Survey on CCL - Respond please

 CCLSurv "-at-", NOT TO THE LIST!!!
 Survey on the impact of the Computational Chemistry List
 This is a survey on the use and impact of the Computational
 Chemistry List. Please answer the questions below; a short
 introduction follows.
 Please respond to CCLSurv "-at-", or if you have a WWW
 reader which supports forms, you are encouraged to use the Hypertext
 which makes answering survey questions much easier/faster.
 The Computational Chemistry List (CCL) has been for many a
 valuable resource and a venue for a diversity of discussions. The list
 has grown steadily in subscriber and recipient numbers, interesting
 and sometimes heated debates have taken place, and consideration
 has been given recently to previously unexplored issues like the
 perspectives for fully electronic publications and similar ones.
 It may be time to ask ourselves what actual impact the CCL has had,
 is having, and can further have on our lives, our work, the way we
 use bandwidth, and the like.
 To that purpose I have proposed to undertake a survey of the List
 users with the general goal of finding out facts and opinions about
 electronic services and their impact on our work. I have asked the
 List coordinator, Jan Labanowski, if this is a valid use of CCL
 bandwidth and we have agreed to ask a few more questions, relevant
 to the List's operation and its possible improvement, in order not to
 bother you with TWO surveys. In this respect, the added goals are
 to find if the List is useful as is, what and for whom is most and least
 useful, what should be scratched, and how some possible
 improvements might work out.
 My own interest in the results of this survey is more on the side of
 understanding its workings and their meaning as underpinning for
 the future of academic communication. The results of the survey will
 be carefully analyzed, which may take some time, and I intend to
 publish the results of the analysis (foreseeably in an ACS
 monograph) as well as post them and make them available for
 Some aspects of the survey may be flawed from the beginning,
 mainly as we will not (foreseeably) get response from people who
 have not subscribed or have dropped out, for any of a number of
 reasons. However, much can be learned from your answers! It is
 important that everybody respond to make the survey statistically
 sound and not biased by "aggressive minority opinion". Please let us
 know better just how the CCL is working, if and how much it has
 changed the way you work, communicate, and teach, and understand
 what is to be done next.
 I beg you to answer the questions below as objectively as possible. I
 will make my best efforts to keep the responses confidential (I plan
 to share them with Jan WITHOUT RESPONDENT NAMES AND
 ADDRESSES; if you wish otherwise and say so in your answer
 message I will oblige). I will understand that you speak for your
 persons and not for your organizations unless the contrary is
 explicitly stated. All answers are nonbinding. Now look: the list is
 international, legal issues may get real tangled, so let us all assume
 that I will keep faithfully to my best knowledge of ethical and legal
 standards and we all try to get information that will benefit
 everybody, OK?
 If you are impeded to respond to any of the questions because of
 considerations of liability etc. do tell me so!
 Again, please address your answers/comments/questions to me and
 not to the list - lest you really want everybody to hear you!
 Alejandro Pisanty  -    CCLSurv "-at-"
 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
 Dr. Alejandro Pisanty, Secretary of the Advisory Council on
 Computing, UNAM, and Head of the Graduate Division, Faculty of
 Chemistry, UNAM
 Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
 Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Mexico DF
 Tel. (+52-5) 622 4181, 616 1649; Fax 550 0904, 616 2010
 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
 Survey on the use of the Computational Chemistry List (CCL).
 Please answer with your best estimates!
 In the pilot run of the survey a "closed form" for answers was
 suggested. I have preferred to retain the open form because of the
 WIDE variety of answers possible from all over the world.
 The survey cannot be made too short because much valuable
 contents would be lost. If you find that you do not have time enough
 to answer all the questions, please concentrate on sections I (user
 characterization), II and III (impact), VI and VII. Section IX
 provides detailed suggestions for improvement on the list in order to
 open a discussion on that subject.
 This part is intended to characterize the respondent. It is important
 to know ourselves better as a group, and so we can crossreference
 other responses against particular groups of subscribers.
  I.1) How long have you been using CCL (few months, a year, more
 than a year)?
 Mark X on this line ...................................
  I.2) What is the character of your organization (e.g., for-
 profit/commercial, academia, secondary shool, government, military,
 other non-profit, self-employed consultant, etc.)?
  I.3) Country where you receive the CCL messages (particularly if
 through LISTSERV and similar, which may be different from the
 subscription address):
  I.4) Type of position (e.g, undergraduate student, graduate student,
 postdoctoral associate, assistant professor, full professor, lecturer,
 reader, research scientist, senior research scientist, management,
 sales associate, consultant, etc.):
  I.5) Approximate number of employees in your entire organization
 and its main line of activity (e.g. 2000/college, 1000/pharmaceutical,
 20000/petroleum, etc.):
  I.6) Your field(s) of activity (please be specific: e.g,
 crystallographer, molecular biologist, quantum chemist, medicinal
 chemist, etc.):
  I.7) Is your work mainly theoretical, computational or
 Do you develop software?
  I.8) What computational chemistry methods do you use frequently
 (ab initio, molecular graphics, molecular mechanics, kinetics
 simulation, etc.)?
 What other computational work do you do frequently?:
  I.9) What computer(s) do you use to read the messages, and how
 are you connected to the network (e.g. PC via 2400 modem, Mac
 via 9600 modem, RS/6000 on Ethernet, etc.).
 What is the range of network access available to you (e.g., e-mail
 only, ftp, remote logins, gopher, WWW, Usenet, etc.).
  I.10) What computer(s) and software do you mostly use for your
  I.11) How did you learn about the list (e.g., from a friend, my thesis
 advisor, a student I supervise, from archie, by searching
 gopherspace, etc.)
  I.12) Could you briefly describe your work (say 5-10 lines):
 Please be as specific as you can be in answering these questions.
 The answers will be used to judge if the list is a useful resource and
 to assess the way media like CCL are changing our ways.
  II.1) Please tell how, and how many times, the messages on CCL,
 answers to your CCL queries, or CCL archives helped you in your
 Anecdotes and specific examples are most welcome!
  List all instances you can remember (e.g., you acquired particular
 software based on CCL messages twice, you selected computer
 hardware based on information from CCL, on three occassions you
 received needed parameters/data, five times you were directed to
 read particular paper based on CCL information, you changed your
 approach/method once based on CCL messages, comments on the
 CCL contributed to the discussion part in two of your
 papers/reports, etc.):
  II.2) How many times did you find about a conference via CCL and
 attended it as a result?
  II.3) Have you started a collaboration with a subscriber of the list as
 a result of exchanges on the CCL?
  II.4) Did you find a position or a candidate for the position using
 the positions.offered file in CCL archive?
  Did you seek a position in particular organization/group based on
 messages posted to the list?
  II.5) Add any comments about benefits and impacts of the list in
 your career:
 Answer these questions if you are teaching or if you are involved in
 intracompany training. Please be specific and add as many comments
 as you wish.
  III.1) What subject/course do you teach, is it an
 undergraduate/graduate/professional course?
  III.2) Has the list had any impact on the contents of your courses?
  (e.g., you used materials/examples/opinions from messages or CCL
 archives in your course, you revised/created curriculum/syllabus
 based on CCL material, you suggested a graduate project based on
 CCL postings, etc.):
  III.3) Do you encourage your students to subscribe to the list, or
 forward material from the list to them?
 Please supply the best estimates. We understand that they are
 approximate. Stories and examples are most welcome! They are
 becoming the oral history and lore of this trade.
  IV.1) How many questions have you posted to the list?
        How many answers or opinions did you post to the whole list?
        How many answers did you send directly the participants?
  IV.2) How many answers/opinions did you receive to your personal
 mailbox instead of list as a result of your question/opinion?
  Did you ever receive a response with the restriction "for your eyes
  IV.3) How many people have reprimanded/flamed you for your
 posting(s) to the list? For what?
  Have you reprimanded/flamed somebody? For what?
  IV.4) What is your estimate of the portion of suitable messages, i.e.,
 messages which adhere to the list rules (e.g.: 3/7, 10%)?
  IV.5) What portion of messages on the list do you find relevant for
 your own research/teaching/development/administration?
  Do you forward on occassion messages from CCL to people who
 are not subscribed?
  Did you encourage someone to subscribe?
  IV.6) How do you choose messages to read? What portion of
 messages do you delete/skip before reading based on the Subject:
 field? What portion of messages do you delete/skip after reading the
 first few lines?
  IV.7) How do you receive messages (e.g., you are subscribed to the
 list directly, you are subscribed to a local/internal list/newsgroup
 which receives messages from CCL, you are not subscribed but view
 archived messages via gopher/WWW)?
  IV.8) How frequently do you scan CCL messages and when (e.g.,
 as they arrive, more than once a day, once a day in the evening, once
 a week during the weekend)?
 How much time on average do you spend reading messages?
  IV.9) Have you ever searched the CCL archives, and if not why?
 Did you access CCL archives and in what way (e.g., e-mail, ftp,
 Please share all your experiences and use of resources other than
  V.1 What other Internet and network resources do you use and
 how heavily/frequently (e-mail, library catalogues, gopher, WWW,
 newsgroups, commercial databases, stock prices, commercial news,
 listservers/electronic-lists, electronic submissions of manuscripts to
 journals/books/conferences, etc., etc.). How much time do you
 spend on using the network resources?
  V.2 How much time do you spend on reading CCL list and CCL
 archives compared to other network resources?
  V.3 How do you rate the CCL for usefulness, benefit/effort ratio,
 etc. in comparison to other online and offline resources?
 VI.1 What do you remember as the most useful/most pleasant/most
 unpleasant/most obnoxious event on the CCL (and/or other Internet
 VII.1 Please comment on the international impact of the list.
 VII.2 Please comment on the choice of language of the list, its
 quality, and its level of difficulty. Do you sometimes NOT write
 because of language difficulties?
 VII.3 If you are answering you obviously use the list. Can we learn
 something valuable from those who don´t?
  VII.4 Do you think the list, WWW etc. could provide for formal
 scientific/technical publication? (e.g. with formal review procedures
 and stable archives)
   VII.5) How do you see a development of networks/network
 services in the future (say, 10 years)?
 See also section IX: how would you improve CCL?
 VIII.1 What questions/topics should have been included in this
 survey but were missed?
 VIII.2 Share any thoughts concerning the CCL list which were not
 addressed in the survey.
 Some specific proposals have been made to improve CCL. They are
 listed below. Speak out on your own thoughts; the proposals below
 are intended as discussion openers, not as a bias.
 Provide your ideas assuming that resources are not an issue and
 everything is possible. Try to provide ideas, and methods of
 implementation, though you need not be too detailed/technical.
 Please note that some examples given here are very controversial.
  IX.1) How would you improve the list if it stayed unmoderated?
 Examples (do not be suggested by them, unless you agree with them
       a) Split it into smaller lists: ccl-ab-initio, ccl-semiempirical, ccl-
 force-fields, ccl-molecular-graphics, ccl-???. To which smaller lists
 would you subscribe yourself?
       b) Allow anonymous postings if someone chooses to do so.
       c) Restrict the scope of messages even further than in the rules.
       d) Add specific files to the archives (which?).
       e) Add additional services (which?).
       f) Each subscriber would provide a list of keywords/regular-
 expressions and would receive only messages which contain/satisfy
 the keywords/regular-expressions.
       g) Allow only 10 messages a day, and queue the messages which
 are over the limit.
  IX.2) How would you improve the list if it was moderated? Please,
 share your ideas.
       For example (only an example):
        a) 24hrs/day monitoring of the list by anonymous moderators
 residing in different time zones, so the messages are essentially
 approved/rejected in a real time.
        b) provide a once a day digest of subjects and a mechanism for
 retrieval of full messages via e-mail, ftp, gopher, www.
        c) the moderator(s) beside rejecting/approving messages would
 classify them into topics (e.g., quantum chemistry, molecular
 mechanics, molecular graphics, QSAR/QSPR, hardware, drug
 design, [what topics?] and subscribers could choose which topics
 they want to receive. Which topics would you subscribe to?
        d) Provide a rotating body of volunteers in their respective
 fields, who would respond to the simple/trivial questions, forwarded
 to them by moderators (e.g., would point to a file already residing in
 CCL archives, or explain that HONDO is an ab initio program).
        e) Split the list into "introductory" and "advanced"
 moderator(s) will assign messages to the appropriate category.
   IX.3) Should the list be available as Usenet newsgroup? Why?
   IX.4) Should the list be monitored/censored? Why and by whom?
        Would you be willing to act as a moderator of the list, how
 much time you would contribute and under what conditions
 (remember, your answer is nonbinding, and anonymous)?
 ============== SURVEY END===============
 (Again: please respond to CCLSurv "-at-", or WWW,
 NOT TO THE LIST) !!!!!!
 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
 Dr. Alejandro Pisanty, Secretary of the Advisory Council on
 Computing, UNAM, and Head of the Graduate Division, Faculty of
 Chemistry, UNAM
 Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
 Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Mexico DF
 Tel. (+52-5) 622 4181, 616 1649; Fax 550 0904, 616 2010
 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .