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Mailing List Owner's Agreement & Guidelines

The mailing list service provides an efficient and easy way to distribute information to large numbers of people or groups via email. Mailing lists may have fixed subscriber lists (called static) or subscriber lists based on a search/query to a database and automatically updated (also called dynamic lists). 

The Johns Hopkins mailing list service is available to all students, faculty, staff, contractors and friends who are currently affiliated and have a valid JHED Login ID with The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

The List Owner’s Agreement is intended to clarify the list owner's responsibilities and assist in properly creating and managing lists they are responsible for.  List Owners must agree to the following items prior to requesting a list.

Creating Lists

  1. The Enterprise Messaging team will reserve the right to disapprove any list request if deamed inappropriate to Hopkins Institution Email Use and Policy:

  2. There must be at least two (2) owners listed for a mailing list. All lists will include a message footer provided by the system which includes an easy way for users to unsubscribe (open list) or request to unsubscribe (closed list) from the list. The message footer is not editable by the list owner or list subscribers

  3. List owners must agree to provide their contact information in emails to list subscribers.

Managing Dynamic Lists

  1. If you are requesting a dynamic list (a dynamic list a list populated in real-time by connecting to a data source – database or LDAP server) there are some requirements for dynamic lists.  The Enterprise Messaging team will reserve the right to disapprove any dynamic list request if deamed inappropriate (ie, reasons for disaproval could be based on the size of the dynamic list, unspecific search criteria from the owner, the intended audience, or the intended scope of the list).

  2. The data sources for dynamically populated lists can be provided by the list requester (owner), or by IT @ JH which will use the data found in JHED. 

  3. The Enterprise Messaging team is not responsible for the accuracy of the data held within JHED.  If requesting a dynamic list using JHED information, the owner needs to provide the search criteria and approve no less than 90% accuracy when the list is pulled from JHED.  The Enterprise Messaging team will work with owners to improve the accuracy of the list as best as possible, but in some cases it maybe required to contact the System of Records to change/modify data. 

  4. If the data is being supplied from the owner's database source, the mailing list server needs to be able to connect to that server and database, and a username and password that has appropriate rights to read the queried data will need to be provided.  Any changes to the owner's data that impacts the query needs to be sent to so that the querycan be updated and the list maintains it's accuracy.

Managing Subscribers

  1. List owners are required to respond to subscribers' requests to be removed  from a list in a timely fashion.

  2. List owners should keep subscriber lists up-to-date. For a dynamic list using the owner's database source, it is the owner's responsibility for managing the data by adding/deleting people from their database. 

  3. If the dynamic list is populated by JHED, and a subscriber has requested to be removed from a list, the owner must notify to have the customer removed.  If the owner needs to add additional people who are not getting pulled into the list by the query, they can add them “statically” via the website or command line by sending an email to the list server.  Please see the Help screen at for more information.

Using and Managing Lists

  1. List owners have the responsibility to help individuals on their list understand that the mailing lists are subject to all University email policies.

  2. List owners need to address errors related to their list such as email loops (from vacations messages or incorrect forwarding), bouncing from bad email addresses, and off-topic/inappropriate message by taking the proper action to remove/unsubscribe the offending email address. 

  3. The Enterprise Messaging team will perform periodic scans of mailing lists for activity.  If any list found to be inactive for over one (1) year, the list will be closed.

  4. List owners must respond to requests made by the Listmaster,  Failure to respond to requests may result in temporary disabling of mailing list.

  5. Maximum total message size is 5MB. If an attachment causes the total message size to the mailing list to exceed 5MB, it is recommended to post the attachment to a website or ftp site and send the url to the mailing list.

  6. Owners should be aware of possible complications with sending HTML formated messages to a list since some email clients will not or cannot display such messages correctly.  Since the Enterprise Messaging team cannot support nor guarantee that all email clients can read HTML formatted messages, we suggest all correspondences within a list should be plain text to minimize display issues. 

  7. If customer inquiries arise due to the use of HTML formated messages, those inquires will be referred back to the owner of the list for clarification.  This may prompt subsequent emails to be sent in plain text.