University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate
Friday, 24 March 2017

List-Member Guide

These are practical guidelines which should help you use our lists in a way which will most benefit yourself and other people. Remember that all messages must comply with the UMLS Acceptable Use Policy.

When you send a message to a list it will be read by a variety of people, on a variety of computers. You need to be aware of this and send messages in a format that can be read in as many of those situations as possible.

When you send a message, you are doing it either for the benefit of the other members of the list, or to gain benefit from the other members of the list. Please bear this in mind.

Managing Your Subscription

Suspend mail when going away
If you do not wish to receive email while on holiday, please use the suspend command to temporarily halt email messages.

To do this go to your personal subscription page for each of your lists. You can find this at'listname'/'youremailaddress' (replace the bits in quotes with the correct information).

When you return, you can look at the list archives to read any messages you may have missed while away.

If you use an 'out of office' program to reply to your messages while you are away, make sure it doesn't respond to messages from mailing lists.

If your address changes
If your email address changes, please make sure that our records are updated.

The UCLES Mailing List Service program uses your email address to identify you. If your address changes you will not be able to send a message to the list.

If your address is going to change, please leave the list before the change takes place, and rejoin it afterwards. If this is not possible, please contact your list owner and they will make the change for you.

[ Top ]

Sending Messages

Acceptable Use Policy
All messages must comply with the UMLS Acceptable Use Policy.

Security of E-mail messages
Due to the nature of the Internet, the security of your messages cannot be guaranteed, and you should bear this in mind when posting confidential information to the list. This is true even when access to the list is limited. In particular, NEVER send live examination questions via unencrypted email.

Use a meaningful subject line
The 'subject:' line in your message is there so that people can know what your message is about before they open and read it. Try to make your subject descriptive and succinct. And remember that when you are replying to a message, the subject won't change unless you change it. So if the topic changes, you should change the subject line appropriately.

Write short, relevant messages
Please make sure that your messages are relevant to the list. They should also be brief and to the point.

If you send a reply to the list, your reply should contribute something to the discussion. Don't send messages saying "I agree" to the whole list. You should also restrain yourself from sending messages purely to point out other people's errors in typing or spelling.

When you do reply to a list, it is usually a good idea to quote part of the original message, so that people reading the reply have a context. However, quoting the entire message is unnecessary. If your own contribution is shorter than what you are quoting, you are probably quoting too much.

If you ask a question on the list, or send a questionnaire, you should send a summary of the responses to the list. This should be a true summary, not merely a long list of all the messages.

Watch where that reply is going
Most of the UMLS lists are set so that replies to a message are directed to the list, and not directly to the sender. Think hard before you send your reply to the whole list. Will your reply be of interest to everyone?

Some email programs will automatically carbon-copy your reply to the whole list as well as sending it to the original sender, so always check the message headers before sending.

Don't send attachments to lists
Most email programs can send non-text files, such as a word-processed documents, or computer programs, via email. These are called attachments.

You shouldn't normally send attachments to lists, unless you are on a small closed list and you know that all the other members can cope with the attachment.

On larger lists you should send a message to the list asking people to contact you if they want the attachment. In your own interests we advise you to scan any attachment you do receive for viruses before opening it.

Don't be flash!
Some email programs allow you to format your email as an HTML page. Please turn this option OFF before sending messages to a list. To do this in Outlook Express go to Edit - Preferences - Compose, then make sure that 'Mail format' is set to 'Plain Text' in the drop down menu, and also that the 'Reply to messages in the format in which they were sent' box is UNCHECKED. In order to do this in other email programs please refer to its documentation.

Be considerate
Respect people's privacy and copyright. Please do not send email to the list that you have received privately unless you have the permission of the author of the message. It violates their copyright, and could expose you to civil and/or criminal liability.

Messages sent to a CLOSED mailing list should not be forwarded to non-members without the author's permission.

Messages sent a PUBLIC list can be forwarded provided that:

Please don't be rude. Remember that a large audience will see your messages, so be careful what you write. Also remember that people may keep a copy of your messages and your messages may also be archived. So your words could be stored for a very long time.
Think twice before replying to something that you feel angry about.

[ Top ]

Other Issues

Complain to the list owner, not the list. If someone sends a message that seems to be in questionable taste or of dubious relevance to the list, please do NOT send a complaint or comment to the whole list. Contact the list owner instead.

And if junk mail or hate mail should ever be sent to the list, don't reply and don't send a message to the list. Contact the list owner, and that person will be removed.

Only use plain text - don't use pound (£) signs, don't use foreign characters such as È (E-grave): This is because they may be displayed strangely, e.g. as "=A3" which can be very confusing - £30 may appear as =A330.

Avoid using the pound sign by writing "30 pounds" instead of "£30"

Don't send commercial messages
Commercial advertising is not allowed on UMLS lists. However, publicising items of potential interest to list members, such as new releases of software packages, publications, conferences, etc., can be to the benefit of the list members.

If you have an advert which you feel would be of interest to members of a particular list, then you should send the message to the list owner. If the message is suitable, the list owner will forward it to the list.

The UCLES Mailing List Service lists may not be used to send junk-mail of any kind. This means unsolicited commercial email, chain letters, press releases, advertisements. Anyone who uses a list for this purpose, no matter what the subject, can be banned from using any UCLES list, and their mail administrator or Internet service provider will be contacted.

[ Top ]