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1. List Name

Choose a list name that is descriptive of the topic of your list (12 character maximum). Common practice is to end your list name in "-L" to differentiate the address as that of a mailing list, but this is not required.


The following characters may not be used as part of a list name: ! @ # % & * ( ) / . "

Spaces are also not permitted. Generally, you should stick to the characters A-Z, 0-9, and the hyphen (-) . Underscores ( _ ) may also be used.

2. List Sponsor

Provide full name, phone number, and both mail and email addresses. The primary responsibility of the list sponsor is to make sure there is always at least one person who is actively "in charge" of the list (the list sponsor is usually the primary list owner, but that is not required). The list sponsor also has the final say in list ownership changes.

3. One-line description

This description will appear in the headers of your list and will be returned when a person issues a REVIEW command to LISTSERV to view info about your list.


50 characters maximum

4. Primary active list owner

This is the address for the main day-to-day administrator of the list. This is the person who will supervise the list, manage subscribers, etc. (often the list sponsor). Unless otherwise specified, this address will receive all administrative mail from LISTSERV, all postings from non-subscribers, all errors, and all communications from the LISTSERV manager.

5. Access to list of subscribers

  • Owner only: (preferred)
  • Private: Subscribers only

6. Subscription handling

  • Open: people can subscribe themselves to the list
  • By Owner: people send subscribe command, but owner must approve it
  • Closed: you must add subscribers manually

Even if you select OPEN subscription, users will receive a confirmation message to ensure that the subscription request really came from them.

     Notify owner of all subs/unsubs?
  • Yes: owner will be notified every time someone subscribes/unsubscribes
  • No: owner will not receive any notification

7. List posting

  • Private: Subscribers may post messages to the list
  • Editor/Moderator: all postings screened by moderator, editors/moderators only may post

8. Automatic error handling

  • No: all bounce errors are forwarded to the owner for review
  • Semi-Auto: permanent or excessive temporary bounces are deleted; unrecognizable errors will still be forwarded to the owner
  • Full-auto: recognizable errors are processed, other bad addresses are deleted; should use only if owner cannot possibly review errors

9. Archive all postings?

  • No archives: don't save copies of postings
  • Single (archive file is not split)
  • Yearly
  • Monthly
  • Weekly

The web interface does not support the viewing of "single" archives. Choose another option if you wish to be able to view your archives on the web.

        Archive access:
  • Owner only: only the owner can access the archives
  • Private: only subscribers can access the archives
  • Public: anyone in the world can access archives

10. Replies to postings go to:

  • List: when someone replies to a list posting, the reply is sent to the whole list by default.
  • Sender: when someone replies, the reply goes only to the sender by default.

This only sets an initial default value to the "To:" field when a person hits "Reply".  This can be easily modified by the sender, and so isn't enforceable.

       Reply-to header in postings:
  • Respect: if the posting contains a "Reply-To:" header, the reply will be sent to that address instead of the "From:" address.
  • Ignore: any "Reply-to:" header will be ignored, and replies will be sent to the address in the "From:" header.

11. Acknowledge postings?

  • No: LISTSERV will not send acknowledgment to the sender whenever they post a message to the list.
  • Yes: LISTSERV sends an acknowledgment to the sender whenever they post a message to the list.

12. Allow attachments?

You can determine how postings containing file attachments should be handled.

  • Yes: all postings containing attachments are allowed through
  • No: postings containing attachments are rejected and bounced back to the sender
  • Allow only the selected types: attachments that are not of the type(s) you specify are rejected.  This option is not very reliable, so it is often best to choose Yes or No.

Subscribers' ability to actually view attachments they receive is dependent on their subscription options and the features of their mail software.

13. Editor/Moderator(s) (if different from Primary Owner)

If you chose Editor/Moderator under #7, "List Posting," then you may want to designate other people who can post to the list besides the owner. Only the primary owner will receive messages to be approved for posting.

However, if you expect fairly heavy list traffic and you wish to split the moderation load between several moderators, designate them as "Moderators". LISTSERV will split postings to be approved between all moderators listed.

14. Additional Owners (indicate whether Active or Quiet)

You may specify additional list owners besides yourself or the primary list owner. Active owners have the same privileges to administrate the list as the primary owner and also receive all administrative/error messages that the primary owner receives. Quiet owners have privileges, but do not receive administrative/error messages.

15. Person to handle distribution errors (if different from Primary Owner)

You may specify a person (email address) other than the primary owner to handle all list error messages.

16. Welcome message

If you wish, you can include a personalized welcome message that LISTSERV sends to all new subscribers (in addition to a standard message). If you have a detailed statement of purpose and guidelines for use of your list, this is the place to include them.