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Subject: A Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources (2 of 6)
This article was archived around: Thu, 11 Nov 1993 01:44:17 GMT
Last-modified: 10 November 1993
-*- 2. Networking
The Internet has become an excellent place in which to look for academic
and professional job announcements, conference announcements and calls
for papers, and important notices about recent events in many fields of
biology. Generally, notices of all forms appear on the Internet well in
advance of traditional journals and newsletters. Scientific interest
groups, both formal and informal ones, maintain electronic discussion
groups, directories, digests and newsletters. These resources are
distributed in three principal ways: via Usenet newsgroups, (automated)
listserver mailing lists, and mailing lists administered by real people.
Increasingly, the two forms of mailing list have "gateways" connecting
them with Usenet newsgroups.
-*- 2.1. Netiquette
The professionally-oriented newsgroups and mailing lists follow certain
conventions of etiquette. These are none other than those used by most
people at public events such as academic conferences. In fact, most of
the science-related newsgroups (and mailing lists) are very much like
mid-sized meetings of any professional society, except that they never
end. The participants come and go as they please, but the discussion
and exchange of ideas and information continues.
Submitted articles tend to be of the following types:
- Discussions on topics of general interest. Discussions on specific
topics, techniques, or organisms are also frequent.
- Announcements of upcoming conferences or other events, calls for papers
or grant proposal deadlines. In Usenet, announcements can be set to
expire (and thus disappear from the list of current articles), and may
be limited in their distribution so that they are seen only by readers
in the appropriate organization or geographical area (Beware, this
feature is often leaky; see section 2.2, Usenet).
- Academic and professional job announcements, including many graduate
fellowships. These are generally posted in newsgroups/mailing lists
reserved for such notices, often in advance of publication elsewhere.
- Reports or comments on new books, papers, methods or software. Full
citation of sources is always appropriate and appreciated. Requests
for references or comments are also welcome and, when posed as specific
questions of general interest, often lead to interesting discussions.
Unacceptable articles include:
- Commercial advertizements, political lobbying messages, and anything
not pertaining directly to the topic or purview of the newsgroup or
mailing list. Discussions about some commercial products, especially
books and software, are generally allowed as long as they do not
- Requests by students for explicit answers to homework and exam or essay
questions are generally not welcome. Requests for help understanding
problems in biology are welcome, but the requester should demonstrate
at least a basic understanding of the question.
Some helpful suggestions:
- Read before you post (look before you leap)
Before posting an article for the first time, read the discussions for
a week or so. Look for an "FAQ" document that covers frequently asked
questions (thus the name) before you make the mistake of asking one
yourself. FAQs are an excellent way to learn a great deal about the
culture and resources of the Internet, plus a great deal more. FAQs
about resources are updated often (usually monthly), to stay current.
(They are far more current than traditionally published books listing
Internet resources!) Each newsgroup or mailing list has its own unique
character, that is built from the shared experience of loyal and active
participants exchanging ideas and information over the course of years.
- Always include your full name and e-mail address
Put these at the end of your message, with your usual signature. You
might want to use a .signature file (standard on most Unix systems, also
implemented for Usenet and e-mail readers under VM/CMS) to make this
automatic. This is necessary because strange things often happen to
headers in e-mail or Usenet articles sent from one network to another.
You may want to include your affiliation and/or mailing address, so that
others can send you re-prints, and to help in networking outside of the
Internet. Traditionally, people do not indicate their status; whether
student or professor, Ph.D. or not, etc. It is generally believed that
the text-only nature of communication via the Internet allows people to
form opinions of one another that are based more on intellectual merit
than on other, perhaps more superficial qualities. Either way, you have
an unusual degree of control over what others can know about you, and it
is to your advantage to use a .signature file that reflects you well.
- Send private replies whenever appropriate
Answers to very esoteric questions are often best sent directly to the
person who asked for help, rather than to the newsgroup; the choice of
whether to post a (public) reply or send (private) e-mail is a personal
decision. If you send a reply by e-mail, and would prefer that it be
kept private, you should say so in your note, because otherwise the other
person may share your comments with others. If the original poster
promises to post a summary at the outset, then all replies should be
sent by e-mail, unless they constitute an important re-direction of the
- Summarize the replies to your article
Whenever a question or request for information results in many replies,
it is expected that the person who posted the original article will
compile and post a summary of the responses.
- Use care when writing summaries
- The "best" answers should come first.
- All answers should be separated clearly, and nicely formatted.
- Redundant, irrelevant or verbose comments, and errors of fact or
spelling should be edited out. It is appropriate to use square
brackets and dots to indicate editing [...].
- Exercise discretion and tact, to ensure a fair and accurate summary.
- Unless they asked that their names be withheld, the contributors of
each answer should be named and thanked, individually or as a group.
- Avoid starting nasty arguments or "flame wars"
- Be generous when interpreting the arguments of others.
- Avoid jargon; write as though addressing an educated lay audience.
- Avoid personal attacks on the honor or character of others.
- Remember, the exercise will be good for you.
If something you read angers you, save it for a few hours while you do
something else (don't reply on an empty stomach). Go back to it when
you are calm and relaxed (and you have thought of a good rebuttal!).
If you simply must say something highly critical that is not confined
to the subject under discussion (i.e., strays from intellectual argument
into the realm of personal insult), consider sending it privately via
e-mail, rather than posting or mailing to the group. And if you read
something insulting to you, do not respond immediately; give yourself
time to cool off and think of a tactful (but also devastating) response.
E-mail can be a powerful tool, but only if you use it well.
- Be careful about quotations, citations and copyrights
The Internet has grown to the point where it has become reasonable to
cite documents that exist officially only in an electronic version on
the Internet. And the issue of authenticity and version control has
become extremely important. Thus, it has become appropriate to express
copyrights, and to specify within documents how they may or may not be
used, both within the Internet and in print. Please respect these
restrictions, which are often very generous, and send the author e-mail
if you have any doubts about the intended use of any Internet document.
As a rule of thumb, you may freely cite or quote anything posted to a
newsgroup or mailing list in that forum *only*. For citations or quotes
elsewhere, it is hoped, even expected, that you will first request express
permission from the author, which is easy, given the author's e-mail
address. Although there has been a trend to cite specific articles posted
in Usenet, it is generally satisfactory to use the "personal communication"
formula, but for this reason you should request a specific, personal
statement from the author that is directly relevant to and given in the
context of the issue that you wish to address.
-*- 2.2. Usenet
Usenet is a convention, in every sense of the word.
Usenet is a system of organized "newsgroups" sharing many features with
traditional newsletters, mailing lists and focused scientific societies.
Usenet is Internet-based (although before the Internet existed it was
distributed via UUCP), and strongly developed so that end users need
know only how to interact with the particular Usenet "reader" program
on their computers. Features of Usenet that make it far superior to the
two types of mailing lists generally include the sorting or "threading"
of all articles on a related topic, control of the distribution of
posted articles to hierarchical levels (e.g., the author's university,
state, country, or continent--but this feature may "leak"), the ability
to cancel an article even after it has been distributed, and automatic
expiration of dated articles. To test any of these features, especially
the distribution control, try posting an article to misc.test; your
article will receive "echoes" from other sites that receive it.
Usenet is "free", but not cheap; because it requires a lot of computer
disk space, and a certain amount of installation and regular maintenance
work by a system administrator, not all computer systems carry Usenet.
If Usenet is carried locally, it may still be necessary to prod the local
Usenet administrator to add the bionet and bit.listserv newsgroups to the
local "feed". Usenet was created by two Duke University graduate students
in 1979: see Spafford (1993) for the definitive history of Usenet and a
list of Usenet software for virtually every type of computer.
To paraphrase Spafford and Salzenberg (1992): Usenet is *not* a network.
Usenet is an anarchy, with no laws and no one in charge. No one has any
real control outside of their own site. Computer system administrators
who distribute Usenet "feeds" to other sites gain some authority by virtue
of being "upstream"; that is, they have some say over what newsgroups
their "downstream" neighbors can receive. Usenet feeds are stored at each
site in "spools"; it is common for universities to have Usenet spools on
one or two computers, and to allow everyone at the university to read
Usenet news via "client" programs that connect to the remote "news server".
The particular configuration of the Usenet feed to your university or
organization determines whether the distribution control feature of most
Usenet posting programs will work properly for you. For example, the
mailing lists for the bionet.* newsgroups are gated on the west coast of
North America, and you might think that it is safe to post local items
in a bionet.* newsgroup if you live elsewhere. But many sites get their
feed of bionet.* groups directly from the machine that runs the mailing
lists, which is definitely outside your geographic area. So your article
will be distributed at your site, but will not be propagated from your
site to any other site in your area if it must pass out of your region
and then return through a separate feed to a university in the next city.
Furthermore, it is a more efficient use of network resources to get as
much Usenet traffic as possible from the nearest site available. It is
important, therefore, to do a little research on Usenet feeds in your area
before asking your Usenet administrator to add one of the newsgroup
hierarchies listed in section 2.2.2, Special Usenet Hierarchies and Gated
- New users should read the Usenet FAQs posted in news.announce.newusers.
- Use the misc.test newsgroup for posting test articles. Be sure to
test the distribution feature here. Do not post test articles to
- Use the expiration feature for job and conference announcments.
- When posting to more than one newsgroup, use the cross-posting feature
so only one copy of your article goes out, but is seen by many people.
- Post (and cross-post) sparingly to groups that have associated mailing
lists, to give a break to people who must read the groups via e-mail.
The cross-posting of articles to more than one gated newsgroup is strongly
discouraged, since the e-mail subscribers will get multiple copies of any
cross-posted articles. Usenet readers should be aware of proper etiquette
for mailing lists when posting to gated newsgroups.
-*- 2.2.1. Newsgroups of Special Interest
An "F" after the newsgroup name indicates an FAQ is available. "M" means
that the newsgroup is moderated. "G" means that the newsgroup has a
gateway to a parallel mailing list: see section 2.2.2, Special Usenet
Hierarchies and Gated Mailing Lists, for details.
alt.agriculture.* [2 groups]
alt.bbs.internet F Announcements of new Internet services
alt.cyb-sys Cybernetics and Systems
alt.internet.access.wanted F Help getting full Internet access
alt.internet.services F Announcements of new Internet resources
alt.native Indigenous peoples
alt.sci.* [6 groups]
| alt.earth_summit Discussion of the recent Earth Summit
alt.sustainable.agriculture G Sustainable agriculture
bionet.agroforestry G Agroforestry research
bionet.announce FGM Announcements
bionet.biology.computational GM Comp. and math. applications in biology
bionet.biology.n2-fixation G Biological nitrogen fixation
bionet.biology.tropical G Tropical biology and ecology
bionet.chlamydomonas G Chlamydomonas discussion
bionet.cellbio G Cell biology discussion
bionet.drosophila G Drosophila discussion
bionet.general FG General discussion
bionet.genome.* G [3 groups: Arabidopsis and chromosomes]
bionet.immunology G Research in immunology
bionet.info-theory FG Information theory applied to biology
bionet.jobs G Job opportunities in biology
bionet.journals.contents GM Biological journal TOCs
bionet.journals.note G Publication issues in biology
bionet.metabolic-reg G Metabolic regulation and thermodynamics
bionet.molbio.ageing G Cellular and organismal ageing
bionet.molbio.bio-matrix G Computer searches of biological databases
bionet.molbio.embldatabank G Info about the EMBL Nucleic acid database
bionet.molbio.evolution G Evolution, especially molecular
bionet.molbio.gdb G The GDB database
bionet.molbio.genbank G The GenBank nucleic acid database
bionet.molbio.gene-linkage G Genetic linkage analysis.
bionet.molbio.genome-program G Human Genome Program issues
bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts G Tips on lab techniques and materials
bionet.molbio.hiv G The molecular biology of HIV
bionet.molbio.proteins G Proteins and protein database searches
bionet.molbio.rapd G Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA
bionet.molbio.yeast G Yeast researchers' discussion
bionet.mycology G Mycological research discussion
bionet.neuroscience G Research issues in the neurosciences
bionet.photosynthesis G Photosynthesis research
bionet.plants G Plant biology, inc. genetics and ecology
bionet.population-bio G Population biology, especially theory
bionet.sci-resources GM Information about funding agencies, etc.
bionet.software G Software for biology, esp. free/shareware
bionet.software.* G [3 groups: acedb, gcg, and sources]
bionet.users.addresses G Help locating biologists who use e-mail
bionet.virology G Research in virology
bionet.women-in-bio G Discussion by and about women in biology
bionet.xtallography G Protein crystallography
bit.listserv.biosph-l G Biosphere, ecology, Discussion List
bit.listserv.devel-l G Tech. Transfer in Internat. Development
bit.listserv.ethology G Ethology List
| bit.listserv.geograph G Geography List
bit.listserv.medforum MG Medical Students Discussion
bit.listserv.uigis-l G User Interface for GIS
bit.listserv.vpiej-l G Electronic Publishing Discussion List
bit.org.peace-corps G International Volunteers Discussion Group
comp.infosystems.gis FG Geograpical Information Systems
comp.infosystems.gopher F The Internet gopher access tool
comp.infosystems.wais F The Internet WAIS access tool
comp.infosystems.www The Internet WWW access tool
comp.soft-sys.sas G SAS Discussion
comp.soft-sys.spss G SPSS Statistical Discussion
comp.text.tex F TeX, LaTeX and related text format systems
comp.theory.cell-automata G Cellular automata research
comp.theory.dynamic-sys G Ergodic theory and dynamic systems
comp.theory.self-org-sys G Topics related to self-organization
embnet.news.admin G EMBnet news helpline for administrators
embnet.general G General discussion
embnet.net-dev Network development discussion
embnet.rpc Technical discussion of data transfers
info.grass.programmer GM GRASS GIS programmer issues
info.grass.user GM GRASS GIS user issues
info.ietf GM Internet Engineering Task Force
info.nsf.grants GM NSF grants announcements
info.wisenet G Women in Science and Engineering Network
news.announce.newusers FM FAQs for new users of Usenet
news.answers FM All FAQ documents
news.lists FM Statistics and data about Usenet
sci.answers GFM FAQs pertaining to science
sci.anthropology Anthropology discussion
sci.archaeology Archaeology discussion
sci.bio F General biology discussion
sci.bio.ecology G Ecological research (sponsored by ESA)
sci.bio.technology G Any topic relating to biotechnology
sci.environment Discussion of environmental issues
sci.geo.* [3 newsgroups]
sci.image.processing F Scientific image processing
sci.nonlinear Nonlinear dynamical systems
sci.research.careers Discussion of research careers in science
sci.stat.consult G Statistical consulting
sci.stat.edu G Journal of Statistics Education List
sci.stat.math Mathematical statistics
| sci.techniques.xtallography Crystallography techniques
sci.* [60 other newsgroups]
-*- 2.2.2. Special Usenet Hierarchies and Gated Mailing Lists
There has been a growing trend in the past few years to set up transparent
"gateways" between mailing lists and newsgroups, and to create Usenet
newsgroup hierarchies that are outside the "main stream". Both being new,
these two trends often go together.
None of the Usenet newsgroup hierarchies mentioned below are main-stream
ones; that is, they do not conform to all Usenet conventions, and
consequently are carried by no more than 30-50% of Usenet sites. This is
not necessarily a bad thing, since few or no readers at most sites are
biologists, and e-mail subscriptions are available for many groups. If
your site carries Usenet, but not these hierarcies, a simple request to
your Usenet administrator might be all that's needed to get them too.
But see the first part of section 2.2, Usenet, for details about what to
Each of these newsgroups has two gateways to mailing lists, to save on
trans-Atlantic transmission costs. For an e-mail subscription to any
|| bionet.* newsgroup, if you live in the Americas or the Pacific Rim,
|| send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the text `help' (leave the
|| Subject line blank; this is an automated server). If you live elsewhere,
|| send e-mail to email@example.com (a person will respond). Brief
descriptions of some of these groups are given in the BIOSCI FAQ, posted
in bionet.announce and available on net.bio.net in the directory
/pub/BIOSCI/ or by e-mail from the BIOSCI staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As their names imply, the bit.listserv newsgroups started out as (and
remain) automated mailing lists. Most of these mailing lists became
so successful that gateways to Usenet were added by popular demand.
The Appendix includes 100 or so other mailing lists, most run via the
LISTSERV program, of interest to biologists; those mailing lists with
Usenet gateways are listed in section 2.3.3, Gateways to Usenet.
Charters for each of these groups can be obtained from the listserver
that administers each one. See sections 2.3, Mailing Lists Using
LISTSERV, and 2.3.1, Commands, for details about e-mail subscriptions and
commands for interacting with listserver programs.
Send e-mail to Erik Fair, email@example.com, or see the list of mailing
lists posted in news.answers for details about e-mail subscriptions.
The European Molecular Biology Network (EMBnet) runs a group of Usenet
newsgroups that are distributed in Europe. E-mail subscriptions are
available from firstname.lastname@example.org, and these newsgroups can be
| read and searched via gopher and WAIS on nic.switch.ch. Send general
e-mail queries to email@example.com.
These groups are mailing lists with gateways to Usenet at the University
of Illinois. See section 2.4, Other Mailing Lists, for e-mail subscription
information, or ask your local Usenet administrator to get these groups.
-*- 2.2.3. Usenet FAQs about Usenet
You are strongly encouraged to read the following introductory and
etiquette FAQs before posting any messages to any newsgroup. They are
what might be considered the "mandatory course" for new users, and
are posted frequently in the Usenet newsgroup news.newusers.announce.
See section 4, Useful and Important FAQs, for a list of additional FAQs
of general use or interest to biologists, section 4.1, What's an FAQ and
where can I get one?, and sections 3.6.2 and 3.6.3 for instructions on
how to get copies by anonymous FTP or e-mail if you don't have access
to a Usenet reader.
Title Archive filename
Introductory information (recommended reading)
What is Usenet? what-is-usenet/part1
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions usenet-faq/part1
Introduction to news.announce news-announce-intro/part1
Etiquette (strongly recommended reading)
A Primer on How to Work With the usenet-primer/part1
Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions emily-postnews/part1
Hints on writing style for Usenet usenet-writing-style/part1
Rules for posting to Usenet posting-rules/part1
How to Create a New Usenet Newsgroup creating-newsgroups/part1
USENET Software: History and Sources usenet-software/part1
How to become a USENET site site-setup
NetNews/Listserv Gateway Policy bit/policy
UNIX BBS Software FAQ with Answers unix-faq/bbs-software
Introduction to the news.answers news-answers/introduction
Instructions for posting to news.answers news-answers/guidelines
Mailing Lists Available in Usenet mail/news-gateways/part1
Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists mail/mailing-lists/part[1-6]
List of Periodic Information Postings periodic-postings/part[1-6]
List of Active Newsgroups active-newsgroups/part[1-2]
Alternative Newsgroup Hierarchies alt-hierarchies/part[1-2]
-*- 2.2.4. Usenet by E-mail
| Many people who do not have direct access to Usenet do have Internet
| access, and can read Usenet newsgroups via gopher (see section 3.6.4
| below for an explanation of gopher). Gopher is fine for reading Usenet
| news, but doesn't allow posting to them. Fortunately, various sites on
| the Internet will accept e-mail addressed to specific newsgroups, and
| will post it automatically. Rob Harper <firstname.lastname@example.org> in Finland
| offers such a service: to post to bionet.general, for example, send
| your article via e-mail to email@example.com. Naturally, using
| a good e-mail program you can insert the usual article headers (Reply-To,
| Expires, References, etc.), but you can also insert bad headers and make
| a mess of your post, so be cautious: look carefully at the headers of
| other articles, and experiment by posting to misc.test.
-*- 2.3. Mailing Lists Using LISTSERV
It is very important that you keep a list of all mailing lists to which
you are subscribed, along with the address of the list administrator
and the address you used when you subscribed, if you have more than one.
This is because you will need to unsubscribe yourself if you go away on
vacation or your address changes. Otherwise any mail sent to you from
the list may bounce or cause other, sometimes severe problems. And it's
easier to check the address etc. when you want to tell friends how they
can subscribe too.
The Appendix at the end of this guide includes most listserver mailing
lists of particular interest or use to biologists. Internet addresses
are given whenever possible, and all addresses are in standard Internet
format, with the exception that portions of the Internet node names that
reflect original Bitnet node names are given in uppercase, for the
convenience of readers on Bitnet nodes.
Listservers were developed first many years ago on Bitnet, when Eric
Thomas wrote a computer program named "LISTSERV" that could act like
a regular computer user: receiving and sending out e-mail, and keeping
files. LISTSERV is now used on hundreds (170 at last count) of computers
around the world, and a number of copy-cat programs with some similar
features are used at many other sites. Whichever program is used, these
listservers are given the task of maintaining multiple electronic mailing
lists, handling all membership requests (subscriptions and cancellation
of subscriptions, and so on). Many list owners collect monthly logs of
all messages sent to the list, and some also provide files of other
information. Eric Thomas's LISTSERV program does this automatically, and
listservers running this program can send "back issue" logs and other
files on request.
The author of one of the other listserver programs has unfortunately
chosen to enhance his own reputation by using the same name as Eric
Thomas's program. This causes great confusion, as the other program
does not perform nearly as many functions as LISTSERV does. Whenever
| known, those mailing lists *not* using Eric Thomas's LISTSERV code are
| listed in the Appendix, Assorted Mailing Lists Using LISTSERV, with a
| "K". E-mail subscription requests for these lists must have blank
| Subject lines and no appended signature text.
Mailing lists run by non-LISTSERV listservers are listed in section 2.4,
Other Mailing Lists, together with mailing lists run by hand. Other
listservers include "mailbase" and "MAILSERV", both written for Bitnet
nodes in Europe. For documents about using mailbase, send e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org with the text
send mailbase user-guide for the lengthly User's Guide
send mailbase user-card for a short version of the Guide
You can get an extensive topical directory of academic mailing lists,
compiled by Diane Kovacs, dkovacs@KENTVM.kent.edu: send e-mail to
listserv@KENTVM.kent.edu with the text
get acadlist readme
Charles Bailey posts a directory, Library-Oriented Lists and Electronic
Serials, to the newsgroup bit.listserv.pacs-l on a regular basis.
Mailing list etiquette:
- Whenever possible, Bitnet users should use the Bitnet address of a list
and its listserver; Internet users should use the Internet address.
- Keep a record of your subscriptions, and a copy of any instructions
that you receive with your subscription.
- Remember to unsubscribe or otherwise turn off your subscriptions
before your e-mail address changes or you go away on vacation.
- Avoid sending articles to more than one mailing list.
- Be concise or, if your article is more than a few hundred lines long,
warn your readers in the Subject line.
A note for users on JANET nodes (in the United Kingdom): you may be
able to get subscriptions to Bitnet listserver mailing lists via
email@example.com. Send e-mail to that address with the text
for more information. This saves electronic transmission costs by having
a single subscription propagated across the Atlantic Ocean, and then
re-distributing it to multiple subscribers in the U.K. and elsewhere in
-*- 2.3.1. Commands
Being computer programs, with nothing else to do, listservers just sit
and wait for e-mail to arrive, read it, and perform the appropriate task,
usually immediately. They respond only to a small set of commands. A
summary (Thomas 1993) of these commands can be retrieved by sending the
message "send listserv refcard" to any listserver. The main listserver
is listserv@BITNIC.educom.edu, but there are many listservers around the
world. Specificially, there is one on each computer for which a mailing
list is mentioned in the Appendix. Most listservers maintain more than
one mailing list.
To subscribe to any of these mailing lists, send e-mail to the listserver
at the same address. For example, subscriptions to the Smithsonian
Institution's biological conservation list, CONSLINK, may be obtained by
sending the message
subscribe conslink <Your Name>
to listserv@SIVM.si.edu. To turn off mail from a list temporarily (e.g.,
while you are away on vacation), send the message
set <listname> nomail
and to unsubscribe permanently (e.g., because your e-mail address is about
to change), send the message
Send subscription and other administrative requests to the listserver,
not the list; e-mail messages sent directly to the mailing list will
(generally) be sent to all the list subscribers. Only the listserver
can process subscription requests, and the listserver only knows about
requests that it receives directly.
LISTSERV programs of version 1.7f and higher have a very useful feature
that lets you receive a daily digest (actually a concatenation, with a
table of contents) instead of many individual articles. Send e-mail to
the apropriate listserver with the message:
set <listname> digest
-*- 2.3.2. Archives
In addition to handling the membership requests for particular mailing
lists, most listservers also archive all messages sent to each list in
monthly log files. These files, along with other items contributed by
list subscribers, are archived by the listserver and can be retrieved
by e-mail. Listserv@SIVM.si.edu keeps an archive of various lists of
conservation organizations and field stations, several newsletters, and
a large collection of bibliographic references relating to biological
conservation. Listserv@UMDD.umd.edu keeps an archive of job openings and
conference announcements submitted to the Ecological Society of America.
Commands for retrieving files from listserver archives are described
in the listserver command reference guide (Thomas 1993), and include:
help to get generally useful information
review <listname> to get the list of subscribers
index <listname> to get the list of archived files
get listserv refcard to get a short summary of commands
get listfaq memo to get an FAQ about listservers
Sending the message "info" to a listserver will result in a list of
information guides including:
REFcard (LISTSERV REFCARD) Command reference card
FAQ (LISTFAQ MEMO ) Frequently Asked Questions
PResent (LISTPRES MEMO ) Presentation of LISTSERV for new users
GENintro (LISTSERV MEMO ) General information about Revised LISTSERV
KEYwords (LISTKEYW MEMO ) Description of list header keywords
AFD (LISTAFD MEMO ) Description of Automatic File Distribution
FILEs (LISTFILE MEMO ) Description of the file-server functions
LPunch (LISTLPUN MEMO ) Description of the LISTSERV-Punch file fmt.
JOB (LISTJOB MEMO ) Description of the Command Jobs feature
DISTribute (LISTDIST MEMO ) Description of Relayed File Distribution
COORDinat (LISTCOOR MEMO ) Information about Listserv Coordination
FILEOwner (LISTFOWN MEMO ) Information guide for file owners
DATABASE (LISTDB MEMO ) Description of the database functions
UDD (LISTUDD MEMO ) User Directory Database User's Guide
UDDADMIN (LISTUDDA MEMO ) UDD Administrator's Guide
To get any one of these, send the message "info <keyword>" where <keyword>
is, for instance, "REFcard" or "FAQ". Only the portion in capitals is
-*- 2.3.3. Gateways to Usenet
Some of the listserver mailing lists in the Appendix below are also
biosph-l@UBVM.cc.buffalo.edu is bit.listserv.biosph-l
devel-l@AUVM.american.edu is bit.listserv.devel-l
ethology@FINHUTC.hut.fi is bit.listserv.ethology
| geograph@SEARN.sunet.su is bit.listserv.geograph
medforum@ARIZVM1.ccit.arizona.edu is bit.listserv.medforum (custom gate)
uigis-l@UBVM.cc.buffalo.edu is bit.listserv.uigis-l
vpiej-l@VTVM1.cc.vt.edu is bit.listserv.vpiej-l
gis-l@UBVM.cc.buffalo.edu is comp.infosystems.gis
sas-l@UGA.cc.uga.edu is comp.soft-sys.sas
spssx-l@UGA.cc.uga.edu is comp.soft-sys.spss
| firstname.lastname@example.org is comp.theory.dynamic-sys
wisenet@UICVM.uic.edu is info.wisenet
scifaq-l@YALEVM.cis.yale.edu is sci.answers (gate is group-->list only)
ecolog-l@UMDD.umd.edu is sci.bio.ecology
biotech@UMDD.umd.edu is sci.bio.technology
email@example.com is sci.stat.consult
firstname.lastname@example.org is sci.stat.edu
American University has established itself as the clearing house and
semi-official keeper of automated gateways between listserver mailing
lists and Usenet newsgroups. Questions about the procedure for
establishing a gateway for any mailing list or newsgroup may be posted to
the Usenet newsgroup bit.admin or sent to news-admin@AUVM.american.edu.
A FAQ on this topic appears regularly in the bit.admin newsgroup.
-*- 2.4. Other Mailing Lists
Remember to save any instructions you receive about unsubscribing from
a mailing list. Mailing lists that do not use listserv-style commands
for subscribing and unsubscribing include:
Topic or name Mailing list address
Arabidopsis thal. database announcements email@example.com
Contact Mike Cherry, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artificial life digest email@example.com
Send all subscription requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biological Anthropology, Primatology email@example.com
Send "subscribe humbio <Your Name>" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biological timing and circadian rhythms
Biologia y Evolucion (in Spanish) email@example.com
| Biology information systems firstname.lastname@example.org
| Contact Tim Littlejohn, email@example.com
Bulletin for bryologists firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to the owner, Jan-Peter Frahm, email@example.com.
Dendrome forest tree genome mapping digest
Send all subscription requests and submissions to the editor,
Dinosaurs and other archosaurs firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to email@example.com.
Discover Insight Biosym Users' Group firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to email@example.com.
Ecologia (in Spanish) firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to email@example.com
Entomology discussion firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to the owner, Mark O'Brien, email@example.com.
Environmentalists digest firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to the owner, Josh Knaur, email@example.com.
| Experimental Petrology firstname.lastname@example.org
| Send e-mail with the text "subscribe exp-pet" on the first line
| of the body (not the Subject line) to email@example.com.
| For more information, contact Henry Shaw <firstname.lastname@example.org> or
| James Brenan <email@example.com>.
Fish and Wildlife Biology firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to email@example.com for subscription
requests, etc. Wildnet is also distributed via Usenet in the
sci.bio.ecology newsgroup (a.k.a. the ECOLOG-L mailing list).
Forestry discussion firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to email@example.com
Genstat statistics package discussion firstname.lastname@example.org
Send "subscribe genstat <Your Name>" to email@example.com.
Send all subscription requests and submissions to the editor,
GIS Users in the United Kingdom firstname.lastname@example.org
Send "subscribe geocal <Your Name>" to email@example.com.
| "Green" travel and tourism discussion [unknown]
| Send e-mail to Marcus Endicott <firstname.lastname@example.org>, asking for
| a subscription to the green.travel mailing list.
Killifish, Cyprinodontidae email@example.com
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Neotropical birds discussion email@example.com
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Roberto Phillips)
Neural networks digest email@example.com
Send requests and all submissions to the above address. Back issues of
the digest are available via anonymous FTP on cattell.psych.upenn.edu.
Send "subscribe orchids <Your Name>" to mailserv@scuacc.SCU.edu.
| Peptide Libraries firstname.lastname@example.org
| Send "help" to email@example.com for subscription information.
| Plant hormones discussion list firstname.lastname@example.org
| Send "join plant-hormones <Your Name>" to email@example.com.
Plant Taxonomy firstname.lastname@example.org
Send "join plant-taxonomy <Your Name>" to email@example.com.
Primate discussion firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to the owner, email@example.com.
Prion Research Digest [unknown]
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
| RNA email@example.com
| Send "help" to firstname.lastname@example.org for subscription information.
The S statistics package email@example.com
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANET-MG Sustainable Agriculture Network email@example.com
Send e-mail with the text "subscribe sanet-mg" or "send guide" or
"send catalog" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simulated Annealing Mailing List (ANNEAL) [unknown]
Send e-mail with the text "subscribe anneal" to email@example.com.
Society for Mathematical Biology Digest firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail with the text "subscribe smbnet <Your Name>" and/or
"help" to email@example.com. Back issues of the digest
are available via anonymous FTP on fconvx.ncifcrf.gov in smb/digest/.
The editor is apparently Ray Mejia.
| Yeast Artificial Chromosomes firstname.lastname@example.org
| Send "help" to email@example.com for subscription information.
Young Scientists' Network firstname.lastname@example.org
Send e-mail to email@example.com with the Subject
(not text) "subscribe" or "send info".
Send all subscription requests and submissions to the editor,
Jon Fink, aijhf@ASUACAD (via Bitnet) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note, any mailing lists you may discover at net.bio.net or daresbury.ac.uk
that are not explicitly mentioned in this FAQ are not mentioned *because*
they are actually gated lists for the bionet.* newsgroups. See section
2.2.2, Special Usenet Hierarchies and Gated Mailing Lists, for instructions
about subscribing to any bionet.* newsgroup via e-mail.
| There is a 6-part FAQ in news.answers (da Silva 1993) that includes
brief descriptions of the charter of each mailing list. This FAQ is
stored in FAQ archives in the directory /mailing-lists/.
A very long (1.2 megabytes) list of lists is available via anonymous FTP
from ftp.nisc.sri.com in netinfo/interest-groups or (in compressed form)
netinfo/interest-groups.Z. It can also be obtained via e-mail by sending
the message "send netinfo/interest-groups" to email@example.com.
There is a printed, indexed version, titled "Internet: Mailing Lists",
that can be purchased from Prentice Hall. However, this list is up-dated
through submissions, and thus is incomplete and not very correct.
-*- 2.5. Newsletters
Many of the mailing lists mentioned in the above section are actually
digests, where readers' queries and comments are condensed into a
single large document that is distributed periodically. Yet another
variation on this theme is electronic newsletters. Those not listed
elsewhere in this guide include:
* Animal Behavior Society Newsletter. Editor James C. Ha,
* Bean Bag: Leguminosae Research Newsletter, edited by Charles R. Gunn
and Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr., firstname.lastname@example.org. Available
via gopher and anonymous FTP from huh.harvard.edu.
* Botanical Electronic News (BEN), edited by Adolf Ceska, Canada.
Available via gopher and anonymous FTP from huh.harvard.edu, and
the wildnet mailing list.
* The Chlamydomonas Newsletter. E-mail subscriptions are available from
Mike Adams, email@example.com. You can also get this newsletter
via gopher from gopher.duke.edu and via anonymous FTP from
acpub.duke.edu in pub/chlamy/.
* Climate/Ecosystem Dynamics (CED). E-mail subscriptions are available
from Daniel Pommert, firstname.lastname@example.org, gopher access
available via lternet.edu.
* Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN) Newsletter, Australia
Available via gopher and anonymous FTP from huh.harvard.edu, and via
the ERIN gopher on kaos.erin.gov.au.
* Flora Online. A journal for collections-oriented botanists published
by the Clinton Herbarium, Buffalo Museum of Science, New York USA.
Editor Richard H. Zander, visbms@UBVMS.bitnet. Available via gopher
and anonymous FTP from huh.harvard.edu.
* LTER Data Management Bulletin (DATABITS). Available via gopher on
* STARNET Echinoderm Newsletter. Send e-mail to the editor, Win Hide,
| * Titnet. Notices of interest to researchers of Paridae and other hole-
| nesting birds. Send e-mail to J. Hailman, email@example.com
| WISCMACC on Bitnet), with your name and address (postal and e-mail),
| what species you study and what types of studies you do.
The paper journal The Scientist is available via anonymous FTP on
| ds.internic.net, in pub/the-scientist, and gopher on gopher.gdb.org.
Michael Strangelove, 441495@acadvm1.UOTTAWA.ca has compiled a directory
of electronic serials. To retrieve it, send e-mail with the text
get ejournl1 directry
get ejournl2 directry
Yale University, Department of Biology, Osborn Memorial Laboratories,
PO Box 6666, New Haven, Connecticut 06511-8155 firstname.lastname@example.org