- Department of Neurosurgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands
Pieter L. Kubben
Department of Neurosurgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands
DOI:10.4103/2152-7806.66619© 2010 Kubben PL. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
How to cite this article: Kubben PL. A free forum for neurosurgery and neuroscience. Surg Neurol Int 21-Jul-2010;1:32
How to cite this URL: Kubben PL. A free forum for neurosurgery and neuroscience. Surg Neurol Int 21-Jul-2010;1:32. Available from: http://sni.wpengine.com/surgicalint_articles/a-free-forum-for-neurosurgery-and-neuroscience/
An internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site.[
Web based, so universally accessible Users can reply to messages and subscribe to other replies A “search” function allows to look for all topics on a specific subject
Web based, so universally accessible
Users can reply to messages and subscribe to other replies
A “search” function allows to look for all topics on a specific subject
Although a forum should be moderated to make sure topics are in the right category and questions are addressed properly, forum users remain responsible for how they use the content. For that reason, it is required to create an account. Forum accounts for “Surgical Neurology International” are free but are required for various reasons. On the positive side, we want to reward people who make significant forum contributions to help other colleagues. On the defensive side, we want to protect you against spam messages. The latter requires registration with a valid e-mail address and solving a so-called CAPTCHA.
A CAPTCHA (or Captcha) is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer.[
A CAPTCHA works by showing the user distorted letters and/ or numbers and asking to type them on the computer keyboard. The greater the distortion, the more difficult it becomes for automated spam software (spam bots) to decipher the characters that are used. Humans are much better capable of solving this question, but of course there is a limit. A balance has to be maintained between “as difficult as possible” for spam bots and “as easy as possible” for humans.
For “Surgical Neurology International”, we chose to use reCAPTCHA.[
The forum contains three categories: Clinical, News and Worldwide Market. In the Clinical category, you can share difficult cases and operative techniques. In the News category, there are headings for individual achievements, updates from neurosurgical or neuroscientific societies, and announcements for upcoming meetings. In the Worldwide Market category, there are headings for requesting or offering fellowships, volunteers, and equipment. In all these categories, you can post topics and you can react to topics that other people post.
If an online forum is an online discussion site, then how is it different from a blog? Both in the blog (the “Posts” section on our website) and in the forum, you can add replies to topics; but only in the forum, you can directly add topics without any editorial approval. We require you to register for the forum for the reasons explained in this editorial. These are less applicable to the blog for a variety of reasons: different nature of the topics, and other ways to protect against spam.
Both the blog and the forum offer RSS feeds to easily keep you up-to-date. Also, both the blog and the forum are connected to our three most important social networks: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If you use any of these, you will automatically be notified of updates in the blog and the forum. We are working on the same feature for journal articles, but at the moment there are some technical issues that require us to update Twitter and Facebook manually for this goal.
You can visit the website of “Surgical Neurology International” at