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Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

FAQ for Subscribers

This FAQ section is designed to cover some of the more specific questions we get asked, that are not necessarily covered in other 'Using JISCMail' pages.

Using JISCMail

Q. How do I join or leave a group?

A. Go to the group homepage at (where 'groupname' is your chosen group) and choose the 'Subscribe or Unsubscribe' link from that page. If the subscription requires the owner's approval, your request will be forwarded to the group owner, otherwise, you will receive a confirmation email which you will need to respond to.

Leave a group via the same link.

Alternatively, send the following command to :

subscribe/unsubscribe GROUPNAME

If you haven't already identified a suitable group to join, go to and choose the 'Catagory Pages' option, or select a catagory from the tag cloud on the right hand side of the page. Scroll through the available groupnames and their descriptions, then click on a group name for a link to join it.

Q. What is the web address of a group's homepage/archive page

A. The format for all our groups is homepage
Fig 1: A typical Group Homepage

Q. Why do I need a LISTSERV password?

A. You will need a LISTSERV password for the following reasons:

  • To post to a group via the web
  • To read the archives of any private groups you belong to
  • To access the Files Area or Surveys of any private groups you belong to

Additonally as a group owner:

  • To manage the group

Q. How do I obtain a LISTSERV password?

A. Go to and choose the 'Register Password' option from the Quick Links menu on the left of the page and fill in your email address and chosen password. A confirmation email will immediately be sent to you. Open that email and click on the link within it. If the confirmation fails to arrive promptly, let us know at as we can confirm it for you. A request will expire if not confirmed within 48 hours.

If you forget your password, simply register a new one as this will override any previous password you may have had.

Q. How do I post a message to a group?

A. Send your email to (where 'groupname' is the name of your chosen group).
Alternatively, go to the group's homepage at and send via the 'Post New Message' link. Please note that you will need to have a password registered to post via the web (see above).

Q. How much does it cost?

A. You do not have to pay to own or subscribe to a JISCMail group

Q. How do I create my own group?

A. See Creating a Group. Read the Criteria that should be met, then fill out a New group Request Form

Q. How do I stop messages when I go on holiday?

A. If you are going away, and want to temporarily halt email from a group, change your 'mail status' setting from MAIL to NOMAIL. To do this send the following command to

set * nomail

and when you return, send:

set * mail


Go to the homepage of your group. Choose 'Subscribe or Unsubscribe' and tick /untick the 'NOMAIL' checkbox within your subscription options.

Q. Which groups do I belong to?

A. Go to our homepage at and choose the 'Subscriber's Corner' link. Log in using the email address you are subscribed with and your groups will be displayed.

Alternatively, send the following command to :

query *

Q. Who else is on my group

A. Depending on the privacy settings the group owner has chosen, you can find out by sending the following command to :

review groupname

where 'groupname' is the name of your group. An email will be sent to you containing details of who is subscribed to the group.

Q. Can I get messages in digest format?

A. Yes, you can set this option when you join a group or by logging in to Subscriber's Corner to alter your settings.

Q. How do I access the Files Area

A. Go to your group homepage at and choose the Files Area link. If the group is private, you will need to login with your LISTSERV password.

Q. How do I contact a group's owner(s)

A. If you need to contact the owner(s) of a list, use the following address: (where LISTNAME is the name of your chosen group).

If you do not receive a response within a few days, please contact


Q. Why have I been removed from the group?

A. If there was a problem with your mail system, email from JISCMail may not have been able to get through,which would result in error messages being returned to LISTSERV® or the group owner. Depending on the nature of the error, and how long it lasted for, you would then be removed from the group on the grounds that your email address appeared to be no longer valid. To re-subscribe, go to the group home page at and choose the link to 'Subscribe or Unsubscribe'.

Q. Why can't I leave the group?

A. If you are logged in to the web interface, or are sending a command from a different address to the one you are subscribed with, LISTSERV will not recognise you. Contact and we will do this for you.

Q. How do I change my email address?

A. If you know about the change in advance,send the following command from your subscribed address to :

change * newemailaddress

Alternatively, contact the group owner at the address and ask them to update your details or contact

Q. How do I change my name?

A. From the group homepage at choose 'Subscribe or Unsubscribe' . Change your name details and then click the 'Update Options' button.


Q. Does JISCMail have a "netiquette"?

A. Yes. See Guidelines on Etiquette.

Q. How do I complain about an offensive message?

A. If someone sends a message that seems to be in questionable taste or of dubious relevance to the group, please do NOT send a complaint or comment to the whole group. Contact the group owner at the address.

Q. Can I send attachments to JISCMail groups?

A. Most groups accept attachments, but if you have a large document, we would recommend putting it into the files area. See File Area for more details. Please note that some groups reject postings with attachments, and some allow the posting through but strip the attachment off - this configuration is the choice of the group owner.

Q. Can I send a press release, promote my website or send a job advert to the group?

A. These types of postings are normally acceptable on a group. However, you should first check the group archives to see if they have been sent before and if you are in doubt, contact the group owner at If the message is suitable, the group owner will forward it to the group.

Q. Do you sell email addresses?

A. No. Although other members of your group may be permitted to see your email address, JISCMail WILL NOT pass on your email address to any other organisation, commercial or otherwise.