Overview of Listserv Lists

Email is an important part of life at the university, and use of email is a common requirement in academic classes. Many instructors require participation in email discussion groups known as Listserv lists.

A Listserv list is a single email address that contains the email addresses of all its members. When any one person sends an email message (or replies to) that single address, everyone on the list receives a copy of the message. This makes Listserv lists an useful tool for discussions, whether they are simply covering local topics within the university or specific topics of interest among the list members. 

NOTE: Not all mailing lists are Listserv lists.

A Listserv list consists of two parts: a listname and a host-address. The listname generally reflects the topic discussed on the list. The host is the computer on which the list resides. For instance, listserv.umd.edu is the University of Maryland Listserv host. It handles a large number of lists, with names such as WMST-L (the Women's Studies List) and BIOL 105 (the Intro to Biology list). An example of a Listserv list address would be: WMST-L@listserv.umd.edu.

For information on how to start a new Listserv list, see Guidelines for Establishing a New Listserv List.