IMPORTANT!! - Proposal for a different format for bionet.molbiol.genbank.updates

David Kristofferson kristoff at
Tue Mar 15 19:02:18 EST 1994

I've collected 39 responses to my query about use of the
genbank.updates newsgroup in the last week.

35 were in favor of keeping the group and only 4 were opposed.  One of
the four was from EMBNET, however, and this person indicated that they
were thinking of shutting down a similar USENET feed in Europe under
the embnet hierarchy.

Of the 35 in favor of keeping the group, I was surprised to find out
that 29 claimed to browse the group regularly looking for sequences of
interest and claimed that they found items of interest in this manner
that computerized keyword searches would miss.

Only 5 of the 35 people in favor of keeping the group were using it to
update their databases automatically and I believe three of these 5
were from the same institution.  Finally one person out of the 35 had
just heard of the group, thought it was a good idea, and wanted to use
it in the future.

So what to make of this exercise in public opinion polling?!?!?  The
most logical thing to do in my humble opinion would be for us just to
post the DEFINITION and ACCESSION lines of new GenBank entries as they
are released from NCBI and then let people who want to browse this
information retrieve the entries via the NCBI e-mail server.  This
necessitates a small amount of additional work on our part but would
save a lot of network bandwidth in the future.

I'd like to request your comments on this proposed change to
bionet.molbio.genbank.updates.  The distribution would remain a
USENET-only feature.  Please send comments to biovote at

It is a bit sad that this mechanism did not catch on as an automatic
database updating mechanism because it has some nice features, but
people are more familiar with using FTP than news.


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at

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