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Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Introduction

A group owner is the owner and manager of a mailing list. It is the group owner's responsibility to:

  • Configure the group so that it has the required characteristics
  • Add and remove subscribers
  • Support inexperienced group subscribers
  • Deal with error reports: - owners should remove or track down bad email addresses which cause errors and slow down delivery of mail to the group
  • Promote and publicise the group: - if the JISCMail group is going to be successful, people need to hear about it
  • Encourage and sometimes direct, relevant discussion. This may include dealing with subscribers who disrupt the group in one way or another
  • In support of our policy on JISCMail and the Freedom of Information Act, we recommend that the group owner agrees with members of a group not to designate requests for information posted to the group as Freedom of Information requests
  • Monitor the group to ensure that postings are in accordance with the principles of The Data Protection Act and take appropriate action where necessary
  • Monitor the group to ensure that postings are in accordance with the JISCMail Guidelines on Etiquette and our Service Policies, and take appropriate action where necessary
  • Monitor the group to ensure that postings are not in breach of copyright (e.g. postings which are forwarded from another source without permission) and take appropriate action where necessary

Note: The Helpline is always happy to assist or provide guidance on any of these tasks.
There is also a good List Owner's Manual available from the makers of LISTSERV®

What Skills do group Owners Need?

As a group owner you do not need to be a computing expert. A certain familiarity with email and the World Wide Web is all the technical experience that is required.
Group owners should, however, have an enthusiasm for the subject of their group, the time to monitor their group regularly, and a willingness to encourage discussion and promote the group.

Is it time consuming?

The amount of time needed to run a group depends on the type of group, how many members there are, the amount of support they need, and how active the group is.
Regular maintenance should take no more than 30 minutes a week depending on size.

Anything Else I Should Know?

It is advisable to have a browse through the JiscMail Service Policies. The Subscribers introduction webpage also covers some fundamentals.