bionet.* policy change

Dave Mack dmack at
Fri Aug 19 15:29:11 EST 1994

In article <32uu2f$gs7 at>,
Una Smith <una at> wrote:

First of all, it should be noted that what Ms Smith has
posted here represents her own opinion and does not
constitute a policy statement by anyone associated
with the BIOSCI project.

>As of this summer, newsgroups within the bionet.* hierarchy
>are not all voted on before creation.  This applies to
>* newsgroups, of which there are already
>several, moderated, for the distribution of occasional
>official news from professional societies to their members.
>Several more are proposed that would carry discussion among
>members.  These latter discussion forums may or may not be
>voted on, depending on the preferences of the individual

This statement is essentially correct. A number of biological
professional societies have been communicating with their
members through mailing lists and now are interested in 
using USENET to reach that membership (and interested
non-members, as well.) 

>When voting procedures are used, they resemble "mainstream"
>Usenet criteria *in part*:  at least 80 YES votes, and at
>least twice as many YES votes as NO votes.  All proposals
>are submitted by the moderator of bionet.announce, who also
>collects, tallies, and reports summaries of the votes (the
>indivudal votes are not revealed). 

Correct. This is the procedure that was agreed upon when the
bionet hierarchy was started.

>These newsgroups are all gated to mailing lists, so should
>you decide not to carry them at your site, due to lack of
>interest or the extremely topical nature of these groups,
>you won't be depriving any down-stream users of the chance
>to use these resources.

This inference is completely incorrect. Yes, all of the bionet
newsgroups are gated to mailing lists. We do this as a service
to those who, for one reason or another, cannot get Usenet but
are able to get e-mail. We DO NOT guarantee that this service
will be provided in perpetuity or that it will be provided to
anyone who wants it. We most strongly urge anyone who wants 
access to the bionet newsgroups to attempt to acquire them
through Usenet rather than email. In particular, we will attempt
to provide NNTP feeds of the bionet hierarchy to anyone who
wants one and is connected to the Internet. If your service
provider does not have access to the bionet groups, you should
have them contact me.

For more information about the BIOSCI Project and the bionet
newsgroups, send e-mail to "biosci at" (subject line and
body content are unimportant) or gopher to and
do the usual digging around.
Dave Mack
Manager, Computer Facilities
Senior Systems Administrator
IntelliGenetics, Inc./BIOSCI Project

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