Acceptable Use Policy for Mailing List

General Guidelines

SIGCIS members are encouraged to use our email list to transmit news and announcements. The list relays a copy of any email message sent to all SIGCIS members. Any registered SIGCIS member can sent a message to this list. If the email account used to send the message is subscribed to the list, the message will be automatically forwarded to all subscribers without the need for moderator approval.

SIGCIS exists primarily to facilitate contact between scholars and institutions working on the history of information technology. We believe that this is best accomplished by creating a peer-to-peer infrastructure. Keeping our email list open to all members is a key part of this initiative. Currently many topics of interest to members are not being shared on the listserv, so if you are able to provide information on any of the topics listed below then please do not hesitate to share with the rest of the SIGCIS community.

However, please not that we now have several hundred members. To avoid overwhelming our members with an excessive volume of email, we must also ask that you respect the list of topics not suitable for posting.

Only individual email accounts, with individual return addresses and "From" fields identifying their actual names, can post to the SIGCIS list. This means that messages from are fine, but messages from aren't. The SIGCIS members list should not be included as an address in other email distribution lists.

In general, the main list is not a place for involved or extended discussion. It would be better to use a single post to the main list to appeal for people with an interest in a particular topic (such as the challenge of teaching history of computing to computer science students, or the issues involved in mounting a museum exhibit on the history of software) and then ask people with an interest to reply directly to the sender, post in a discussion forum, or subscribe to a new SIGCIS list devoted to this specific topic. The Drupal system used by SIGCIS ( makes it easy to set up blogs, wikis, content collections, discussion forums, and new email lists to support extended discussion and collaboration on specific topics.

Topics suitable for posting to the

1. Announcements of new book or article publications in the history of information technology, with abstracts or informal summaries. These could come from the author themselves or from others. (Please only one announcement per book.)

2. Announcements of grant, fellowship or award opportunities related to the history of information technology.

3. Calls for papers for conferences or workshops related to the history of information technology or related areas of interest, such as business history, history of science, history of mathematics, and the like. Reminders to register or attend these events are also acceptable.

4. Appeals for answers to specific research questions. (But if the question is of very specialized interest, it might be more appropriate to identify likely experts from the SIGCIS directory and send more targeted inquiries.)

5. Suggestions for panel topics by those members interested in organizing panels or sessions for particular meetings.

6. Announcements and discussions regarding new or newly discovered resources for history of information technology research, including archival collections, web sites, reference guides, and digital libraries.

7. Invitations to join discussions of academic questions and debates within the history of information technology. (Protracted discussion should not take place on the list.)

8. Announcements relevant to the SIG itself, such as meetings, calls for volunteers, elections and other administrative business.

9. Notice of job vacancies in the history of information technology or closely related academic fields.

10. Book reviews of works relevant to the history of information technology, or links to online copies of such reviews.

11. New member introduction posts, including name, email address, web page, institutional affiliation, and a description of current research interests and activities related to the history of information technology.

12. News from or about SIG members, such as publications, new research projects, honors or awards, job changes, and notices of death or serious illness.

13. Suggestions for new SIGCIS activities or projects.

14. Announcements related to SHOT and SHOT annual meetings, including requests to share rooms or pool transport.

15. News of activities, plans, or accomplishments related to the history of information technology that are sponsored by other organizations. This includes speakers, exhibitions, workshops, publications, new archival collections, online resources, major grants received, etc. Organizations include, but are not limited to, the Computer History Museum, Charles Babbage Institute, Chemical Heritage Foundation, IT History Society, IEEE Computer Society, ACM, and SIAM.

Topics NOT suitable for posting to

1. Anything not explicitly allowed by the above.

2. Any messages seeking to buy, sell, exchange or obtain valuations for computer hardware or software.

3. Commercial solicitations, including publishers' promotional copy for books or other publications, even if related to the history of information technology, after a single initial announcement has been made.

4. Any message with an attachment of more than 100 KB. If you want to distribute a larger file, such as a picture or piece of research, please upload it to the web somewhere and forward a URL to the list.

5. Extended, open-ended discussion on a specific topic. It would be better to send an initial expression of interest to the entire list. If initial replies suggest an interest in further discussion, then the SIGCIS Web Infrastructure Officer (e-mail will be happy set up a specialized venue for further discussion, such as an online discussion forum or an opt-in email list for people interested in the specific topic.

6. Anything send AUTOMATICALLY from another email list. Individuals may forward specific messages of interest from their own user accounts. The SIGCIS list should never be subscribed to any other email list directly.

SIG members not complying with the list guidelines will have their list membership suspended or terminated as determined by the list moderator.