View Full Version : Biomch-l file server proposal

Herman J. Woltring
03-27-1989, 10:03 PM
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* * * List Owners' Proposal: File server facilities for BIOMCH-L * * *
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With BIOMCH-L currently active for almost half a year, we would like to know
whether there might be an interest to expand activities of the list, by pro-
viding file-server facilities to the BIOMCH-L membership. Under the facilities
of LISTSERV@HEARN.EARN (and of many other LISTSERVers), it is possible to send
requests of the form

SEND fn ft list

where 'fn' is a filename, 'ft' a file extension, and the optional parameter
'list' the name of a distribution list such as BIOMCH-L. Using 'ft' = PACKAGE,
a complete package of related files may be requested. If 'list' is omitted,
search for the named file(s) occurs through all sublibraries, starting from the
'root' library of LISTSERV@HEARN.

In the context of BIOMCH-L, one might think of subroutines or complete packages
for, e.g., signal processing and finite element analysis, and of normative data
on body geometry, healthy and pathological movement, etc.

Files would be indexed in a file BIOMCH-L FILELIST which can be retrieved from
LISTSERV@HEARN with the request INDEX BIOMCH-L (currently, this file names the
LOG files for BIOMCH-L).

Names for files should be unique for the sublibrary BIOMCH-L in LISTSERV@HEARN,
and the system manager at HEARN has kindly informed us that there is currently
no objection against providing up to 1 MB in disk space without costs. However,
there is no guarantee that such a service will be maintained indefinitely.
Note that a limited storage of 1 MB precludes medical imaging data (CAT scans
by X-Ray or MRI), while tabular data on body geometry and movement would be

If there is sufficient interest to start such a file-distribution facility, we
would appreciate comments on the following "fair play" rules; a public-access
file BIOMCH-L POLICY containing such rules would eventually be available for the
readership. We are sorry for these dreary details; however, they are necessary
in a time that software and other (electronic) data are no longer of merely
academic interest.

(1) Storage of submitted files is at the discretion of the list-owners and/or
editors, subject to (at least) the following:

(2) Only alphanumeric files will be accomodated, and they should be relevant
for the target domain of BIOMCH-L. By not accomodating object or execu-
table code, it will be easier to avoid problems with computer viruses etc.,
while verification, improvement and LOCAL adaptation of existing material
will be facilitated.

(3) Data (including source code) must be sufficiently 'self-contained', AND
they must have been described in the academic literature (this will include
academic papers that have been accepted for publication); references to such
publications must be provided. Source code must be provided with a simple
testprogramme and testdata, unless such testing material is already avail-
able in the BIOMCH-L sublibrary, or unless testing is trivial.

(4) In order to enhance the utility of BIOMCH-L as a discussion forum, file
access (except for the POLICY and LOG files) will be for the BIOMCH-L
membership only. Anyone interested in BIOMCH-L data should subscribe to
the list so as to facilitate discussions about the sublibrary's contents.
New items accepted for storage ought to be announced on BIOMCH-L by the
submitter; additional forums such as the Software Survey Section of the
Journal of Biomechanics are recommended.

(5) Submission of a file implies (IRREVOCABLE??) authorization for distribution
and use within the constraints of "fair use / fair dealing" under Anglo-
American law (e.g., US Copyright Act Section 107; UK Copyright, Designs, and
Patents Act Sections 29 and 30), AND for personal or (inter)institutional
'use'. This includes use in a contract-research context, but not sales
of the data as a product; however, providing the data as an insubstantial
part of a service to a contract party must be allowed. Republication of the
complete data in a (semi)public forum such as an academic journal or a wide-
area network like EARN/BITNET/NETNORTH is not allowed without authorization
of the copyright owner(s). However, academic publication of improvements
might warrant quoting some, most or even all original material, and this
may be acceptable under the "fair dealing" doctrine; to be on the safe
side, it is advisable to seek proper authorization. Since such republica-
tion may affect the reputation of the original author(s), not only the copy-
right holders' consent, but also the true authors' consent (if different
from the true authors) should be sought.

(6) The human author(s) and, if different from these true author(s), the copy-
right holder(s) must be identified in the data. The person and/or institu-
tion who submit the data must not only mention their name and their postal
and/or email addresses but also a telephone and/or a telefax number at which
they can be reached. Telephone numbers may be kept confidential if so desi-
red; however, it is in the authors' and copyright holders' own interest that
they are accessible for feedback, criticism, etc., especially if comments on
their material are to be published. If the submitter is not identical to
the sole author and copyright holder, (s)he will be deemed to be entitled to
submit the data, but (s)he may be asked to submit additional assurance; in
this way, the list-owners, editors, and management of LISTSERV@HEARN will be
indemnified against claims on intellectual property infringement.

(7) CAVEAT EMPTOR: while the list-owners and editors will excercise all
reasonable care in judging and accomodating any data submitted to them,
no liability is accepted for any errors (in)directly caused by any data
obtained from the sublibrary. Nor is such liability accepted by the
LISTSERVer management staff, considering the costless nature of the
proposed service.

At present, BIOMCH-L is a rather open list, onto which everyone can subscribe
and post. For the file distribution service, an editorial function will be
necessary, and we would welcome any assistance from the BIOMCH-L readership
in this respect.

We look forward to your reactions on this proposal, either posted onto the
list or privately mailed to either of us.

Ton van den Bogert
Herman J. Woltring


P.S.: Since we propose an academic service, it may be useful to mention that
EARN stands for European Academic Research Network. EARN is fully
integrated with the USA's BITNET and with Canada's NETNORTH, and it has
gateways to many other networks (commercial and academic) world-wide.
Because of this dual nature of networking, dual authorization by the
true author(s) and by the copyright owners is proposed.