TIBS newsgroup proposal

Paul N Hengen pnh at fcsparc6.ncifcrf.gov
Mon Oct 17 14:05:22 EST 1994


In article <37k7av$9bp at nrcnet0.nrc.ca> nash at nrcbsa.bio.nrc.ca (John Nash) writes:

> As you mentioned, the METHODS newsgroup has been participating in a
> (rather successful) experiment along these lines.  Are you proposing a
> similar sort of idea, except instead of being METHODS-based (really
> molecular biology biased), it is biochemistry-based.  Since I like
> what Paul Hengen has been doing in METHODS, I am interested in seeing
> this take off elsewhere.  Paul, are you following this? Care to comment?

sure.

> The TIBS/bionet.journals.letters.tibs newsgroup will be used to
> encourage feedback and discussion on articles published previously in
> the hardcopy issue of "Trends in Biochemical Sciences."  

David W. Bullock wrote:
 
: IMHO, discussions on any bionet group should not depend on off-net sources 
: to be intelligible or for their continuity.

I disagree. The methods group relies heavily on "outside" sources and
would be very uninteresting if we never ever discuss articles published in
"commercial" journals...or techniques developed and sold by "companies".
We learn so much from not excluding/censoring ourselves to a narrow set
of topics. In the course of the discussions, there may be a reference to
another journal. What do we do then?...Stop talking? No. We go read the article.

: The prerequisite to have read 
: TIBS seems to me antithetical to the spirit and purpose of the net.  
: Elsevier has no need of Usenet resources for an electronic Letters to the 
: Editor column.

If you don't understand the topic to begin with, you might have to do some
homework. There are places to read where you don't have to buy the book.

Reinhard Doelz wrote:

> I like the idea but would like to warn that 'moderation' might cause some 
> serious effect here - after all, a printmedium moderation is much more 
> strict than a newsgroup moderation. If people feel that their article is 
> of good-enough quality they might consider posting it elsewhere, thus 
> obsoleting the newsgroup effect.

John Nash wrote:

| ... it would be nice if the proposed moderator
| were to spell out how moderation is going to take place.  Is it
| "editing scientific and literary content" or "removing spam or bigfoot
| flame wars".

I don't like the moderation idea. Although there exists the possiblity
that people will flame off, I don't think it will happen. As the guinea
pig within the methods group, I am quite visible concerning my affiliation
with TIBS, and have not been flamed.  There may be a time when Jo has to take
it on the chin, but I've seen her do it before. I don't think the moderation
will protect any of us from net-freaks, if that's the purpose.

| Other than that, this sounds like an encouraging new idea.  If it
| works, the newsgroup would take off.  If not, nobody would post there,
| and it would demise.  What a neat and painless way to test a new idea.

In much the same way that I deal with the bionet.he-man.pistonhead.macho
newsgroup, if people like it there and want to discuss interesting macho
type things, that's okay. I just won't read it because I'm not interested
in contributing to the preservation of their ideals.  If enough people feel
the same way about letters.tibs, the group will eventually fade away and
we will have learned something.

-Paul.

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* Paul N. Hengen, Ph.D.                           /--------------------------/*
* National Cancer Institute                       |Internet: pnh at ncifcrf.gov |*
* Laboratory of Mathematical Biology              |   Phone: (301) 846-5581  |*
* Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center|     FAX: (301) 846-5598  |*
* Frederick, Maryland 21702-1201 USA              /--------------------------/*
* - -  Methods FAQ list -> http://fconvx.ncifcrf.gov:2001/~pnh/info.html  - - *
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