How To... Ask (And Answer) A Question

Get advice and opinion on the issues that matter to you, using the Q and A feature. It's there so you can ask questions of the npj Biofilms and Microbiomes Community's Experts and Contributors. Here's how to use it...

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Using Q&A is easy! Here’s what to do in 7 easy steps.

  1. Make sure you are signed in to the npj Biofilms and Microbiomes Community. (If you are, you won't see the Sign In link on the top navigation bar and you will see your avatar on this bar.)
  2. Go to the Q&A page via the link on the top navigation bar and click the Ask A Question button.
  3. Type your question in the Question text box. Make sure you...
    a. Ask a specific question
    b. Are brief and to the point
    c. Stay focused on a single topic
    Your question can be no more than 200 characters in length but you can expand on your question using the additional text box with a 400 character limit.
  4. Click the Submit Question button, which automatically triggers an email to our Experts and Contributors, inviting them to answer your question. They can do so by clicking on a button in the email or visiting the Q&A page and clicking on your question. Until your question is answered it appears on the Unanswered Questions list on the Q&A page.
  5. The Expert or Contributor answering the question is asked to write their answer. They are advised to:
    a. Cover related experience
    b. Answer in detail
    c. Only answer the question if they have something positive and constructive to provide. They are advised not to relay personal / confidential information and to respect others' answers
  6. They click the Submit Answer button, which automatically triggers an email to you, telling you that your question has been answered.
  7. Simply click on the View Answer button, in the email (or visit the Q&A page) to view the answer in full on the community site. If you find the answer useful, you can vote for it, to bring it to others’ attention.

Questions can be answered by more than one person. All questions and answers are visible to all community participants. And anyone can Vote Up an answer they consider useful.

That's it! Why not ask a question today and get the exclusive advice and opinion you need on the issues that matter to you?

Jen Thoroughgood

Former Head of Communities, Springer Nature

I'm no longer with Springer Nature so please send your community-related queries to Thanks!