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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
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
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
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
Computer Graphics Resource Listing graphics/resources-list/
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 email@example.com (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
-*- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org: 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.
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
| 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.
Yale University, Department of Biology, Osborn Memorial Laboratories,
PO Box 6666, New Haven, Connecticut 06511-8155 email@example.com