How do I use an LSE ListServ mailing list?

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

List Etiquette

Posting messages to a mailing list is generally a matter of courtesy and common sense. Mailing list users should take note of the following guidelines:

  • Write relevant messages appropriate to the purpose of the list.
  • Use a meaningful subject line as it will increase the likelihood of your message being read.
  • Keep your message short and to the point. Long messages and waffle can be off-putting.
  • Do not quote an entire message when replying as this leads to long messages.
  • Try to avoid sending attachments.
  • Do not call someone names or be overtly rude, blatantly sarcastic or condescending.
  • Respect people's privacy. Do not give out the private email addresses or contact details of others.
  • Respect copyright when forwarding messages. If in doubt check with the author.
  • Messages sent to lists should not contain information that breaks any law, such as (but not restricted to) those regarding copyright or defamation.
  • Be careful about where your reply is going - should it go to the sender or the list?
  • Complain to the list owner and not the list. The list owner's address is
  • Send your commands to the right address,

These guidelines on etiquette are published on the Listserv server at |

Users should also read the Listserv Acceptable Use Policy|.

Using Listserv Mailing List Commands

The Listserv server responds to commands sent to it in email messages or from a web page.

You can use the web interface for joining mailing lists by connecting to|. Please note that you must be using Internet Explorer. A separate document covers how to use the web interface.

When using email, the command(s) should be in the body of an email sent to the address The Listserv server acts on the command and sends a response back. Command messages need to be sent from the email account under which you are subscribed to a mailing list. Useful commands are described below.

Ascertaining what lists are hosted by the Listserv server

To get a list of mailing lists hosted by the Listserv server, use the lists command:


The Listserv sever will send back a list of publicly visible mailing lists that you can join. Note that some lists hosted by the Listserv server will not be included as the owners of those lists have set them to be 'hidden'.

Joining a mailing list

To join a mailing list use the subscribe command in the following way:

subscribe listname full_name | anonymous

full_name should contain two discrete words. If you do not want to use your name you can specify 'anonymous' instead. For example:

subscribe maths-gametheory-l Eileen Dover

subscribe law-criminaljustice-l anonymous

For some lists where the membership is controlled, the subscription request will only be accepted when approved by the list owner.

Leaving a mailing list

The signoff command can be used to remove yourself from a mailing list:

signoff listname | *

For example:

signoff maths-gametheory-l

to remove yourself from the maths-gametheory mailing list and

signoff *

to remove yourself from all lists you have subscribed to on the Listserv server.

To change your email address

If your email address changes or you want postings sent to a different address, you can use the change command to update your address in the mailing list:

change listname | * new_email_address

For example:

change law-criminaljustice-l

You can choose for the change to apply to the specified list or, by using an asterisk, to all lists that you are subscribed to.

Note: this command will only work when sent from the email address that the user is changing from - i.e. the older email address under which the user is subscribed to the list.

To suspend messages being sent to you

If you want to temporarily stop receiving messages from the Listserv server you can use the set - nomail command. This is very useful if you are on holiday or otherwise away from your email.

set listname | * nomail

For example:

set law-criminaljustice-l nomail

set * nomail

You can specify the name of the list that you want to stop receiving messages from or you can use an asterisk to specify all lists that you are subscribed to.

To reinstate the delivery of messages use:

set listname | * mail

To receive a digest or index

Instead of being sent each message that is sent to a mailing list, you can opt to receive a daily index or digest of messages.

An index will consist of a list of messages posted to the list and will include the subject and author of the message. You can select the messages that you are interested in and 'order' them from the server using the instructions in the index message.

A digest is single message containing all the messages posted since the last digest. It is not edited.

The following commands turn index or digest on or off for the specified list or all lists:

set listname | * digest | nodigest

set listname | * index | noindex

For example:

set law-criminaljustice-l digest

set * index

set maths-gametheory-l noindex

Note: you cannot have index and digest set at the same time. Setting index will override digest and vice versa.

To review your list options

You can use the query command to check what options you have set for a list or all the lists you have subscribed to:

query listname | *

You can query a particular list or use an asterisk to query all lists. The Listserv server will send back a report of what options, such as nomail, index and digest, you have set.

List Addresses

To post a message to the mailing list use:

Note: Announcement mailing lists usually do not allow members to send to the list.

To send a command to the Listserv server use:

See the previous section about Listserv commands for more information.

To send an email to a list's owner(s) use: