skip to content

IT Help and Support

University Information Services
 

Within Cambridge University Information Services (UIS) provides a mailing list service for use by members of the University. Often the mailing list service is the best way to disseminate legitimate bulk email to members of the University. Further details of the mailing list service can be found at 'User-driven mailing lists' (http://www.ucs.cam.ac.uk/docs/leaflets/g90/).

Mailing lists may be divided into three categories:

  1. Lists to which an individual has opted in, by joining a club or asking to be a member of the list
  2. Mailing lists that an individual has been subscribed to without their consent and for specific purposes, for example by reason of membership of a College or Department or by following a course of study.
  3. Wider distribution mailing lists, such as all staff, which are used for more general mailings on a very limited basis.

General practice

The following guidelines are relevant to all categories of mailing list:

  • A decision must be made about the category of the list, 1, 2 or 3.
  • The list must be secured according its intended use, so that while a mailing list intended for discussion will be open to all for sending email, an announcement list will be restricted to a small number of senders.
  • Unless the mailing list is in category 2 above, each individual should have the ability to opt out.
  • Unsubscription requests should be handled by an automatic mechanism or should be dealt with promptly by the list managers.
  • Unless the list is open for discussion, the list manager should ensure that errors and replies are dealt with promptly.

Medium-scale mailing lists (100-1000 recipients)

In addition to the above, the following guidelines apply to bulk mailing lists of more than 100 recipients but fewer than 1000 recipients (medium-scale mailing lists):

  • The purpose of the list must be clear and email must be relevant to the list; mailing lists should not be reused for another purpose.
  • Bulk emails messages should be sent to a mailing list address (not individual email addresses).
  • The subject of the email should start with the name of the mailing list.
  • Attention should be paid to the size of the email, a message that is not in plain text, or includes images and attachments will normally be much larger than anticipated by the sender.
  • for lists in categories 2 and 3, data must be refreshed and maintained on a regular basis.

Large-scale mailing lists (>1000 recipients)

In addition to all above, for lists of more than 1000 individuals the following guidelines apply:

  • The ability to opt out of the mailing list must be automated and preserved as the list is refreshed.
  • There must be a restricted set of senders and, unless the number of authorised senders is very small, message content must be moderated.
  • Technical advice about running a list should be sought from the UIS.

UIS Service Desk

Phone padded  Service status line: (01223 7)67999
Website  Sign up for SMS/email status alerts
Website  Read major IT incident reports

UIS bITe-size bulletin

A regular newsletter aimed at the University's IT community, highlighting service and project news from UIS.

Sign up >

Latest news

New University Wireless guest system coming soon

21 October 2021

Our University Wireless team is pleased to announce we'll be launching a new guest wifi system for visitors to the University and members of the public to use when in University buildings. This service will also be available on the 100 or so outdoor access points spread across the city. The new guest wifi will be much...

University Wireless Service maintenance: Tuesday 21 September, 08:00–09:00

16 September 2021

The University Wireless Service will be undergoing essential maintenance between 08:00 and 09.00 on Tuesday 21 September while we apply a security software patch. This is a security update to ClearPass, which provides Wireless Service network access control. We're not expecting any disruption to service, but it should be...

Mailing list migrations from Mailman to Sympa

31 August 2021

We intend to migrate all remaining lists associated with colleges from Mailman to Sympa during the week commencing 13 September 2020. The current total is 1,567. How this will affect users of the mailing list management service Most mailing list subscribers shouldn't notice any difference. During the switchover, there will...