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ConfChem and Newsletter Discussion Protocols

This page describes the basics behind how ConfChem and CCCE Newsletter Discussions are held. 

Participants subscribe to the ConfChem list (which dates back to 1993) and the CCCE ConfChem website. This is done by contacting the site administrator Bob Belford ( It is free and you do not have to be a member of ACS or CHED to participate.  

When a paper is dicussed, the moderator subscribes the ConfChem list to the paper, and any comment to the paper triggers an email to everyone on the list.  If you wish to respond you do not hit the "reply" button of your email, but a link in the email, which takes you back to the comment, thus threading the discussion below the email. All comments are in the public domain, threaded below the paper and discoverable through search engines. You do not need to login to read papers or comments, but you do need to log in to post comments.

We try to run a ConfChem every fall and a Newsletter every spring.  ConfChems have an organizer and all papers are on a specific topic, which may or may not deal with computers in chemical education.  The idea is to allow anyone in the world access to a quality (and free) symposium on a topic of interest to the chemical education community, while also archiving the material in a discoverable manner.  Each fall the CCCE runs a Newsletter devoted to the use of computers in chemical education.  The Newsletter has an editor instead of an organizer, and we seek as wide a variety of topics as we can get (there is no common theme).  Please contact the site moderator if you wish to contribute to a Newsletter.

Newsletter discussions are typically three days per paper, while ConfChem discussions tend to be longer.  A typical ConfChem discussion will have three days (Friday-Sunday) as reading/question days, and then 4 days of open discussion (Monday-Thursday).  The idea is to give participants time to read the articles and post questions to the authors, while also giving the authors a chance to research/think about their responses.  Once an author has replied, an open discussion starts, but we ask participants not to reply to questions during the reading period until the author has had a chance to.

All comments are in the public domain and by commenting you give the CCCE permission to post your comments, although the CCCE does reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments, and to unsubscribe anyone who spams the list or posts material not related to the papers.

Downloadable PDF: Please note we post a "downloadable PDF" at the top of each paper, and this should be used if you wish to print the paper.

Tips on Comments:  The default WYSIWYG editor is "filtered html".  If you wish to paste from MS Word a bunch of gooble-gook often gets added.  This can be avoided by switching to "Full HTML" and then using the "Paste from Word" option.

Further information on ConfChem can be found in the 2013 CCCE Newsletter ArticleThe Twentieth Anniversary of ConfChem Online Conferences: Past, Present and Future.

Please do not send any emails to the ConfChem list. We only use the list to discuss papers via comments.  If you are looking for a list to discuss chemical education topics you should use the ChemEd-L list,  at!forum/chemed-l .

Please contact the ConfChem moderator if you have any questions.