bionet.molbio.gene-org ---> bionet.molbio.gdb

Ken Fasman ken at
Tue Jun 2 18:31:41 EST 1992

In article <CMM. at> kristoff at GENBANK.BIO.NET (Dave Kristofferson) writes:
>> In article <Jun. at> you write:
>> >June 1 is here but I am happy to announce that GDB at Johns Hopkins
>> >has agreed to take over this newsgroup with one caveat: they would
>> >like the name changed from GENOMIC-ORGANIZATION/bionet.molbio.gene-org
>> >to GDB/bionet.molbio.gdb.
>> I think this particular name would be a poor one: it's meaningless
>> unless you know what "GDB" stands for.  Is there an expansion that
>> would fit the naming rules?
>> Ethan Hack
>> Department of Biological and Nutritional Sciences, The University,
>> Newcastle upon Tyne  NE1 7RU, England
>> E-mail: Ethan.Hack @
>This is a good point.  GENOME-DATABASE would be the logical expansion
>but we would probably keep GDB for the e-mail address.  I'll run this
>past the GDB staff for comment.  Unfortunately for the uninitiated,
>"Genome Database" is a rather all-encompassing term and can also be
>somewhat misleading, i.e., GDB is not responsible for sequence data
>although the name might make one think so.

At the risk of using too loose an analogy, I think this is like saying that
groups about DEC's operating system shouldn't include "vms" in their names
because not everyone knows what "VMS" stands for (do you?  ;-)  ).  Or "IBM"?
Certainly, our name recognition is orders of magnitude less than theirs.
However, like it or not, the name by which most of the genetics community 
knows us is "GDB", not Genome Data Base (although that is our official name).  
The same is true for Genbank, PIR, PDB, Swiss-Prot, etc.  

We are trying to set up this newsgroup to provide additional means of getting 
the word out about GDB to people who may not have heard of us.  But we also 
need a name which provides the most utility to the people who *DO* know about 
us and need more information.  Unfortunately, newsgroup subscription depends
*VERY* heavily on the name of the group.  We at GDB feel that having "gdb"
in the group name is an important means of identifying the subject matter of
the group.

(If the tide of public opinion lies with Ethan, then I would simply suggest
that we adopt the name "GENOME-DATA-BASE", since that more accurately reflects
GDB's official name.)


Ken Fasman
Co-PI for Informatics
Genome Data Base
Welch Medical Library
1830 E. Monument St.  3rd Floor
Baltimore MD  21205

ken at

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