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University Information Services (Academic & Infrastructure)

Studying at Cambridge


Introduction to Forum

What is Forum?

Forum ( is a discussion service that was  created to replace the Usenet news service long in use in the academic community, discontinued in 2010.

Forum is a Raven-authenticated service using phpBB3, software which was originally developed as a 'bulletin board' but is highly customisable and easy to use. When you initially access Forum you will need to accept the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and confirm your choice privacy settings controlling which lookup-derived information may be used by phpBB. There is a standard FAQ at

How do I request a forum?

The service has a range of forums. Users cannot start their own top-level forums, instead they need to request one through Forums can be set up as 'no reply' - in particular this is set for advertisements, where discussion is not useful.

Creating a new topic in a forum

Once you have selected a link into a forum, to create a new topic you need to click on the newtopic.jpg button, at the top or bottom of the page content. You will need to name your topic and then fill in the post. You can use BBCode to add formatted text to your post (see for full information), and you can also add attachments, including images, may be shown either as links or inline in the post - you do this via the 'Upload attachment' tab at the bottom of the screen:


There are maximum sizes for attachments of 2MB for a file and 256kB for an image.

You can add a signature for your posts via the User Control Panel, found via a link at the top of your screen directly beneath the breadcrumb navigation trail.

It's a good idea to be cautious about adding formatting and attachments. By pressing the 'Preview' button you can see what your post looks like before it is submitted.

Replying and adding to a topic

Once you are reading a topic, you can reply by clicking on the postreply.jpg button, at the top or bottom of the page content. To reply quoting another post, you need to click on the quote.jpg button by the right side of the post.

Editing an existing post

When you have written a post yourself, you can edit it by clicking on the edit.jpg button by the right side of the post. Once you have submitted this edit there is a line underneath it recording when the last edit took place.

How to complain about offensive contents

If there is an article that you want to complain about, click on the complain.jpg button by the right side of the post. This generates a post that records all the details and all you need to do is select a reason for complaint from a pop-down list and add a comment if you want to.

Logging out of Forum

Forum is Raven authenticated, so (as with other Raven-authenticated services) to log out you will need to close your browser (not just the tab or window you have opened). For more information about Raven see

Last updated: August 2013