Getting to know you (was: Re: Science declines to publi)

Una Smith smith-una at
Tue Apr 20 14:35:25 EST 1993

dan at (Daniel Zabetakis) writes:

>>[...] At the time where it could have said "If you have access to the
>>internat, check out bionet/BIOSCI...", the article instead dwindled off into
>>some vague suggestion that you go find someone at your university who knows 
>>more than you do.  [...]

Cornelius Krasel <krasel at> replies:

>IMO it is better to ask for information locally than world-wide. If I
>remember correctly, this was one of the basic rules of netiquette. [...]

I agree completely with that!  It's one very huge elephant we have here
and we're all like the 5 blind men who each have hold of a small part of
it and are trying to describe it to one another.  Imagine how much worse
the confusion must be for people who don't already have part of this 
beast in hand!  Your well-informed colleague or neighbor is by far the
most able and appropriate person to explain what's what.

An aside:  One really nice thing about Usenet is the ease with which local
groups can be created:  here at Yale both my department and the School of
Forestry now have newsgroups for announcing talks etc.  And the automatic
expiration feature in Usenet is a real boon for announcing talks!

Since I started to post my guide regularly in November I've had about one
or two letters a week from people who tell me they're just about to give
a seminar or workshop and will hand out copies to the audience.  That's
who I wrote the guide for:  biologists who are new to the Internet, not
bionet readers (who know it all already ;-).  I gave a short talk to the
25 first-year students in my department back in February, to great effect:
each one took a copy of the guide back to his or her research group, and
recently I've noticed MANY e-mail and ftp addresses scribbled on people's
notebooks and on paper scraps left near computers throughout the department.

It seems to me that we bionet readers are doing the job just fine all
by ourselves, from the ground up.  In academic departments this usually 
means starting with the graduate students.  So if you haven't done so
already, pass the word around your own department!


      Una Smith      Biology Department       smith-una at
                     Yale University
                     New Haven, CT  06511

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