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For slrn to mark an article as read in more than one group, it needs information about what groups the article was cross-posted to. This information is provided by the Xref header. Not all servers provide this header so this feature will not work with those servers. Now suppose that your server provides the Xref header as one of the headers of the article and at the same time, provides support for the NOV database (via the XOVER nntp command). In this case, unless the server has been configured to provide the Xref header as part of the NOV database, slrn will not be able to get the header without accessing the article. Unfortunately, Xref is optional under NOV so many systems do not automatically provide it even though it is one of the recommended headers. To summarize, make sure that your server provides the Xref header AND if it supports NOV, make sure that the Xref header is part of the NOV database.