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Subject: A Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources (4 of 6)

This article was archived around: Thu, 11 Nov 1993 01:49:22 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: biology/guide
All FAQs posted in: sci.bio
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: biology/guide/part4 Last-modified: 10 November 1993
-*- 4. Useful and Important FAQs You will learn a great deal about the Internet and what it has to offer if you read some of these FAQs. If you still want to know more, browse around in Usenet. Also, a number of books have been published recently that give a very thorough guide to the Internet; see the bibliography and check your local academic bookstore or university library. The files below are stored in pub/usenet/news.answers/ in the anonymous FTP archive on rtfm.mit.edu, and are posted frequently to the Usenet newsgroups news.answers, comp.answers and sci.answers, as appropriate. See sections 3.6.2 and 3.6.3 for help retrieving these FAQs via FTP or e-mail. See section 2.3.3, Usenet FAQs about Usenet, for other titles. || Most if not all of these FAQs are available via gopher on gopher.gdb.org. Title Archive filename -------------------------------------------------------------------- General resources Gopher [FAQ] gopher-faq comp.infosystems.wais FAQ wais-faq/getting-started WAIS FAQ wais-faq/sources FAQ: College Email Addresses college-email/part[1-3] FAQ: How to find people's E-mail addresses finding-addresses FAQ: International E-mail accessibility mail/country-codes How to Get Information about Networks network-info/part1 Public Dialup Internet Access List pdial Updated Internet Services List internet-services Mailing Lists Available in Usenet bit/gatelist How to find sources finding-sources Anonymous FTP List - FAQ ftp-list/faq Anonymous FTP List - Sites ftp-list/sites[1-3] Mail Archive Server (MAS) software list mas-software Scientific resources A Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources biology/guide Biological Information Theory biology/info-theory and Chowder Society Computer Science Technical Report techreport-sites/list Archive Sites Computer Graphics Resource Listing graphics/resources-list/ part[1-3] FAQ in comp.ai.neural-nets neural-net-faq Sources of Meteorological Data FAQ weather-data Space FAQ space/* [15 parts] Amos Bairoch has assembled a very useful list of Molecular Biology Archives and Mailservers which is available on many FTP sites, and in the Usenet newsgroup bionet.announce. | Paul Hengen keeps the "FAQ list", a file of useful molecular biology tips | and tricks, for bionet.molbio.methds-reagnts. The FAQ list is available | via anonymous FTP from ncifcrf.gov as the file pub/methods/FAQlist. Virgil Sealy and Lisa Nyman have written an FAQ for comp.infosystems.gis (and the gated GIS-L mailing list). You can also get this FAQ by sending e-mail to gis-faq-request@abraxas.adelphi.edu (no message necessary), or you can get it via anonymous FTP from dg-rtp.dg.com in the file /gis/faq. Bill Thoen has written "Internet Resources for GIS/CARTO/Earth Science", which is available via anonymous FTP from csn.org in the COGS/ directory. Ken Boschert keeps The Electronic Zoo, a list of mailing lists, archives, and dial-up BBS systems that have something to do with animals (including humans). The most recent version can be retrieved via anonymous FTP from wuarchive.wustl.edu in /doc/techreports/wustl.edu/compmed/elec_zoo.txt. The list has many items not mentioned in this guide. Lee Hancock keeps Internet/Bitnet Health Sciences Resources, a document that can be retrieved via anonymous FTP from ftp.sura.net, in the pub/nic/ directory, file name medical.resources.<version>. In the same directory is Wilfred Drew's Not Just Cows, a guide to Internet resources in agriculture and related sciences; get the file named agricultural.list. -*- 4.1. What's an FAQ and where can I get one? There are now hundreds of Internet documents, including this one, written expressly to answer frequently asked questions. They are often refered to in the Usenet community as FAQs. You will find them in the Usenet newsgroup news.answers (and subsets in sci.answers, comp.answers, and news.answers.newusers). The Usenet FAQ repository is an anonymous FTP archive on rtfm.mit.edu (RTFM stands for Read The <bleep> Manual), in the directory pub/usenet/news.answers/. See sections 3.6.2 and 3.6.3 for details on anonymous FTP, including instructions for retrieving any Usenet FAQ via e-mail. -*- 4.2. Does anyone have an e-mail address for X? Please, don't ask this in a newsgroup or mailing list. It's rude! The quickest, most efficient way to answer this is to call or write to X directly. If anyone can help you with this, it's X. To date, most biologists don't have e-mail addresses, or if they do, they don't read their e-mail very often, so you really are better off contacting them directly. If you must try to find this information via the computer networks, please start by reading Kamens (1993a) or Lamb (1993) or the relevant section of one of the books listed in the bibliography. Also, you can check for the latest strategy in bionet.users.addresses. But wait, there's more: many gopher servers listed in this guide have searchable directories of biologists (see section 3.2, Directories). -*- 4.3. How to find a good graduate program? Go talk to the undergraduate or graduate advisor in your department, if you're a college student. Start browsing through the scientific journals, and the new book stack in the library. Ask your favorite professors for advice. Sadly, the Internet can not be all things to all people, and questions about how to pick graduate programs generally do not get satisfactory replies. One way you can use the Internet to explore graduate programs is by browsing through campus information directories via gopher. -*- 4.4. Where can I get old newsgroup/mailing list articles? All the biology-related Usenet newsgroups (since 1991) are archived for searching via gopher, WAIS, and anonymous FTP on ftp.bio.indiana.edu, in the directory /usenet/bionet/. The bionet newsgroups (some dating back to 1987) are archived for WAIS and anonymous FTP on net.bio.net. Browse through gopher land for additional Usenet newsgroup archives. Most listserver mailing lists are archived on the computer where they are administered. To subscribe and get an index of log files on the listserver archive for the ECOLOG-L mailing list, for example, send e-mail to listserv@UMDD.umd.edu with the text: subscribe ECOLOG-L Your Name index ECOLOG-L -*- 4.5. Where can I find biology-related job announcements? || The bionet.jobs newsgroup is a good place to start, but headhunters || beware: read the frequently posted guidelines first. || You might also want to check sci.bio.ecology (a.k.a. the ECOLOG-L || mailing list), which is sponsored by the Ecological Society of America || and carries many job announcements. The ECOLOG-L list has a special || file that you can order by e-mail from listserv@UMDD.umd.edu: send the || text "get jobs job_lst". Most other newsgroups and mailing lists carry occasional job notices. The American Physiological Society offers job announcements appearing in their journals via gopher on gopher.uth.tmc.edu (port 3300). -*- 5. Commercial Services The three most common types of commercial services are (1) restricted-use computer accounts allowing Internet access (e-mail or full access) via modem from personal computers, (2) on-line bibliographic databases that can be searched via modem or over the Internet, and (3) access via modem or the Internet to private Usenet-style special-interest networks, but only e-mail access to the rest of the Internet. This third type of service is rapidly disappearing as vendors add full Internet access to keep their subscribers from going to another service vendor. For the benefit of people without full Internet access (telnet and FTP in addition to e-mail), Peter Kaminski maintains a list of commercial access providers (Kaminski 1993). E-mail requests for this list can be sent to info-deli-server@netcom.com: use "send PDIAL" as the subject. The best sources of information about Internet resources, for readers who do not have access to the Internet, are the books on the Internet listed in the bibliography, and many other published literature with the words "Internet", "on-line" or "database" in the title. There are many such books available now, as publishers everywhere realize that money can be made on the new Electronic Frontier. However, much of the information in these compendium books is out of date even before the book appears in print. Also, it is generally compiled by people who are not well acquainted with the materials, and thus poorly organized. Much of the information was gathered by soliciting data from administrators or suppliers of databases. This data, in current form, is best gathered directly from the source, via the Internet. The best strategy is to learn to cruise the Internet yourself, with the help of a a "tool" book such as Kehoe (1992) or Krol (1992; or if you can't find those at your local bookstore, some alternatives are Goldman 1992, Lane and Summerhill 1992, LaQuey and Ryer 1992, or Tennant et al. 1993) and learn where in the Internet to look periodically for notices about resources of interest to you. -*- Acknowledgements This guide is Santa Fe Institute Working Paper # 93-06-038. This guide would not have been written without the financial support and intellectual tolerance of Duke and Yale Universities; it was organized (or organized itself) during the 1992 Complex Systems Summer School of the Santa Fe Institute. | Contributors of additions and corrections to this version of the guide | include: | Harvey Chinn, for dotting i's and crossing t's, and pointers to new stuff, | Rob Harper, on how to post Usenet articles via e-mail, | Larry Mason, for information on the dynamical systems mailing list, | Eugene Miya, for the e-mail address of the comp.theory.* list admin., | Mario Nenno, for the Henikoff (1993) citation, | Francis Ouellette, on address changes for various e-mail servers. Many, many thanks to James Beach, Harvey Chinn, Dan Davison, Reinhard Doelz, John Garavelli, Don Gilbert, Rob Harper, Dan Jacobson, Jonathan Kamens, David Kristofferson, Steve Modena, Francis Ouellette, Renato Sabatini, and Tom Schneider, who have provided ideas and material for this guide and/or advice on related issues. Harvey Chinn has served as my editor, and many improvements of organization were suggested by him. Additional material and suggestions were contributed by: David Bridge, Steve Clark, Jemery Day, Josh Hayes, Tom Jacobs, Andy Johnston, Jim McIntosh, Dean Pentcheff, Jon Radel, Ross Smith, Roy Smith, and Christophe Wolfhugel, and many, many readers of earlier versions of this guide. Thank you! There exists a (mostly anonymous) cast of thousands who have made very large, even enormous voluntary contributions to the resources mentioned in this guide, and who are largely responsible for the thing we call the Internet in its broadest sense. They must all be very proud of what they have helped to create. -- Una Smith Yale University, Department of Biology, Osborn Memorial Laboratories, PO Box 6666, New Haven, Connecticut 06511-8155 smith-una@yale.edu