Listserv Mailing Lists - University of Houston
Skip to main content

Listserv Mailing Lists

A LISTSERV is a system that makes it possible to create, manage and control electronic mailing lists on our campus network or the Internet. A mailing list is a list of people's names and addresses that is used to send certain messages or announcements to many people at once who share a common interest in the contents of the message.

You can generally choose to join or leave a mailing list at any time depending upon the type of the mailing list configuration.

A current archive of publicly accessible mailing lists at the University of Houston is available.

This document discusses how to request a mailing list, the responsibilities of a list owner, and how to join or leave a mailing list. More information on requesting a mailing list is available at the UH LISTSERV home page.

The following topics are covered on this page:

Creating a Mailing List

To request a mailing list you must fill out and submit a LISTSERV Request Form, which is available online. Before you request a new mailing list, make sure that the purpose for your list adheres to the conditions of use set forth by the Computing Facility Guidelines. In addition, your request must conform to the following mailing list creation guidelines:

  1. Mailing lists should generally support the academic mission of the University or its contribution to scholarship and community service at the national or international level.
  2. Mailing lists associated with instructional courses should be "owned" by the instructor, and participation should be at the discretion of the individual student (unless required as part of the class) - no student should have the ability to exclude or include other students in the class.
  3. Mailing lists should be associated with a topic or recognized group rather than an individual. The University provides official sanction for student groups and it is appropriate that part of the privileges associated with that sanction include access to listservs.
  4. Students should be allowed to apply for and use mailing lists as part of their academic experience with the support of a faculty advisor or the Dean of Students Office. Use of mailing lists is not equivalent to electronic mail accounts and is subject to review. Use of mailing lists must be in accordance with the Computer Facilities User Guidelines.
  5. Student requests sponsored by a faculty member or the Dean of Students Office will generally be approved. Due to the matriculation of students, it is important that a more permanent member of the university community be associated with the account.

Before you request a mailing list, you need to know the following information:

List Name
What the list will be called. University Information Technology recommends 20 characters or less. Example: UH-ITNEWS

Short Description
A one line description of the list, which can be up to 45 characters in length. When someone issues a LIST command to LISTSERV to find out what lists are available, this one line description is returned, along with the list name. Example: UH-ITNEWS is "News from UH Information Technology."

Long Description
A multi-line, more complete description of the list. When someone issues a REVIEW command for your list, LISTSERV sends this description, along with other basic information about the list. Example: UH-ITNEWS is "A distribution list for news items from the University of Houston's Information Technology (IT) department. The news items are prepared and posted by UH IT Information Services."

List Owner
Name of the person(s) responsible for maintaining the list.

Public: Anyone can subscribe without action by the list owner. Private: The list owner will subscribe people to the list.

Listserv Archives
When the LISTSERV archive feature is turned on, all correspondence is saved and available for retrieval.

WWW Archives
When the WWW archive feature is turned on, archives will be made available via the Web at Please note that your list will be publicly accessible, meaning whatever information that is posted to your list will be made available to the entire Internet.

Global List of Listservs
When the option to include in the Global List is on, your LISTSERV will be known to all servers in the world. When it is off, only people at UH will know about it.

The List Owner

List owners should be persons who will undertake the responsibility of managing the list in all of its aspects. A list owner may be a moderator; a list owner may be called upon to determine why a user can't unsubscribe from the list, or to handle delivery errors, or to fix other problems that may arise.

Some tasks that a list owner may have to perform are:


All automated LISTSERV commands are sent by email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UH.EDU. When sending LISTSERV commands, the commands must be in the body of the message not in the subject.

Note: All LISTERV commands must be in the body of the message and emailed to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UH.EDU. You may leave the subject field blank. In the following examples, listname should be replaced by the name of the mailing list.

To subscribe to a LISTSERV, send

SUBSCRIBE listname

To unsubscribe to a LISTSERV, send

SIGNOFF listname

To see who is subscribed to a list, send

REVIEW listname

To obtain a list of all mailing lists on campus, send


To review your subscriber options, send

QUERY listname

Sending Mail to a List

Once you are subscribed to a list, all you need to do is ask your question or participate in the current discussion and wait for someone to answer.

To post a new message to the list, send mail to the list address using the same procedure as when you send mail to someone. Your mail program does not need to know that you are sending to a mailing list. The list address should be in the following format:


By default, you will receive a copy of any mail message sent to the list including a copy of any message you send to the list.


General User's Guide for LISTSERV, version 1.8c, L-Soft international, Inc.
Find L-Soft online information

Contact Us