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Does there exist an archive somewhere of posts to the USENET newsgroup sci.math.research?

The best approximation I'm aware of is Google Groups. However, despite the Google brand name, the search capability of Google Groups is abysmal, and it is hard to tell how much content is really archived there.

I have an old bookmark to a Math Forum URL that currently seems to be dead. An old website called the The Mathematical Atlas indicates that the Math Forum moved to forum.swarthmore.edu but that site currently seems not to be working either.

The Usenet Archives website, as of this writing, seems to have archived a grand total of two (2) posts from sci.math.research. EDIT August 2022: The Usenet Archives has now archived much more of the content, but there is no easy way to search it.

This question was prompted in part by another MO question, Looking for source: “How not to be a graduate student”, which hints that the desired transcript may have been posted to a USENET newsgroup such as sci.math.research or sci.math. In my opinion there was some valuable content posted to sci.math.research and it would be a shame if it were lost forever.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not really a solution, but . . . I tried looking at google for a sci.math.research post I recall writing about Haar null sets and prevalence (17 Oct 1999), which had a Math Forum URL I'd placed in it (I liked the format at Math Forum much better than at google, so I used their URL's), and tried a truncated version of it in the wayback machine. (continued) $\endgroup$ May 28, 2021 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ Clicking on one of the saved dates I was led to an archived message saying the URL for sci.math.research had changed, and clicking on the new URL led to some sci.math.research posts. Once there I was able to access the Oct. 1999 sci.math.research thread titles, and access the thread "measure zero" on infinite dimensional spaces, but none of those posts are archived. $\endgroup$ May 28, 2021 at 17:40
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    $\begingroup$ One idea would be to crowdsource from cache of threads in newsreaders on old PCs. Is that realistic? $\endgroup$
    – Archie
    May 28, 2021 at 17:53
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    $\begingroup$ sci.math.research disbanded as of December 31, 2017. I think google.groups groups.google.com/g/sci.math.research is the only archive. I have old links (defunct, or perhaps just not working today) at mathforum.org/kb/forum.jspa?forumID=253 and at docendi.org/newsgroup-f37.html $\endgroup$ May 28, 2021 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ I notice my earlier comments are not as explanatory as I thought when I wrote them. The point is that at various archive.org pages such as this page, the thread titles by month can be visually browsed. Not all single-post pages are at archive.org, but probably any specific one of interest can be found at google.groups by a phrase search for all or part of the thread title. However, the answer by Anonymous renders all this obsolete, unless perhaps one wants a single-post URL. $\endgroup$ May 29, 2021 at 11:36

2 Answers 2

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There's a bit of content on Archive.org: the link says sci.math, but among the files in the collection there is a sci.math.research.20140626.mbox.gz which contains ~11k messages apparently posted between 2003 and 2014. Sadly, this does not seem to contain the specific content you were looking for.

You could try contacting Archive.org: even though they don't have the data, they might be in position to persuade Google to give them a full dump of a low-volume high-quality newsgroup like sci.math.research since it's part of their service mission to archive this sort of data.

Another option is to ask Daniel Grayson, who was moderator for sci.math.research (he wasn't the only one, but there seems to be a connection between the newsgroup and UIUC so maybe the chances are higher): it isn't unlikely that the moderation process kept a complete archive at some level.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am accepting this answer because I suspect that it (along with the addendum by Anonymous in another answer) is likely to be the best available answer at the present time. This partial archive has already allowed me to find an old message that I was looking for a while back and couldn't find at the time. $\endgroup$ May 29, 2021 at 13:57
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    $\begingroup$ Incidentally, I took your suggestion to ask Daniel Grayson, but neither he nor Maarten Bergvelt had any further information. $\endgroup$ May 29, 2021 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ Here's something else I tried: mathforum.org now redirects to nctm.org so I tried writing to [email protected] but received this response: "The Math Forum web pages are no longer available through the NCTM site. We apologize for this inconvenience." $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2021 at 1:10
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This is probably better suited as a comment to Gro-Tsen's answer, but I do not have an account on this site.

A relatively complete archive (including messages spanning 1991 through 2013) appears to be available on the Archive.org site at:

https://archive.org/details/usenet-sci

and in particular at the link:

https://archive.org/download/usenet-sci/sci.math.research.mbox.zip

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