T H E   N I H    C A T A L Y S T      M A R C H   –  A P R I L   1999



Susan Chacko

Dear Just Ask:

Do you know if there are mail groups for researchers by country? I think I recall seeing a few country interest groups (e.g., Italian, Japanese, Chinese) advertised on the DDIRBB. Recently, we had an inquiry from a sponsor who wants to know if there is an Italian e-mail group (or one for any other country). Our branch does not maintain such mail groups, but wondered if you knew about their existence. I would be grateful for any information you might have. Thanks in advance.

Valerie Katsouros, FIC

Dear Valerie:

There are mailing lists related to almost every discipline, interest, country, religion, age group, and society; the only problem is to find the one that you’re looking for!

An NIH researcher might be most interested in a local mailing list, which might have announcements of local resources and meetings.

A good place to start, then, is the NIH Listserv. Listserv is a software package that manages e-mail lists, and the NIH Listserv manages all the mailing lists on campus.

Point your web browser to <http://list.nih.gov> and click on the ‘Browse’ button, which pulls up a long list of all the mailing lists that our Listserv manages. There’s a convenient ‘Search’ box on top, so let’s search for ‘Italy.’ We should probably try ‘Italian’ as well, since this list might be called ‘ITALIAN-L,’ or describe itself as ‘A list for Italian researchers.’ In this case, neither word was found.

Random searches for other country names showed that there is a Chinese Scholar Association List (CSANIH-L), an NIH-FDA Chinese American Association list (NIH-FDA-CAA), the Hispanic Employee Organization (HEO-INFO-L), Greek scientists at NIH (GREEKS), Japanese scientists at NIH (JAPAN-L), and International Activities at NIH (INTERNATIONAL-L), among others. Clicking on each name lets you join (‘subscribe’ to) or leave (‘unsubscribe’). If you’ve already subscribed to this list, you may be able to browse the list archives.

Before I’d subscribe to a list, I’d probably want to find out more about it. So I sent an e-mail message to <Listserv@list.nih.gov> saying ‘Review JAPAN-L.’ The message that came back indicated that anyone can subscribe to this list, but that most messages posted on the list are written in Japanese, which would not suit someone who does not read the language.

No Italian list has turned up, so it’s time to look further afield. The main Listserv page has a link to ‘Mailing List Search Sites,’ which features four gigantic catalogs of mailing lists around the world–CataList, Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists (PAML), Liszt, and Tile.net. I searched for ‘Italy Italian’ in each of them, which should return lists with either ‘Italy’ or ‘Italian’ in their name or description. CataList (<http://www.lsoft.com/catalist.html>) gave me COMUNES_OF_ITALY, about Italian geneology and culture. PAML (<http://www.neosoft.com/cgi-bin/paml_search/>) returned 23 different lists, including yoga, an Italian-language list about yoga. (See what I mean about mailing lists on every possible topic?) Liszt (<http://www.liszt.com/>) returned 115 lists that dealt with everything from an Italian-language guitar list to a list about soccer in Italy! Tile.net (<http://tile.net/listserv/>) gave me 33 lists.

As you see, it’s worth searching all four sites, since they compile their information by different methods and thus give different results. If you’re searching for several words (such as ‘Italy’ OR ‘Italian’), note that some search sites will let you specify ‘All words’ or ‘Any words’ for your search.

Most of these search sites will let you click onto a list to get some minimal information about it, but it’s worth sending the ‘review LISTNAME’ command to the subscribing address to get a fuller description.

Chances are that you will find an interesting list by trying these tips. If you don’t find an appropriate list, and if you think there is sufficient interest in your own favorite topic, you could always start a mailing list yourself (See "Call for Hispanic Scientists" below.) The application form can be filled out online at the NIH Listserv web site, and the list will be set up in one business day. Check out the NIH Listserv web site for more information.


—Susan Chacko, CIT


The NIH Fellows Committee, with the support of the Office of Education, is organizing a Hispanic Scientists Directory. This directory is meant to include all intramural (NIH and FDA-CBER) Hispanic scientific personnel (basic research and clinical postdoctoral fellows, staff scientists and clinicians, nurses, technicians, predoctoral students, tenure-track and tenured investigators).

This directory should help identify all Hispanic scientists at NIH/FDA-CBER and their scientific contribution to the NIH scientific community. It should also encourage the interaction and exchange of ideas and information among Hispanic researchers. If you would like to be included in this directory, please send your name, e-mail address, and phone and fax numbers to Nancy Vázquez at (301) 827-1774.



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