As you may have seen in an earlier posting, we will soon implement a
new policy to control spam in unmoderated groups. The original message
is copied directly below. Appended after it is a copy of my proposed
new group charter, which is minimally different from the current one.
If you have any suggestions for change in the text or in the policy,
please let me or the group know within the next week or so.
============== original message ==============================
As part of our effort to eliminate "spam" messages which are offensive
and distracting to the scientific discussions which the Biosci
newsgroups are designed to facilitate, we are creating a new type of
moderated newsgroup -- "Moderated (only to filter out spam)".
Our rationalie is that only what usenet recognizes as "moderated"
newsgroups can filter mail postings, yet it has proven difficult to
find volunteer moderators from each newsgroup.
Our intention is to use a combination of human and software filters to
eliminate the most egregious examples of spam. Since we value
diversity of opinion in scientific communications, and recognize that
our efforts are unavoidably subject to both Type I and Type II errors,
we aim to err on the side of allowing arguably scientifically relevant
communications to be posted.
We intend to convert all the unmoderated bionet newsgroups to the new
status as soon as possible, and forsee two situations:
(1) Where a charter exists for an established but unmoderated group,
we will take the current charter and add the following language (taken
>From the policy statement which we send to anyone who wishes to start
a new newsgroup or convert an unmoderated to moderated newsgroup, and
suitably customized to the newsgroup where necessary) on "Moderation
"Moderation Policy: Mass-posted commercial messages, chain letters,
and similar postings not germane to the stated purpose of the charter
will be deleted without comment. Inappropriate messages posted in good
faith will be returned to the sender where feasible. Messages not
strictly within the charter but likely to be of interest to many
subscribers will be accepted. Use of the newsgroup for commercial
purposes is prohibited."
The proposed new charter will be posted to the newsgroup for a short
(2) Where a charter does not exist for an established unmoderated
group, we will solicit the newsgroup's discussion leader(s), where
listed, to draft a non-controversial charter and submit it to the
newsgroup for a short comment period.
If at any time a moderated-for-spam newsgroup wishes to convert to a
regular "moderated" group, with its own moderator, we shall be happy
to treat such a request just as we do the request to change from
unmoderated to moderated status.
Finally, if a currently moderated group wishes to take advantage of
the spam filtering software to ease the administrative burden on the
moderator, we will discuss the logistics and policy guidelines with
the group's moderator. (We will notify moderators when we are ready to
offer this facility; we are not currently ready.)
We hope that these new arrangements will protect the integrity of our
newsgroups and allow us to focus on other ways of improving Biosci.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we deal with the spam
Stanford University Libraries
========== proposed modified charter ====================
Charter for ACEDB-SOFT/bionet.software.acedb
Moderation Status: Moderated for spam
E-mail addresses: acedb at net.bio.netacedb at daresbury.ac.uk
Discussion leader: Mike Cherry
Director of Computing
Department of Molecular Biology
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 02114
Internet: cherry at frodo.mgh.harvard.edu
Discussions by users and developers of genome databases using the
This group includes discussions ranging from construction of new
databases using the ACEDB software, curation of genetic and physical
map information into Ace format, to questions about the use of any of
the species specific databases utilizing the ACEDB software.
As part of the C. elegans genome effort Jean Thierry-Mieg and Richard
Durbin developed a generalized software solution for genome databases.
ACEDB is the name of the software used for the organization,
presentation and storage of genome information. It is also the name of
the first database to use this software, the the C. elegans genome
database. ACEDB includes an X-windows user interface and an
object-like database engine developed specifically for storage of
Many groups have begun using ACEDB to create a variety of genome
databases. As of April 1993 three of these groups have released their
databases to the general public and many others are well along in
their development. The number of groups utilizing the ACEDB software
to organize, manipulate and disseminate genome information is
increasing. An informal community of ACEDB developers has formed to
share knowledge and resources. This group allows the community of
developers and users to continue sharing and growing. The archives of
the group also provide a useful resource to both developers and users.
Moderation policy: (added 25 September 1997)
This newsgroup is moderated by automatic spam filtering software and
by Biosci personnel to implement the following policy:
Mass-posted commercial messages, chain letters, and similar postings
not germane to the stated purpose of the charter will be deleted
without comment. Inappropriate messages posted in good faith will be
returned to the sender where feasible. Messages not strictly within
the charter but likely to be of interest to many subscribers will be
accepted. Use of the newsgroup for commercial purposes is prohibited.