JiscMail supports communication, collaboration and the free-flowing exchange of ideas through email lists primarily for the benefit of UK further and higher education and research communities.
Your use of the service is subject to Janet's Acceptable Use Policy, available at: https://community.jisc.ac.uk/library/acceptable-use-policy and to UK laws.
JiscMail reserves the right to remove any message, user or list that, in our opinion, violates any section of this policy.
Subject to compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 we may also disclose information necessary to operate our systems, run the service, comply with the law, or protect the service and its users.
We routinely review this policy to ensure it reflects our services, funding and the needs of the wider educational community, and changes to it will be communicated on our website.
By using JiscMail you accept these conditions so please read them carefully.
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2. Using JiscMail
- To use JiscMail you have to provide your name and a valid email address.
- To access some features of the website you will also need to associate a password with your email address.
- All contact information you submit must be true, complete and kept up to date; you can do this yourself, or by contacting the JiscMail Helpline, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Changes to your information will only be made when we receive a request from you, and in some cases you may be required to provide additional information to confirm that your identity.
- You are responsible for maintaining the security of your account, passwords and files.
- If you use the Institutional Login to register for the service your Institutional Login will be mapped to your email address as well. This will uniquely identify you to JiscMail, but does not contain details of your identity, and is unique to our service.
- You accept that another person may be able to retrieve your email address, based on list subscription options and the unique configuration for that list.
- If you leave JiscMail - your name, email address and, Institutional Login will be removed from our database. However, any message(s) you posted to a list, along with your details, will remain in the archives.
- JiscMail Helpline is available to all JiscMail users and can be contacted by email or telephone during service hours. Helpline staff will treat you in a fair and consistent way and expect you to treat them with respect and courtesy.
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We endeavour to operate JiscMail to the highest standards and our relationship with you is based on trust. We expect your conduct when using JiscMail to be legal and honest and we will take action against anyone whose activities are found to violate this request.
When using JiscMail you are not permitted to:
- Add subscribers to our mailing lists without their consent. Subscribers may only be added by others with the subscriber’s consent and agreement to the conditions of use.
- Collect information about others (such as email addresses) without their consent.
- Use the service for commercial exchange such as charging to post messages to their list, selling of email addresses.
- Deliberately cause JiscMail systems, services or subscriber accounts to be interrupted.
- Create liability for us as service provider.
JiscMail does not control or bear any liability for the content of messages you or others post to lists, it acts as a conduit for messages and we are not liable for the conduct of any other JiscMail user. JiscMail neither moderates nor edits messages before they are posted to the list.
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4. Role of List Owners
Each JiscMail list is managed by one or more individuals, referred to as list owners, list owners are volunteers working in UK academic and research communities. List owners are expected to manage their lists fairly and for the benefit of the majority of list subscribers.
List owners are specifically responsible for:
- Setting the configuration of the list appropriately, this includes: subscription settings, reply settings, privacy settings and communicating any alterations to subscribers.
- Setting the topic for the list and monitoring messages to ensure that they are appropriate and taking action if necessary.
- Supporting new or inexperienced subscribers.
- Promoting their list and managing subscriptions: adding new subscribers (see Section 3: Ethics) or removing subscribers (on request) and removing invalid emails.
- Cascading relevant OWNERS-ANNOUNCE messages from JiscMail to subscribers when needed.
- Keeping the list active by regularly posting messages to encourage new discussions, or taking the decision to close the list if it is no longer required.
- Notifying JiscMail Helpline if they are no longer able to manage their list.
- Responding promptly to requests from subscribers, potential subscribers or helpline using the email@example.com to get in touch with list owners (see note below).
The JiscMail Helpline is always available to assist or provide guidance on any of these tasks.
How to contact a list owner
Each JiscMail list has as a unique list owner email address which may be used by subscribers, JiscMail Helpline or potential subscribers to contact the list owner(s) about subscription, problems posting messages or support requests.
The format of the list owner email addresses is firstname.lastname@example.org (replace listname with the name of the list you wish to contact the list owners of, eg JISCMAIL-NEWSLETTERemail@example.com will send a message to the list owners of JISCMAIL-NEWSLETTER)
Emails sent to this address are copied to all the list owners whose email addresses appear in the list configuration.
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5. Content of Messages
Sending messages to JiscMail lists is a matter of common sense, use your own sense of what is appropriate to guide your conduct without engaging in unreasonable behaviour or disrupting the general flow of discussion on a list (see Section 3: Ethics).
You are responsible for the content of the message(s) you post to JiscMail lists, they should be courteous and relevant to the list topic. Private (off-list) correspondence should not be posted to lists, without first seeking permission from each correspondent involved.
JiscMail cannot assume any responsibility for the content of any messages sent to lists other than those from JiscMail themselves and we do not review, screen or edit the content.
List owners may also provide their own guidelines for acceptable use and list etiquette and we expect list members to abide by these.
The security of messages sent to JiscMail cannot be guaranteed due to the nature of the internet; you should bear this in mind when posting confidential information to a list, even when access to the list is restricted.
Promotional messages should only be sent to a list if it is related to the subject or purpose of that list or of potential interest to list members, such as: new releases of software packages, publications, training courses, websites, job vacancies, conferences, etc. If in doubt always check with the list owner (See Section 4: Role of List Owners).
JiscMail does not allow subscribers to post spam, junk mail, chain letters or other unsolicited bulk email, to lists.
Avoid posting the same message to several lists at the same time as this can be misinterpreted as spam, which will result in your messages being rejected and your account being blocked for 48 hours.
We cannot guarantee to block all spam, but the following are used to protect against spam on JiscMail:
- Anyone who joins JiscMail must confirm their subscription.
- JiscMail's service providers, use spam-blocking software to safeguard against much of the junk email (spam) which is posted to lists.
- Posting messages to JiscMail lists does not affect copyright. The author (or their employer) will usually be the copyright owner, except for third-party material included in the post.
- You retain your moral right to be identified as the author of the work, and your moral right against derogatory treatment.
- When you post to a list you do not lose copyright, but you agree that your message may be archived, forwarded to other lists, and quoted by others.
- Copyright law provides control over what other people can do with your original work - this includes email messages.
- Messages sent to a list must not be quoted out of context or mis-attributed.
Further information on copyright is available from the Jisc website, Guide to Copyright Law or visit The UK Copyright Licensing Agency.
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6. Mailing List Archives
Messages you post to JiscMail lists may be archived by the list (visible on the JiscMail website) and also by individual list subscribers (stored in subscriber email accounts).
The confidentiality and privacy of JiscMail archives is determined by the list owner (not JiscMail).
The archives of a private list are only accessible to subscribers of the list.
The archives of a public list can be accessed by anyone, and are indexed by search engines.
To protect the rights of current and previous subscribers a list is not permitted to change the archive privacy settings from private to public.
It is your responsibility as a subscriber to find out how the list archives are managed before you post to a list.
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7. Mailing List Etiquette
Our simple guidelines for getting started with JiscMail mailing lists, If in doubt check with the list owner (See Section 4: Role of List Owners).
- Check the privacy settings on the list: Who can see the messages you post? Some JiscMail lists have public archives and can be found by anyone through search engines.
- If you reply to a message posted to a list, check the recipient of your message. Do you really want it to be posted back to the list and seen by everyone or just to the originator?
- Ensure messages are on-topic and appropriate for the list.
- Be nice (See Section 3: Ethics).
- Use a meaningful subject line - it increases the chances of your message being read and found in the list archives.
- Keep messages short and to the point.
- Before sending attachments, check (with the list owner) that they are permitted, and if so, avoid sending large attachments.
- Complain to the list owner - not the list.
- When forwarding messages be respectful, comply with copyright and data protection, don't give out private email addresses or contact details of others (if in doubt check with the author).
- Think before cross-posting to multiple lists - some people belong to more than one list.
- Check that you are posting your message to the list from the same email account that is registered in JiscMail, otherwise your message will be rejected.
Further information on mailing list etiquette is available from the BBC.
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JiscMail cannot make guarantees about the speed or proportion of emails sent that will be delivered, or that HTML messages will display properly when viewed by all subscribers.
Delivery of emails is dependent upon accurate and up to date email addresses, suitable internet availability and connectivity, anti-spam and junk mail policies adopted by the recipients email service providers as well as restrictions regarding the content, wording and graphics of an email.
Our service providers, L-Soft, host JiscMail servers and provide communication services. We will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure L-Soft provides its services at or above industry standards. L-Soft does not guarantee that JiscMail will be uninterrupted, error, bug or virus free or that the delivery or emails will be without delay. It may be necessary to temporarily suspend JiscMail services to carry out maintenance; such suspensions will be limited and will take place as much as possible outside core working hours. We may also be suspended (in whole or part) where L-Soft is obliged to comply with an order, instruction or request of government, a court or other competent administrative authority or an emergency service organisation.
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9. Data Protection
JiscMail is operated by Jisc and is registered for compliance under the Data Protection Act 1998.
- When you subscribe to JiscMail your name and email address will be used for the purpose of sending and receiving email messages from JiscMail lists. You should understand that these details could be retrieved by any member of the same list and that this information plus any messages you post to JiscMail may be found in the public domain depending on the configuration of the list (see Section 4: Role of List Owners and Section 6: Mailing List Archives).
- If you use Shibboleth to authenticate your ID your Shibboleth Targeted_ID will be mapped to your email address as well. This will uniquely identify you to JiscMail, but does not contain details of your identity, and is unique to our service.
- If you leave JiscMail your name, email address and, if relevant, Shibboleth Targeted_ID will be removed from our database.
- If you leave JiscMail you should understand that your details and any message(s) you have previously posted to any JiscMail list(s) will remain in the archives (see Section 6: Mailing List Archives).
- JiscMail and our service providers L-Soft will never sell email addresses or any other personal information to another organisation.
- JiscMail may disclose information if we believe it necessary to operate our systems, to run the service, to comply with the law, or to protect the service or others.
- When contacting the JiscMail Helpline we collect your name, organisation, email address and if provided the list name. For list owners (or new list owners) we record your organisation address and telephone number. All JiscMail Helpline enquiries are assigned a unique enquiry number and enquiry type. The information we collect is used to carry out your request(s) and to report on service activity.
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10. Violating this policy
If you suspect that a JiscMail user has violated this policy - contact the JiscMail helpline as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 0203 006 6076.
The decision on what action to take will be made by JiscMail on a case by case basis and will often depend on whether the infringement was innocent, inadvertent or intentional. The decision whether to take action, and if so, which action, is at JiscMail’s discretion.
Abusive or threatening messages sent to any JiscMail list, or to JiscMail Helpline staff will be treated as a violation of this policy.
We may take any of the following actions as deemed appropriate:
- Contact the person responsible to discuss the problem.
- Contact the list owner.
- Remove inappropriate messages from the JiscMail archives.
- Restrict email from certain sites or addresses.
- Remove the subscriber from the service, contact their hosting site, institution, or service provider.
- Make a public announcement to those affected.
Disagreements between members of a list regarding list management should be taken up with the list owner.
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JiscMail reserves the right to amend these Service Policies at any time without notice. If the policy is amended then all list owners will be informed and they may distribute the information to list members.
This policy was last updated on 23rd November 2015 (to update link to acceptable use policy, add reference to posting off-list messages and to remover FOI section).
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