Repost of 1991 BIOSCI/bionet newsgroup usage stats

David Kristofferson kristoff at net.bio.net
Thu Dec 31 18:10:17 EST 1992


This is a repost from earlier this year for comparison purposes.  Even
before running the totals, I am sure that the corresponding rates for
1992 will be much higher than 1991.  I will compile the corresponding
stats for 1992 and post them early next week after the year end.

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Here are the newsgroups statistics for 1991.  I am going to start
compiling these on an annual basis from here on (in the past this has
been done irregularly, mainly when numbers were required for funding
agency reports).

The last time I compiled usage statistics was in February 1991
covering the period 1 Nov 89 (start date of GOS) through 2/17/91
(nothing magic about that date).  During that period a total of 3228
messages were posted.  

The total for all of 1991 (a shorter period than the above and
overlapping it by 1.5 months) was 6406!!

The total of average daily posts to all of the newsgroups was 8.08 at
the time of the last compilation.  It is now 20.19!!

While this is still modest by computer science newsgroup standards
(e.g., comp.sys.ibm.pc probably gets over 100 per day), it is clear
that in 1991 the system has finally started to emerge from its
prolonged infancy.  The posting frequency on all newsgroups was up
compared to the previous survey except for BIONAUTS, BIO-MATRIX, and
POPULATION-BIOLOGY.  BIONAUTS showed a minor posting frequency
decline, but the other two groups were down sharply.

The bottom five groups on the list (AGEING, EMBL-DATABANK,
GENETIC-LINKAGE, CHROMOSOME-22, and GENOMIC-ORGANIZATION) are under
one posting per week on average.  I will be opening a discussion on
BIOFORUM soon (when it is also operational at IRLEARN) about possibly
shutting down some of these newsgroups and revising our voting policy
for new newsgroup creation.  This issue needs to be resolved before
voting on additional newsgroups.

I must admit that I have been rather disappointed with the
CHROMOSOME-22 newsgroup, particularly when the people working on the
ARABIDOPSIS genome project have made their newsgroup such a success as
seen below.  The ARABIDOPSIS newsgroup clearly shows that electronic
communications can play an important role in a major scientific
collaborative effort.  I hope that other mapping/sequencing
communities will follow their excellent lead, and I remain ready to
assist in organizing these efforts.

My thanks once again to all of you for your continuing use and support
of BIOSCI.  If the early indications for 1992 persist (e.g., active
new groups such as BIO-INFO), it will be an even better year than
1991.

				Sincerely,

				Dave Kristofferson

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		  Usage of BIOSCI/bionet Newsgroups
		     1/1/91 - 12/31/91 inclusive
         ranked in order of number of messages posted per day

Newsgroup Name             Messages Posted      Messages per day*
--------------             ----------------     ----------------
BIONEWS                       1379                     3.78
BIO-SOFTWARE                  1179                     3.23
METHODS-AND-REAGENTS           796                     2.18
BIO-INFO                        19                     1.58
NEUROSCIENCE                   305                     1.11
EMPLOYMENT                     392                     1.07
ARABIDOPSIS                    264                     0.94
GENBANK-BB                     335                     0.92
MOLECULAR-EVOLUTION            304                     0.83
BIO-JOURNALS                   212                     0.58
BIONAUTS                       203                     0.56
COMPUTATIONAL-BIOLOGY          135                     0.51
HIV-MOLECULAR-BIOLOGY           10                     0.50
PROTEIN-ANALYSIS               152                     0.42
SCIENCE-RESOURCES              149                     0.41
HUMAN-GENOME-PROGRAM           114                     0.31
BIO-MATRIX                     102                     0.28
POPULATION-BIOLOGY              92                     0.25
AGROFORESTRY                    76                     0.21
AGEING				50                     0.14
EMBL-DATABANK                   48                     0.13
GENETIC-LINKAGE                 35                     0.10
CHROMOSOME-22                   28                     0.08
GENOMIC-ORGANIZATION            27                     0.07

Totals:                       6406                    20.19


* several newsgroups came in to existence during the course of 1991.
The statistic is calculated only over the number of days that the
newsgroup was actually available during 1991.




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