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Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Moderation

You can choose to have a moderated list if this is best for your project. Moderation means that all messages must be approved by a list editor before they are posted to a list.
Moderation can be specified when the list is created or set up subsequently via the list configuration.
When a message is posted to a moderated list, LISTSERV® will forward it to the moderator for approval. The moderator can then either authorise or reject it.
Technically, all that the moderator has to 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 web interface.

Advantages

Irrelevant postings can be intercepted.

Disadvantages

Messages will take longer to reach the list and free-flowing discussion may be constrained.

Role of the Moderator

The role of a moderator is to review and approve postings to a JISCMail group according to its guidelines.
Moderation requires varying effort and carries certain responsibilities:

  • If a message does not qualify, it can be sent back to the author with an explanation of why it is not suitable for posting
  • Depending on the nature of the list, acceptable turnaround time can range from a few hours to a few days
  • The amount of time needed to moderate a list depends on the type of list, how many members there are, and how active it is

It is a good idea to have more than one moderator - especially on a busy list, as this can ease the workload and ensure that response times are adequate.

Implementing Moderation on your list

Go to 'List Management', 'List Configuration' and 'Manual List Configuration'

Change the 'Send=' line to the following:

Send=Editor,Hold,Confirm,Non-Member

This means that only the Editor may post to the group; 'Hold' makes moderation easy by providing a link within the email sent to the Editor, which he then clicks to approve the message; 'Confirm' means that the Editor must confirm any postings he sends himself (to prevent spoofing of the Editor address); 'Non-Member' means that anyone who is not subscribed to the list will also need to confirm their email address before their message is forwarded to the Editor - again, as a security feature to prevent spamming.

There are other options for the configuration - contact the Helpline for guidance.

It is recommended that a group has more than two moderators. Add the following lines, replacing the letters with email addresses:

Editor= A
Editor= B
Editor= C
Editor= D
Moderator= All,
Moderator= D
Moderator= E

In the example above, A, B, C and D can post direct to the group without having their postings moderated, but the moderation of all other postings is shared by A the editor/ primary moderator and D and E the other moderators.

For two or more moderators, it is usual to have the Moderator= All, set. This determines which moderator receives the posting and when. Without this line, moderators take it in turn to give approval as in a round robin, but as a moderator could be on leave /away from the office for a while and postings could be held for a long time, the Moderator= All, keyword sends the posting to all the moderators and any can deal with it. N.B. When moderating from the web the moderator=all box must be ticked and the screen refreshed to see the postings for moderation.

It should not be necessary, but sometimes as an extra precaution list owners like to have all their members set to review. This means they have a tick in the box marked 'all postings sent to owner for review' in their subscription. This can be achieved on a new list with review added to the default options line i.e.

Default-options= Noack,Repro,Review

If the list has been set up some time then old members will not have this set, so each email must be set to it. The easiest way is to issue the command by sending an email to listserv@jiscmail.ac.uk with the following in the body to the email:

Quiet set LISTNAME review for *@*

This will set ALL members to review so you need now to go into subscribers, pick up the owners/editors/moderators individually and remove the review.