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PURPOSE/GUIDELINES FOR MEDLIB-L

A periodic posting to explain the purpose and use of the Medical Libraries
Discussion List (revised February 1998).

A. PURPOSE AND AUDIENCE
B. GUIDELINES FOR MESSAGES

__________________________________________________
A. PURPOSE AND AUDIENCE

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.

MEDLIB-L IS NOT FOR:

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 try one of the
sci.med 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.

3. GENERAL CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS: MEDLIB-L should not be used for
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 ([log in to unmask]). For more information on BackMed, contact
Amira Aaron ([log in to unmask]) or Marilyn Geller ([log in to unmask]).

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.

7. LIBRARY NEWSLETTERS: Do not post the full text of library newsletters
to MEDLIB-L.  Announcements of newsletters, including Web sites and/or
information on receiving them via e-mail, are welcomed.  You can access a
list medical library newsletters on the Web at:
http://southmed.usouthal.edu/library/libnews.htm

__________________________________________________
B. GUIDELINES FOR MESSAGES:

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
MESSAGES OF PROFESSIONAL INTEREST TO HEALTH SCIENCES
LIBRARIANS/INFORMATION 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 2,400 subscribers  in 33
countries.

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

3a. REFERENCE questions: precede your SUBJECT with "Ref Q: " or "?: "
   <? subject> <Ref Q subject>
   Answers to reference questions: precede the SUBJECT with an exclamation
point "! " <! Subject>

3b. ILL requests: precede the TITLE you need with "ILL: "
   <ill - title> <ill - title - filled>
   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.

3c. CITATION VERIFICATIONS: precede your subject with "VERIF: "

3d. JOBS available: precede the GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION with "JOB POSTING"
   <job posting - geographical location>

3e. 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).

3f. THANK YOUS: precede subject with "THANKS"
   Send thanks to INDIVIDUALS not the whole list unless informational to
halt others from continuing to fill a request.

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 4 lines. NOTE: please place this
MEDLIB-L message. Automatic signature files (such as in netscape) do not
display for many MEDLIB-L readers.

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 encoded documents to the list. ASCII text only, please.

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

10. SEND PERSONAL REPLIES TO THE INDIVIDUAL NOT TO THE WHOLE LIST.
MEDLIB-L is configured so that Replies are sent to the entire list, not
just the individual who posted the message. This is done to facilitate
group discussion.

11. When you wish to send a "personal" reply to the individual who
contributed a MEDLIB-L message, please create a new message or readdress
your reply to the particular individual. CAUTION: your mail system may
appear to have a command which will direct your reply to the individual
rather than the list, but often this selects MEDLIB-L as "sender" rather
than the individual.

Examples of messages that should be sent back as personal replies (posted
to an individual):
a. All REQUESTS FOR COPIES of offered materials. These should be sent
directly to the offerer.
b. PERSONAL or CHATTY replies. Most replies that begin "Dear __________"
c.  THANK YOUS unless they are informational to halt other list members
from continuing to fill a request.
d. Messages consisting of "ME TOO" or a synonym thereof.
e. "I CAN SUPPLY" responses.
f. SURVEY responses..
g. Answers to very specific reference questions that are unlikely to be of
general interest.

Of course mistakes are going to be made (by new users, and/or experienced
networkers when we are just too fast with the Reply key!) Unfortunately,
these errors cannot be caught before they reach the list.

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

17. MLA reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not
abide by these guidelines.


Gillian Goldsmith                      MEDLIB-L Coordinator
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library          [log in to unmask]
Yale University School of Medicine             203.737.2954

MEDLIB-L Guidelines: http://www.med.yale.edu/library/medlib/