to facilitate discussion and exchange of information among members of the North American Benthological Society and others interested in benthic science.
There is also more detailed documentation available.
Subscription is simple, and of course open to all interested. To start receiving postings to BENTHOS-L (and obtain the right to post to the list) simply send an email message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UOTTAWA.CA with the following line in the body of the message: "SUBSCRIBE BENTHOS-L Your_full_name".
Your subscription request will be sent to the listowner (Antoine Morin currently) for approval, and you should receive a notice when Antoine made the time to take care of his email. This step is one of the safeguards to prevent junk email from filling up your mailboxes and choking to death the University of Ottawa machines.
How to unsubscribe
You may leave the list at any time by sending a "SIGNOFF BENTHOS-L" command to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UOTTAWA.CA. You can also tell LISTSERV how you want it to confirm the receipt of messages you send to the list.
How to send a message to the list
To send a message to all the people currently subscribed to the list, just send mail to BENTHOS-L@LISTSERV.UOTTAWA.CA. This is called "sending mail to the list", because you send mail to a single address and LISTSERV makes copies for all the people who have subscribed. This address (BENTHOS-L@LISTSERV.UOTTAWA.CA) is also called the "list address". You must never try to send any command to that address, as it would be distributed to all the people who have subscribed. All commands must be sent to the "LISTSERV address", LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UOTTAWA.CA. It is very important to understand the difference between the two, but fortunately it is not complicated. The LISTSERV address is like a FAX number, and the list address is like a normal phone line. If you make your FAX call someone's regular phone number by mistake, it will be an unpleasant experience for him but you will probably be excused the first time. If you do it regularly, however, he will probably get upset and send you a nasty complaint. It is the same with mailing lists, with the difference that you are calling hundreds or thousands of people at the same time, so a lot more people get annoyed if you use the wrong number.
How to receive copies of your own messages
If you do not trust the system, send a "SET BENTHOS-L REPRO" command and LISTSERV will send you a copy of your own messages, so that you can see that the message was distributed and did not get damaged on the way. After a while you may find that this is getting annoying, especially if your mail program does not tell you that the message is from you when it informs you that new mail has arrived from BENTHOS-L. If you send a "SET BENTHOS-L ACK NOREPRO" command, LISTSERV will mail you a short acknowledgement instead, which will look different in your mailbox directory. With most mail programs you will know immediately that this is an acknowledgement you can read later. Finally, you can turn off acknowledgements completely with "SET BENTHOS-L NOACK NOREPRO".
How to access archived messages
Contributions sent to this list are automatically archived. You can get a list of the available archive files by sending an "INDEX BENTHOS-L" command to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UOTTAWA.CA. You can then order these files with a "GET BENTHOS-L LOGxxxx" command, or using LISTSERV's database search facilities. Send an "INFO DATABASE" command for more information on the latter.
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