Community and Commenting Guidelines


The Chronicle community is a place for college faculty members, graduate students, administrators, and others in and outside academe to share ideas about higher education and various aspects of academic life. We value your thoughtful contributions and are committed to fostering respectful dialogue and debate. Toward that end, we encourage commenters to use their real names, though pseudonymous comments are also welcome.

The Chronicle reviews contributions before publishing them. Chronicle moderators review all submissions, highlighting select comments that are thoughtful, distinct, and relevant to the articles on which they appear. Moderating discussions is an inexact science. We strive to be fair, but we reserve the right to publish — or not publish — contributions based on our determination of their value and appropriateness.

Ours is a large and diverse community that includes a variety of views. Voice your views as vehemently as you would like, but please be considerate of others. Just because someone disagrees with your position on an issue does not make it a personal attack on you. Criticizing an idea is acceptable; calling a person names is not.

By posting a comment, you have agreed to comply with The Chronicle of Higher Education'user agreement. Failure to comply with any of the terms in the user agreement may result in a warning or revocation of commenting privileges.

If you have a question or a concern about our policies, we'd be happy to hear from you. Please contact us at

Frequently Asked Questions

How does commenting work on

We invite comments on many news, commentary, Review, and advice pieces. On articles with open comment threads, we welcome your contributions. Chronicle moderators will review those contributions and publish the ones deemed productive and insightful.

What constitutes a productive comment?

We seek to promote contributions that are informed, readable, issue-driven, and relevant to the article at hand. Criticism and debate are welcome; name-calling and ad hominem attacks are not. We value comments that offer distinct insight: If a point has already been made in a comment thread, we’re unlikely to publish a simple restatement of that point. Published comments will clearly pertain to the article at hand, and they will provide relevant information, raise thoughtful questions, or offer cogent criticisms.

How long will it take before my contribution is reviewed by a moderator?

Moderators will review submissions throughout the workday. Comments posted then will be seen within a couple of hours, and often much more quickly than that. Comments submitted over the weekends may take longer to be reviewed.

Are there any other do’s and dont’s?

We ask that users follow proper netiquette:

• Don't post in all caps.

• Don't attack other commenters or call them names.

• Don't hijack discussions to promote your pet cause.

• Don't post commercial or self-promotional links. Posting spam of any kind will result in an immediate ban. (We don't allow users to plug their blogs, books, Web sites, projects, pet causes, or research in our comments section. Readers consider such comments to be spam and report them to us as such.)

Do I have to log in to post a comment?

To post a comment, you must first log in to The Chronicle (or Disqus, Facebook Connect, or Twitter); however, you may read comments without logging in.

I’d like to comment on a particular article but there’s no comment thread. Why?

We invite comment only on certain Chronicle pieces so our moderators can focus on those discussions. If you’d like to share your thoughts on other articles, please do so in our forums, on our Facebook page, or by sending a letter to the editor.

How do you decide which articles will invite comment?

We prioritize pieces that make strong arguments, that ask questions about the academic profession or the direction of higher education, and that connect to themes of broad importance.

Why can't I comment on old articles?

Commenting is closed on articles older than 10 days. However, your comments are important to us, so you'll still be able to read the comments on old stories.

Can I receive e-mail notifications of new comments?
If you're logged in to your Chronicle account, you must first click on "Change settings" (next to your username), then click on the "Enable" button to receive such e-mail notifications.

To be notified whenever a user responds to one of your comments, check the box marked "Notify me of replies to my comments." To subscribe to all the threads you've commented on, check the corresponding box marked "Subscribe to threads that I comment on."

(If you're logged in through Disqus, you must first click on "edit profile," then the tab marked "Notifications" before making the above selections.)

How do I unsubscribe from a thread?
Click on the link marked "Turn off notifications" at the bottom of an e-mail notification. To stop all e-mail notifications, click on the "Disable" button (under either "Change settings" or "Edit profile").

Can I report spam or abusive comments?
You can help us by clicking the "Flag" button, which appears in the lower left corner of each comment, but please don't reply to spammers or sidetrack discussions with comments about spam. Please also note that you cannot "Flag" the same comment more than once.

Can I "like" comments?
Yes. By clicking on the "Like" button located in the lower right corner of a comment, you can let other members of the community know that you think a particular comment is interesting or insightful. Note that you cannot "like" your own comments.

Can I follow users I like?
Yes. To subscribe to a user's comments, click on their avatar to view their profile, then click "Follow" to receive e-mail notifications of their latest comments.

Can I use links, bold, and italics in my comment?
Yes. The new system accepts basic HTML tags such as…

<a href="">link</a>

How do I edit my comment?
If you're logged in, you may edit your comment by clicking on the "Edit" button in the lower right corner of your comment. In order preserve the continuity of discussions, however, we ask that you only edit a comment if no one has replied to it.

I didn't know my name would appear on my comment. How do I change my moniker?
If you sign in using your Chronicle account, your registered Chronicle username is the moniker that will appear on your comments (so don't use your real name as your username if you're uncomfortable attaching your name to your words).

To change your Chronicle username, click here and fill in the blanks. Changing your username will retroactively change the moniker on all of your comments.

If you sign in with Disqus, Facebook Connect, or Twitter, then your moniker will be the username registered to you on that corresponding site.

Why can't I see comments on my cell phone?
We're still putting the finishing touches on Disqus for mobile devices, so please stay tuned.

How do I report a commenting problem or reach a moderator?
If you're experiencing a problem, or have a question or concern about our policies, feel free to contact us at, and we'll respond to you as quickly as possible. Please don't hijack a discussion to discuss a problem or technicalities about the enforcement of the rules or to complain about perceived mistreatment by a moderator. It's our policy to discuss moderation only with the parties involved.