FAQ

This document was last revised on 30 Jun 2009.

1. Getting help
2. How to Subscribe
3. Help! My attempts to unsubscribe are not working. What should I do?
4. What are all the different ProMED lists?
5. How can I see only human-specific posts, not animal- or plant-related ones?
6. I am going on holiday. Can I temporarily suspend my subscription?
7. I see references to archive files and long numbers. What are they?
8. How can I search for archived files?
9. How can I submit information to ProMED?
10. My inbox is overflowing. What can I do to reduce the number of posts I receive?


1. Getting help
For assistance or help with subscription to ProMED-mail, contact membership@isid.org.

DO NOT send e-mail requesting help to the ProMED-mail posting address promed@promedmail.org or any other. E-mail sent to these addresses is read by the scientific moderators. They work very hard to ensure that you receive top-quality content that is both accurate and informative. They do not administer the operation of ProMED-mail.

2. How to subscribe
On the ProMED-mail website, go to subscribe/unsubscribe from the menu on the left side. The direct link is http://www.isid.org/promedmail/subscribe.php.

After you enter your e-mail address, you must choose the "list(s)" to which you want to subscribe. An explanation of each is noted. If you want to subscribe to more than one list, use the control key on your pc or the apple key on your computer to choose multiple lists.

If you are subscribed to ProMED and another list (such as ProMED-ahead) you will receive duplicate posts.

The non-English language and regional lists, (ProMED-ESP, ProMED-PORT, ProMED-RUS, PRO/MBDS, ProMED-FRA, and ProMED-EAFR) are NOT translated versions of the ProMED list, but are separate lists with posts pertinent to specific regions, although there may be some overlap.

3. Help! My attempts to unsubscribe are not working. What should I do?
You must unsubscribe with the exact e-mail address you used to subscribe to ProMED-mail AND you must unsubscribe to the exact lists to which you are subscribed. If you do not know which lists you are on, you can find out by e-mailing us at membership@isid.org.

4. What are all the different ProMED lists?
  • ProMED (English Language posts focusing on worldwide diseases outbreaks in people, animals, and plants)
  • ProMED-digest (a consolidation of ProMED-posts usually one or 2 per day)
  • ProMED-daily-update (a daily update of ProMED posts with links for each post)
  • ProMED weekly update (a weekly update of ProMED posts with links sent every Wednesday)
  • ProMED-ahead (ONLY animal, zoonotic, vector-borne disease posts)
  • ProMED-ahead-digest (a consolidation of ProMED-ahead posts)
  • ProMED-edr (emerging disease reports)
  • ProMED-plant (ONLY plant disease outbreaks)
  • ProMED-plant-digest (a consolidation of ProMED-plant posts)
  • ProMED-EAFR (posts focusing on Anglophone Africa)
  • ProMED-ESP (Spanish-language posts focusing on Latin America)
  • ProMED-ESP-digest (a consolidation of ProMED-ESP posts)
  • ProMED-PORT (Portuguese-language posts focusing on Latin America)
  • ProMED-PORT-digest (a consolidation of ProMED-PORT posts)
  • ProMED-FRA (French-language posts focusing on Francophone Africa)
  • ProMED-RUS (Russian-language posts focusing on the Commonwealth of Independent States of the former Soviet Union)
  • PROMED/MBDS (English-language posts focusing on the Mekong Basin region of Southeast Asia)

5. How can I see only human-specific posts, not animal- or plant-related ones?
This is not possible. The ProMED moderators have designed ProMED-mail to work this way. ProMED has always embraced a "one health" model that recognizes that veterinary, plant, and human health are inseparable. Consider that the next plant or animal epidemic may have direct consequences on the human population and you will better understand this decision.

6. I am going on holiday. Can I temporarily suspend my subscription?
No, ProMED software does not include a 'vacation' feature. Go to the subscribe/unsubscribe page by clicking on this link on the main ProMED website or go to http://www.isid.org/promedmail/subscribe.php and unsubscribe to the list(s) to which you are subscribed. Re-subscribe on your return.

Some e-mail programs will allow you to set up automatic filters to store your ProMED-mail messages in a special area during your absence. Please be careful about generating auto-reply or 'vacation' messages to ProMED. If we receive these messages, your ProMED subscription may automatically be cancelled. We do not wish to receive auto-reply or 'vacation' messages for each post we send, until you get back!

7. I see references to archive files and long numbers. What are they?
ProMED-mail Moderators often refer to past postings that have been archived. It may be helpful to retrieve these archived posts to gain additional insight into the current situation. Over 50 000 emerging disease posts have been archived since 1994.

For example:
"[see also: Influenza A (H1N1) - worldwide (64): case count, pandemic 20090616.2221]" The 1st part of the number is the date -- in this case posted on 16 Jun 2009. On the website, you can click directly on the archive number to go to the appropriate post. From an e-mail post, you can copy this number directly into the "Quick Archive Search" box on the ProMED website.

8. How can I search for archived files?
ProMED-mail posts and archives are freely available to all. However, the use of posts or archived material for commercial purposes requires permission from the Editor. Requests should be sent to promed@promedmail.org. Please credit ProMED-mail as the source of information or quotations used in publications (see "Citing ProMED-mail" on the menu on the left side.)

To see a specific archived post, go to Search Archives in the ProMED site menu on the left and type the archive number into the Archive Number box (bottom right).

You can also search the archives for posts by date or by keyword (such as, "ebola" or "Thailand") or both date and subject. The archive search page explains this more fully.

9. How can I submit information to ProMED?
To submit a posting for any of the ProMED-mail lists, send it by e-mail to promed@promedmail.org (NOT to one of the moderators).

*** Please give your full name, affiliation, and country at the end of your post.***

NO UNIDENTIFIED POSTS WILL BE ACCEPTED, but identification will be withheld if requested.

If you have no current affiliation to an institution or company, please let us know if you are a health professional, a non-health professional, a student or an interested lay person, as appropriate.

The country name is needed because some country e-mail domain names are not obvious, and some people are in countries different from their mailing address.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND ATTACHED FILES. Our server is unable to accept attachments.

10. My inbox is overflowing. What can I do to reduce the number of posts I receive?
The "digests" will reduce the number of individual e-mails you receive by grouping posts together in a single e-mail. Normally, you should receive only one or 2 of these each day, depending on the total number and length of each post. You can also consider subscribing to the "Daily Update." You will receive a list of titles of ProMED posts, with an active link to the full post on the website, once each day.