MEDLIB-L Archives

May 2001, Week 2


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Valerie Rankow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Valerie Rankow <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 11 May 2001 15:48:37 -0400
text/plain (234 lines)
Gentle Readers,

There is trouble in paradise.

Your ListMom spends many hours, every day, reminding people over and over and
over again, about SIG files, plain text and lately, to behave like well-mannered
professional grown-ups. Even if you have read the Guidelines before, please read
them again. Do it for Mother's Day.

As of May 11, 2001, there are 2043 people subscribed to MEDLIB-L. For continued
smooth running of this wonderful resource, please read and save this

This is Part One of a two-part periodic posting to explain the purpose,
guidelines commands, archives, and help options for MEDLIB-L.  In a few minutes,
I will post part two, MEDLIB-L Commands/ Archives / Help.

The short version:

*Feel free to disagree with a thought - but never post personal criticism of an

*Post in Plain ASCII Text.

*Include a complete signature (SIG) file with name, affiliation and email

*Indicate the sources you have already checked. Everyone is very busy.

*Replies go to the individual; the individual is expected to post a summary.

*Format interloan request subject lines as: ILL: journal name, date.

*Limit ILL requests to one title per request.

*Format job ad subject lines as: Job Posting: Position title, Geographic

*Do not post lists of duplicate books and journals to MEDLIB-L.

A copy of this document is posted at the MLA NET website:

Volunteer Coordinator, MEDLIB-L


MEDLIB-L IS: an electronic discussion list for medical/ health sciences
librarians/information professionals. This forum focuses on ideas, questions,
announcements and concerns specific to health sciences libraries.


1. Questions from the GENERAL PUBLIC: MEDLIB-L is not a place for the general
public/students to ask reference questions, to request assistance with library
research or medical problems, or to request materials. These questions should be
directed to a local medical library or one of the USENET newsgroups.

2. ADVERTISEMENTS: MEDLIB-L does not accept advertisements or product
announcements from publishers or producers of print products, software, web
pages, etc. Questions and discussions initiated by MEDLIB-L subscribers about
products and services are appropriate. This provides an avenue for help, hints
and recommendations among the colleagues on this list.

announcements of conferences outside the field (or likely interest) of medical
librarians/information professionals. Do not send announcements for conferences
in medicine or nursing.

4. JOB WANTED messages: If you are seeking a job in a medical library, it is not
appropriate to send a "Position Wanted" posting to MEDLIB-L. Announcements of
available medical library jobs are welcome. Job postings for medical personnel
(other than librarians/information professionals) are not appropriate.

 Please keep job announcements brief and list an e-mail address for further
information. Please use the subject: JOB POSTING--GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION

5. DUPLICATE/WANT LISTS: Do not post lists of duplicate/unwanted books and
journals (or want lists) on MEDLIB-L. These may be posted on the BackMed List.
For information about BackMed, send a message to
[log in to unmask] with the word HELP in the subject line or
body of the message, then you will receive a message with instructions. Or for a
subscription form and information about BackMed, visit the BackMed Web site,

6. ADVOCACY POSTINGS: Postings aimed at collecting mass or organized support for
political and social causes are not appropriate. Do not forward general
Internet, warning, rumor, Good Samaritan, etc., postings to MEDLIB-L. Do not
post virus warnings to the list. Send these to the Coordinator, who will verify
the information, and then post it to the list.


1. Only subscribed users can post messages. To post a message to all the current
MEDLIB-L subscribers use the address:
        [log in to unmask]

2. Keep postings within the scope of the list. MEDLIB-L should be used for
PROFESSIONALS. If your message is outside of the field of medical librarianship,
it probably doesn't belong on MEDLIB-L. Please use restraint with frivolous
postings. There are thousands of Newsgroups, many intended specifically for
humor. It may help to keep in mind that your message will be sent to more than
2,000 subscribers in 33 countries.

3. Always use a DESCRIPTIVE SUBJECT LINE. The more descriptive you are, the more
likely the right people will read your posting. Please use these formats:

 REFERENCE questions: precede your SUBJECT with "Ref Q:" or "?" Answers to
reference questions: precede the SUBJECT with an exclamation point "! "

 ILL requests: precede the TITLE you need with "ILL: " Do not make multiple ILL
requests in a single message unless from same source title. ILL requests should
be confined to emergencies, or titles users cannot locate through their regular
ILL channels.

 CITATION VERIFICATIONS: precede your subject with "VERIF: "

 JOBS available: precede the GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION with "JOB POSTING"

 JOKES / entertainment-type messages, precede your subject with "CHAT: " Most
personal or "chatty" replies should be sent back as personal replies (not to
entire list).

 THANK YOUS: precede subject with "THANKS" Send thanks to INDIVIDUALS not the
whole list, unless informational to halt others from continuing to fill a

4. When replying, double check the original subject line to see if it is 1)
understandable and 2) fits your posting. If the original subject line was
meaningless or misleading, RETYPE an APPROPRIATE SUBJECT LINE. If you are using
the Reply function to post something on a new topic, RETYPE a NEW subject line.

5. Always give your postings a FULL SIGNATURE. Include your NAME, E-MAIL
ADDRESS, TITLE and INSTITUTIONAL AFFILIATION. Try to limit your signature to
four lines.

 NOTE: Please place this signature within the BODY of your MEDLIB-L message.
Automatic signature files do not display for many MEDLIB-L readers, and some
e-mail programs will strip the headers from your post.

6. For reference queries, MEDLIB-L should be used as the avenue of LAST resort.
Please exhaust all of your local resources, including the phone, before turning
to MEDLIB-L. When you do send a reference query, INDICATE WHAT SOURCES YOU HAVE
ALREADY CONSULTED. ILL requests should be confined to emergencies, or titles
users cannot locate through their regular ILL channels.

7. BE BRIEF: keep paragraphs and messages short and to the point. This is a
high-volume List. DO NOT SEND LONG DOCUMENTS TO THE LIST. Describe the document
and give instructions for retrieving it or offer to send it to those interested.
For conference announcements and job postings, send a brief message with an
e-mail address for further information.

8. Do not send attachments, HTML, vcf cards, or other encoded documents to the
MEDLIB-L list. Send your message in plain text (ASCII) only, please.

9. Read all the incoming mail from the List before responding; someone may have
already sent a similar reply to yours.

configured so that when you use your "Reply To" e-mail program feature, replies
are sent to the individual, not the entire list.

Examples of messages that should be sent back as personal replies:
        Requests for COPIES of offered materials.
        PERSONAL or CHATTY replies.
        THANK YOUS unless they are informational to halt other list members from
continuing to fill a request.
        Messages consisting of "ME TOO" or a synonym thereof.
        "I can supply" responses.
        Survey responses.
        Answers to very specific reference questions, unlikely to be of general

11. When you wish to initiate a group discussion or send a message to the entire
MEDLIB-L list, do not use the "Reply" feature of your e-mail program Instead,
please create a NEW message and send to [log in to unmask]

12. When sending a reply to the list, DO NOT INCLUDE THE HEADER from the
previous message in the body of your message. (this is the part that includes
"Sender", "From", etc.). The listserv will NOT distribute the message. It ends
up with the MEDLIB-L delivery errors and may never be seen again...

13. When sending a reply to the list, DO NOT INCLUDE THE ENTIRE PREVIOUS
MESSAGE. EXTRACT only those BRIEF PORTIONS of the previous message that are
necessary to identify the issue and make your point. Repeating long messages and
headers results in increased costs and needlessly clogs MEDLIB-L digests and
archives with repetitions of the same message.

14. Messages appearing on MEDLIB-L may be forwarded to other lists or
individuals as long as proper credit is given to the author.

15. Do not post any defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive or
illegal material. Do not post any materials protected by copyright without the
permission of the copyright owner.

16. MEDLIB-L is not a moderated list, and posts are not censored before they
appear. This means that some errors or inappropriate posts will occasionally
appear on the list, and some people will make mistakes. Please do not publicly
chastise people who make mistakes. MEDLIB-L is for human beings. Perfect people
are not permitted to subscribe to MEDLIB-L.

17. MLA accepts no responsibility for the opinions and information posted by

18. MLA reserves the right to terminate access to MEDLIB-L and cancel the
subscription of any user who does not abide by these guidelines.

Revised May 11, 2002

Valerie G. Rankow
Professional Information Services
Research, Writing & Consultation
[log in to unmask]
What do you want to know? Just ask...