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STS-L Report (as of June 20, 2012)
6/20/2012 – 1531 (11.5% increase/2 years, avg 5.75% increase/annum)
12/7/2010 – 1392 (2.7% increase/6 months), (4.3% increase/annum)
6/17/2010 – 1355 (1.5% increase/6 months), (2.7% increase/annum)
12/8/2009 – 1334 (1.2% increase/6 months)
7/11/2009 – 1319
The earliest subscriber joined on the 1st of July, 2005, the latest on the 20th of June, 2012.
The current policy allows for 2 levels of bounces (emails that do not reach their intended address and “bounce” back to the listserv). After 45 bounces, the member is sent an email warning them of the bounce rate. After 75 bounces, the member is removed from the listserv. We currently have 6 accounts with bouncing scores, ranging from 34 to 11.
No attempt to capture removal rates or counts is ongoing. Most seem to be able to remove their names on their own.
The problem subscribers typically have occurs when they change email addresses. Symptomatically, the subscriber loses the ability to post or does not receive distributions. As moderator, I get an email from the subscriber describing their problem as one of these issues. It is a simple process to look up their name and replace their older email with their new address. I receive requests from approximately 3 subscribers every six months with this issue. Other interventions include posting notices for people or organizations that do not have membership. These are typically announcements for job openings. As moderator, I review the request and apply the guidelines for the listserv before their request is posted. These requests occur at about the same rate, maybe higher as the old email issue.
In January of 2012, I posted the following revised policy statement, vetted by the Council and in the name of Maribeth Slebodnik, on the purposes of the listserv:
The STS Executive Council has recently had discussions about appropriate use of the section's discussion list. Here are some guidelines that we encourage you to read and follow.
1) According to the STS discussion list description at http://lists.ala.org/sympa/info/sts-l , "The STS-L electronic discussion is ; for the discussion of issues relating to science and technology libraries. Any questions regarding the pertinence of any particular topic should be sent to the STS-L moderator."
2) It is not expected that everyone will agree with all posts. Frank exchanges of views are encouraged; however, STS-L is not intended as a forum for personal or political debates. While posting a dissenting view in a polite and professional manner is acceptable, further exchanges should be undertaken in personal email to preserve the integrity of the STS-L's main purpose.
3) If list members consistently post outside of the purpose of the discussion list or engage in uncivil behavior towards other list members, the STS-L moderator and the STS Executive Council will decide how to address the situation. This may include the possibility of removal from the list.
4) The ACRL Guide to Policies & Procedures section 12.17 on Political Discussion states: "Due to ALA's tax exemption as a 501(c)(3), ALA resources cannot be used to support or oppose any candidate for public office. Nor can they be used to link to other sites that contain such support or opposition.
Neither can ALA's resources be used to suggest or support boycotts or to make defamatory remarks." This information was distributed to all ALA discussion lists in 2008 and is part of the subscription information for new discussion list members. Repeated attempts to promote or disseminate political views could result in removal from the list.
5) If you prefer not to read posts from a particular poster, most email programs will allow you to filter them out. Those posts will be archived on STS-L should you decide to read them later.
6) It is not appropriate to share copies of articles directly via STS-L. Many contract terms or license agreements prohibit sharing articles in this way.
Please use your local ILL service if at all possible. We do not want to place either the listserv or the ACRL at risk by using this avenue to bypass ILL, and those of you providing copies of articles possibly place your institution at risk too.
Please contact me or discussion list moderator Peter Zuber
(firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about use of the discussion list. Thanks!
ACRL Science & Technology Section Discussion List
I believe the rate of infringement of this policy has reduced significantly since this and previous statements (using different verbiage, see older STS-L reports) were consistently posted since 2009. It is interesting to see the difference between postings on other listservs (eldnet, etc.) and STS-L in terms of ILL type requests. Such requests are much lower on STS-L. These statements are typically be posted every 6 months, so the next occurrence should be around the 1st of July.