Guide for SYMPA mailing list owners

Data protection responsibilities for list owners/managers

When requesting a list,  you need to know that use of email lists is data processing under UK law and you are accountable for complying with this.

  1. List owners are responsible for ensuring that they have identified a lawful basis for the processing of the data. 
  2. If membership of a list implies one of the special categories of personal data then the requirements are more strict 
  3. If the lawful basis is consent, list owners and managers must do the following:-
    1. Collect and keep a record of consent from each individual. You may  be asked to demonstrate your records of this by the University of the Information Commissioner.
    2. Allow individual to unsubscribe from the list.

List types

hidden

  • No subscription / unsubscription: only the list owner can add members
  • list hidden from all including list members

Only owners or moderators can send messages. OTHER ARE SILENTLY REJECTED.

confidential

  • No subscription / unsubscription: only the list owner can add members 
  • list visible to list members only
  • Only list members can send messages. OTHER ARE SILENTLY REJECTED.

helpline

  • Anyone may post 
  • No subscription / unsubscription: only the list owner can add members

internal newsletter

  • public and moderated list
  • only owners or moderators can send messages
  • only University of Glasgow email addresses can be members of the list  

newsletter

  • public and moderated list
  • only owners or moderators can send messages 

internal moderated list

  • Only owners or moderators can send messages
  • All emails must be approved by a moderator before distribution
  • Only University of Glasgow email addresses can be members of the list 

moderated list

  • Only owners or moderators can send messages
  • All emails must be approved by a moderator before distribution 

internal discussion list

  • Only University of Glasgow email addresses can be members of the list
  • Only subscribers can post

discussion list

  • Only subscribers can post

Mailing list creation

Naming your list

  • Your list name can contain alphanumeric characters and hyphens only - no spaces.
  • List names normally begin with a departmental prefix eg arts-list, critstudies-list, estates-projectname. Look at the index of lists for existing list names.
  • The list name you choose will form the mailnig list email address: listname@glasgow.ac.uk.

Copy an existing list

  • If you choose to Copy an existing list the existing list must be one you already own.
  • Select the list you want to copy the configuration from and enter the name you would like the new list to be called and select copy list configuration.

Create a list using template

  1. If you choose to Create a list using a template, then type a name for the list. 
  2. Now choose a List type from the selection. Each list type will have it's own set of default configuration parameters.
  3. Type in the Subject, then choose an Audience which closely relates to your list.
  4. Finally type in one or two lines for the list description, then click on Submit your creation request.
  5. Your list will now be submitted for validation by IT Services and you will be notified by email when it becomes active.

If you want to allow archives to be collected and made visible on campus please contact the UofG Helpdesk before you submit the create list request. 

Add or change a list owner

To add or change as a list owner to a list you own, you have to be a 'privileged owner'. Privileged owners are normally the person who initially requested the list.

  1. Log into email lists with Sympa.
  2. Select the box entitled My lists then click the button in here and this will take you to a page with the lists that you own and the lists that you are a member of.
  3. Choose a list and select the list name you want to modify then select the blue Admin link on the left side of the page. Click on Edit List Config, then click on List definition.
  4. Scroll down to the section headed Owner, then add the joint owner's email address, name, and private information.
  5. If you already have a joint owner that you want to remove, just simply remove the person's email address, name, and private information details.
  6. Finally, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select Update to commit the changes.

Controlling who is allowed to send to your list

In the sending/receiving set up of each list configuration, there is a setting, “Who can send Messages”, the table below gives details on what each option means.

Privileged owners of a list can change this setting, you will need to log into Sympa first.

  • If you go to the List Home page for a list you own – look under “List Configuration” and click the “Change who can post to this list” link.
  • The first option on the page you get is “Who can send messages” if you are a privileged owner you will have a drop-down menu with lots of options. A description of the options is in the table below.
  • Once you have made your changes remember to scroll to the bottom of the page and click the update button.
DescriptionOptionWhat it means
closed (closed) Reject all mail with a reply to the sender informing them the list is closed.
restricted to subscribers (confidential) If the sender is an owner, moderator or subscriber allow the email through to list members otherwise reject the email with no notification to the sender.
Moderated, no authentication needed if DKIM signature from editor is OK (editordkim) If the sender is a moderator AND sends using signed email then allow the email through. If the sender is a moderator and the email is not signed then request authorisation to ensure that the moderators email has not been forged. If the sender is not a moderator the email is held for moderation.
Moderated (editorkey) If the sender is an owner or moderator allow the email through to the list members otherwise hold the email for moderation.
Moderated, even for moderators (editorkeyonly) All emails are held for moderation.
Moderated, need authentication from editor (editorkeyonlyauth) If the sender is a moderator, request authorisation to ensure the moderators email has not been forged. If the sender is not a moderator the email is held for moderation.
restricted to local domain (intranet) If the sender is an owner, moderator or the email address ends with glasgow.ac.uk, or gla.ac.uk allow the email through to the list members otherwise reject the email with a reply to the sender informing them of the reason.
restricted to local domain and subscribers (intranetorprivate) If the sender is an owner, moderator, subscriber or the email address ends with glasgow.ac.uk, or gla.ac.uk allow the email through to the list members otherwise reject the email with a reply to the sender informing them of the reason.
Newsletter, restricted to moderators (newsletter) If the sender is an owner or moderator allow the email through to the list members otherwise reject the email with a reply to the sender informing them of the reason.
Newsletter, restricted to moderators after confirmation (newsletterkeyonly) If the sender is an owner or moderator request authorisation to ensure the email address has not been forged otherwise reject the email with a reply to the sender informing them of the reason.
restricted to subscribers (private) If the sender is an owner, moderator or subscriber allow the email through to list members otherwise reject the email with a reply to the sender informing them of the reason.
Private, moderated for non subscribers (privateandeditorkey) If the sender is an owner, moderator or subscriber allow the email through to list members otherwise hold the email for moderation.
Moderated, for non subscribers sending multipart messages (privateandnomultipartereditorkey) If the sender is a subscriber and the email is plain text only allow the email through. Otherwise hold the email for moderation.
restricted to subscribers with previous md5 authentication (privatekey) If the sender is a subscriber request authorisation to ensure the email address has not been forged otherwise reject the email with a reply to the sender informing them of the reason.
Moderated, for subscribers and even moderators themself (privatekeyandeditorkeyonly) If the sender is a subscriber or a moderator request authorisation to ensure the email address has not been forged otherwise reject the email with a reply to the sender informing them of the reason.
Private, moderated for non subscribers (privateoreditorkey) If the sender is a moderator or subscriber allow the email through to list members otherwise hold the email for moderation.
If the sender is a moderator or subscriber allow the email through to list members otherwise hold the email for moderation (privateorpublickey) If the sender is a subscriber allow the email through to the list members, otherwise request authorisation to ensure that the email address has not been forged.
restricted to subscribers and checked smime signature (private_smime) If the sender is an owner, moderator or subscriber AND the email is digitally signed then allow the email through to the list members otherwise reject the email with a reply to the sender informing them of the reason.
public list (public) Allow all email through
anyone no authentication if DKIM signature is OK (publickey) Request authorisation to ensure that the email address has not been forged.
public list multipart/mixed messages are forwarded to moderator (publicnoattachment) If the email has an attachment hold it for moderation otherwise allow it through.
public list, Bcc rejected (anti-spam) (public_nobcc) Allow the email through unless the list address is in the bcc.
public list multipart messages are rejected (publicnomultipart) Allow only plain text emails through otherwise reject the email with a reply to the sender informing them of the reason.
Secret (secret) If the sender is an owner or moderator allow the email through to the list members otherwise reject it with no response to the sender.

Explanation of terms

Moderation

This means that the email is held by sympa – notification will be sent to the moderators or owners of the list – the owner or moderator can then log in and decide to distribute the email to members or reject the email. The emails will normally be held for 30 days – if there has been no decision by that time the email will be deleted without sending it to the list members.

Authorisation

This means that an email will be sent back to the sender requesting that they verify (normally by replying to the email) that they did send the original email – only when that reply is received by Sympa will the original email be distributed to the list members (this is an anti spam measure).

Controlling how replies are handled by your list

There are a few options that dictate what happens when a recipient replies to a message sent to your Sympa list.

You can get to this option by logging in to Sympa and going to the Home page of your List.

  • In the box on the left-hand side click the link to the Admin pages.
  • Then in the red bar, there is an Edit list Config menu – Select “Sending/receiving setup”.
  • On the resulting page scroll down till you reach the Reply address option.
  • There are 3 settings under this option:- “Value:”, “Respect of existing header field” and “other email address:”.
  • Once you have made the changes you want, remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the update button.
ValueRespect of existing header fieldResult when someone replies to a message
All Overwrite Reply-To: header field Replies go to both the Sender & the list.
List Overwrite Reply-To: header field Replies are sent to the list.
Other email address Overwrite Reply-To: header field Replies are sent to the address in “other email address”.
Sender Overwrite Reply-To: header field Replies are to the sender of the message & not the list.
All Preserve existing header field Replies go to both the Sender & the list unless a Reply-To: has been set by the sender in which case it will go to the address specified by the sender.
List Preserve existing header field Replies are sent to the list unless a Reply-To: has been set by the sender in which case it will go to the address specified by the sender.
Other email address Preserve existing header field Replies are sent to the address in “other email address” unless a Reply-To: has been set by the sender in which case it will go to the address specified by the sender.
Sender Preserve existing header field Replies are to the sender of the message & not the list unless a Reply-To: has been set by the sender in which case it will go to the address specified by the sender.

Add list members

There are two main ways of adding/removing list members: via the web interface or via email.

List owners are not automatically added as list members. If you wish to receive postings to the list, you will need to add yourself as list members.

Add list members via web interface

Adding single member

This section shows you how to add list members one at a time.

  • Log into email lists with Sympa
  • Click on My lists, and you will see a page of the lists you own and the lists you are a member of. The lists you own will have a Review members link .
  • Click on Review members.
  • Under "Manage list members", you will find Add Subscribers.
  • Type in the email address of the person you wish to add to the list. If you do not want that person to be notified, then click on the box beside quiet.
  • Finally, click on Add to add the email address.

Adding multiple members

  • If instead you want to add multiple members click on Multiple add box.
  • Next, you will see a box, inside of which, you can add email addresses and names.
  • Please use one line for each email address and name.
  • The following are acceptable entries, the text after the email address is treated as the person's name but can be anything so you can use it to store a short comment:

             Someones.Name@Glasgow.ac.uk.ac.uk  Someone's Name

             bob@gmail.com

             alice@ed.ac.uk   an address at a different university

  • If you do not want the people to be notified, then click on the box beside quiet.
  • Finally, click on Add subscribers.

Add list members via email

To add list members via email, you send an email to sympa@lists.cent.gla.ac.uk with nothing in the Subject: line and in the message body put the following:

  • QUIET ADD listname username@domain Firstname Lastname
  • QUIT
  • If you need to add more than one subscriber, please put each email address on a separate line and before the word QUIT.
  • Use QUIET, if you don't want to notify the person you are subscribing to the list.
  • You do not need to have both Firstname and Lastname. You could have just one of them or you could have neither. That is, just have the email address.
  • You could invite someone to join a list. They will receive an email asking them to confirm. Once that is done, the person will be added.

             INVITE listname username@domain Firstname Lastname

Exclude list members via web interface

  1. Log into email lists with Sympa.
  2. Click My Lists and you will see the lists you own and the lists you are a member off.
  3. Select a list you want to exclude members from by clicking on the blue review members link.
  4. Scrolling down the page, you will see a list of email addresses subscribed to the list.
  5. Click on the email address you wish to exclude.
  6. Change the Receiving: dropdown menu from standard (direct reception) to no mail. Choose if you want the people to be notified or not and then click Update.

Please note: recipients will remain excluded until the Receiving dropdown menu is manually changed back to standard (direct reception).

Remove list members via web interface

  1. Log into email lists with Sympa
  2. Click My Lists to see the lists you own and the lists you are a member of.
  3. Select a list you want to add members to by clicking on the blue review members link.
  4. Scrolling down the page, you will see a list of email addresses subscribed to the list.
  5. Click on the box to the left hand side of the email address(es) you wish to remove.
  6. Choose if you want the people to be notified or not, then click on Delete selected email addresses. If you don't want the email addresses to be sent a leaving email click the Quiet box before you delete the email addresses.

Remove a list

If a list is no longer needed, it can be removed. 

Please note, if the list you are intending to remove is a sub-list of an existing superlist, removing a sub-list will affect the membership of any superlists they are associated with.

  1. Log into email lists with Sympa. 
  2. Click on My Lists and then select the list you want to remove. On the left hand side of the page is a blue Admin link – click on this to go to the main admin page.
  3. Under Drastic operations, click on Remove List
  4. Next, you should get confirmation on the web page. In the centre of the page, you should see the words - List has been closed. The list will now no longer appear on any indexes but you can still reach the admin pages by going directly to https://lists.cent.gla.ac.uk/sympa/listname (substituting listname with the name of your list).

If you have closed a list in error contact the UofG Helpdesk to get it restored, note however that closed lists are purged periodically and after this you would need to set up your list from scratch.

Moderated lists

A moderated list is one where postings to the list are checked before being passed onto the list.

  1. Log into email lists with Sympa.
  2. Click the my lists button.
  3. You will see a number of lists you own and a number of lists of which you are a member. Select the list you want to moderate by clicking on the list name and then on the left hand side the blue Admin link.
  4. Click on Edit list config, then click on Sending/receiving setup.
  5. Under Who can send messages click inside the box and select one of the options which contains the word moderated.
  6. Once you have chosen, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Update to commit changes.

Please bear in mind, if a moderated list has no assigned moderator, then the postings to the list will go to the list owner(s) for approval instead. If you do not wish to receive these messages, then you must add a list moderator.

Add a list moderator

  1. Login to the web interface and click the my lists button.
  2. You will see a number of lists you own and a number of lists of which you are a member.
  3. Select the list you want to moderate by clicking on the list name and then on the left hand side the blue Admin link.
  4. Click on Edit List Config, then click on List definition.
  5. Scroll down to where you can see the blue Moderators word, then add the moderator's email address, name and private information.
  6. If you already have a moderator which you want to remove, just simply remove the person's email address, name and private information details.
  7. Finally, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Update to commit the changes.
  8. Once you have added a moderator you can go back and add another one, a new set of input fields will appear.

Superlists and sublists

A super list is like an umbrella list, under which, there are one or more lists called sub list(s). If a message is sent to the umbrella list, then that message will also be sent to the sub list(s).

Note that members of more than one sub list under the same super list will not receive the same message more than once.

In order to create super lists and sub lists, you need to login to the web interface. Then you need to create your sub list(s) followed by your super list. This is just like creating a normal list.

  1. Click on the blue admin link on the admin page of the super list you have just created.
  2. Click on Edit List config, then click on Data sources setup.
  3. There is a box underneath List inclusion. In this box, type in the name of a sub list. After you have done this, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Update.
  4. Once the page reloads, you will see another box underneath the first one. If you have another sub list, type in the name of that list, then click Update.
  5. Repeat till you have included all your sub lists.

List owner email commands

Some administrative requests are only available to list owners. They are essential for all procedures in limited access mode, and to perform requests in place of users.

  • ADD listname user@host Firstname lastname - Add command similar to SUBSCRIBE. You can avoid user notification by using the QUIET prefix (i.e.: QUIET ADD).
  • DELETE listname user@host - Delete command similar to UNSUBSCRIBE. You can avoid user notification by using the QUIET prefix (i.e.: QUIET DELETE).
  • REMIND listname - REMIND is used by list owners in order to send an individual service reminder message to each subscriber. The text of the message can be modified by editing a template available using the web interface.
  • REMIND * - is used by the listmaster to send to each subscriber of any list a single message with a summary of his/her subscriptions.

List moderator email commands

If a list is moderated, the mailing lists service only distributes messages enabled by one of its moderators (editors). Moderators have several methods for enabling message distribution.

  • DISTRIBUTE "listname" "key" -If the "send" parameter of a list is set to editorkey or editorkeyonly, each message queued for moderation is stored in a spool (see queuemod), and linked to a key. The moderator must use this command to enable message distribution.
  • REJECT "listname" "key" - The message with the key key will be deleted from the moderation spool of the listname list.
  • MODINDEX "listname" - This command returns the list of messages queued for moderation for the listname list. The result is presented in the form of an index, which supplies, for each message, its sending date, its sender, its size, and its associated key, as well as all messages in the form of a digest.