SABR-L Policy Statement
Contents of this document
1. Purpose of this document.
- 1.1. History of this document.
- 1.2. Commenting on this document.
- 1.3. Acknowledgments.
- 2.1 Structure of the Internet Committee and Internet Committee Core Group.
- 2.2 Requirements for participation in SABR-L and SABR-ADMIN.
3. “Netiquette” and the lists.
- 3.1 Technical details and guidelines.
3.2 Personal attacks and defamatory material.
4. Appropriate and inappropriate topics for SABR-L.
5. Appropriate and inappropriate topics for SABR-ADMIN.
6. Role of the moderator.
7. Legal aspects of participation in SABR-L and SABR-ADMIN.
1. Purpose of this document
This document describes the policies pertaining to the operation of the SABR-L and SABR-ADMIN electronic mailing lists.
The SABR-L mailing list is a moderated forum which encourages and facilitates research and formation exchange among SABR members. The intent of the moderation policy is to ensure that SABR-L remains a high quality, low “noise” environment. SABR-L is considered an important part of furthering the objectives listed in SABR’s By-Laws.
SABR-L is moderated by a principal moderator (currently Gary Collard), assisted by a stable of relief moderators. The role of the moderator is to keep the list running smoothly and to screen posts for compliance with the list’s moderation policy. The moderatorship and the Internet Committee chairmanship are volunteer positions, so please be patient and understanding of any delays you might experience in correspondence.
The companion list, SABR-ADMIN, is an unmoderated list for the discussion of issues regarding the operation of SABR-L, the contents of this policy statement and activities of the Internet Committee.
1.1 History of this document:
This is version 2.0 of this document. This version supersedes version 1.0 which was approved by the Board at their September, 1999 meeting.
(Version 1.0 was titled “SABR-L: Moderation Policy and Notes to Subscribers”.)
This version augments the content of version 1.0 by adding an expanded section on “netiquette”, directly addressing the purpose and role of SABR-ADMIN, and more clearly delineating he procedures for addressing abuse of list privileges.
1.2 Commenting on this document:
Any suggestions on this policy may be made to the Internet Core Group (see 2.1) either via the SABR-ADMIN list, or directly to the Committee Chair (currently F.X. Flinn).
This document, prepared by Ted Turocy and amended by the SABR Executive Board, is the direct and indirect product of the work of many dedicated SABR members. Seamus Kearney and F.X. Flinn, in the course of moderating the list over the first four years of its existence, helped
to refine the policy into its present form in the day-to-day operation of the list. Doug Pappas, in his role as SABR pro-bono legal counsel, has contributed towards the legal aspects mentioned herein. Finally,
this policy as also benefited from the comments and suggestions of former IC Chair Ted Hathaway, other members of the Internet Committee Core Group, and public discussion on SABR-ADMIN.
2.1 Structure of the Internet Committee:
Participation in the Internet Committee is open to any SABR member in good standing. Discussions of the committee at large take place on the SABR-ADMIN list (described further below).
[Revised to remove Board Liaison to the Internet Committee and add a second Member at-large as approved by the SABR Executive Board on June 25, 2000; revised to add forum administrator and co-moderator May 2001]
The Internet Committee Core Group is designated by the Board to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Internet Committee and SABR on the Internet, and to advise the Board on organizational issues pertaining to SABR’s presence on the Internet. The Internet Core Group consists of the following seven positions:
Internet Committee Chair (Flinn)
SABR-L co-moderator (Collard)
SABR.org Webmaster (Munk)
IC Member at-large 1 (Nelson)
IC Member at-large 2 (Wendt)
SABR Forums Administrator (Carrano)
SABR-L co-moderator (Levine)
All positions in the IC Core Group are board appointed except the member at-large 2 who is selected by the other four members of the IC Core Group.
2.2 Requirements for participation in SABR-L and SABR-ADMIN:
Participation in SABR-L is available to all current SABR members in good standing, as verified by the SABR office.
By subscribing to SABR-L and/or SABR-ADMIN, subscribers agree to adhere to the policies outlined in this document and to conduct themselves accordingly. Abuse of list privileges-either by repeated failure to abide by these policies, or by abusing use of server facilities-will result in revocation of posting privileges to the list(s) in question for a period of up to thirty (30) days by a majority vote of the Internet Core Group. Second and subsequent violations will result in revocation of posting privileges for a period of up to ninety (90) days, again by a majority vote of the Internet Core Group.
In the case of violations of this policy which have a broader impact on SABR, or which are repeated in nature, the Internet Core Group may vote to present the Executive Board with a recommendation to suspend or terminate all list privileges of an abusive subscriber.
3. “Netiquette” and the lists
Over the past twenty-plus years, the users of Internet discussion have developed an informal code called “netiquette” (“net etiquette”), which addresses issues which are unique to the electronic medium.
Participants in SABR-L are expected to adhere to these principles, which are outlined in this section.
3.1 Technical details and guidelines:
All posts to SABR-L should be written in clear, concise English, with proper grammar and accurate spelling. The use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum; when abbreviation is necessary, they should be either well-known (such as etc.), or explained on their first use in your post.
Conciseness is a key attribute of a good post. There is no set ceiling on the maximum acceptable post length, but posts over 100 lines in length will be scrutinized. One good technique is to break up very
long posts into a series of shorter missives spread over a few days. Try to trim material quoted from previous posts as much as possible; the standard in this regard is that at least 50% of the lines in your post should be new material (in other words, material quoted from previous posts should be kept to less than half the total length of your message).
Standard capitalization and punctuation make a large difference in the readability of a post. TYPING IN ALL CAPITALS is considered to be “shouting” ; it is a good practice to limit use of all capitals to words which you wish to emphasize.
Keep in mind that SABR-L subscribers use a variety of different programs on different computer systems to read their email. Many email programs (such as Outlook and Outlook Express) have a feature that allows you to include extra formatting information in your message, via HTML. This feature allows you to create messages which are very attractive if the recipient uses a mail reader program which can understand the additional codes; other programs, however, render the message unreadable. As a result, all posts to SABR-L must be in plain text only so they can reach the broadest possible audience.
The above restriction precludes any attachments (such as Microsoft Word documents, spreadsheets, and so forth) from being posted to the list. If you have such larger items, or long tabular data, which you wish to distribute, it is considered good netiquette to post a brief descriptive message to the list and to invite interested readers to contact you off-list to receive the full content. Be aware that Word and Excel files, among others, can also carry viruses; be sure that your are not spreading them in the files you send out.
3.2 Personal attacks and defamatory material:
It is part of SABR’s agreement for the use of L-Soft’s mail server facilities that we do not use SABR-L or SABR-ADMIN to transmit any defamatory or illegal materials. The standards for SABR-L and SABR-ADMIN are higher: personal attacks of any type, against SABR-L readers. SABR
members or any other individuals, are never appropriate for SABR-L and are subject to sanctions described in 2.2 of this document.
It is key to remember that many contextual clues available in face-to-face discussion, such as tone of voice and facial expression, are lost in the electronic forum. As a poster, try to be alert for
phrasing that might be misinterpreted by your audience to be offensive; as a reader, remember to give the benefit of the doubt and not to take umbrage too easily. There are many instances in which a particular choice of words or phrasing can come across as being a personal attack where none was intended.
Finally, the contents of personal communications, either directly quoted or attributed, are not to be distributed to either SABR-L or SABR-ADMIN without the expressed permission of the person(s) quoted. Personal communications, even to a small group of people, are to be considered confidential unless otherwise indicated.
4. Appropriate and inappropriate topics for SABR-L
Most concisely, the test for whether a post is appropriate for SABR-L is: “Does this message contribute substantively to baseball research?” This contribution can be direct or indirect: posing a question to be researched, asking for research assistance, providing raw data or citations, or discussing and constructively critiquing existing research. Since it is not possible to rigorously define what is or is
not appropriate according to this test, the moderator must exercise discretion in applying the standard. In general, a broad interpretation of “research related” is used. Certain types of posts fall outside these lines. SABR-L is not a forum for general baseball chat. This restriction is designed to manage
list volume and to help focus discussion on the research mission of SABR. There are many other good general discussion lists available on the Internet; SABR-L is intended to target the research niche.
SABR-L is not a promotional environment. Advertising of products, Web sites, etc., whether for profit or not-for-profit, is not permitted. At the moderator’s discretion, brief one-time announcements for products or services of legitimate research interest and usefulness may be allowed. It is considered appropriate to post a URL to a page which specifically and directly answers a question posted on the list (for example, it would be permissible to post a link to a page containing home-road
splits, even on a site which has advertising or other commercial content; however, it would not be appropriate to post the URL of the main page of the site). The moderator reserves the right to limit the
frequency of such announcements by any individual or group. In keeping with SABR-L’s research mission, posting to SABR-L should be treated as if your are preparing content for a publishable article.
This includes posting information that is, to the best of your knowledge, complete and accurate at the time you post. Any errors or ambiguities you catch later should be acknowledged and corrected
on-list, since the list archives are considered to be a valuable reference for research information.
5. Appropriate and inappropriate topics for SABR-ADMIN
The SABR-ADMIN list has been designated as the appropriate forum for discussing only issues relating to the moderation policy on SABR-L and SABR’s presence on the Internet.
In order to encourage free discussion, SABR-ADMIN is an unmoderated forum. However, off-topic and inappropriate posts will be subject to sanctions discussed in 2.2 of this document. In particular, SABR-ADMIN posts, while limited to the topics listed above, are subject to the same standards for content and style as SABR-L posts, as described in Sections 3 and4 of this document.
6. Role of the SABR-L Moderator
When a post is submitted to SABR-L, it is forwarded by the server to the moderator for evaluation. The moderator may take one of three actions on the message:
approve it for distribution to the list.
reject it as inappropriate for SABR-L.
return it to the poster with suggestions or requests for revision.
Note that the moderator does not edit messages or forward messages to the list; revised posts should be submitted afresh to the SABR-L address.
Typically, you should allow a period of 36 hours for either your post to appear on the list, or to receive notification that your post has not been approved. After 36 hours, you can safely assume your message was lost in transit, and you should resubmit your post to the list. The moderator performs no checks on posts to verify factual or logical accuracy. While he may point out gross errors in factual data
and request the poster to revise his post, the moderator does not act as an editor. Also moderation is not a vehicle for censorship of individuals and/or opinions, and the moderator’s decision not to approve
a post should not be taken personally.
7. Legal aspects of participation in SABR-L and SABR-ADMIN
By submitting a post to SABR-L or SABR-ADMIN, the poster grants SABR permission to distribute your message to the current subscribers, and to keep a copy of the post in the server archives for later retrieval by subscribers. Other rights pertaining to the post remain with the original author, and you may not redistribute or retransmit any posts by others, in whole or in part, without the express consent of the original author.
The messages appearing on SABR-L and SABR-ADMIN contain the opinions and views of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of SABR, its officers, or the Internet Committee.