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Old Privacy Policy

OLD Privacy Policy

This privacy policy was in effect 2/27/19 through 6/9/22.

See our new privacy policy, which went into effect 6/10/22.

Privacy Policy Overview

The Living Physics Portal is an electronic publication of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and is part of the ComPADRE network.

The public parts of the Living Physics Portal that do not require login may be used without providing any personal information. The Portal use of Cookies and Analytics is described below.

An individual may create an account on the Living Physics Portal to contribute to the community, customize their site interaction, or take part in member-only features. Any contributions made by a user to the Living Physics Portal will be attributed to the user's account profile. A user’s account profile may be shared with ComPADRE network editors. The Living Physics Portal and AAPT does not otherwise disclose, give, or transfer personally identifiable information to third parties without your explicit permission unless required by law.

Aggregated usage information is collected for statistical purposes and may be used to help improve the site. Your usage information is also used to help us personalize and improve your experience.

Personal Information Use

Personal data collected on this website is meant to personalize the experience of users and facilitate interactions within the Living Physics Portal Community. Before public release of the Living Physics Portal, registered users will be able to configure what personal information is available to other Portal users in their profile settings. Initially in beta, users will not be able to configure these settings. Any actions made by a user on the Living Physics Portal will be attributed to the appropriate account's profile. Personal information held by the Living Physics Portal can be viewed in the user’s account profile.

The Living Physics Portal also uses cookies for internal tracking of site use which may be correlated with personal data submitted through forms. In addition to the general site use data provided by Google Analytics, the Living Physics Portal uses its own 1st party cookies to build a more detailed picture of how our site is used. In some cases we may correlate these site use data with personal data gathered through forms. This internal tracking is used to improve the site and understand its aggregate impact on the communities it serves. As we continually work to improve our site, these data give us insight into where improvements can be best targeted. For instance if we see that users are searching for a particular term but not finding materials tagged with a different term that means the same thing, we can change our tagging system to make it more likely they will find materials of value.

During beta, users’ actions on the Portal will be identifiably tracked and made available to project team members. We collect this more detailed data for three purposes. First, we use this data to share site activity back to users to improve their experience for the site, for example by showing users materials they have recently viewed or downloaded. Second, it's critical that we construct a clear and compelling picture of the impact our site has on its user communities. This is necessary both internally so that we have a sense of how we are progressing toward our project goals, but also so we can continue to make a strong case to our funders about the efficacy of the site and so ensure its continued existence. Third, we use this data to identify potential research directions, and upon getting explicit consent from our users, we conduct and publish research on the use of our site to improve the knowledge base around how STEM instructors find and use instructional resources as well as support one another in their instructional change efforts, in order to inform others creating resources for STEM instructors.

The Living Physics Portal does not otherwise disclose, give, or transfer identifiable information to third parties without your explicit permission unless required by law.

Removing Personal Information and Account Deletion

Currently you may stop sharing your personal information with the Living Physics Portal by deleting your Portal account. To have your user account removed from our database, please contact us. Your account will be removed within one month of our verification of your request.

Information visible to other Portal users

Registered users may contribute to the Living Physics Portal, create a user profile, and participate in discussions and community groups. All such content is attributed to the name of the user and is visible to other registered users. Contributions to the Vetted Library are also visible to non-registered users. The Living Physics Portal editorial team and community managers reserve the right to remove contributed content as specified in the our Terms of Service.

If you wish to participate, please remember that information disclosed is available for viewing by other members of this community. Please exercise caution when deciding to disclose any sensitive information on the Living Physics Portal. Never submit content if you do not have the authority to share that information publicly.

The Living Physics Portal also collects and holds personal information regarding co-authors of submitted content who are not registered on the portal. This information is entered by the submitting author and consists of the name and institution of each co-author. It is vital for the Portal to retain this information to meet academic standards of attribution and citation. This information about non-registered co-authors will only be displayed or used in conjunction with materials on which they have contributed.

Outside Links and Content

This site contains links to other sites. The Living Physics Portal is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of such websites. If you have concerns regarding a website we link to, we encourage you to contact us regarding your concerns.


All beta users agree to receive email updates about changes to Portal functionality and personal data use. Users may also agree to allow the Living Physics Portal to send general updates or further information to their email account. Before public release of the Living Physics Portal, users will be able to manage their email preferences on the Account Settings page.


If you provide contact information when contacting the Living Physics Portal, that information will be used to respond directly to the user's questions or comments and/or to identify issues with the site. We may also file comments to help improve the site.


A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent to your browser when you access a Web page. A session cookie is a line of text that is stored temporarily in your computer's memory. Because a session cookie is never saved, it is destroyed when you close your browser. The Living Physics Portal uses session cookies during user visits to save preferences. Certain Living Physics Portal applications require session cookies to function correctly. If you have session cookies disabled, you may not be able to use certain features of our site. A persistent cookie is a more permanent line of text that is saved by your browser to a file on your hard drive. The only persistent cookie regularly used by the Living Physics Portal is for registered users that choose to use the Auto-Login feature. Such cookies expire 6 months from login.

Web Site Usage

Usage patterns of the Living Physics Portal site are automatically logged to help diagnose problems, analyze trends, and improve the usability and performance of the site.

In addition to internal logs, Google Analytics is used for logging. No personally identifiable information is provided to these logging services by the Living Physics Portal.

Aggregated information about usage patterns may be made available publicly, such as in program evaluation reports or publications. Such aggregated information, such as the number of visitors to the Living Physics Portal, does not include personally identifiable information.


Research may be conducted on the usage of the site to help improve its appearance, performance, usability, and/or contribute to the knowledge base around how faculty use online resources and community activities to improve their teaching. We will not use your tracked personally identifiable information in research studies without your explicit permission.

When appropriate, such research projects will be approved by an Institutional Review Board governed by Title 45 Part 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

To date, no research projects that involve automated tracking of personally identifiable web activity have been conducted on the Living Physics Portal. Current research studies include usability testing interview studies, faculty interview studies, and research into ongoing community activities. Faculty participants and Portal users are given the opportunity to opt in or opt out of these specific research studies. If any research on the Living Physics Portal results in a publication, users of the website will be notified.

Children's Guidelines

The Living Physics Portal does not cater to visitors under 13 years old and will NOT store or require any personally identifiable information from users known to be under 13. If the Living Physics Portal learns that a user under the age of 13 has provided personally identifiable information, that user's identifiable information will be removed from the database.


The Living Physics Portal has security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information under our control. If you have any questions about the security of our site, please contact us.

Legal Disclaimer

We may disclose personal information when required by law or in good-faith belief that such action is necessary in order to conform to the edicts of the law.

Notification of Changes

We will notify registered users that have subscribed to receive Living Physics Portal updates if a material change will be made to our privacy practices.

Policy Feedback

If you have questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact us.