Readership Report

Dave Kristofferson kristoff at NET.BIO.NET
Fri Feb 12 15:17:01 EST 1993

> Some thoughts:
> No bionet.* newsgroup is carried by more than 50% of all Usenet sites
> (a third of those are carried by fewer than 40%), while and
> are carried by 80% and 72% of all sites.

bionet is not a standard "mainstream" USENET domain (as witnessed by
our separate voting regulations), so it is not automatically carried
at all USENET sites, but must be requested.  I would imagine that there
are far more USENET sites at _computer science_ departments than in
biology departments, so I am not surprised that bionet is not received
at all sites.  The sci groups are a mainstream USENET domain.  I would
imagine that they are received at less than 100% for two reasons: (1)
this is a survey and thus dependent upon a response, etc.; (2) sites can
choose not to take the sci groups.

The bigger question is, "Is this a problem?"  Personally, I doubt it.
It does create a barrier in as much as someone at a biology department
must take some action to get started after they get their news set up
instead of just watching "sci float by 8-)."

On the other hand it minimizes the number of curiousity seekers who
have no real involvement with biological research.  A quick comparison
of the postings on bionet versus bears this out.

> The cost ratio of bionet.molbio.genbank.updates is extremely high! 
> Perhaps it is time to reconsider this mode of distribution, especially
> in light of the availability of anonymous ftp and even ftp-by-e-mail.

I refer those who are interested in this point to look through the
archives for the last time that this issue was raised and resolved.
If memory serves, the $ figures quoted are based on hourly UUCP modem
rates and have absolutely no bearing on sites who have a flat rate
Internet connection.  Also this is a legitimate use of a research
network as opposed to the resources wasted on such USENET goodies such
as, etc., so if one wants to look at resource
conservation, there are many other candidates far closer to the front
of the line.


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				kristoff at

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