|Dear Scout Report Readers,
A promise we've always made to our readers is that the Scout Report distribution lists would not be used for anything except the distribution of the reports to our subscribers. However, occasionally over the last 5+ years we have overridden that promise in order to send you an important announcement or to make a special request such as the survey we sent you in 1996.
This is such a special request. It concerns the future publication of the four scout reports currently published by the Internet Scout Project: the general Scout Report, published every Friday, and the three subject-specific Scout reports, published biweekly: The Scout Report for Science & Engineering, the Scout Report for Social Sciences, and the Scout Report for Business & Economics.
The reports have always been "free to the end user" because the National Science Foundation has funded their production and distribution under a series of grants from the division of Advanced Networking Infrastructure and Research (ANIR). However, that funding will end after the current funding cycle runs its course in the Spring of 2000 and will not be renewed because the reports have proven their effectiveness so well that they can no longer be considered "research." Therefore, we are working hard to secure new funding so that we can continue to produce and distribute the reports for your use.
We are concentrating our efforts on both government and philanthropic sources. We are confident we will find the right funding source, but your brief input on any or all of the three points below will make our job easier and help us to meet our goal faster.
We are asking for your help, as our valued readers, in three ways:
1. Please let us know how you use the reports and why you find them useful. Tell us why you think the reports should continue to be funded. While we can list many reasons why the reports should continue, we are sure that you know even better than we do, and we'd like to hear it "in your own words." This is critical information for us and for our potential funding sources.
2. We would like to hear any ideas you may have regarding potential sources that may be open to proposals for funding of publications such as the scout reports. We have several proposals already submitted or in production, but any further ideas you have would be very helpful.
3. Tell us what you think we should be doing in the future. What would you find most helpful in the way of improvements to or expansion of the scout reports? What kinds of "resource discovery" services would make a real difference to you?
Our sincere thanks go out to all of you who have offered encouragement and feedback over the years. It is our plan that the Scout Reports will continue to be funded and will be published for your benefit well into the future.
Susan Calcari and the Internet Scout Project Staff