BIOSCI/bionet miniFAQ & Fundraiser

BIOSCI Administrator biohelp at net.bio.net
Fri Oct 15 03:50:55 EST 1999


(LAST REVISION: 14-AUG-99)

This BIOSCI "miniFAQ" is designed to answer the
questions that come up
the *most frequently*.  The main BIOSCI FAQ
(Frequently Asked
Questions) is accessible on the World Wide Web at URL
http://www.bio.net/.

If you can not find an answer to your question in this
or other
documentation, the BIOSCI technical support staff
answers e-mail
queries sent to

     biosci-help at net.bio.net

We can only answer questions about the use of the
newsgroups and
mailing lists.  We unfortunately do not have the staff
to do Internet
information searches or answer scientific questions. 
Please post
those to the appropriate BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups.


       Contents:
       --------
       0) BIOSCI NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!!

       1) Using the WWW to access the BIOSCI/bionet
newsgroups.

       2) What to do about "spams," i.e., junk mail,
ads, etc.

       3) Examples of subscribing and unsubscribing to
the mailing lists.

       4) The BIOSCI user address and research
interest directory.


0) BIOSCI NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!!
------------------------------
BIOSCI's government funding has been expended, and we
are now
operating solely from advertising revenue that we have
raised from our
Web site at http://www.bio.net/.  We need just a few
minutes of your
time to help us serve you.

You can do two important things which will take very
little time for
you individually and will immensely help us continue
to help you.

First, please use our WWW system at
http://www.bio.net/ to access the
archives.  You can post or reply to messages via your
Web browser as
described in item #1 below.  Your usage helps attract
sponsors. If you
contact any of our sponsors, please be sure to thank
them for
supporting BIOSCI. It is critical for them to get this
feedback if
they are to continue their sponsorship for the long
term.

Second, if you work for a company or organization that
provides
products or services of interest to the biology
community, please pass
this message on to your marketing or marketing
communications
department or other appropriate group.  Please ask
them to help
support BIOSCI by sponsoring our Web site and explain
the uses and
benefits of the system to the biology community. If
they are
interested, they can then contact us for further
information at our
tech support address, biosci-help at net.bio.net.


1) Using the WWW to access the BIOSCI/bionet
newsgroups.
--------------------------------------------------------
All BIOSCI/bionet full newsgroups are accessible
through the World
Wide Web (WWW) at URL http://www.bio.net.  One can
read and reply
publicly or privately to both recent postings and
archived messages
through one's Web browser if it is configured properly
to send e-mail.
Each newsgroup is equipped with its own WAIS index. 
The main BIOSCI
home page also has access to the BIO-JOURNALS Table of
Contents
database WAIS index and the BIOSCI user address
database described in
another item further below.


2) What to do about "spams," i.e., junk mail, ads,
etc.
-------------------------------------------------------
BIOSCI is a set of parallel USENET newsgroups (the
"bionet" groups),
mailing lists, and a hypermail archive at URL
http://www.bio.net/.
The same postings are distributed on all media (except
for a small
number of mailing-list-only groups at net.bio.net). 
Unfortunately it
is becoming a despicable practice on the Internet (by
a few people out
to make a fast buck) to do automated mass postings to
thousands of
newsgroups and mailing lists.  These attempts to grab
free advertising
are refered to as "spams" in the usual, somewhat
boneheaded, net
terminology.  USENET is more susceptible to this
practice, and many
spams originate on the USENET groups and then are
passed on to the
mailing lists.  However, spammers also get lists of
mailing addresses
and hit these too, so neither medium is immune.

What should you do personally if you get junk mail?
---------------------------------------------------
Just delete it and move on without reading it further.
 Filing a
protest is becoming increasingly useless because
spammers are often
disguising the addresses where the messages are sent
from.  Unless you
really understand Internet mail systems, your attempt
at protest by
sending replies to the message will often end up being
sent to the
address of an innocent person that the spammer is
victimizing.

What can BIOSCI/bionet do to protect its newsgroups?
----------------------------------------------------
The only solution currently available is to moderate
the newsgroup.
If this newsgroup is already moderated, then you are
in good shape.
Moderation protects the USENET distribution from about
95% of the
spams that are being sent to date and protects the
mailing lists
completely.  Moderation means, however, that someone
has to take the
time to review each message before it goes out.  We
have set up
software here that simply allows the moderator to
forward to an
address at net.bio.net messages that (s)he wishes to
have distributed.
This takes no more time than that needed to read the
message and pass
it on, say about 1 min. per message.

Most newsgroups currently have a discussion leader who
is responsible
for their newsgroup.  The discussions leaders and
their e-mail
addresses are listed in the BIOSCI Information Sheet
which is
available on the Web at http://www.bio.net/.  If a
newsgroup is being
hit with too many junk postings, please contact the
discussion leader
for that group and see if there is interest in
moderating the group.
Please do not assume that by simply posting a
complaint to the
newsgroup itself, anyone on the BIOSCI staff will act
on your
complaint.  With close to 100 newsgroups to run, the
BIOSCI staff has
to rely on the discussion leaders of each newsgroup to
report problems
directly to us at biosci-help at net.bio.net.

We will moderate any of our newsgroups if the
discussion leader tells
us that the readership of the group wishes to do so
and if a moderator
is willing to do the work.  For most BIOSCI/bionet
groups, this
entails only a few minutes of work each day.

Moderating a newsgroup will resolve probably 95% of
the junk postings
on the USENET distribution.  Unfortunately there are
easy ways for
determined spammers to override the moderation
mechanism on USENET,
but we can protect our e-mail subscribers from
unwanted postings if
the newsgroup is moderated.  You can also access our
newsgroups over
the WWW at URL http://www.bio.net.  While this Web
interface will not
stop spammers from trying to post to the groups, this
will give you
yet another way, besides using USENET news, to keep
the junk out of
your personal mail files.  For those of you with local
USENET news
systems, the Web interface will also give you faster
access to new
newsgroups and recent postings.


3) Examples of subscribing and unsubscribing to the
mailing lists.
------------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE NOTE: The BIOSCI management does NOT act on
subscription/unsubscription requests that are posted
improperly to the
newsgroups and mailing lists.  People who do this only
bother everyone
on the lists to no avail.  Please be sure to follow
the proper
procedures below.

Gory details are in the BIOSCI Information sheets on
the Web at
http://www.bio.net.  Below we give an example
utilizing the
METHODS-AND-REAGENTS list at both of our two BIOSCI
sites:

Users in the Americas and Pacific Rim countries who
use the BIOSCI
------------------------------------------------------------------
node at computer net.bio.net:
----------------------------

A) Determine the "listname" which is the <=8 character
mail address
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  for the group.  These can be found in the BIOSCI
Info. Sheet.  For
  the METHODS-AND-REAGENTS group the mailing address
is
  methods at net.bio.net.  The listname is the portion of
the address to
  the left of the @ sign, i.e., "methods".  The
listname is used with
  the "subscribe" and "unsubscribe" commands
illustrated below.

B) Mail all commands in the body of a mail message
addressed to
  biosci-server at net.bio.net.  Do NOT send commands to
the newsgroup
  posting addresses!  Leave the Subject: line blank,
any text on it
  will be ignored.

C) In the body of your message put one or more of the
following
  commands with an "end" command on the last line,
e.g.,

  subscribe methods
  unsubscribe methods
  end

  Do NOT put your e-mail address or other text on
these lines.  The
  server only allows you to cancel your subscription
if the address
  on your mail header matches the address on our
mailing list.
  Please ask for help at biosci-help at net.bio.net if
your address has
  changed, e.g., if you know you are on the list but
the server tells
  you that you are not a member.


Users in Europe, Africa, and Central Asia who use the
BIOSCI node at
--------------------------------------------------------------------
the UK-HGMP-Resource Centre (known as hgmp.mrc.ac.uk):
-----------------------------------------------------

A) Determine the "listname" which is the <=8 character
mail address
      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  for the group.  These can be found in the BIOSCI
Info. Sheet.  For
  the METHODS-AND-REAGENTS group the mailing address
is
  methods at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk.  The listname is the portion
of the address
to
  the left of the @ sign, i.e., "methods".  The
listname is used with
  the "subscribe" and "unsubscribe" commands
illustrated below.

B) Mail all commands in the body of a mail message
addressed to
  majordomo at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk.  Do NOT send commands to
the newsgroup
  posting addresses!  Leave the Subject: line blank,
any text on it
  will be ignored.

C) In the body of your message put one or more of the
following
  commands with an "end" command on the last line,
e.g.,

  subscribe methods
  unsubscribe methods
  end

  Please ask for help at biosci at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk if your
address has
  changed, e.g., if you know you are on the list but
the server tells
  you that you are not a member.


4) The BIOSCI user address and research interest
directory.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Please take this opportunity to add your name,
address, and research
interest information to the BIOSCI User Address
Database if you have
not already done so.

You can fill out the address form directly through our
Web page at URL
http://www.bio.net/adrform.html.

The address database is reindexed nightly for WWW
access (the URL is
http://www.bio.net/).  If you are not directly on the
Internet but can
reach it by e-mail, please use our waismail server to
access the user
directory.  waismail use is described above.  You can
also request a
user address form by e-mail from
biosci-help at net.bio.net.

Please check your database entry from time-to-time to
see if your
address information is still up-to-date.  Because of
our limited
personnel resources, we ask that you resubmit a
*complete* form to
revise your entry; we only replace complete entries
and do not have
resources to edit old forms.






=====



Moderated
bionet.genome.gene-structure


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