Terms and Conditions

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has created APA Communities to facilitate communication amongst its members and thereby serve the professional needs of its membership.  Participation in APA Communities and related sub-Communities is subject to the terms and conditions below (the “Guidelines”).

Participation Policy

  • APA Communities are only open to APA members, with a few specific exceptions (i.e. Communities created for the registry, district branch communications, or grant related initiatives). Information in any APA Community should not be forwarded, copied or posted outside of the Community from which it originated to avoid unauthorized use of participant posts.
  • By posting to APA Communities you grant APA the nonexclusive and transferable right and license to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit, print and otherwise use the information or material you post for the purpose of hosting APA Communities.
  • Discussions must be respectful and collegial. All participants will conduct themselves in a professional manner appropriate for physicians.
  • APA reserves the right to remove platform access rights of any individual who APA believes has violated this policy.
  • Although APA does not pre-screen, verify or edit any of the content posted by users of the APA Communities, it reserves the right to enforce or not enforce the Guidelines and to monitor the discussion at any time. APA may, in its sole discretion and without notice, take any action it believes appropriate regarding the APA Communities, including but not limited to reviewing, censoring, or prohibiting the transmission of any information; issuing warnings; removing content; and suspending, terminating or blocking user accounts.  APA has no obligation to take any action in response to any alleged violation of these Guidelines.
  • By accessing or using the APA Communities, you agree to comply with and be bound by: (i) these Guidelines; (ii) the APA’s websites Terms of Use (https://www.psychiatry.org/terms/terms-of-use); and (iii) the APA’s Privacy Policy (https://www.psychiatry.org/terms/privacy); each of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • If you do not agree to these Guidelines, please do not access or use the APA Communities.
  • APA may revise these Guidelines at any time in its sole discretion, and without specific notice to you, by posting revised Guidelines.  Your use after such changes signifies your acceptance of all the terms and conditions contained within the Guidelines effective at that time.

Responsibilities of APA Communities Users

Users of APA Communities should follow the below etiquette Guidelines:

  • Exercise common courtesy. APA Communities is meant to stimulate conversation, not to create contention. Use brevity and diplomacy in communications to be respectful of other APA Community users.
  • Avoid off-topic posting. APA Communities should not be used as a personal blog. It is intended for distributing topic-related information that the Community members as a group might benefit from sharing.
  • Do not include images or attachments unless absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid “me too,” “thanks for the information,” and other personal replies that should be directed to specific individuals, rather than to the entire list. Use your e-mail application’s forwarding option and type or cut and paste the e-mail address of the individual to whom you want to respond.
  • Do not collect names or email addresses to be used for contacting any user outside of the APA Communities.
  • State concisely and clearly the specific topic of your comments in the subject line.
  • Include a signature tag on your messages so that you can be immediately recognized by the community. A signature tag should include your full name, affiliation, and location.
  • Do not send administrative messages such as “Remove me from the list” through the APA Community. Please update your user settings to facilitate such requests.
  • Users agree to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, as well as agree not to use the forum for any illegal purpose, including but not limited to defamation, violation of intellectual property laws, violation of antitrust or unfair competition laws, or violation of criminal laws.  By posting material, each user warrants and represents that he or she owns the copyright with respect to such material or has received permission from the copyright owner.
  • Users should post content they have personally created or have permission to post or ensure that proper attribution is given to content creator. It is usually acceptable to include a link to the original source article, while copying and pasting the actual text of the article may be in violation of copyright laws.
  • Do not post any material that: 1. References specific fees charged or paid for professional services; 2. Discusses prices, discounts, terms or conditions of sale with regard to medical suppliers or other vendors or terms and conditions of provider agreements relating to reimbursement levels, bonus payments, and other price or cost-related items; 3. Addresses salaries or terms of employment; 4. Attempts to allocate patient markets or encourage collective or coercive activity with regard to third party payers, hospitals, other health care providers, or suppliers; 5. Includes information that could otherwise be construed to impose a restraint on trade and inhibit free and fair competition; 6. Encourages or helps members to arrive at any agreement that either expressly or impliedly leads to price fixing, a boycott of another’s business, or other conduct intended to illegally restrict free trade; 7. Encourages or facilitates an agreement about 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 supplier.
  • Users must comply fully with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and applicable state and federal privacy laws. APA Communities is not an appropriate place to discuss individual patient cases.
  • Users must avoid personal attacks and characterizations that question a person’s motives, qualifications, or attributes. Abusive, profane, and threatening language is strictly prohibited.
    • Keep criticism on an objective basis that is factually verifiable. Robust debate is encouraged. Personal commentary about character, competence or motive of another person is prohibited. Negative statements that impugn someone’s professional qualifications can cause substantial economic and emotional harm. False statements that harm someone’s reputation can be actionable as libel.
  • Users may not intentionally interfere with or disrupt other APA Communities users, APA members, network services, or network equipment. This includes distribution of unsolicited advertisement or chain letters, and the propagation of computer worms or viruses.
  • Users may not use APA Communities for commercial purposes, including all advertising, marketing, solicitation of business, vending, attempting to sell or promote products or services.
  • Avoid any posts which include advertisements for products or services, news of job listings or position openings, and direct solicitation of other subscribers to purchase products or services.

If an individual believes that these rules have been violated or acceptable professional decorum has otherwise been breached, he or she shall contact APA staff to help with the situation Questions or concerns about the APA Communities, including reports of another member violating these Guidelines, should be directed to APA’s Customer Service department at 202-559-3900 or apa@psych.org.  Please include the name of the APA Community in the email subject, the email address of the user in question, and the text of the messages you are reporting within your message.