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This report discusses some important general attributes of electronic mail and message systems, and the effects of those attributes on the quality and appropriateness of communication. The authors discuss the “etiquette” of sending and receiving electronic mail, drawing on personal observation of inappropriate or counterproductive uses of these systems. By presenting some initial guidelines, the authors attempt to accelerate the process by which social customs and behavior appropriate to electronic mail become established, and thereby to accelerate the effective use of such systems.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    An Example

  • Chapter Two

    What This Report Is About

  • Chapter Three

    Electronic Mail Is a Fundamentally New Medium

  • Chapter Four

    Toward an Ethics and Etiquette for Electronic Mail

  • Chapter Five

    In Conclusion

This research in the public interest was supported in part by the National Science Foundation and in part by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors and the fees earned on client-funded research.

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