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David Kristofferson kristoff at genbank.bio.net
Thu Apr 25 12:24:09 EST 1991

>             Since I signed on last December there have been few items of
>        substance.  Among them were the minutes of the Joint Informatics
>        Task Force meeting in November, Delaney's note  on lamda DNA
>        preparations in December, and the email address list in March.
>        This is not to say that the more than 70 other exchanges I have
>        read were not useful or interesting but to me most were either
>        not of general interest or lacked that element that makes you say
>        to a colleague "if you didn't read that yet you should".

Having been working for almost five years now in organizing BIOSCI and
in promoting the use of electronic newsgroups among biologists (in
addition to my many other duties), this has always been a common
problem.  We can provide the technology for scientists to use, but,
just like a telephone, if you don't pick it up and talk, it won't do
you any good.  Also note that any of these newsgroups can be converted
to a moderated (read "reviewed") journal at no cost if someone
volunteers to form an editorial board.

>             I must admit that I had hoped to see more in the way of
>        discussions, arguments, useful gadgetry, comments on new methods
>        and equipment, preprints of short accepted papers, or abstracts
>        of longer ones, brief reports on seminars and meetings, notices
>        of forthcoming ones, grant opportunities, trial balloons, and

I think that you will find the following item from the METHODS
newsgroup inspiring.  These newsgroups *do* work once people get over
their initial inertia.  The old rule also holds that if you never give
anything, your chances of receiving are also diminished.  The
following example shows that scientists *can* be generous despite all
of the concerns about "priority."  This example also illustrates in a
small way that science through the help of the networks brings the
world closer together.


				David Kristofferson, Ph.D.
				GenBank Manager

				kristoff at genbank.bio.net


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