Terms of Service – RecordSearch Forum

The RecordSearch Forum (forum) is provided by the National Archives of Australia (National Archives) under the following Terms of Service.

The forum allows you to submit postings on discussion topics relating to the use of RecordSearch, National Archives’ collection database. The forum provides an opportunity to share tips about using RecordSearch with other researchers (members), ask questions about how best to search for records, or provide feedback to National Archives on RecordSearch.

The forum uses the Discourse platform to operate. Further information about the operation and functionality of this platform is available at: Discourse - Civilized Discussion. You should be aware that any information submitted to the forum by members is stored on this platform’s servers, which are located overseas. National Archives does not have direct access to the information stored on these servers, but can monitor and moderate postings as outlined below. Information about the handling of personal information contributed by users of this platform (eg in discussion threads) is available at: Privacy policy | Discourse - Civilized Discussion.

The Terms of Service set out below apply in addition to the terms of service and/or conditions of use for this platform.

Conditions for use of the forum

You need to register before you can participate in the forum and will be given a member account following registration. You must be 16 years of age or older to register.

By registering for a member account and participating in the forum, you agree to be bound by these Terms of Service. These Terms of Service may change from time to time at the discretion of National Archives. You should review these Terms of Service regularly in order to apprise yourself of any such changes. By continuing to use the forum after any changes are made to the Terms of Service, you agree to be bound by the new Terms of Service. National Archives may suspend or terminate your member account or restrict your access to the forum if you do not comply with the Terms of Service. In the event of termination, you must immediately cease accessing and using the forum.

Postings to the forum will be regularly monitored by National Archives’ staff to ensure that the forum remains a welcoming environment where people can contribute their views without fear of abuse or harassment. Moderators acting for National Archives may amend or remove posts that are abusive, offensive or violate the Terms of Service. We will endeavour not to change the substance or meaning of contributions.

The views expressed by forum members are theirs alone and not necessarily endorsed by National Archives. National Archives cannot guarantee the accuracy of information posted by members of the public on the forum. You should exercise your own independent skill and judgement. When National Archives’ staff contribute to the forum as official representatives of National Archives, they will identify themselves as such.

National Archives cannot be responsible for any violation of any law arising from any user generated content contained in the forum, or any use, reproduction, or republishing of any information published on the forum.

You are solely responsible for your conduct and your content on the forum and compliance with these Terms of Service. By registering with us or using or browsing this forum, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agree to be bound by these Terms of Service.


As part of your registration you are required to provide your name and e-mail address and can choose to provide additional details. You can choose to use a pseudonym when using the forum. Your email address is not displayed to other members of the forum. You can also select not to display your gender and birth date in your profile settings.

National Archives collects some personal information (eg your e-mail address) in order to create a member account for you to use the forum and is also able to download a list of forum users. Any personal information obtained by National Archives about members will be collected, stored, used and disclosed in accordance with the National Archives’ Privacy Policy available at: Our Privacy Policy | naa.gov.au. The Privacy Policy also sets out details of how you may seek access to and correction of your personal information or lodge a complaint about our handling of your personal information.

The forum is a public, not private, means of communication, and can be accessed by members and the general public. We recommend that you do not share private information and images with other members or post such information in discussion threads.

National Archives may decide to keep a copy of forum data for its own operational purposes (including if the forum is decommissioned), which will include the content of any discussion threads. To the extent this includes any personal information National Archives will handle your personal information with due care, according to National Archives’ Privacy Policy, but cannot accept any liability for use by others of personal information you have chosen to make available on the forum.

Acceptable use and content standards

When using the forum:

  • do not imply that content you submit to the forum is sponsored or approved by National Archives
  • do not make defamatory comments about public or private individuals
  • do not threaten, harass or use offensive language directed at another person, including another user of the forum
  • do not discriminate or incite hatred or violence based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability
  • do not post copyrighted material or material subject to other intellectual property rights
  • do not post offensive or obscene material or use offensive or obscene language
  • do not post overtly party political comment
  • do not promote commercial interests
  • do not include links to external websites or messaging services
  • do not make reference to, or engage in, conduct which is criminal or subject to a civil penalty under Australian law
  • do not reveal personal contact details of public or private individuals
  • do not impersonate other persons
  • do not attempt to gain unauthorised access to our computer systems or engage in any activity that disrupts, diminishes the quality of, interferes with the performance of, or impairs the functionality of, this forum.

National Archives will not accept any form of advertising for products, services or activities not associated with National Archives on the forum.

National Archives does not have any control over third-party websites or messaging services and does not (and cannot) endorse the information, discussions or statements made on those sites. National Archives does not accept liability arising from any links to external websites or messaging services posted on the forum.

You may not submit content to the forum containing malicious computer code, such as computer viruses or spyware.

You may not use the forum to disclose information that you do not have the right to disclose, such as the confidential or personal information of other persons.

You may not use or try to use another member’s account on the forum without their specific permission.

Nothing in these Terms of Service gives National Archives any ownership rights in intellectual property that you share with the forum, such as your account information, posts, or other content you submit to the forum. Nothing in these Terms of Service gives you any ownership rights in National Archives’ intellectual property.


You may contact or send questions to National Archives, by sending an email message to: webmaster@naa.gov.au.

National Archives may notify you under these terms using the e-mail address you provide for your account on the forum, or by posting a message to the homepage of the forum or your account page.