There are a few different levels of user on the nForum with different abilities. Here is a brief description of those levels together with the main distinctions in their abilities. Most of the names are drawn from the analogy between the Forum and a library.
Various membership classes in increasing privileged levels are:
Unauthenticated – This isn’t a user role per se but is a placeholder for a person browsing the forum who isn’t logged on. Such a user can read public discussions and post comments in those categories which allow guest posting (Latest Changes).
Browser – This is the user level assigned to new users. A Browser can post comments in existing discussions and start new discussions.
Researcher – Comments and discussions on the Forum can be turned in to “Notices” (a sort of a blog). Researchers can do (and undo) this to their comments and discussions. They can also see a list of all the users in the Forum.
Librarian – Librarians are entrusted with certain abilities that help keep the Forum tidy. In particular, librarians can move discussions from one category to another and can post (or take down) anyone’s comments and discussions to (or from) the “Notices”.
Member of the Steering Committee for the n-Lab – This designates that the user is on the steering committee of the Lab.
Moderator of the n-Forum – Moderators have more abilities to keep the Forum tidy, including deleting comments and discussions (technically, these comments and discussions are hidden, not deleted). Toby Bartels has this setting, even though Toby is also a member a Steering Committee.
Administrator – The administrator account is used for administering the software. The administrator is the only account that can edit other people’s comments. Only Andrew Stacey? has an account with this power, and it is a rarely used special account, not his normal account.