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1) Please do not ask us to do your lab work(or your research) for you. Do not request complete/finished formulationsunless you have already looked at the sources for that information and foundnothing helpful. If you show up out of nowhere and start asking for extensivehelp, or otherwise demonstrate that you don’t want to do any work yourself, youjust aren't going to get what you are looking for. It is obvious most times when people havetried to do research and just need a hand or when they are looking for someoneto do all the work for them for free.
2) Introduce yourself in the introductionthread before requesting information/help. The newer you are in ourcommunity, the more necessary it becomes to explain your situation and why youneed our help, especially if you are asking for information that most chemistscould find on Google with a quick search.
3) Do not DEMAND help. Being that rude isa good recipe for getting nothing at all, ever. No one in this community isgetting paid to do this, and we have NO obligation to help you – or even torespond to you at all. Asking nicely and politely works much better. Also,those people that just take information but never have time to help anyone elseare eventually going to find this community much less helpful. While many of us are happy to help eachother, and even first-timers, there has to be give and take. Not all take.
4) Please don’t ask questions privately.The whole point of this community is to share our questions and answers. If youdo need to ask a private question, due to privacy/trade secret concerns, don’tbe surprised if the person you’re asking requests a consultants fee for ananswer.
5) Please don’t hijack other people’sdiscussions, but if you don’t understand something about that question or itsanswers, ask us about it. If you want to ask anything that’s different thanthe original question, START A NEW DISCUSION.
6) Do NOT ask for an amount of help of thekind and/or quality that would ordinarily require you to pay a consultant for.Don’t request complete or detailed manufacturing procedures, Standard OperatingProcedures, equipment info and/or sources, etc. This is all info you will haveto pay a consultant for. AND
1) Pleaseuse correct English, or at least as close as you can get to it. Proofreadinghelps. Also, if you are not sure of how to say or ask something, tell us that –don’t just assume that we will automatically know what you are asking,particularly if English isn’t your first language.
2) Pleasehave or develop something of a thick skin. Nuance is hard to communicate inprint – but we can guarantee that no one here wants to make you look stupid, orfeel bad, or embarrass you. It is much more likely that something here thatupsets you is the result of a too-quick and/or thoughtless response. Please askfor clarification before getting angry or flying off the handle.
3) Pleasewait patiently for an answer. Or a response, etc., and please let us know howthings turned out. Asking a question, getting an answer, and then goingaway without helping the rest of the community by sharing your results is goingto make most of us very reluctant to answer your next question. If multiplesuggestions are made, please identify what suggestion you used to solve yourproblem in your follow up. It will help the community, add some credence to thesuggestion, and help future people looking at the discussion. In addition, thankingthe responders for their help is the only payment they get – please keep thatin mind.
4) Pleaseuse a descriptive title. Not just “help, xyz does not work”. Also, post asmuch information as you can relating to the issue – the more detailed you are,the better we can answer. Consider refining or elaborating on your question ifyou are not getting the answers you really think are helpful,
5) Whenasking about stability or formulation issues, please provide as much formulacomposition (INCI names with percentages), batching procedure and equipmentinformation, and any other information about your problem as possible. BeSPECIFIC! Please also tell us what your status is. Our answers will bedifferent if you’re a professional chemist than they will if you are a DIYkitchen formulator or if you are a small business.
6) Whenasking about specific chemicals, use standard CTFA/INCI nomenclature AND tradenames, and be as specific as possible. Please don’t make us have to lookinformation up ourselves if we don’t need to. When asking about alternativesor replacements for a raw material, please include at least the following info: the reason you want to replace thechemical, the purpose the chemical is serving in the current formulation, thetype of formula it is, and any other attributes that need to be maintained inthe overall formulation. If you are asking for suppliers of a particularchemical tell us how much you want and where you are located. There is no pointyou telling us that you want xxxx chemical and then we tell you that you canbuy 200kg drums of xxxx from a supplier the USA if you are are only making 200gram batches at home in Europe.