How do I manage my LSE ListServ mailing list?

Please note that you need to use Internet Explorer in order to use ListServ.

What is a List Owner?

Listserv mailing lists require an 'owner' to administer the list. The number of things an owner may have to do depends on what options are set for the list. Most list owners may have to do very little administration. The owner, like all users on the Listserv server, are identified by their email address. The owner will usually be someone who uses the list and is connected with the subject of the list.

Mailing List Names

Mailing lists hosted by the LSE Listserv server conform to a naming convention that is consistent with best practice.

-L - at the end of the list name to indicate in messages that the address sending the message is a mailing list and not a user's address

-announce-L - at the end of the list name to indicate that the address sending the message is an announcement type mailing list

where appropriate mailing list names should begin with a department name, e.g. Econ-, Law-, Lib-

List Options

When creating a new Listserv mailing list, various options need to be chosen that affect the way the Listserv server operates the list. Among the most important settings are those that affect how subscribers are added to a list and who can send to a list. Detailed information and advice about list configuration options is available via the IT Service Desk.

List Owner Roles and Responsibilities

List owners should take note of the following responsibilities. These are also published in the Listserv Acceptable Use Policy|.

List owners may decide on the focus or subject of their lists and may direct discussion.

List owners may make decisions on membership, some list configuration options and on appropriate postings for their list. They are expected to manage their lists fairly and for the benefit of the majority of list members, consulting with the list members or with Information Management and Technology if necessary.

Email addresses and details of subscribers must only be used for postings to lists to which they have subscribed. Subscribers who leave a list must have their email address and details deleted from that list. Subscriber email addresses and other details must not be used for any other purpose.

With lists of a sensitive nature, the owner must not modify the Review setting that determines who can see the list membership.

Membership of a list must be voluntary. List owners may not add a person to a list without that person's consent. New subscribers must be supplied with information about how to remove themselves from the list.

Lists should not be used for the posting of unsolicited, commercial or advertising material. Publicity of items of potential interest to list members, such as publications, training courses, websites, job vacancies, conferences etc. that can be of benefit to subscribers may permitted at the discretion of the list owner provided they are relevant to the subject of the list and are sent from a clearly identified and contactable source.

List owners should make sure they are familiar with the Guidelines on Etiquette |published in Listserv User's Guide and on the Listserv web site.

Messages sent to lists may not contain information that breaks any law, such as (but not restricted to) those regarding copyright or defamation.

List owners are entitled to take action against any subscriber who engages in unreasonable behaviour. Actions include:

  • contacting their hosting site, institution or service provider
  • removing them from the list
  • removing inappropriate messages from list archives
  • making a public announcement to those affected
  • referring the matter to Information Management and Technology

Information Management and Technology reserves the right to remove the allegedly offensive messages from our archives immediately and without consulting the originator of the message.

List Management commands

List owners can manage their mailing lists by sending commands to the Listserv server in email messages. The command(s) should be in the body of a message sent to the address

A web based interface for managing mailing lists is also available here and its use is covered in a separate document.

Adding users

For most lists users can add themselves to the list through a subscription request to the Listserv server. The server will accept requests for lists with open subscription or refer requests to the primary list owner where owner-approved subscription applies.

List owners can also add users to the list via the following command:

add listname email_address full_name | *

full_name should contain two discrete words. If the user's full name is not known, an asterisk can be used instead to skip setting a full name.

For example

add maths-gametheory-l Eileen Dover

add law-criminaljustice-l *

Removing users

The delete command can be used to remove a user from a list:

delete listname email_address


delete maths-gametheory-l

To change a user's address

The change command allows an old subscribed address to be changed to a new one:

Change listname old_email_address new_email_address


change law-criminaljustice-l

To search for subscribers

You can search the list of subscribers using the scan command. This can be useful if you want to check if a person's name or email address is subscribed to the list:

scan listname search_string


scan maths-gametheory-l bill

scan events-announce-l

To get a full list of subscribers

Use the scan command with an asterisk as the search string:

scan listname *


scan law-criminaljustice-l *

The review command can also be used to find out what addresses are subscribed to the list:

review listname


review maths-gametheory-l

The Listserv server will send back the subscriber information and the list header.

The list header shows the configuration information for the list. These are the settings configured to match the requirements of the list when it was created. Once set, these values are generally not changed. List owners can change the values but it is advisable for a list owner to contact their IT Cluster before making any changes as some changes may not be allowed or contravene School policies.

List Addresses

Email addresses used in connection with a mailing list include: - to send commands to the Listserv server e.g. users subscribing to lists or owners adding users to lists - for owners and subscribers to send postings to the mailing list - for anyone to send an email to a list's owners