There are two main areas of UCLAN Scitech;
- Scitech Discussion List
- Scitech Forums
See: http://www.sciencetechnician.com/ for more information on how to join these areas
JISCMail Scitech Discussion List (Scitech-l)
The Scitech Discussion List is an email Discussion List for science and technology technicians in schools, academic schools, colleges and universities, and for those with similar professional interests.
The Scitech Listserver was the idea of Valery Chapman, who sadly passed away in 2009 and Dr. Peter K. Robinson, Associate Director Academic Quality, from the UCLan. The Listserver originally was hosted by UCLAN. The service is simplistic in its objctives. To provide an environment were both UK science and technology technicians can come together to disseminate, communicate and share information and best practice within the profession. It has been fufilling this objective extremely well during this ten year period with over 700 subscribers registered to the list and hundreds of emails both sent and received on a daily basis.
An Email Discussion List is simply a list of people (all with email access of some kind) who have some interest in common). When you "post a message" to the list, it gets sent to the List Sever which is held on a central computer server. Your message gets copied and then foward to everyone who is on the list. Therefore if there are 750 people subscribed to the discussion list then your message will be recieved by each person! This means in practice if you are subscribed to the Discussion list you will recieve many emails on a daily basis. There is the opportunity however, to just recieve a weekly email digest.
During 2011, Scitech-l underwent a complete change as well as moving house to The National Academic Mailing List Service, known as 'JISCMail', The Science and Technology facilities (http://www.stfc.ac.uk) currently operates and develops the JISCMail service on behalf of JISC
UCLAN Scitech Forums is the "sister" or companion website of the UCLAN Scitech-l Email Discussion list (see above).
What is the purpose of Scitech Forums?
UCLAN Scitech forums exist to allow technicians an opportunity to professionally collaborate with each other with the objective of disseminating and sharing best practice within the technician profession. It was set up in 2004. The "Forums" is a popular and frequently used resource by technicians. It was the idea of Dr. Peter K. Robinson who is Associate Director Academic Quality at the University of Central Lancashire. Dr. Peter Robinson is responsible for this website as administrator and Mr. Seamus Smith is currently appointed moderator.
Since Scitech Forums is a web based bulletin board, it has a more open structure, meaning that anybody who has an interest in our profession may choose to subscribe. This may suit those people who don't have easy access to email facilities at work or perhaps don't want to receive loads of emails regularly in their email inbox or perhaps wish to discuss professional issues in more detail. It is not easy to verify that all members are technicians so you should always exercise a higher level of caution when posting messages to the forum area.
Which do I choose?
The simple answer is you can choose either service or even be a member of both. Some technicians believe that it is better just to be a member of just one service. That is perfectly okay. This could be because they don't have the time to "flick back and forth" between the two services. However, both services use Internet technology is different ways.
The Dicussion list allows for "near real time" discussion on a wide range of topics. This appears to be extremely popular among the technician community and at times quite addictive! However, if you make a post today, it can be buried under several hundred other posts within a short period of time. This makes following conversations or threads difficult or disjointed, (though not entirely impossible) to do! Furthermore, some technicians dont like the idea of having many emails, some of which may be entirely irrelevant to their interest, arriving in their email inbox each day. The Discussion List only allows colleagues who have registered in specially prescribed way to use the service. This means that there is a high probability that the majority of people that you meet on Scitech-l are bone fide technicians.
Scitech Forums allows for longer conversations or threads to be carried out by technicians. All Posts start of as a Subject under this all conversations related to that subject is posted in chronological order under the main subject. The conversation can be as long as necessary. Furthermore, Scitech Forums allows users to use "emoticons". These are graphical images which allow users to express certain emotions within their specific post. the forums, unlike its sister Discussion List website also permits special formatting of text. For example bold and italics.