Dave Kristofferson kristoff at
Wed Mar 4 13:51:02 EST 1992

>         I also was thinking within the context that this discussion/voting
> policy also will be applied to proposals which involve reorganization
> (modification and/or cancellation of existing forums), which even more so
> raises the issue of how much "opposition" should be considered substantial
> enough to require that the proposal go back to the drawing board and be made
> more widely acceptable.  I anticipate that several proposals involving
> reorganization, not just creation of new groups, will be considered soon, so
> could we have some comments within this context before we hold our peace
> (vote?) on the PROPOSAL SUMMARY?

The only remaining (re)organizational issue from before the
bionet.announce/bionet.general vote concerns the possible formation of
a BIOHELP/USERINFO (or whatever you want to call it) newsgroup.  There
is the vote on bionet.plants patiently 8-) awaiting the end of this
discussion, and I have also received a proposal for a crystallography
newsgroup, although a discussion leader for the forum is still needed.
There's nothing in the policy proposal that will dramatically impact
any of these groups except the YES/NO voting levels that we agree to.
None of the existing groups are slated for termination except for the
June 1 deadline for GENOMIC-ORGANIZATION.

No one has really raised further issues in the last day about anything
other than the YES/NO vote count limits.  David Steffen's compromise
idea of  YES - NO > 40 AND YES > 80 is more to my liking.  As it
appears that only David and Fote (two regulars) have made further
comments in the last day and most of the rest of the group has moved
on to other topics,  I think that fervor for this discussion is dying
down.  The remaining point worthy of a vote is the YES/NO limit, so I
am putting out the following call for votes to wrap this up
expeditiously (I have to leave for EMBL this weekend and need to get
the Botany group proposal moving forward again before then).

First I am going to request a YES or NO vote from you on the proposal
as a whole (text is below) and then your selection for the text for the
YES/NO limit from the following options:

OPTION 1) The proposal must collect 80 YES votes in 30 days to pass,
but may be overturned if 40 or more NO votes are received.

OPTION 2) The proposal must collect 80 YES votes in 30 days and the
number of YES votes must exceed the number of NO votes by at least 40
to pass.

OPTION 3) The proposal will pass if the number of YES votes exceeds
the number of NO votes by 50 at the end of 30 days.

OPTION 4) The proposal must collect 80 YES votes in 30 days to pass,
but may be overturned if the number of NO votes received exceeds the
number of YES votes.

OPTION 5) The proposal must collect 80 YES votes in 30 days to pass.
NO votes are not tallied.

Please send your vote to one of the following addresses by FRIDAY NOON
Pacific Time as we need to get the Botany group under way before I
leave for a meeting at EMBL (this is mainly a poll to judge user
sentiment; we don't need to hold up the Botany vote for thirty days).
The policy statement will be adopted as long as YES votes outnumber NO
votes and the voting limit adopted will be the one that receives the
largest number of votes (no runoff if all options are below 50%).

Your message should contain the following:

"YES on the proposal" or "NO on the proposal"

where X = 1-5 from the list above. Send the message to any of the
following addresses.  I'll announce the results Friday afternoon and
then we'll put up the charter for the bionet.plants proposal (assuming
the policy statement gets more YES than NO votes).

Address                               Location        Network
-------                               --------        -------
biovote at               U.S.A.          Internet/BITNET
biovote at                Ireland         EARN/BITNET
biovote at               U.K.            JANET


Newsgroup Creation Policy

Proposals for new groups must contain a statement of purpose for the
group and the name of a person designated as discussion leader unless
the group is in the service category such as METHODS, EMPLOYMENT, etc.
Discussion leaders are responsible for ensuring that a reasonable
level of activity is sustained on the newsgroup (see Newsgroup
Termination Policy below).  The discussion leader can also propose the
creation of moderated newsgroups if he/she agrees to serve as
moderator (this requires access to USENET news software at the
moderator's site).  Proposals should be sent to
biosci at

When a proposal is received it will be posted on
BIONEWS/bionet.announce.  A ten day period for discussion on
BIOFORUM/bionet.general will follow and precede the call for votes.
After the discussion, the person proposing the newsgroup may modify or
withdraw the proposal prior to the call for votes.  The modified
proposal will then be included in a call for votes on

BIOSCI management must be informed in advance of any intended efforts
to advertise the newsgroup proposal in other forums.  While BIOSCI
wishes to inform potential users of the creation of newsgroups that
might be of interest to them, promotional efforts should be focussed
in forums likely to be utilized by professionals in the subject area
covered by the newsgroup proposal, and should seek participation in
the discussion of the proposal within bionet.general/BIOFORUM rather
than promoting separate discussions in other forums to which portions
of the BIOSCI readership may not have ready access.

If a proposal is not passed by the readers, there will be a three
month period before it can be brought up for another vote.

Newsgroup Termination Policy

Any group with less than 52 msgs in the previous calendar year will be
put on notice by posting an announcement to the newsgroup (not to
bionet.announce) that it faces cancellation.  It can be reprieved if
80 readers respond within two weeks (this policy will be stated in the
termination announcement).  It then has two months to reach a usage
level of one message per 3 days or else it will be abolished.  Appeals
to the BIOSCI management about high content albeit low volume on the
group will be considered.

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