Mailing List Policy

  • All lists must have a list administrator who is currently affiliated with the University. Preferably, list administrators should have a Bristol mail address, but if they do not, then they must be eligible for one.
  • Local lists are for local purposes, only. If you want a list with a broader scope, then you are recommended to approach JISCmail with a view to basing it there.
  • Lists are provided primarily to further the instructional, research and business missions of the University. Lists connected with the cultural and social activities of the University may also be permitted.
  • The number of list members for any list must not exceed 1,500.
  • Lists which have more than 100 members are normally required to be moderated. Under certain circumstances this requirement can be waived (please refer to the information below).
  • At list creation time, the maximum size of message which may be sent to the list is set at 100 KB. This must not be increased. Furthermore, the maximum message size must be maintained by the list administrator such that the total volume of mail resulting from any single posting to the list (the maximum message size times the number of members of the list) must not exceed 10 MB. You are strongly encouraged to use the Facility for the Upload of Large Files (FLUFF) when sending even moderately sized messages to large numbers of people.
  • Mailing list names must include (but may not start with) a "-"; the other characters permitted are 0-9 and (lower case) a-z. The list name must start with an alphabetic character.
  • Subscription policies of "open" or "auto" are not permitted. If a policy of anything other than "closed" is required, then the policy must include "+confirm" ("open+confirm" or "auto+confirm").
  • Any list whose nature, use or administration is considered, by the Assistant Director of Information Services (Information Systems & Computing), to be inappropriate or to impede the provision of computing services may be closed or have its ownership transferred to someone else; the administrator will be informed of this action by electronic mail. The decision of the Assistant Director is final.

Not having to moderate large lists

Normally,  lists with more than 100 members are required to be moderated. Under certain circumstances, however, this requirement can be waived. These are that the large list is configured to restrict who might post to the list to a limited list of people (achieved through use of the "restrict_post" configuration variable).

For example, it is acceptable for a student course list to be configured "unmoderated", if the list is configured to restrict postings to a list of course tutors. It is acceptable for a department's student lists not to be moderated if they are configured to restrict postings to a list of the department's staff.

It is not acceptable not to moderate a large list which is configured to restrict postings to the list members.

If you are uncertain whether your large list might be eligible to be configured unmoderated, please seek advice from email help (

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