Privacy and Confidentiality
We ask you to respect the privacy of other WILMA users by following the guidelines, and not contacting a potential mentor/mentee directly. We also ask that you respect the confidentiality of information posted by other WILMA users. While we think that most users will be willing to respect others in these ways, we think it is important to reemphasize that because WILMA is a self-service site, it is public to the extent that it is accessible to anyone who receives a password. For this reason, we can't guarantee absolute confidentiality, and so we urge you to be judicious in deciding what information to post on the WILMA site. Also, again because this is a self-service site, no human is available to help you learn how to use it. We ask that you respect our privacy by not contacting us directly, except in cases of egregious misuses of the site that affect you (for example, if you are being harassed by someone who found you on WILMA), or if there are serious technical flaws in the site that require immediate attention. In such a case, contact the webmaster.
The Password and Privacy
You need a password to use WILMA because this is one way of protecting the information users post from curious non-users who might simply be browsing and might be inclined to make mischief. At this time, there is one mechanism in place to safeguard the information: to obtain a password, a user must provide a valid email address. If someone with a password abuses the system or harasses other users, s/he can then be traced through their registered email account. A second mechanism will be put in place eventually: once we get the programming done, there will be a delay of twenty-four hours before a new user can access private information on WILMA. The delay should discourage impulsive mischief-making by casual browsers. We can't stress enough, though, that WILMA is not completely private: due to the self-service nature of the system, any information you post is necessarily available to other users. Since you won't know exactly who the other users are, don't put up information if there's a chance you wouldn't want it to be read by anyone and everyone.
WILMA as a Self-Service Site
WILMA is strictly a self-service site. This means that users take the initiative to post their personal information and make matches on their own. We've made an effort to see that the site is as user friendly as possible. In order to use the site successfully, you will have to read the information we have posted for you (including troubleshooting tips, if you have problems), and to follow instructions. As noted just above, "self-service" means that that there is no human readily available to help users. However, if you encounter serious technical problems that you absolutely cannot solve on your own, contact the webmaster.
Truth in Advertising: Posting in Good Faith
We believe that most people who use WILMA will be using the service in good faith, and will post factual information. However, it is possible that some people might enroll in WILMA and create false identities to create mischief. We can't control this, and can't address the problem unless we are alerted to obvious abuses by users. (If you suspect an abuse, contact the webmaster.)
WILMA, for Women in Linguistics
We understand that men on a career path in linguistics may also need mentors, and that our male colleagues can also be effective and generous mentors. However, WILMA is a mentoring service specifically for women in linguistics. The reason for establishing a mentoring network for women is that networking opportunities have historically been more broadly available to men than to women. We ask that men who would like to establish mentoring relationships pursue other ways of meeting these needs.