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NSF Custom News Service: Help
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What is the NSF Custom News Service?
The Custom News Service is an email - and web-based alert service, designed to help anyone with an interest in NSF news and publications find out quickly about new publications and information. It is a "custom" service that lets users select the types of publications they want to know about. It alerts them of the new publications and provides links to electronic copies.
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How do I Subscribe to CNS?
Two different levels of registration are available at CNS -- light and full registration. If already registered, just sign in with your Internet email address to access your Custom News page and profile information. Otherwise, you can register quickly from the registration link on many of the Directorate pages by filling in your email address. We notify by email every time a user subscribes, unsubscribes or modifies his or her profile.
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Do I Need a Password?
You are not required to enter a password when completing your profile. If you do not want the extra security provided by a password, simply leave the password field blank. If you already have a password, you can change it by entering a new one or remove it by clearing the field. Passwords can be letters or numbers, or a combination of both.
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How do I Recover my Password?
If you forget your password, sign in at the Custom News Service page with your email address and click on "Have you forgotten your password". After clicking the button, you will receive an email message containing your actual password or a new password, if the password was set before January 1 2003.
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How do I Set up or Modify my Profile?
Once the registration process is completed, it is possible to set or modify your profile at anytime by clicking "Edit News Profile" from your Custom News page left navigation bar. Your "profile" consists of your user information, preferences and selection of NSF publications you want to be told about. To make multiple selections in the "specialized info for" field, you can use CTRL+mouse or SHIFT+mouse. User information is collected with respect to NSF Privacy Policy and can only be used by the Custom News Service for special notifications or statistical analysis.
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How do I Set up my Preferences and Subscription Selection?
Your first options will concern how you are notified about new publications. You can choose whether you want to receive alerts by email or get a weekly email summary of all the new documents. You can also receive a one-time email notification of previously published documents.

Next, you can choose from any of the document categories or "types". You can also choose among "subtypes". For example, you can select all Program Announcements or just Program Announcements in Computer Science. At any time, you can modify your profile from your custom news page. The main page contains the most popular selections, while the advanced subscription selection form contains the full list of types and subtypes from which you choose your selection.
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How do I Access my Custom News Page?
Subscribing to the Custom News Service automatically creates a custom news page for you. You can access it by signing in at Custom News Service page or by going directly to your custom news page URL, which is in the format: http://www.nsf.gov/cnews.cfm?user=email@host.domain
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How do I Cancel my Subscription?
You can "unsubscribe" to CNS by login to your Custom News page with your email address. Go to "Unsubscribe" in the left navigation bar and click "yes" in the Cancel Subscription page.
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Do I have to Visit my Custom News Page? Can't I just get Email?
Yes and no. If you prefer to get your alerts via email, you can choose that option, and you'll be notified when new documents matching your profile are added to the NSF Online Document System. Emails include URLs linking to the location of the documents in the NSF web site, and/or full text of short documents. However, you must visit your custom news page at least once every year to keep your subscription current. If you don't, a reminder via email will be sent before your subscription expires.
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Is a Digest or Summary Option Available?
Yes. A weekly email alert listing all the documents added the previous week is available under "Preferences" when you set up or modify your profile.
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