Members of BRAIN are expected to conform to the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA). Any member of BRAIN who is judged to have made an ethical infraction sufficient to warrant expulsion from APA or disqualification from the board certification process of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) will be removed from BRAIN and disqualified from later participation. Further, regardless of official sanction by other agencies, any member who is discovered to have made an obvious ethical infraction of a nature particularly relevant to BRAIN (e.g., divulging ABCN test materials) will be removed from the group. Removed members will have access to publicly-available web materials, but not list-serve communications.
Purpose of the listserv
The BRAIN listserv, the official listserv for the Be Ready for ABPP In Neuropsychology (BRAIN) study group, is a controlled-access listserv created to facilitate exchange of useful information among individuals who are preparing for examination through ABCN, and for those who have completed that process and would like to foster the development of prospective examinees. It is not intended for members of the lay public, nor for professionals who have not completed and are not actively preparing for ABPP/ABCN certification.
Relationship between BRAIN, the AACN, and the ABCN
The BRAIN listserv, though populated exclusively by BRAIN members, is hosted on Google Groups. Under routine conditions, it is moderated only by BRAIN members. However, in theory a Google Groups administrator has access to the list and, if needed, can intervene in list operations. Listserv postings may be subject to subpoena.
In early 2007 the BRAIN leadership council accepted the invitation of the AACN to form a standing AACN committee that would be responsible for reporting to AACN on our efforts and progress. In this manner AACN would be able to provide funding for projects that might help to further the goals of BRAIN. Further, building those connections with the AACN may further promote BRAIN’s ability to develop study materials that appropriately emphasize topics for the ABCN examination. An example of this is the launching in 2009 of the BRAIN website (formerly BRAIN wiki). The server for the website is paid for by the AACN. The relationship between the AACN and BRAIN also promotes the visibility of BRAIN, supporting the shared mission of both BRAIN and the AACN to help competent neuropsychologists become board certified. We have been assured that the AACN (as an agency) has no interest in controlling, dictating, or manipulating how BRAIN runs. In the event significant concerns about this relationship arise in the future, the relationship could be dissolved. Both BRAIN and the AACN remain independent of the ABCN. That is, we are not involved in the writing, revision, administration, or scoring of the tests. Hence, there is no conflict of interest in our becoming more closely allied with the AACN.
Risks of Participation in the BRAIN listserv
With a membership of several hundred professionals, the confidentiality of material shared on the list cannot be assured. NEVER POST CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION TO THE BRAIN LIST-SERVE OR TO THIS WEBSITE. Also, NEVER USE YOUR E-MAIL REPLY BUTTON TO A LISTSERV POSTING UNLESS YOU INTEND FOR THE RESPONSE TO GO TO THE ENTIRE LIST. Even if you delete the listserv name from the “To” address line, some e-mail software will still send your response to everyone on the listserv. If you mean to contact an individual listserv member “back channel” (i.e., without your message going to the entire list), it is best to launch a new e-mail and to manually enter that individual’s e-mail address.
PROHIBITION FROM DIVULGING ABCN TEST CONTENT
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD SPECIFIC INFORMATION REGARDING ABCN TEST CONTENT BE DIVULGED ON THE LISTSERV OR THIS WEBSITE. Because the BRAIN study group was designed to offer support for those in the preparation for the ABCN examination process, there is the potential for intentional or unintentional breach of the confidentiality of the ABCN written or oral examination. Everyone who takes the ABCN written or oral examination has signed an agreement not to divulge its contents, and the APA ethical code would further prohibit such acts. Beyond these codified prohibitions, please be aware that the fidelity of the ABCN exam, BRAIN’s positive working relationship with the AACN, and the fidelity of the BRAIN listserv and website are all threatened when a member reveals specific information about the ABCN examination content. Consequently, if the leadership group of BRAIN identifies a specific revelation of ABCN test content on the listserv, the BRAIN member will be removed from the listserv and the violation will be reported to the ABCN so that appropriate modifications can be made to the examination. Listserv postings BRAIN website content cannot be considered confidential.
Because the BRAIN listserv is intended to serve the mission of BRAIN as a support network, general advice regarding how to prepare for the examination is encouraged. Caution should be taken, though, to ensure that the advice refers to general content areas and the general depth in which material should be studied, NOT to specific test questions or content.
Examples of acceptable postings:
- “The mock exam seemed easier than the real thing, and especially seemed to be lacking in questions related to classic neurological syndromes.”
- “There was more coverage of psychometrics than I thought there would be.”
- “Make sure you review multicultural issues.”
- “The level of neuroanatomy detail in Blumenfeld’s book (e.g., he has THREE brainstem chapters!) often goes way beyond what you’ll need to know for the exam.”
Examples of unacceptable postings (these are fictitious and may or may not reflect the actual ABCN exam content):
- “Luckily, I had read up on Balint’s Syndrome before going in.”
- “I can’t believe that there wasn’t ANY question about malingering/effort tests!”
- “Don’t worry about the cerebellum—there wasn’t anything on the test about it.”
- “The fact finding case with the kid who had suffered a stroke totally threw me for a loop.”
Other Rules of Conduct
Here are additional Rules of Conduct that are to be respected when posting messages to the listserv and making edits to this website:
- Each individual member is responsible for the content he or she posts.
- Be careful with copyrighted material. The Fair Use Doctrine employed in the US Courts allows nonprofits such as BRAIN to post copyrighted material in small amounts, as long as it does not adversely affect the market value of the original. Even so, the safest bet is to minimize “lifting” of images or text beyond what is absolutely essential, and instead to summarize key content areas. Large amounts of copyrighted material should not be posted unless permission has been obtained from the copyright holder. Hyperlinks and excerpted material from online resources are acceptable provided the content is not linked in a way that misrepresents the source of the content, and that the origin of such material is clearly indicated. The poster of such information is responsible for obtaining copyright permissions if necessary.
- Distribution of copyright protected information (e.g., PDFs of journal articles, test forms, other intellectual property, etc.) is prohibited. Violation of this policy may result in suspension of privileges on the BRAIN listserv.
- Original material posted to the listserv should be understood to remain the intellectual property of the message author. We encourage anyone who is open to wide distribution of their original material (e.g., study notes) to make this clear in their posting. If permission to distribute is not made clear, and you wish to share material from the listserv with persons who are not members of BRAIN, you are required to obtain the permission of the original author.
- Sign all messages you post to the listserv.
- You may not forward messages from the listserv to parties not on the list without the author’s permission.
- In posting to the listserv, you are attesting that the information posted is accurate to the best of your knowledge. Intentionally misleading or inaccurate information should not be posted.
- You are prohibited from posting unacceptable content to the listserv or website. This includes specific information regarding ABCN test content, overt promotion of commercial products for personal gain, spam, malware, viruses or spyware, and remarks that are inflammatory, defamatory, personal attacks, or “flames.” In addition, it is requested that general professional questions (e.g., seeking advice on a clinical case) be directed towards more appropriate venues (e.g., the child or adult neuropsychology listservs), so that exam-prep postings remain dominant on the listserv.
- AACN has email list rules that apply to the BRAIN listserv as well.