS Community do not represent the views or opinions of LINCS, OCTAEKratos Learning, Quotient Inc. or the Community Leadership. Neither LINCS nor OCTAE endorses or promotes resources or products discussed or mentioned in postings to the LINCS Community.

Removing Violations of the User Code of Conduct

While we encourage community members to actively participate in activities within the LINCS Community; the Community Manager and Group Administrators will immediately remove harassment, profanity, and inappropriate conversations at their discretion. LINCS Community members engaged in inappropriate activities in the LINCS Community may be blocked without notice. Violations of the User Code of Conduct may result in an individual permanently losing participatory access to the LINCS Community website.


Violation of the User Code of Conduct can result in termination of your membership status in the LINCS Community and exclusion from the LINCS Community activities. The LINCS Community Manager may terminate a member’s access to all or any part of the LINCS Community website at any time. If a member wishes to terminate this agreement or account, contact the LINCS Community Manager at


Upon notification of termination, you may submit a written appeal to the LINCS Community Manager at within five business days from the date of the termination. Your appeal will be reviewed by the LINCS Community Manager who will decide to support or reverse the termination and will send you a written notice of the decision.

Acceptance of Terms

By joining the LINCS Community, you agree to abide by the terms and conditions described in this User Code of Conduct.