Electric Dreams

Conducting Dream Research on the Net: A Quick Start for Beginners

Richard C. Wilkerson 

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Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (1996 August). Conducting Dream Research on the Net: A Quick Start for Beginners. Electric Dreams 3(7). Retrieved July 26, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams  

As an editor for Electric Dreams I often receive requests for research assistance on dream and the Net. This article is a summary for researchers new to the Net.

In July of 1996 DreamGate (in cooperation with the Electric Dreams community) built an educational web site for 13th annual Association for the Study of Dreams conference in Berkeley and included the available research that was being conducted online as well as links to venues for future research.

Though no longer fully supported by ASD, a mirror of this site at http://www.dreamgate.com/asd-13
is still available to researchers and educators seeking to use the Net and needing a quick place to start. Included at the site are not only other dream research online, but other research supports as well, such a the collection of dream bibliographies by long time researchers, such as Ernest Hartmann, Milton Kramer, Henry Reed and Harry Fiss, to mention a few.

Included below is an update and general report on the venues and networks available to dream researchers online who may be unfamiliar with these different tools and cyber-ecologies.

I would like to request that researchers using the research link site or this article get back to me on new developments and venues for dream research either by posting the information to the Electric Dreams Bulletin Board or e-mailing me

New research requests may be sent to Peggy Coats

-Final notes


At this time, the only online dream magazine that is distributed via e-mail is _Electric Dreams_. Controversial among researchers due to its policies of free speech and encouraging dream interpretation, this E-zine is your best bet for contacting the largest amount of dream concerned netizines in the world. Besides the wonderful articles, poems, dreams and comments, the e-zine also offers the Global Dreaming News which has a special section for researchers and is often posted in a variety of Online sites around the Net and Web. The editors suggest that researchers establish a relationship with the community rather than just leaving requests for experimental subjects. This can be easily done by running a continuing column about the research, keeping the community up to date and offering simple educational essays. Contact the community via the web site
or sending a letter to Richard Wilkerson rcwilk@aol.com


Newsgroups are done in bulletin board style posts and allow for conversations and dialogue to take place in a somewhat public venue over time. You may post a note today and a couple days later someone may respond. And yet, the feeling when reading is of a real written dialogue. Responses are generally one or two every 48 to 72 hours. If you don't get a response within this time frame, probably this is not the place to ask the questions you are asking.

For examples of dream research done on these boards, see
for a history of Usenet itself:

Some Dream Friendly Newsgroups
alt.dreams - discussions about dreams and dreaming.
alt.dreams.lucid - about lucid dreaming, issues.
alt.dreams.castaneda Carlos Castaneda & friends
alt.psychology.jung. - Jung and related topics,
alt.consciousness - Has had low participation in 1996
alt.consciousness.mysticism - focus mostly on mediative
alt.consciousness.4th-way - Gurdjieff leftovers
alt.mythology - remind them that Cambell liked dreams
alt.pagan - a really wild bunch
alt.psychology.adlerian -- lately its been dead
alt.psychology.jung - generally open to research,
alt.psychology.help - wide range of interests -
alt.psychology.personality - generally about psych types,
alt.psychology.transpersonal - has been dipping lately
alt.surrealism - sometimes outrageous - always unexpected
talk.religion.newage - a very busy group - wide range
alt.health.cfids-action Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Moderated)
alt.med.cfs Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Information.
alt.med.fibromyalgia Fibromyalgia information.
alt.support.sleep-disorder Sleep disorders support group.


Quickly taking the place of Usenet Newsgroups are more privately run bulletin boards. These boards may be even more specific and focused than the Usenet groups. Electric Dreams, The Association for the Study of Dreams and the Sleep disorder related boards. There is no collected links page I've found at this time for Web Boards, but most can be found from the ASD-13 Research Page

Electric Dreams BB:

Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD) BB:


Unlike offline mail lists, online mail lists are useful and center around thousands of topics. Each one requires that you send an e-mail with instructions on joining, and the instructions for joining are a little different for each. But if you send a polite request, you will get back some kind of helpful info on joining. They also require a little lurking or just waiting to see what is and isn't appropriate to ask. Some are intimate discussions of inner personal life between people who have know one another for years, while others are wide open to anyone and full of continual heated debates on everything from bob dole's age to whether or not Nietzsche was a Nazi.

For more on the use of mail lists, you can drop by a mirror site I created out of an article on mail lists for the ASD newsletter, which include Yahoo directories for Mail Lists as well as special search machines devoted to them.

Here is an example of a mail list used in dream research and how to join.
Subscribing, Unsubscribing, and Posting
It's easy to subscribe to JUNG-PSYC. The subscription address to which you should send a message is :

To: majordomo@creighton.edu
Subject: Sub me (or anything, it is automatic)
The text of your subscription message should read:

subscribe jung-psyc

(Please note that there's no 'h' at the end of jung-psyc.)

For example, someone with the address of 1234567@place.com should send the following message
to: majordomo@creighton.edu
Subject: Sub me
in body of text put:
subscribe jung-psyc 1234567@place.com

For a list of mail lists and how to subscribe, here is a web address
This includes thorough instructions for subscribing to, participating in, and unsubscribing from mailing lists. Email by sending

Subject : Get file guide
In Body : GET LSVGUIDE MEMO (plain text).

Here are a few more sleep research related lists:

SLEEP-L Moderated. A sleep bulletin board for healthcare workers particularly sleep specialists and researchers. Available through subscription. Contact: Southmay@qucdn.queensu.ca

PEDSLEEP Moderated. Pediatric sleep list which covers developmental and clinical sleep-related issues from birth to adolescence. The list is open to all medical and education professionals involved in child-care. Available through subscription. Contact: Sadeh@ccsg.tau.ac.il

DENTAL-SLEEP Moderated. Dental sleep list that provides information for dentists who are working with oral appliance therapy for snoring and sleep apnea. Available through subscription.

Send SUBSCRIBE DENTAL-SLEEP Firstname lastname Degree to


Every commercial carrier, AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy, ect has sig's or special interest groups, each with their own focus. In addition they pull together different tools - chat rooms, boards, graphics and more to bring you whole areas devoted to special topics.

-AOL now has a Bulletin Board, chat room, a weird but cool dreamworld news and Jermey Talyor online each morning. Use Keyword and Select HUB. Electric Dreams is available in the Writers Club Electronic Magazines Library. Research requests should be directed to Jeremy Taylor at Ktaylor597@aol.com

-Compuserve has Donna Campos each Monday night in New Age B forum and they now have lots of material online and these boards are available for posting research. Contact Donna at

-On the MSN network, contact DoctorStrange@msn.com


One of the newest ways to collect data online and conduct research is to use a Web page that explains your research and offers visitors a way to immediately engage the project, fill out forms and gain a preliminary understanding of the project. The World Wide Web, (WWW or most often, simple the Web) is the newest and most explosive aspect of the Internet. The Web allows individuals and groups to put up graphical, visually pleasing pages of information, pictures, sounds, response forms and someday soon, movies and live action telecommunications.

Again, I would like to refer you to the ASD XIII Conference Index and Education site:

For an example of how this may be accomplished, I would like to offer two samples. The first is the The Quantitative Study of Dreams site by Adam Schneider & G. William Domhoff http://zzyx.ucsc.edu/~dreams/ which uses forms and pages to teach the complex system to participants and students.

The Second is not directly set up for research, but Dr. Jayne Gackenbach does conduct surveys at the end of each dream class. See her Introductory Dreamwork Course http://www.outreach.org/ dreams

If you are interested in putting up a Web site for your Dream research and are willing to do the coding for the Web page yourself, Electric Dreams offers space to put your page up. You can contact Matthew Parry - mettw@newt.phys.unsw.edu.au

If you need the page coded and designed, DreamGate offers introductory web pages and for about $300.00 will design and put up to six pages online for 6 months. For more information contact Richard Wilkerson rcwilk@dreamgate.com or visit DreamGate at http://www.dreamgate.com

Final Notes:

Conducting research online is very new and each foray an experiment in itself. Often simple sending out e-mail to friends and colleagues will be enough, but other times even the posting to all the above mentioned sites may not produce enough data for your project design. We are all just learning how to best contact one another in this soup of interconnectivity. However, your research will be greatly improved if you use the new search engines that are available. There are several different styles. Some, like Yahoo, build large data bases and allow you to search as if wandering around in the stacks at a library. Others go out and look for keywords and phrases and build reports, like metacrawler. A useful web site to start with is Search.com http://www.search.com as they allow searches from various machines. However, don't forget that your best contacts will still be people, and the use of the various networks that mix online and offline will be more productive than just searching online or offline alone. For a summary of dream networks, go to the Novato Center for Dreams http://members.aol.com/jilgregory/ncd/jillhome.htm

And don't forget that both the DreamNetwork Journal and the ASD Newsletter have online contact addresses and will publish your research requests for free in their hard copy magazines. DreamNetwork Bulletin, contact Roberta Ossana dreamskey@sisna.com And ASD newsletter, contact Alan Siegel dreamsdr@aol.com

And finally, again I want to remind researchers who use and read this article to network back with the online dream community, telling us new and useful places for posting research in dreams, statistical considerations in cyberspace and the final publishing reference for your research.

-RCW 8-21-96