Re: Call for a vote of nonconfidence in the moderator of the AmSci Forum

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 10:00:37 -0400

On 10/7/08, Andy Powell <> wrote:

> I'm on several tens of mailing lists and this is the only one that is
> manually moderated at the per-message level (as far as I know).

Unmoderated listservs post everything they receive, automatically. For
moderated listservs, the moderator has to manually approve each
posting, having first read it to see whether it is on-topic for the

> So if spam is the reason for the current approach I suggest that someone
> looks into the technology to see if it can do better?

The reason this list is moderated is that it has a specific topic, and
a moderator keeps the list on topic. Software cannot do that. If it is
not done, members unsubscribe, as they do whenever the list goes

The present meta-discussion by a few of their notions about what
moderators should or should not do or be has already cost the Forum a
number of subscribers, including some longstanding ones. This Forum is
for the discussion of OA policy and practice. There are many very busy
policy-makers on the list who are there because they are interested in
that topic, and that topic alone. The moderator's role is to ensure
that they get what they want and need. If the present thread were not
one on whether or not I should continue to be the moderator of this
Forum, I would have invoked cloture on it several iterations ago, as
not addressed to the topic of this Forum.

I have instead proposed a vote, but I would like to ask the votes to
be sent off-line, not to flood the list. If I am not trusted to
collect and tally the votes, I will inquire -- offline -- whether
someone would be willing to serve as the receiver and compiler of the
votes and comments, to be transmitted to the Forum in one posting
after a designated interval has elapsed.

Stevan Harnad
Received on Tue Oct 07 2008 - 16:35:03 BST

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