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Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

List owner help documents

1. Introduction

Welcome to JiscMail and thank you for volunteering to run a JiscMail mailing list. We appreciate and value the work you put in to make JiscMail the success it is today. The JiscMail team will do our best to support you as list owners.

These help pages will give you the information you need to run a successful mailing list. But if you have any questions, please contact us, help@jisc.ac.uk.

What does a list owner do?

A list owner is the person in charge of a JiscMail mailing list. A mailing list can be managed by one person or a group of people. We would generally recommend that every mailing list has at least 2 list owners, to provide cover/back-up.

List owners are individuals working in a range of roles across the UK education and research sectors. You don't need to be a computing expert to manage a mailing list. You need to have some knowledge and/or enthusiasm for the list's subject, have the time to monitor the mailing list, and a willingness to encourage discussions and promote the mailing list.

The key tasks for a list owner are:

  • Promote and publicise the group - if the mailing list is going to be successful, people need to hear about it
  • Encourage and sometimes initiate discussions
  • Provide help and support subscribers
  • Monitor and review messages posted to the list, keeping discussion on-topic, appropriate, and within the guidelines of our Service Policies

The list owner's role is described in section 4 of our Service Policies and can be found at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/index.html#4.

If you have any questions these, please contact help@jisc.ac.uk and we will be happy to advise you.

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2. Creating a Mailing List

We offer discussion lists and announcement lists:

To request a new mailing list visit https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/groups/startagroup/grouprequestform.html Read through the list criteria, then complete and submit your request. If the list name you choose is in use, we will contact you to discuss a suitable alternative. New requests are set up within 5 working days. When your new list is ready, you will receive our welcome email. This confirming the details of your new mailing list, its settings and where to find help and support information (which is also available on this website).

When choosing the type of list you want - these are the options available to you:

Public discussion

  • Anyone may subscribe to your list. New subscribers must confirm their subscription request before membership is complete.
  • Anyone can send messages to the list. Non-subscribers must confirm their request before their message is shared.
  • Subscribers may reply to messages, replies go to the list
  • Your mailing list will be added to the JiscMail website, https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/mailinglists/a-z/index.html
  • Every message posted to the list will be kept on the list homepage, these are PUBLIC and visible to anyone. Login is not required, the list and its message archives may searchable in google.
  • Subscriber information reports are only accessible to list owners

Private discussion

  • List owners receive and approve all subscription requests
  • Only subscribers can send messages to the list
  • Subscribers may reply to messages, replies go to the list
  • Your mailing list will be added to the JiscMail website, https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/mailinglists/a-z/index.html
  • Every message posted to the list will be kept on the list homepage, these are PRIVATE and only visible to list members (login required)
  • Subscriber information reports are only accessible to list owners

Restricted discussion

  • List owners receive and approve all subscription requests
  • Only subscribers can send messages to the list
  • Subscribers may reply to messages, replies go to the list
  • Your mailing list will be added to the JiscMail website, https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/mailinglists/a-z/index.html
  • Every message posted to the list will be kept on the list homepage, these are PUBLIC and visible to anyone. Login is not required to view the list's archives, and message archives may searchable in google.
  • Subscriber information reports are only accessible to list owners

Public announcement

  • Anyone may subscribe to your list. New subscribers must confirm their request before membership is complete.
  • Only list owners can send messages to the list
  • Subscribers may reply to messages, replies go to the sender
  • Your mailing list will be added to the JiscMail website, https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/mailinglists/a-z/index.html
  • Every message posted to the list will be kept on the list homepage, these are PUBLIC and visible to anyone. Login is not required, the list and its message archives may searchable in google.
  • Subscriber information reports are only accessible to list owners

Private announcement

  • List owners receive and approve all subscription requests
  • Only list owners can send messages to the list
  • Subscribers may reply to messages, replies go to the sender
  • Your mailing list will not be added to the JiscMail website, https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/mailinglists/a-z/index.html
  • Every message posted to the list will be kept on the list homepage, these are PRIVATE and only visible to list members (login required)
  • Subscriber information reports are only accessible to list owners

Our team can help to configure other settings such as:

If there's something specific you would like your mailing list to do, please ask!

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3. Getting started with your new mailing list - JiscMail website tools

Most of the management tasks are carried out on the JiscMail website, from the List Owner's Dashboard. To use the website you need to register a password. Visit the "Register or Reset Password" option on the homepage, or visit https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?GETPW1=OWNER enter your email address and create a password. You can also use Institutional Login (see https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/help/subscribers.html#5).

Access the List Management Dashboard by using the Quick Link on www.jiscmail.ac.uk, or by bookmarking this List Management Dashboard link.

The List Management dashboard displays all the mailing lists you own in JiscMail. JiscMail web interface showing a list owner dashboard

The dashboard shows how many subscribers the list has, who else manages the mailing list and what the basic configuration is for each list.

The list homepage provides more advanced list owner management tools, you need to ensure that you are in 'Expert mode' before you can use these. Change this by selecting the “Preferences” link on the top right of the page. Choose the "Expert Mode”.

The layout of the table can be changed, use the Edit Table button at the top-right of the table of lists. Add columns by selecting the column name in the drop-down and clicking the Add button, or remove columns by clicking the X button next to the column names (in the Edit mode).

Configuration changes

List owners of new mailing lists (created since January 2020) will have a limited time to carry out configuration changes themselves.

The change has been brought about to help ensure your list complies with GDPR and other regulations. It also provides the opportunity for us to fully support you through any modifications you choose to make to your configuration over your list’s lifetime.

To allow new list owners a chance to understand the optimum configuration for their list, there will be a three-week period where a list’s configuration can be amended by the list owner. Once that period has elapsed, all changes will need to be carried out by our team. To request a configuration change, please email us at help@jisc.ac.uk. We will explain the options and consequences, provide testing facilities (where required) and help ensure that your list complies with GDPR.

Subscriptions

List owners can add new subscribers to their list using the Subscriber Management tools, via List Management > Subscriber Management (login required). Add the email and name in the "Add New Subscriber" box, and click the “Add to…” button to complete the subscription. The new subscriber (& all list owners) will receive an email confirming their subscription to your mailing list. If you and your co-list owners don't need to receive these subscription confirmation messages please contact our support team. However, it is a requirement that your subscribers receive these confirmation messages.

If you manage a mailing list where subscriptions are approved by list owners, then for every subscription request you will receive an email with the details of who wishes to join your list. To approve membership, click the link in the email. To deny membership, delete the message. If a subscriber doesn't hear back they may contact our support team. If this happens, we'll contact you just to ensure you received their subscription request. We won't add subscribers to your mailing list if the subscriptions are managed by list owners.

The bulk-upload feature was recently disabled, as it did not comply with GDPR. Previously we noticed that when this function was used, individuals were not notified when they had been added to mailing lists. This became very problematic. We have now developed a process to bulk-subscribe individuals on your behalf (provided you have received appropriate consent). The new process for bulk-subscribing people to your mailing list, is:

  1. Contact help@jisc.ac.uk to let us know your requirements, and which mailing list (do not send any data to us at this stage)
  2. Your request is confirmed by our team and we request the data from you, this should be provided to us in accordance with the instructions in our email (not attaching it to an email to help@jisc.ac.uk)
  3. You are required to check that all emails are valid (before sending them to us) and provided in the right format: email@address.ac.uk OR email@address firstname lastname, each user in a separate cell listed vertically, if firstname lastname is used, this should be in the same cell as the email address
  4. When we receive the data it will be uploaded it to your list (usually within 3 working days)
  5. After checking the upload, we'll send you a short confirmation email and provide you with a template, about the list and JiscMail
  6. By asking us to carry out the bulk upload, you agree to notify users by posting a message to your mailing list. The message can include your own content, as well as the template about the list and JiscMail. This message informs new members that they are part of the mailing list, and reminds existing members that they are members of the list.
This process is the same for new lists and established lists.

Sending messages to your list, using the JiscMail website

Example email to JiscMail list, from the JiscMail web interface

The message will be distributed to all subscribers of the mailing list, who will receive the message in their email in-boxes.

A copy of your message will appear in the mailing list archive on the mailing list homepage in a few minutes. Your mailing list homepage can be found at www.jiscmail.ac.uk/LISTNAME (replacing LISTNAME with the name of the mailing list). If your mailing list has private list archives then you will need to log into the website to view the archives.

You can reply to messages in the list archives by viewing the message, and clicking the Reply button, the email editor box will be pre-populated with the subject thread, just compose your reply and Send message

Making mistakes - retracting or editing messages

Unfortunately messages you, or your subscribers, post to JiscMail mailing lists cannot be retracted/recalled from in-boxes or edited. If you make a mistake, the message can only be deleted from the archives as it will have already been distributed to subscribers.

If you need any help or support in managing your mailing list, please contact our help team at help@jisc.ac.uk. List owners can also join the OWNERS-TALK list (www.jiscmail.ac.uk/OWNERS-TALK) a discussion list where JiscMail list owners can ask questions and share all things JiscMail.

Membership of this mailing list is optional, new list owners may find it useful in learning from more experienced list owners.

The JiscMail service team manage OWNERS-TALK and we occasionally use the list to ask for feedback and ideas about how we can improve our services.

List owner's quick guide

The List owner's quick guide has been put together to help you, as a list owner, get to grips with the key tools you need to start using your mailing list..

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4. Getting started with your new mailing list - Email commands

As well as managing your list via the web page, list owners can perform list management tasks using email commands which are sent directly to our server, listserv@jiscmail.ac.uk. In each case the formatting of the command is the same.

Here are some of the most useful email commands you may wish to use:

Adding new subscribers

  • Email to: LISTSERV@JISCMAIL.AC.UK
  • Message content, line 1: ADD LISTNAME Subscriber@emailaddress.ac.uk Firstname Lastname
  • Message content, line2: --
  • On the 2nd line you should add two dashes, this tells our server to ignore the lines below (which would usually contain your email signature). When your ADD command has been carried out, you will rreceive a confirmation message, and your new subscriber will receive the mailing list welcome message.

Removing a subscriber

  • Email to: LISTSERV@JISCMAIL.AC.UK
  • Message content, line 1: DEL LISTNAME Subscriber@emailaddress.ac.uk
  • Message content, line2: --
  • On the 2nd line you should add two dashes, this tells our server to ignore the lines below (which would usually contain your email signature).When your DEL command has been carried out, you will receive a confirmation message, and the individual will receive confirmation of their removal.

Requesting a list of subscribers

  • Email to: LISTSERV@JISCMAIL.AC.UK
  • Message content, line 1: REVIEW LISTNAME
  • Message content, line2: --
  • On the 2nd line you should add two dashes, this tells our server to ignore the lines below (which would usually contain your email signature). When your REVIEW command has been carried out, you will receive a confirmation message, and a separate email containing the subscriber names and emails which you have requested.

Temporarily HOLD the list

This pauses the list and prevents messages being posted, while an issue is investigated. Messages posted to the list will be queued and only posted when the list is FREE. See below for the FREE command.

  • Email to: LISTSERV@JISCMAIL.AC.UK
  • Message content, line 1: HOLD LISTNAME
  • Message content, line2: --
  • On the 2nd line you should add two dashes, this tells our server to ignore the lines below (which would usually contain your email signature). When your HOLD command has been carried out, you will receive a confirmation message. To reverse this command, use the FREE command - see below.

FREE the list

This command reversed the HOLD command, and enables messages to be posted. If messages were posted to the list during the HOLD command, they will be released and posted to the list (JiscMail can delete any pending/queued messages, if required).

  • Email to: LISTSERV@JISCMAIL.AC.UK
  • Message content, line 1: FREE LISTNAME
  • Message content, line2: --
  • On the 2nd line you should add two dashes, this tells our server to ignore the lines below (which would usually contain your email signature). When your FREE command has been carried out, you will receive a confirmation message. To reverse this command, use the FREE command - see below.
screenshot of an email with a command

Notes:

To:
The To: address should be LISTSERV@JISCMAIL.AC.UK
Subject:
The subject is ignored by LISTSERV, so can be left blank.
Message:
Ideally, all that should be present in the Message body is the command and its syntax. You can send more than one command at once providing each command begins on a new line.

Sending messages to your mailing list - using your email

For most JiscMail users, it can be easier to send messages to your mailing list using email. Make sure you use the email account associated with your mailing list (ie, the one that is registered with your JiscMail list).

Example email to JiscMail list, from list owners email account

The message will be distributed to all of the subscribers of the mailing list, who will receive the message in their email in-boxes.

A copy of your message will appear in the mailing list archive on the mailing list homepage in a few minutes. Your mailing list homepage can be found at www.jiscmail.ac.uk/LISTNAME (replacing LISTNAME with the name of the mailing list). If your mailing list has private list archives then you will need to log into the website to view the archives. You will not normally receive a copy of your own message, unless you have chosen to do so via your subscription settings.

You can reply to JiscMail messages you receive in your in-box by replying to them.

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5. Moderation

Moderation means that all messages must be approved, by a human, before they are posted to a list. List moderation is optional and can be specified when the list is set up or added later by the our support team. When a message is posted to a moderated list, it will be forwarded to the moderator for approval. The moderator can either authorise or reject it. Technically, all that the moderator must do is click on the link provided on the notification email or reply with an "OK". Moderators can also use the List Moderation feature of the website. It is important to be aware that when moderation settings are applied, anyone may post a message to your list for moderation; both subscribers and non-subscribers. Moderators must use the List Moderation feature of the website to confirm the identity of the sender..

infographic of show moderation works

Advantages

Disadvantages

Contact help@jisc.ac.uk and we will set up moderation on your list, this can include testing your moderation requirements prior to implementation.

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6. Renaming or deleting your list

A list can be renamed or deleted by the JiscMail support team, on request from one of the list owners.

These changes can have an impact on subscribers and other users, and our support team will discuss the implications and options with you before making any changes.

If you want to rename or delete a list, send an email to help@jisc.ac.uk including the changes you require and the name of the list(s) you want to make the changes to.

Renaming a list

Sometimes a mailing list name needs to be updated to reflect a change in the subject-matter/project title.

A list can only be renamed by the support team. When a list is renamed:

As the list owner, you may need to do some list "admin" such as communicating the changes to your subscribers, but if the list is quiet, then this might not be necessary.

When you are ready to proceed, send an email to help@jisc.ac.uk, and remember to include: the current list name, the new list name, and any changes to the list description. Don't forget to send the request from the email address which is registered as the mailing list owner.

Deleting or closing a mailing list

Sometimes a list will no longer be needed. It may have been set up for a conference which has now finished, a project which is complete, or a tool/system which is obsolete.

There are two options available to you as list owner:

If there are other list owners, you should always discuss the options with them before confirming what action is required.

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7. Error Messages

Error messages will be sent following email activity on your mailing list - flagging up where there is a problem (temporary or otherwise) with an email address on your list.

Typically, these errors result from subscribers whose email addresses no longer exist, but who have forgotten to remove themselves from the group. These are called 'delivery errors' or 'bounces'. The subscriber's email service will normally return the original email along with a message to say why it could not be delivered.

JiscMail mailing lists are configured to automatically remove bad email addresses from mailing lists when a messages repeatedly bounces, the default setting is to retry and send an email over 4 days, or 100 delivery attempts. This allows for temporary problems, but If email delivery continues to fail after the 4-day or 100 attempts period then the email address will be automatically deleted from the mailing list. List owners are notified about automatic deletions, and those which are still being monitored. If you are concerned that the subscriber email is still valid - you may wish to contact them outside of the JiscMail mailing list, and if after contacting them successfully, emails from JiscMail are still not reaching them - we can work with the subscriber and their IT team to resolve email delivery issues.

How you deal with error messages depends on the type of list, how active it is, how many subscribers there are, and how many list owners there are - to help you manage these. For an active mailing list with many subscribers you may see lots of error reports - we suggest that you let the auto-delete function do its job, set up a mail filter in your email account for these error messages to drop into, and carry out a weekly review.

"Delivery Errors" or "bounces" tell you that an email has not been delivered to a subscribers email address. The message will usually include the original email as well as an explanation to say why it could not be delivered. Most delivery errors, will contain phrases like 'No such user' or 'Recipient address not recognised' and quote the email address that failed.

You don't have to wait for the auto-delete function to remove these email addresses, you can remove them immediately, use the Subscriber Management functions: List Management > Subscriber Management to find the subscriber and choose the delete option on their subscription page.

For errors, such as "Mailbox full" - these are unlikley to be permanent problems, and can be ignored.

I've removed a bad email address from my mailing list and it still appears in the error reports I'm receiving

There are occasions when a bad email address is removed from your mailing list but you're still seeing errors from other versions of the email address. For example, the susbcriber may have the email address, KimLavender@example.com but the error message displays the email address in a different format: KL32@example.com (a login name), KimLavender@Server.example.com (the email-server name), KimLavender@eg.com (using a short address format), KL32@server.eg.com (or all of the variations). As you can see, the email address in the report may not look like the original email address and it can be confusing and tricky to work out which email address it is.

Or, the error message may report an email address which does not appear to be subscribed to your list - this can occur when a subscriber has set up email forwarding, so messages from the mailing list are being forwarded to another email account, and it's this email account which returns the error. It can be confusing, and tricky to identify who or what is causing the error - don't worry our help@jisc.ac.uk can help decipher these errors!

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8. What to do about unwanted messages

Despite JiscMail's powerful anti-spam and anti-virus software, there may be occasions when one of your own subscribers is responsible for inadvertantly posting a spam message to your mailing list.

This can occur if their email account is unexpectedly compromised, then used for posting spam and/or malicious emails to all of their contacts (including JiscMail mailing lists).

If you notice any spam/phishing or odd-looking messages posted to your list - contact help in the first instance:

How do we manage spam/phishing emails?

When you report spam/phishing messages, the support team will: investigate, take appropriate steps to protect the integrity of the list and the service, and will keep you updated until we are satisfied that the situation has been resolved.

We review the settings on your mailing list, to ensure they are appropriate for the list, and we may suggest changes, if we believe they are likely to reduce the likelihood of spam/unwanted messages. We may temporarily block the spam senders email account, while we investigate, in some cases - contact them outside of JiscMail.

We keep list owners, and your subscribers updated - by posting a notice to your mailing list.

We work with Jisc's CSIRT team and may take advice and guidance from them on any major cyber security threats or incidents.

What to do about off-topic or inappropriate messages?

As list owner, you will be keeping an eye on the content of messages on your mailing lists, steering things on-topic and keeping the discussions appropriate for the list.

If you're contacted by a subscriber to alert you about a message they're not happy with, or you notice something that breaks JiscMail service policies (off-topic, inappropriate or potentially illegal) then you need to take action. A quick reminder of the list purpose/topic sent to the list usually does the trick. However, if your friendly reminder is ignored, you might consider: contacting them off the list, removing the inappropriate messages, moderating their messages (see moderation), or removing them from the list.

The JiscMail support team are always here to support you in dealing with persistent off-topic or inappropriate messages.

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9. Message customisation

The contents of the automated messages sent from JiscMail can be updated, the most frequently updated messages are:

To make changes to these messages, contact help@jisc.ac.uk with the new message and we will apply the changes to your list, we will usually apply the changes to a test list in advance, so you can check it out before it's applied to your live mailing list.

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10. File Area

A File Area is a directory of files associated with a JiscMail list. Each File Area is exclusive to that mailing list and files are uploaded by the list owner(s). Depending on the configuration of the mailing list you may be required to enter your JiscMail password details before being able to access the file area.

Accessing the files

Go to your list homepage e.g. http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/LISTNAME and click on 'Files Area' in the 'JiscMail Tools' box.

You will be presented with a list of files which you can click on to view. The files can be sorted by file, description, size or date by clicking on the links in the title bar.

Linking to files

To send a link to a file in the files area use the format https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/files/LISTNAME/filename e.g. https//www.jiscmail.ac.uk/files/jiscmail-newsletter/logo.gif. Please note that if the list is public anyone will be able to view the file even if they are not a subscriber of that list. If the list is private only subscribers can view the files.

Accessing the File Store (List owners only)

Go to your list homepage e.g. http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/LISTNAME

Go to the 'List Management' menu and click on 'File Store'

Adding files

Only the list owner can add files to the files area.

To add files:

Upload a file

Delete file or directory

Select which file or directory you wish to delete.

Under the 'Delete file / directory' section, click to check the 'Confirm Delete' tick box and click on the 'Delete' button.

Delete a file or directory

Rename file or directory

Select which file or directory you wish to rename.

Under the 'Rename file / directory' section, type the new name of the files and click on the 'Rename' button.

Move a file

Select which file you wish you move.

Under the 'Move file' section, select the directory from the drop down box and click on the 'Move' button.

Caution: will automatically overwrite if file exists in the destination directory.

Directories

Example of the files directory

The listing of files starts with a link named 'Top' which will always take you back to the main ("/") directory. File information is presented after the file name and is composed of the description ("-" if no description available), the size (B = bytes, KB = kilobytes, MB = megabytes) and the date.

To download a file click on the file and you will be presented with a dialog box to open or save the file. When you click on a subdirectory a listing of files in that subdirectory will be displayed and the current directory will show the new path (eg: "/images" would indicate you are viewing an images subfolder off the top directory).

To create a directory:

Under the 'Create directory' section, type the name of your new directory and click on the 'Create' button.

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11. Training

Our support team run live online clinics, giving you the opportunity to ask questions about key functions and tools for managing mailing lists, as well as asking questions about the configuration of your mailing list.

We will also answer your questions on general list owner roles and responsibilities and you can provide feedback on areas that are problematic, as well as share your JiscMail experience with other organisations.

Questions may include:

More information about the clinics, including dates and set-up requirements can be found on the Jisc website: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/training/jiscmail-live-online-clinic for full details.

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12. Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ section is designed to cover some of the more specific questions we get asked - this section is currently under development (February 2020)

Questions

Email Addresses and Passwords

Why does LISTSERV® say I'm not an owner?
My email address has changed - what should I do?
Can I use my home email to be a list owner?

Inappropriate Use of the List

How can I stop junkmail (spam) reaching my list?
Are people allowed to send adverts and promotional message to my list?
Someone has sent an undesirable message to my list - what should I do?
Can I read messages before they reach the list?
Does JiscMail monitor all the messages sent to lists?

Helping List Members

Why are people having difficulty leaving my list?
How do I encourage people to talk more?
Can I stop people sending attachments or HTML to my list?

Being a List Owner

Can I hand my list over to someone else?
Can I have more than one list owner?
I am going on holiday for a month - can I suspend email from my list?
Why am I not receiving messages posted to my list?
How do I store/organise files in my list Files Area?
How do I link direct to a document within my Files Area?
How can I create a survey on my list?
Can I change the wording for the moderation interface on my list?

On the Web

Can I remove a message from the archives? Can I create my own web pages?
How do I link to another web page from my list homepage?

Error Messages

I am receiving several messages a day - what should I do?

Email Addresses and Passwords

Q.Why does LISTSERV say I'm not an owner?

A. If your email address has changed, LISTSERV will not recognise you as the list owner, and messages from you will be rejected.

See next question.

Q. My email address has changed - what shall I do?

A. You will need to get your email address in the list configuration. This can only be done by your co-owner(s), if you have any, or by contacting the help@jisc.ac.uk.

You will also need to register a new password. Go to www.jiscmail.ac.uk and do this from the link on the left of the page.

Q. Can I use my home email to be a list owner?

A. Yes, just add your home address as another owner, and then you can administer your list from either home or work. You will need to register a password with both addresses.

To avoid duplication of admin messages, you can choose to make one of your addresses a 'Quiet' owner. Format as in the following example:

Please remember that at least one list owner must have an 'ac.uk' address.

Inappropriate Use of the List

Q. How can I stop junk mail (spam) reaching my list?

A. If you have a Private list, only your members will be able to post to it.
However, if yours is a Public list, you can stop the majority of spam getting to your list by setting the 'Send= ' option to 'Public,Confirm,Non-Member' in the list configuration, contact help@jisc.ac.uk to request changes. Non-members trying to post to the list will receive a confirmation email requiring them to click on a link in order to confirm that their email is valid. Since the vast majority of spam is sent by automated processes, the confirmation message would not be acted upon and the message not get through.

Q. Are people allowed to send adverts and promotional message to my list?

Promotional messages should only be posted if they are related to the subject or purpose of that list, and are likely to benefit or interest list members. However, as list owner, it is up to you to decide what is appropriate for your list.

Q. Someone has sent an undesirable message to my list - what should I do?

A. If a message is sent to your list that you, or another subscriber, feels is offensive in some way, email the subscriber off-list to let them know that you feel their message is inappropriate. You may find it helpful to quote relevant sections of the JiscMail Guidelines on Etiquette and Service Use Policies.
If you would like further help or advice, please contact the help@jisc.ac.uk

Q. Can I read messages before they reach the list?

A. Yes, if you choose to have a moderated / edited list. See List Moderation.

Q. Does JiscMail monitor all the messages sent to lists?

A. We do not monitor postings sent to JiscMail lists. However, the JiscMail team is able to look at any message sent to any list, whether Public or Private, but we only do so if there is a particular problem.

Helping List Members

Q. Why people having difficulty leaving my list?

A. If someone's email address has changed, JiscMail will no longer recognise them as a list member and they will not be able to remove themselves. You will need to do it for them, or ask the help@jisc.ac.uk to do it.

Q. How do I encourage people to talk more?

A. You may need to initiate discussions from time to time. If the list has a small membership, perhaps you could look at promoting the list to others who may be interested in having a common forum for discussion.

Q. Can I stop people sending attachments/HTML to my list?

A. You can block attachments, other than those in plain text, please contact the help@jisc.ac.uk to make changes to your configuration

Being a List Owner

Can I hand my list over to someone else?

A. Yes. If you are the only list owner, you should find a new owner, possibly by emailing to your list and asking for someone with an ac.uk type email address to volunteer.

Q. Can I have more than one list owner?

A. Yes, the list can have as many owners as you like and some JiscMail lists have several co-owners. Having more than one owner can be useful to cover during breaks so that there is adequate coverage for any list admin tasks that need to be performed.
Please contact the support team to add new list owners to your list configuration

Q. I am going on holiday for a month - can I suspend email from my list?

A. If you're taking a lengthy break, messages from the list and error reports will build up in your mailbox.
As a list owner you cannot suspend admin mail, but you can still set your subscription to the 'Nomail' option so that you will not receive normal postings to the list. However, if you have arranged for someone else to act as owner and look after your list, you could ask them to (temporarily) remove you as owner and then reinstate you on your return.

Q. Why am I not receiving messages posted to my list?

A. List owners will not receive postings unless they are subscribed to the list.

Q. How do I store/organise files in my list Files Area

A. Choose 'File Store' from the 'List Management' drop down menu within the list management dashboard. This will allow you to perform various functions related to the management of your list’s Files Area.

Q. How do I link direct to a document within my File Store?

A. Use the URL https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/files/listname/docname.doc
where 'listname' is the name of your list and 'docname.doc' is the name of your document.

Q. How can I create a survey on my list?

A. JiscMail no longer offers a survey tool, but you could purchase a licence for Jisc's online surveys service: www.onlinesurveys.ac.uk

Q. Can I change the wording for the moderation interface on my list?

Please contact the support team with the changes you require.

On the Web

Q. Can I remove a message from the archives?

If you need to remove a message from the list, you may do so by going to the relevant page within your archives and clicking on the 'dustbin' icon to the right hand side of the posting.

Q. How do I link to another web page from my list homepage?

A. This is done via 'Customization/Web Templates' using the 'OBJECT-A0-HOMEPAGE-LINK' template.

Error Messages

Q. I am receiving several messages a day - what should I do?

A. When you receive your daily error report, you should remove all addresses that have 'Permanent Errors'. This way your report shouldn't get too unmanageable.

See the Error Messages section.

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