[Air-l] The list
sjones at uic.edu
Sat Mar 16 13:50:47 PST 2002
Be assured that the AoIR executive committee has been discussing the
issue of whether to have posting guidelines for some time. While none
of us condone unethical and inappropriate behavior, we do have a
dilemma (or more than one, perhaps). While we can filter e-mail that
comes from an individual, one can just as easily change addresses and
re-post. Making the entire list moderated (so that each message is
"screened" by someone before posting) is a possibility, but will make
the list less synchronous than it is, and, depending on future list
traffic, may require considerable effort. (For the record, I find
that air-l has been relatively low-traffic). And how will someone
feel about the moderator, the possibility of moderating being
agenda-driven, the possibility that such a possibility will cause
someone to second-guess the motives of an agenda-less moderator, etc.?
My thinking about e-mail lists in general is that, without
engagement, those who post inappropriately end up finding another
list to bother with. Perhaps I'm wrong. But I don't think it would be
hard to filter messages one's self, that is, without resorting to
technological means, by looking at who they are from.
An important thing to keep in mind is that there is also the
potential issue of AoIR, as an incorporated not-for-profit, to in
some ways become "exclusive." A condition of our gaining permanent
501(c)(3) status from the U.S. office of the I.R.S. is to not put up
significant barriers to membership and to be a "public" organization,
and I'd be a bit concerned that by keeping people from "speaking"
we'd have another serious issue on our hands. Another way to put that
is that we are not "just" a list. On the one hand we routinely engage
in such exclusion, for instance by virtue of choosing which papers
are accepted to our conference. On the other hand we are up front
about so doing, and there is a process, involving more than one
person, of determining who is invited to the conference to speak. But
we don't prevent anyone from attending the conference and speaking
during Q&A, for instance.
These, among other things (such as attentiveness to the variety of
understandings of what "guidelines" are), are the kinds of things
we've been grappling with.
I'll be happy to hear from anyone concerning these matters,
preferably (I assume) off-list.
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