AnGenMap

Frequently Asked Questions

Version 7: Oct 06, 2017
Last update: 02:47pm Jan 12, 2018

List of Contents

  1. What is AnGenMap?
  2. Why the name "AnGenMap"?
  3. When did AnGenMap start and how does it work?
  4. How can I subscribe to AnGenMap?
  5. How can I un-subscribe from AnGenMap?
  6. What's the difference between "angenmap-requestanimalgenome.org" and "angenmapanimalgenome.org"?
  7. Who can post to the AnGenMap listserv?
  8. What can be posted on AnGenMap?
  9. Why I cannot post a recruitment advertisement on AnGenMap list while some others can? Is there a charge?
  10. How can I post to AnGenMap list?
  11. What's the official language on AnGenMap?
  12. I have multiple emailboxes. I want to be able to send my posts from all of them but don't want to receive the list mails multiple times in every mailbox. Is that possible?
  13. Why the listserv does not allow attachment in the posting mails?
  14. I need to share a PDF (or .doc, .ppt, etc) file as part of my post to AnGenMap but email attachment is not allowed on the listserv. What can I do?
  15. Why the listserv does not allow font formatting in the posting mails?
  16. How can I disable the styled text (html) in my email software?
  17. Why my post to the list always gets returned, complaining that my mail contains "attachments" although I didn't use any attachment?
  18. What is "hyper text"? I got a complaint from the listserv - is it because I have a URL in my email?
  19. What is "plain text"? What's the best practice to format plain text emails?
  20. I sent my post in plain text. But the mail body look screwy when distributed through the server, why?
  21. Why mails returned from the list contain strange characters, while everything looked fine on my computer when I sent them to the list?
  22. Are there alternatives that I can post to AnGenMap without going through all the problems with my email software?
  23. An URL in my post got truncated, why? What can I do?
  24. I signed up AnGenMap Directory, however I cannot login, and it always complains my login/password incorrect. Why?
  25. I receive AnGenMap list mails. But when I tried to logon the Member's Directory, it says my email address does not exist, why?
  26. I subscribed to AnGenMap list and receive list mails alright. But when I try to post to the list, it complains that I am not a subscriber, why?
  27. How can I change my email address on AnGenMap list?
  28. I already subscribed to AnGenMap by email to the "angenmap-request", can I switch to managing my subscriptions with the Members Directory web tools?
  29. Tips: How to write effective emails on AnGenMap?
  30. What is spam email and how AnGenMap deals with it?
  31. What is the listserv moderated mode and how it affects my posts?
  32. I registered to the AnGenMap Members Directory, why I cannot see all other members?
  33. What is Mail Digest on AnGenMap and how can I use it?
  34. How can I reference AnGenMap?

  1. What is AnGenMap?

    AnGenMap is a mailing list communication channel designed to serve as a information sharing and discussion channel among researchers in the areas related but not limited to, animal gene mapping, genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. See the User Guide for more details.

  2. Why the name "AnGenMap"?

    It is an acronym from An(imal) Gen(e) Map(ping), a term popular in the early 1990s on genome mapping activities in the animal breeding/genetics community as a reflection of the research focus at the time. The list name is preserved although the genome research has evolved much beyond "mapping" in the following years.

  3. When did AnGenMap start and how does it work?

    AnGenMap was started in late 1993 as an internet discussion group (a listserv that sends group emails to members) within the U.S. Pig Genome community for gene mappers and interested individuals. It soon became a defacto discussion group among all animal genomics scientists world wide. The list name ANGENMAP was originally designated for "animal gene mappers". In 20+ years the animal genome research has evolved much beyond "mapping" and the AnGenMap has been serving the livestock animal genomics/genetics community as a public communication channel along. The list started with less than a hundred people and now it has more than two thousand subscribers from over 40 countries/regions following a steady growth during which a number of improvements were made when a number of peripheral components were developed to ease the use of the listserv: a mail archive, a web site to interface user activities, a member's directory, a mail digest service, web posting forms, etc.

  4. How can I subscribe to AnGenMap?

    You can sign up the AnGenMap Members Directory and manage your subscription through your profile manager.

    OR

    Email a list command to the angenmap-request listserv to add your email address to the mailing list. This is to simply email a key word "subscribe" as its "Subject", to the listserv address, as in:

    To: angenmap-requestanimalgenome.org
    Subject: subscribe
    You can put "subscribe" in the mail body, otherwise leave the mail body empty because everything in your mail will be treated by the listserv as "command" key words.

  5. How can I un-subscribe from AnGenMap?

    You can sign-off the list by managing your profile on the AnGenMap Members Directory if you have a directory entry.

    OR

    To unsubscribe from the list, simply send a key word "unsubscribe" as its "Subject", to the listserv address, like:

    To: angenmap-requestanimalgenome.org
    Subject: unsubscribe
    Leave the mail body empty, or put "unsubscribe" as the only word as mail body. Do not leave any other words in the mail body because everything in the mail will be treated as "command" key words by the listserv. Excessive amount of non-listserv-key-words (such as a signature) will cause the listserv panic and leave your request unprocessed.

    Note, never send your "subscribe" email to the list post address because thousands of people will read your mail and it does actually unsubscribe you.

  6. What's the difference between "angenmap-requestanimalgenome.org" and "angenmapanimalgenome.org"?

    AnGenMap is operated on listserv, which is a software that automates many mailing list operations, such as subscription, unsubscription, process a mail for distribution, retrieve a posted item from its archive, etc.

    "angenmap-requestanimalgenome.org" is an automated listserv deamon, that handles your subscription/unsubscription and other requests. It ONLY ACCEPTS COMMAND KEY WORDS such as "help", "info", "sub", "unsub", etc in the "Subject" or mail body to automatically process your requests. All your interactions with the listserv are by emails of these commands. It always responds to you faster than a human operator. Please note that this address will treat every word in your email as a "command" (See your subscription "welcome" message or this help menu for reference. If you send a human-read email to this address, the listserv will not process it (chances are that such mail will be forwarded to a human list manager).

    Some of the jobs by the -request daemon now can be done via web interfaced user profile manager. See FAQ #27 for details.

    If you do need to talk to a person for help on the list, email to the listmaster.

    "angenmapanimalgenome.org" is the list address that takes your posts to distribute to all list subscribers. See FAQ #8 and #29 for what can be posted on the list.

  7. Who can post to the AnGenMap listserv?

    All, and only, those legitimately registered users who are currently subscribed to the list with a valid email address can post directly to the AnGenMap list.

    This helps to maintain the list free from spam emails (given all registered users are with a good heart for the central theme of AnGenMap).

  8. What can be posted on AnGenMap?

    Given the scope of AnGenMap (see #1), this list is dedicated to genomics/genetics RESEARCH TOPICS and related activities. Some hints on the subjects:

    • Scientific questions, replies and discussions
    • Research problems, frustrations, and solutions
    • Information sharing (conferences, meetings, workshops, short courses, position openings, etc.)
    • Related issues that may worth to share with the community
    • This is NOT a study room. REFRAIN FROM posting questions that can be solved in a Genetics/Genomics 101 classroom (see #29 for more hints)
    • This is NOT a job-seek or personal career development forum. DO NOT post your personal information, resume, or similar materials.

    Keep in mind that when you post, you are talking to over 2000 people. Thus please keep your message brief and to the points. DO NOT simply "reply" to a previous post to pop up something else when you do not really meant to do so.

  9. Why I cannot post a recruitment advertisement AnGenMap list while some others can? Is there a charge?

    There is no charge for posting a recruitment advertisement, but it has to be posted by those who directly hire (employer). The reasons are, that

    - we deem the direct hirer as part of the community;

    - we deem the head hunting type of posts as commercial activity.

  10. How can I post to AnGenMap list?

    You have to send your post to the list as an email. The posted mail has to come from your emailbox which is currently subscribed to the list.

    If your post to the list does not go through the list smoothly, please see items 12-16 below.

  11. What's the official language on AnGenMap?

    We have not set an "official language" on AnGenMap. However, while you may write to AnGenMap in any language, please be aware that the majority of the list members reads English. Non-English posts will take longer to be processed by the list moderators if possible at all.

    The list morderators/maintaners will communicate with subscribers in English only.

  12. I have multiple emailboxes. I wish to posts from any of them but don't want to receive multiple copies of list mails. Is that possible?

    Surely it's possible. You can subscribe the email address you want to receive list mails (this will be called your "primary address"), and add all other email addresses as "alternative addresses". This can be accomplished by managing your AnGenMap Directory profile. Or, you can email all your alternative addresses to the listmaster for us to add them to a grace list for you.

  13. Why the listserv does not allow attachment in the posting mails?

    This is part of our efforts to eliminate malicious attachments that may be passed on to hundreds of users, as well as to accommodate all email reading software on the internet (e.g. "pine", "mutt", "elm" among others can only open plain text (ascii) files. Complete plain text mails are also easier for database archive/ searches.

    If you DO have a need to forward a PDF file or a template in DOC or XLS file format, the preferred practice is to put the file on a web site, and cite the URL in your mail (e.g. Use the NAGRP File Sharing Platform. See FAQ #14 below for details).

    In rare events where a non-plain-text document is necessary to aid the discussions such as a graph or picture, we can accommodate on case by case basis.

  14. I need to share a PDF (or .doc, .ppt, etc) file as part of my post to AnGenMap but email attachment is not allowed on the listserv. What can I do?

    Yes you are correct, that email attachment is not allowed on posts to AnGenMap. However now there is a good news - we have developed a web based File Sharing Platform in 2010 to facilitate the sharing of files. Here is how to use it with AnGenMap posts in 2 simple steps:

    1. Go to https://www.animalgenome.org/cgi-bin/util/fileshare
         Upload your file (it will return you a unique URL for downloading it)
    2. Copy and paste the URL into your email to AnGenMap.
    Users reading your email will be able to follow the link (URL) to get the file.

  15. Why the listserv does not allow font formatting in the posting mails

    This is called styled text or hyper text (html formatted) mail. HTML content is often sent as attachment in addition to a regular mail body by some mail software. The attachment is found the number one vehicle to blame for spreading computer virus and worms. On a mailing list, even one passage of such mail would mean a large bad effect. The duplicated email body also adds to the internet traffic bandwidth.

  16. How can I disable the styled text in my email software?

    Usually you can disable such behavior by changing its default settings as in the most popular email software:

    Microsoft Outlook:
    "Tools"
       "Options"
         "Mail Format"
           "Message format"
             "Compose in this message format"
               "Plain text"

    Eudora:
    "Tools"
       "Options"
         "Styled Text"
           "Send plain text only"

    GMail:
    "Compose Mail"
       "Plain Text"
    (Toggle with "Rich formatting")

    Yahoo Mail:
    "New"
       "Plain Text"
    (Toggle with "Rich text")

    AOL Mail:
    "Compose"
       "Switch to plain text editor"
    (Toggle with "Switch to rich text editor")

    Each email software has a way for users to make this choice. If above suggests does not solve your problem or your email software is something else, see "Configuring Mail Clients to Send Plain ASCII Text" for more information. Or, you may need to consult your software manual for specifics.

  17. Why my post to the list always gets returned, complaining that my mail contains "attachments" although I didn't use any attachment?

    If you did not send attachment but the listserv complained so, it is most likely that your email software duplicated the mail body as HTML ("styled text", or "hyper text") and sent as "attachment" in addition to the normal plain text mail body.

    Sometimes you may not realize but if you have a signature formatted in style which will be sent as attachment (.html or .doc)

    See #16 for helps.

  18. What is "hypertext"? I got a complaint from the listserv - is it because I have a URL in my email?

    Hypertext is text displayed on a computer with references (hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can immediately follow by a mouse click. A hyperlink text is usually embedded surrounding target key words, thus you don't normally "see" them directly. Hypertext may also contain images, styles (bold, color, italicize, ...) and presentational devices (movie, music, etc).

    A URL or any web link is not a hypertext by itself. Just like any other text, it can be sent normally as long as they are put as is. For example, mouse-over the two lines below to see the difference:

    When this hypertext is viewed for "page source" on a browser, this will appear like:
    <a href="https://www.animalgenome.org">https://www.animalgenome.org</a>

    Some email software automatically embed URL or email address as hyper text if you don't specifically set your outgoing mail to be in plain text mode. On the other hand, some email software or mail agent don't know how to deal with hypertext, therefore simply display the source text like the example shown above, presenting a problem for users (see #16 for HOWTO avoid this).

  19. What is "plain text"? What's the best practice to format plain text emails?

    In contrast to "hypertext", "plain text" is pure text that does not contain any text formatting characters. Plain text is our old friend -- it is usually mono-spaced, type-writer styled. See HOWTO Edit Messages for many useful hints. If you want to make your post writing more impressive and effective, please read How to Write Effective Mailing List Email and Mailing List Manners.

    Briefly, if you wish to let your text appear in the format as you typed, these tips may be useful:

    • Always separate paragraphs with an empty line
    • Start a bullet-point line with a space, or any of these symbols (  o , or  - , or  = , or  + , or  _ , or  * ) as in:
      o Last day for online registration: July 28, 2008.
      o The deadline for abstract will be March 5, 2008.
       - Abstract must be in English
       - Abstract must be within 250 words
    • Precede your signature block with a line that starts with and contains only two dashes ("--"), as in:
      --
      Nick Jr., PhD
      Senior Investigator,
      Blue's Clues Club,
      Animal Kingdom Institute
    • You could also keep your paragraph to appear "as is" by leaving two (2) empty lines before it.
    • Do not use underscore ("_") to form a decorative line, as that's often seen in commercial mail foot appendix which will be removed by the server.
  20. I sent my post in plain text. But the mail body look screwy when distributed through the listserv, why?

    Traditional plain text format on a computer screen allows 80 characters per line. Lines longer than 80 characters may or may not be wrapped depending on the displaying software.

    Your text editor may automatically wrap lines when it's longer than your applications window width when you typed them. In other words, the line-breaks are not at where it appear on your screen ("soft-break"; it's on your local viewer only) but at where you hit the "return" ("hard-break"; it's part of the text string). Internally they are sent as long lines with hard-breaks and shown on other computer screens applying their line wraps while also displaying your hard-breaks. If the user's text viewer does not implement a line-wrapper, they will show as longer lines.

    To help solving the problem the listserv implemented a line wrapper to remove "hard-breaks" within a paragraph and implement new breaks pursuing default 80 character per line window width. They should be displayed as plain text only.

    Follow tips in #18 to format a better mail body.

  21. Why mails returned from the list contain strange characters, while everything looked fine on my computer when I sent them to the list?

    The most probable cause for strange characters in a mail otherwise looks normal is that the characters (letters, numbers, symbols) making up the mail are not uniformly encoded in the same character set. For example part of a mail body might have been coded in Western European (iso-8859-1 standard) or in UTF-8 (Unicode), CP1251, while the rest in standard ascii. This usually happens when you copy and paste text from a rich-character support software like Microsoft Word, especially on a computer that supports non-US standard ascii char sets.

    AnGenMap listserv supports the US standard ascii char sets (English; 7-bit). Often, the listserv receives posts containing greek letters, euro (€), yuan (¥) signs among other characters that could be 8-bit coded (non US-standard English keybord). The listserv normally transmits mails "as is" but sometimes odds can occur when the mail has to be process through a few software for posting where only US-standard char sets are supported.

    Sometimes some seemingly common characters can be coded differently by different operating systems. For example single (') or double (") quotation marks are shown as 'Â and Ã, bullets are shown as black diamonds (�; Other strange symbols like ’, Â, â, ½, ¿, «, etc.). The worse can happen when attempt is made to edit the text on or near them - lines can get "wobble", and question marks (?) often shows up where there suppose to be text.

    TO SENDERS: You can effectively avoid these by spelling out non-US ascii characters, letters, or symbols, e.g. "alpha" for 'α', "euro" for '€', etc. One useful method to "clean out" your text is to use a primitive plain text editor, such as MS Notepad, Apple's TextEdit, Unix editors like nano.

    TO VIEWERS: Enable your OS to support more char coding systems.

  22. Are there alternatives that I can post to AnGenMap without going through all the problems with my email software

    Yes. In 2007, we developed a web-based post submitter as an alternative to emails for you to post to AnGenMap. Your post will be displayed "as is" as shown on the submitting form. You need to login at https://www.animalgenome.org/community/angenmap/dir to use it online.

    In 2013, web posting forms are available on multiple pages on the AnGenMap web site. Any user can submit posts as long as his/her email address is subscribed to the list.

  23. An URL in my post got truncated, why? What can I do?

    Sending long URL in email can be a problem not only on AnGenMap, but also in common email communications, where the "clickable URL" may be truncated, or some strange characters are inserted, or new-line breaks are forced, that causes your browser to display errors such as "not found". Often you can "recover" the URL by copy and paste to piece it back into one single line from multiple lines for your browser (be sure to take out all white spaces if there are any). (Very rarely, on some old browsers, you may need to manually change escaped URL codes back to what they represent, for example, '%3D' back to '=' sign, '%7E' back to '~' sign, etc. See "URL Encoding" for more details.

    Since this is a common problem for many, there is a convenient utility on the internet called TinyURL ( http://tinyurl.com/) which can help you to safely alias a long URL into a short one to go in your email. What it does is simply to forward the aliased short URL call to the real page location. For example by using "http://tinyurl.com/5uql59f" you will come back to this page.

    We also try to fix the archived copy for problems like truncated or broken URL. Users may find it useful to check out the archived post on the AnGenMap archive server:

  24. I signed up AnGenMap Directory, however I cannot login, and it always complains my login/password incorrect. Why?

    When you first sign up the AnGenMap Directory, your account is registered but not activated until you login to complete your profile/settings with a temporary password the system send to your email box. If you fail to get that confirmation email (eg. if your email address was not typed correctly, or the mail went to your spam folder, etc), please ask the Helpdesk for help.

  25. I receive AnGenMap list mails. But when I tried to logon the Member's Directory, it says my email address does not exist, why?

    Note that the AnGenMap mail listserv and AnGenMap Directory are two separate services although the AnGenMap Directory has functions to support user interactions with AnGenMap mail listserv

    It is is most likely you subscribed to the listserv by emailing to the "angenmap-request" address, not through the Directory forms.

    The Member's Directory is a parallel tool to the listserv, their functions are coupled in several aspects, but not fully integrated. You will need to register on the Member's Directory and start to use the web tools to manage your profiles following this link.

    If you indeed registered with the Member's Directory and are also receiving list mails, it's most likely that your email address receiving email is different from the one you registered to the Directory. Please be aware that even if you use only one single emailbox, your email address to the outside world may show up in different variants (see #25 above for more details).

  26. I subscribed to AnGenMap list and receive list mails alright. But when I try to post to the list, it complains that I am not a subscriber, why?

    It's most likely that your mailbox may have multiple email address identities, and your mailbox receives mails on both but sends outgoing mails on only one of them. If that's the case, your out-going mail address may not be identical to the one you subscribed to AnGenMap. For example, these two email addresses
    smrogerwisc.edu
    smrogervetpath.wisc.edu
    are valid for your mailbox "smroger", however, the sendmail program may use smrogervetpath.wisc.edu in your "From:" mail header of your out-going mails, while you have only smrogerwisc.edu on the AnGenMap list.

    To solve the problem, you may want to find out which one is currently on the list, and add the alternatives to the list so the AnGenMap list will recognize both (see #11 above for more details).

  27. How can I change my email address on AnGenMap list?

    You can change your email address by

      Step 1: Login AnGenDIR with your current (old) email address;
      Step 2: Change the "Primary email" to your new email address
      Step 3: Check "subscription" box on the lower part to have the new address subscribed.
    Logout, and now you can login with the new mail address.

    Alternatively, if you did not sign up the AnGenDIR, you can change your AnGenMap subscription email address (only) in these two simple steps: (1) send an "unsubscribe" email to the listserv from your old address, and (2) send a "subscribe" email to the listserv from the new address (see #4 and #5 as how to do this).

    For your information, if your old email account is terminated and you don't have access to it, the listserv will automatically remove it from AnGenMap list upon receiving certain number of bounces.

  28. I already subscribed to AnGenMap by email to the "angenmap-request", can I switch to managing my subscriptions with the Members Directory web tools?

    Yes. If you already subscribed to the list but not yet on the AnGenMap Members Directory, you can signup the web form using the same email address, and start to manage your listserv subscriptions through your profile web interface.

  29. Tips: How to write effective emails on AnGenMap?

    Consider there are over 2000 members on the AnGenMap list, to write effective discussion emails would help to maintain a useful email forum for everyone as well as to meet your goals more effectively. Your own email style is perfectly fine as long as it matches the level of formality of the AnGenMap audience you are familiar with. For new, especially first time users of this forum, here are a few tips that may be useful:

    1. Make a descriptive and meaningful subject.
    2. Write with focus and show your expectations.
    3. Be specific, avoid primitive questions.
    4. Post questions when you exhausted your own resources. Clearly describe how you approached the problem will help others to focues on the actual problem rather than guessing what was asked (few would have time to do so).
    5. Consider use of proper greetings and a signature to show respect. Properly identify yourself helps to get replies.
    6. Show respect and restraint.
    7. Format your mail for clarity.
    8. "Reply" only to follow the same topic; Don't start a new topic by replying on a unrelated post. In addition, quote only in context with your post.
    Further reference:
    1. Writing Effective E-Mail: Top 10 Tips (by Dennis G. Jerz and Jessica Bauer).
    2. 15 Tips for Writing Effective Email (by the "Think Simple Team").

  30. What is spam email and how AnGenMap deals with it?

    Cyber spam are known as unsolicited bulk, junk, or commercial emails. AnGenMap has zero tolerance on such posts. Since only legitimately registered users can post to the list, we want users to be aware that, any offending user will be PERMANENTLY removed from AnGenMap AND PROHIBITED from future registration to the list.

  31. What is the listserv moderated mode and how it affects my posts?

    A mailing list can be in unrestricted, restricted, or moderated mode in terms of the freedom of user's subscription OR posting activities on the listserv. Currently the AnGenMap list is in post moderated mode, meaning that any user can freely subscribe to the list, however, the list accepts post only from subscribed users and all posts are to be reviewed and approved by the list moderators before they can go out to list members.

    A moderated list is better controlled for improved post quality against unwanted mails. Since the list moderation is performed by people, users may expect some delays before a post is actually posted depending on the availability of the moderator(s) at the time.

  32. I registered to the AnGenMap Members Directory, why I cannot see a list of all other members?

    The AnGenMap Members Directory information is for members to look up someone of particular research interests and contact information for possible personal interactions with scientific merits. The member information within this Directory is not for download or viewing all at once. This policy is to protect member's information from being abusively used.

  33. What is Mail Digest on AnGenMap and how can I use it?

    For those of you who do not wish to receive instant email posts on the listserv, a new (Feb. 27, 2013) Mail Digest function is available for you. i.e. You can choose to receive weekly post summary instead.

    To use this function, login the AnGenMap members directory: https://www.animalgenome.org/community/angenmap/dir

    1. go to "update your profile"
    2. put your email address in the "Digest Email" box (in the middle section)
    3. put your email in "Alternative Email" box (if you wish to be able to post to the list)
    4. choose to Unsubscribe AnGenMap (at the bottom of the form)
    5. submit the form

    Once the form is submitted, allow 24 hours for the new setting to roll into the system. The "digest" summary will be sent every Friday.

    Note that the new AnGenMap Digest is different from the traditional listserv digest functions where all digested mails are piled to make a huge mail body. The AnGenMap Digest is only to send you a summary of the new posts, and relay your reading of the mails to the mail archive with a web link.

  34. How can I reference ANGENMAP?

    To cite ANGENMAP, for example, you may consider:

      National Animal Genome Research Program (NAGRP):
      "ANimal GENe MAPpers (AnGenMap) Discussion Group."
       URL: https://www.animalgenome.org/community/angenmap/,
       Created: October 10, 1993; Last updated: August 3, 2017
       with 2,962 members.
    

If there are issues not covered in this FAQ, please feel free to let us know.

by Zhiliang Hu
Version 0: May 16, 2007
Version 1: Nov 12, 2007
Version 2: Apr 28, 2008
Version 3: Sep 14, 2011
Version 4: Apr 26, 2012
Version 5: Mar 01, 2013
Version 6: Jun 21, 2015
Version 7: Oct 06, 2017
Last update: 02:47pm Jan 12, 2018

Web Access Statistics © 2003- NAGRP - Bioinformatics Coordination Program.
Contact: NAGRP Bioinformatics Team
Helpdesk