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An international consortium of scholars and teachers, H-Net creates and coordinates Internet networks with the common objective of advancing teaching and research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. H-Net is committed to pioneering the use of new communication technology to facilitate the free exchange of academic ideas and scholarly resources.
Among H-Net's most important activities is its sponsorship of over 100 free electronic, interactive newsletters ("lists") edited by scholars in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and the Pacific.
Subscribers and editors communicate through electronic mail messages sent to the group. These messages can be saved, discarded, downloaded to a local computer, copied, printed out, or relayed to someone else. Otherwise, the lists are all public, and can be quoted and cited with proper attribution. The lists are connected to their own sites on the World Wide Web, that store discussion threads, important documents, and links to related sites on the web.
H-Net lists reach over 100,000 subscribers in more than 90 countries. Subscriptions are screened by the list's editors to promote a diverse readership dedicated to friendly, productive, scholarly communications. Each list publishes between 15 and 60 messages a week. Subscription applications are solicited from scholars, teachers, professors, researchers, graduate students, journalists, librarians and archivists.
Each network has its own "personality," is edited by a team of scholars, and has a board of editors; most are cosponsored by a professional society. The editors control the flow of messages, commission reviews, and reject flames and items unsuitable for a scholarly discussion group.
The goals of H-Net lists are to enable scholars to easily communicate current research and teaching interests; to discuss new approaches, methods and tools of analysis; to share information on electronic databases; and to test new ideas and share comments on the literature in their fields.