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A Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources (1 of 6)

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Archive-name: biology/guide/part1
Last-modified: 10 November 1993

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		A Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources
	               Version 1.7, 10 November 1993

		      Copyright 1993 by Una R. Smith
                             ISSN: 1071-9857

		Una Smith

	Yale University, Department of Biology, Osborn Memorial Laboratories,
	PO Box 6666, New Haven, Connecticut  06511-8155  USA

-*- Contents

 |  1. Introduction
||      1  What's New
||      2. Conditions of Use
||      3. How to Get the Latest Version 
 |      4. Some Mind-Boggling Statistics

    2. Networking					(part 2 of 6)
        1. Netiquette
        2. Usenet
 |          1. Newsgroups of Special Interest
 |          2. Special Usenet Hierarchies and Gated Mailing Lists
||          3. Usenet FAQs about Usenet
||          4. Usenet by E-mail
        3. Mailing Lists Using LISTSERV
            1. Commands
            2. Archives
 |          3. Gateways to Usenet
 |      4. Other Mailing Lists
        5. Newsletters

    3. Biological Research Archives			(part 3 of 6)
 |      1. Bibliographies
        2. Directories
        3. Software
        4. Data
            1. Systematic Databases
 |          2. Search Engines
 |      5. List of Archives
        6. Access Tools
            1. Telnet 
            2. Anonymous FTP
            3. Anonymous FTP by E-mail
            4. Gopher
            5. Archie
            6. Veronica
            7. Wide-Area Information Servers (WAIS)
            8. World-Wide Web (WWW)

    4. Useful and Important FAQs			(part 4 of 6 begins)
        1. What's an FAQ and where can I get one?
        2. Does anyone have an e-mail address for X?
        3. How do I find a good graduate program?
        4. Where can I get old newsgroup/mailing list articles?
||      5. Where can I find biology-related job announcements?

    5. Commercial Services

 |  Acknowledgements

 |  Bibliography					(part 5 of 6)

||  Appendix. Assorted Mailing Lists Using LISTSERV	(part 6 of 6)

 |  Note:  | indicates changes or new items, || indicates important changes.

-*- 1. Introduction

 |  Due to its large and steadily increasing size, this guide has been split
 |  into 6 parts for distribution via the Internet.  Each part is fairly 
 |  independent of the others, and can be obtained separately, if desired.
 |  However, this guide was written as a single document, and is most useful
 |  when complete.

    If you find this guide difficult to understand, you might want to read
    one of the published Internet guidebooks listed in the bibliography and
    mentioned several times in this guide.  In the interest of brevity, no 
    information that is easily obtained elsewhere is duplicated here in any
    detail, thus, for a full understanding of the resources and tools listed
    here, it is helpful to read the cited material as well.  To get started,
    check the table of contents for interesting parts, and skim through the
    whole document to get an idea of the scope and layout of what it covers. 

-*- 1.1. What's New

||  This guide has been assigned an ISSN by the United States Library of
 |  Congress.  Note to Usenet FAQ maintainers:  it is classified as a serial
 |  because it is distributed  periodically to e-mail subscribers and Usenet
 |  readers.  Due to evident confusion among some US readers over the lack
 |  of a copyright notice, I have given in and added one.  A notice has not
 |  been required by US law since the US signed the Berne Convention several
 |  years ago, but some readers incorrectly assume that because the guide had
 I  no explicit copyright statement, it is in the public domain.  This is
 |  not and never has been the case.  Rest assured, all previous versions of
||  the guide were (and still are) copyrighted.  The conditions-of-use
||  statement continues to change as readers to think of new ways to use the
 |  guide that I did not anticipate.  Please bear with me.

||  The procedure for e-mail subscriptions to the bionet.* newsgroups (via
||  BIOSCI) has changed significantly for some people.  See section 2.2.2.
 |  The appendix lists many new electronic mailing lists.  Environmental
 |  policy and technology transfer lists have been separated out from
 |  conservation biology and environmental studies.

 |  Just a reminder:  Internet computer names in the United Kingdom (JANET)
 |  are written in the reverse of the order used everywhere else.  All e-mail
 |  addresses listed in this guide that are at JANET sites are written in the
 |  usual Internet style, with the top-level domain name last.  Thus to the
 |  Internet world, MAILBASE-style mailing lists are hosted on,
 |  but to JANET users the address is  Got that?

 |  A nifty way to find out what else is new in this version is to check
 |  the acknowledgement section, where my many helpful correspondents are
 |  thanked for their input.  I could not keep up with all the new Internet
 |  resources without them!  To facilitate identifying new items in the
 |  text, I will try to remember to add vertical bars in the left margin.

 |  (like this!)

-*- 1.2. Conditions of Use

||  This guide is intended for use as a handout for training in seminars,
||  workshops, and user services supporting use of the Internet by biologists,
||  and for personal use.  This guide may be freely distributed in parts or
||  concatenated, with the e-mail and/or Usenet headers and ending signature
||  removed.  The file format may be changed in any way that is convenient for
||  presentation.  Internet archive keepers:  please use a gopher link to the
||  official copy on (see the following section) or, if you
||  wish to maintain your own copy, use the correct title and make an effort
||  to keep your copy up to date.

||  This guide may be adapted, within the limits of fair use, provided that
||  a citation is given.  Single copies of any document citing this guide
||  would be much appreciated!  The suggested citation is:

||	Smith, Una R. (1993) A Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources.
||	Usenet sci.answers.  Available via gopher, anonymous FTP and e-mail
||	from various archives.  For a free copy via e-mail, send the text
||	"send pub/usenet/sci.answers/biology/guide/*" to the e-mail address
||  ~45 pages.

||  Any questionable use should be discussed in advance with the author.
||  This guide may not be sold for profit, in either the original or an
||  adapted form, without permission from the author. 

    Virtually every service or resource mentioned in this guide (and this
    guide itself) is the un-paid, voluntary contribution of scientists and
    students, both graduate and undergraduate.  Please give credit where due. 
    If you make significant use of any document, data or software provided
    via the Internet, the authors would be grateful if you would cite them
    or otherwise acknowledge their efforts.  You may want to acknowledge the
    administrators of archives from which you obtain data, software, or other
    material;  contact the administrator to ask about the prefered citation.

    Every attempt is made to keep the information in this guide up-to-date
    and correct.  Your assistance is greatly appreciated!  Before reporting
    an error or omission, please be sure that you have the latest version. 
    Thank you!

-*- 1.3. How to Get the Latest Version

    This guide is updated more-or-less monthly.  The most current version
    is available via Usenet, gopher, anonymous FTP and e-mail.  Please do
    not ask the author to send you a copy, nor refer others to the author.

    - In Usenet, look in or sci.answers.

    - Gopher to, and choose this sequence of menu items:

		Sunsite Archives
			Ecology and Evolution

      Or, from any gopher offering other biology gophers by topic, look for
      the menu item "Ecology and Evolution [at UNC and Yale]".  The guide is
      stored there in two ways:  as a file for easy retrieval and as a menu
      for browsing.

    - FTP to  Give the username "anonymous" and your e-mail
      address as the password.  Use the "cd" command to go to the directory

  |		pub/usenet/news.answers/biology/guide/

  |   and use "prompt" and "mget *" to copy all 6 parts of the guide to your
      computer.  For information about how to get many other useful documents
      from this archive, send the message "help".

      You can also use anonymous FTP to, where this guide is
      stored as

    - Send e-mail to with the text
  |		send usenet/news.answers/biology/guide/*

  |   You will receive 6 files in response, one for each part:  save each part
      separately, delete the e-mail headers and footers, and merge them.

    See section 3.6, Access Tools, for more information about retrieving
    information from the Internet.

-*- 1.4. Some Mind-Boggling Statistics

 |  Recently, approximately 37,000 articles per day were copied worldwide
 |  through Usenet (Reid 1993b).  This traffic constituted 77 megabytes (or
 |  30,000 printed pages) per day of announcements, questions and answers,
 |  advice and bits of program code, references, heated debates, and raw data.
 |  This is only a small fraction of the information added to the Internet in
 |  that same time.  There are now over two million registered computers on
 |  the Internet, according to the October 1993 Internet Domain Survey, and
 |  thus tens of millions of people.  An estimated 13.8 million people have
 |  accounts on 120,000 computers carrying Usenet, and 4.1 million people read
 |  Usenet news at least occasionally (Reid 1993b).  The fraction of people 
 |  with access to Usenet news who actually read it is increasing rapidly,
 |  from 26% in July to 30% in October 1993.  There are several thousand world-
 |  wide Usenet newsgroups and many thousands more electronic mailing lists.

    It appears that there are on the order of 10,000 people who read Usenet
    newsgroups relating to biology (Reid 1993a), and there may be that many
    using mailing lists for topics in biology.  All together, there are
 |  one hundred newsgroups and 250 mailing lists that may be of particular
    interest to biologists.  They are listed in section 2, Networking, and
    the appendix, Assorted Mailing Lists Using LISTSERV.

	Una Smith

Yale University, Department of Biology, Osborn Memorial Laboratories,
PO Box 6666, New Haven, Connecticut  06511-8155

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