- Why do I have to provide an email address?
The reason for requiring an email address on the search form is simply to enable the results of
a search to be returned by email. Usually, search results are returned
promptly to your browser window. However, if your connection to the web
site is broken before the search is complete, a link to the results will be emailed to
the supplied address.
If you become disconnected from the site after submitting a search,
please do not resubmit the search, just check your email. This facility
also means that you don't have to wait for search results if you don't
want to, particularly during peak hours when the response may be slower
To save you having to type in your address every time you submit a search, your
browser will attempt to save it as a local "cookie". If you refuse to accept
this cookie, or your browser doesn't support cookies, the information cannot
be saved and you will have to type it in every time. If you change
the contents of the user name or email fields, the new values will be saved when
the search is submitted.
- Will you send me SPAM (junk email)?
No. Your address is only used to send search results. Very occasionally,
we might need to contact you. For example, if your search generated
an unusual error message, indicating a possible bug. However, we do not send
out newsletters or routine communications to these addresses.
- Will you sell my address to a third party?
Absolutely not. We promise. Honestly.
- What if a third party harvests my email address for SPAM?
SPAM is a huge problem, and we wouldn't want to do anything to encourage it.
Harvesting email addresses from web pages is a common trick used by SPAMmers. In
the case of a Mascot search, your email address only appears on your private search
results page and in internal server logs. These pages are not indexed by search engines
and are not linked from other web pages, so SPAMmers cannot find them.
- Why has my email address been rejected?
You must use a regular email address, the kind that works across the internet. These generally look like
Addresses that look like these are likely to fail
In technical terms, the address must conform to
If your email address is valid, then maybe it has been put on the stop list because of
Please contact us to clarify whether this is the case,
or whether there is a bug in our email verification software.
- Why is my email address on your stop list?
Common reasons for an email address being on our stop list include:
- You made a typo when you entered your email address, so your results
keep bouncing back to the Mascot server
- Using an email address that does not belong to you.
(So, when the search results get sent to this address, we get accused of sending
- The address is associated with abuse
- Some addresses are just too unlikely. If firstname.lastname@example.org is
really interested in proteomics, please contact us and we will take you off
the stop list immediately
- What constitutes abuse?
The Mascot web server is a shared resource, and we try to minimise the number of restrictions. Any
action which disrupts the server for other users is considered to be abuse. For example:
- Using a robot to submit large numbers of searches at a high rate
- Submitting more than one very large search at a time (e.g. searches of EST databases with
several variable modifications or no-enzyme MS/MS searches)
- Sending large numbers of corrupt searches while trying to debug a robot or
private search form.
- What if I use a different, but legitimate address every time?
As long as there is no abuse, we may never notice. But, if we do,
and cannot contact you by email,
we may have to block your IP address. If your LAN uses NAT to access the internet, this may
also deny access to your coworkers.
- Why can I no longer submit a search from Bruker AutoXecute?
Have you set up a valid email address? The default address of email@example.com is on the stop list
- How do I search anonymously?
Easy, just license a copy of Mascot for your in-house server
- Are my search results confidential?
Our legal friends wish to refer you to our small print
In practice, searches are treated as confidential and we would never reveal one party's
results to another without their express permission. However, we cannot guarantee confidentiality,
since no public web site can guarantee it will never be hacked. Also, we are not running a secure web
server, with encrypted communication. So, in theory, a third party could intercept your search results
as they pass across the internet.
If secrecy is critical, the only truly secure route is to license a copy of Mascot for
your in-house server.