Invitation to Form an IMS Group
This is an invitation from IMS to the organizers of various groups of people with interests related to probability and statistics, to register their group as an IMS Group. The IMS Groups Program is intended to promote professional communication amongst groups of scholars with common interests, which might be region-specific, subject-specific, or both, or otherwise defined. The groups should be largely self-organizing within a simple administrative framework provided by IMS. The structure is intended to parallel that of Yahoo Groups and Google Groups and to provide similar functionality for participants, including management of email lists, hosting of suitable web pages, and in future web forums and wikis. The structure of such services will be specifically directed towards a scholarly community, with potential for added value from aggregation of content associated with different groups sharing a common interest, such as probability groups worldwide, or geographically defined groups within Europe.
The network of groups so created is intended to reflect and enhance the structure of professional communication among researchers in probability and statistics, and to increase the visibility of this network in the international scientific community.
Groups without fiscal structure may register as an IMS Group at no cost, while organizations with a fiscal structure may acquire IMS Group status as a benefit of IMS Organizational Membership. Such organizations may take advantage of IMS Group services which might not be readily available within the organization’s own infrastructure. IMS intends to provide these services worldwide to a large number of groups to achieve economies of scale, and to add value to the structure of individual groups by interconnection and aggregation of data from various IMS Groups. There will be zero cash flow between IMS and IMS Groups apart from what is involved in regular membership of IMS by individuals and organizations associated with the group. The intention of the program is to facilitate self-organization of existing informal groups, and to provide information services to such groups with a minimum of administrative overhead both for IMS and the group.
Services provided by IMS to an IMS Group
Immediate Services IMS will provide technical support for the any of the following services which may be desired by the group:
- a group email list (IMS will take all reasonable precautions to protect the privacy of such lists, and will not make them available to other parties)
- web archiving of messages to a group email list
- web hosting of suitably structured documents such as conference announcements and job advertisements
- links from the IMS website to web pages maintained by group organizers or group members
- for groups hosting an open access electronic journal of suitable quality, an agreement to list the journal on the IMS website as an IMS affiliated journal
The list of all IMS Groups and their coordinators and purposes will be provided on the IMS Website, with suitable classification by geography, group interest, and perhaps other attributes.
Planned Future Services
IMS hopes in future to
- aggregate email addresses across consenting IMS Groups and deduplicate such lists to create larger groups for various purposes
- promote dedicated views of collections of articles or conference proceedings on arXiv associated with members IMS Groups
- provide a web forum service
- host a wiki service
- provide automated linking of speaker’s names in conference announcements to their homepages or listings of their publications
- aggregate data from meetings such as speaker lists, titles, abstracts
- provide technical assistance for organization of conferences and other activities by the group, such as easily editable templates for web pages for conference organizers
- provide project management tools such as the system supporting this invitation to decrease the administrative burden of conference organization
- provide other such services through which some economy of scale or professional purpose may be achieved
- dedicated searches over a set of urls maintained by the Group Coordinator in cooperation with IMS Web staff
The general purpose of such services will be to establish the identity of the group, to inform members of the group about the professional activities of others in the group, and to advertize the group’s activities to the broader community of IMS members.
Service provided by an IMS Group to IMS.
IMS expects group coordinators to encourage participating individuals, and associated departments and formal research groups, to become members of IMS, and to enlarge the group whenever possible to include others sharing the interest of the group. IMS expects to be acknowledged as a supporter of the group in conference announcements or similar communications made by the group, with a link to the IMS website provided on any website created by the Group. IMS also expects coordinators to allow all email messages to the list related to IMS Group services to carry a brief footer text to be provided from time to time by IMS which might indicate the activity of the group was supported by IMS, with a link the the IMS website, or provide advertisement of programs or services offered by IMS.
To avoid spamming, IMS would not expect to distribute broadcast messages through the regional group lists. Rather, group list recipients would be reminded from time to time how to subscribe to the IMS e-bulletin.
Please see www.imstat.org/groups/setup.html for details of how to set up an IMS Group. If you have ideas for IMS groups which you would be glad to participate in but do not wish to coordinate yourself, please let me know, preferably with suggestions of suitable coordinators, and I will be glad to follow up.
—Jim Pitman, President of IMS.