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— updated 2017-09-17

Guidelines/etiquette for RMHInet — email lists and social media

See also: RMHInet — orientation for new members

Subtopics on this page…

Copyright ©2000-2017 by RMH-Publications Trust; all rights reserved.



Main topics for discussion may include

  • Clinical case studies
  • TCM clinical use of herbs (Chinese and non-Chinese)
  • Diet and nutrition, environmental health issues
  • TCM theory
  • Use of databases and software in clinical analysis and study
  • Other modalities: western medicine...
  • Medically-defined diseases
  • Clinical research
  • Phytochemistry/pharmacognosy
  • Ethnobotany
  • Health politics and law
  • Herbal and medical history

Guidelines for members

  1. Student homework. Although certification-course participants are encouraged to help each other with general questions about the course material and homework, answers to any privately assigned homework problems should remain the work of each participant. The independent effort that each makes toward completing homework is an important and integral part of the program.
  2. Respectful discussion. Honor the unique experiences and perspectives of other members as you would like them to honor yours. If you disagree with the views expressed in a posted message, state your reasons clearly, logically, and respectfully.
  3. Confidentiality and privacy. Postings and archives are intended to be for the use of course participants and group members; members, moderators, and administrators should adhere to this guideline. However, due to the inherent insecurities of the Internet, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, so exercise your own discretion. Please obtain written permission from your client before posting case information to the group. Never refer to a clinical case by the individual's name or other personal identifier.
    • Regarding personal case studies that you might wish to discuss: so as to protect the confidentiality of the client, you may submit case studies to the list moderator privately for anonymous reposting.
      The list moderator will then repost them with your name and email address removed, so that other list members will not know either your identity or that of your client. You must obtain the client's written consent before submitting a case study. Avoid using any personal identifiers such as client's name, date of birth, geographical location, or any government identifying numbers.
  4. Permission to quote material. If you wish to quote or reproduce postings by a member, for use outside this discussion list, you should ask the original poster for permission to use his or her material.
  5. Educational purposes only. RMHInet is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis and treatment. By using RMHInet, you agree to assume full responsibility for verifying the appropriateness of any information before applying it to individual cases.
  6. RMHI not responsible for email messages posted by users. The Rocky Mountain Herbal Institute and discussion list moderators and administrators shall not be held responsible or liable for messages and content posted by users to an email discussion list; administrators do not control or edit such content. However, they reserve the right to remove postings from the archives if such postings are offensive or may violate copyright or trademark laws, if and when such violations are called to their attention.
  7. Advertising prohibited. While announcements and reviews of events, publications, etc. are welcome as part of the educational purpose of RMHI, advertising is prohibited. If you think your message may be perceived as advertising, submit it to the moderator for review before posting it.
  8. See also next section on "netiquette".

How email discussion lists work

rmhinetwork is a conventional email discussion list in which each member may post messages that are sent to all group members simply by sending a message to the group email address.

Anonymous submissions: If you wish to anonymously submit a question about course material or other topic, you are welcome to send your question to the group moderator ("Contact Us") and include the phrase "anonymous -- for Level-1 group" at the top of your message to distinguish it from private matters. The moderator will post it to the group with your name removed. We encourage participation, and if you have a question, by all means ask it — others may learn from the answers and discussion.



The following guidelines are widely accepted by most Internet email discussion groups as standard rules of etiquette, and have been summarized below, rewritten where appropriate to RMHI's use:

  • Replying and forwarding:
    • Trim your posts. When replying to a message, in most cases it is appropriate to delete all portions of the message to which you are replying, EXCEPT those portions directly relevant to your own response.
      If you don't do this, replies to replies to replies can become hugely lengthy, and most readers will not have the patience to read any of it, and those who do wish to read it will become annoyed by having to scroll through reams of irrelevant text.
    • Place your own comments at top. When forwarding or replying to messages, place your own new comments at the top of the message.
    • Obtain permission from author before forwarding. Before forwarding emails from another person, you must first obtain that person's permission.
      By law, each author automatically has copyright ownership of their own works, including email messages. In general, discussions within RMHI groups are private and should be respected on that basis.
  • Content:
    • Be respectful. Logical, respectful disagreement and debate with others is allowed and encouraged; ad hominem attacks on another's character is not.
    • Think carefully about what you write. Be aware that email creates a permanent record and can be easily forwarded to others.
    • Write descriptive subject lines. Subjects often change as discussions evolve, and if the subject matter has changed, alter the subject line to reflect the new topic.
    • When referencing a web page, include the URL address (http://...). Avoid sending the content of the entire web page to a discussion group. Always type a URL address in the form of "http://www.site.com" rather than "www.site.com" or "site.com", because most e-mail programs will allow the recipient to do directly to a web site by clicking on the URL address. Without the "http" prefix these programs may not recognize the address as such.
    • Avoid promoting your business by posting an advertisement to a discussion group, unless it is clearly an accepted use and you have cleared it with the moderator first. Otherwise, you are "spamming". However, all members are allowed to let the group know about their conference, class, event, or book publishing; one posting per event is allowed.
  • Formatting:
    • AVOID TYPING IN ALL CAPS. Many readers perceive this to be the equivalent of shouting.
    • Plain-text is the preferred format.. Don't try to use fancy formatting (bold, italics, special fonts, colors, text positioning, etc.), because all that formatting will be automatically removed and the message will revert to plain-text before being distributed to other members. If possible, set your email preferences to "plain-text" for composing messages.
    • Attachments are prohibited. On RMHI mailing lists, any and all attachments (PDF, image, video, and other files) are automatically stripped off of all messages before distribution to list members.
      If you have special content you'd like to make available to other members, contact the list moderator(s) to make special arrangements.
      Attached files are a common source of viruses, and many email systems will automatically delete them to prevent list members from being infected.
    • Message size on some lists may be limited. Unless you are posting a lengthy article that you have written personally, it is a good rule of thumb to keep message size small (e.g., under 10K in size).

RMHInetwork archives

To access the archives, please enter your assigned username (not your real name) and password when requested.

Enter Study Toolbox (see links to RMHInet Archives)

Archive guidelines

  • Message posts of special value to members and future members may be archived in the password-protected "Study Toolbox" area of the RMHI website: All members have been assigned a unique username and password to access this area; if you've forgotten or misplaced your access codes, please ask the moderator, Roger Wicke, to email them to you.