BIOSCI Newsgroup Creation Procedure

Dave Kristofferson kristoff at GENBANK.BIO.NET
Thu Jan 9 18:43:29 EST 1992

I now know why the TROPICAL newsgroup went through so quickly.
Apparently copies of my BIONEWS announcement were sent to several
other non-bionet USENET newsgroups, including those in the soc and rec

Our voting procedure was set up with a small 40 vote passage level
based on the assumption that the advertisement was going to be posted
only to BIONEWS.  A second copy of the original posting is sent out
half way through the 60 day period if the newsgroup has not passed by
that time.

If a significant number of other USENET newsgroups are lobbied for
support, then we should be following standard USENET rules for the
establishment of newsgroups.  These rules are many and very
*stringent* compared to what we do for BIOSCI/bionet, for example:

  "if 100 more valid YES/create votes are received
   than NO/don't create AND at least 2/3 of the total number of valid votes
   received are in favor of creation, a newgroup control message may be sent
   out.  If the 100 vote margin or 2/3 percentage is not met, the group should
   not be created."

I'm not going to detail all of them here, but anyone interested can
look on news.announce.newuser.  BIOSCI/bionet is a special USENET
domain and is not required to follow these procedures.

PLEASE NOTE that I am not implying that anything "improper" was done
here intentionally.  Because we haven't been faced with this method of
lobbying for votes except recently, we haven't specifically publicly
addressed this issue in BIOSCI policy, so we will go ahead and create
the TROPICAL newsgroup.  However, it looks like it is getting to be
about time to clarify the newsgroup creation procedure before taking
any additional votes.

We need to be aware that the special voting limit on the BIOSCI groups
is only defensible as long as we follow the procedure of only putting
up the one or two calls for votes (as described above) on BIONEWS.
Appealing to USENET as a whole for votes means that we should follow
USENET rules instead.  I will make it clear in my call for votes in
the future that the message should *not* be forwarded to other


				Dave Kristofferson
				GenBank Manager

				kristoff at

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