Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

What is a Listserv Mailing List

Definition of Terms

Listserv is the registered trade mark owned by Lsoft International Inc., the company which owns, develops, and markets the server software. Historically, the term was used to refer to the server software (e.g., Listserv is down.) or to the userid where commands are sent (e.g., Send all email commands to Listserv.). The email address of the Listserv server at Queen's University is Listserv@Lists.QueensU.CA
Mailing Lists
Mailing lists are created for specific topics or groups of individuals who want to carry on public or private conversations with each other. The most common use for mailing lists at Queen's is for courses. Students are added to their class mailing list each term the list is required so that instructors can send them information or carry on private discussions. To send or post mail to a class mailing list, an instructor composes an email to the list. The email address for a mailing list at Queen's is: Listname-L@Lists.QueensU.Ca, where Listname-L is the name of your mailing list.

Taken together, Listserv is a server which permits the creation of separate mailing lists and automates subscriptions to these lists. The server manages email sent to these lists by scanning the subscriptions and then sending mail to the appropriate subscribers for each mailing list. The server also instantly stores messages on the mailing list home page to be viewed by a web browser. In many ways, Listserv mimics the procedures in the delivery of various newspapers and magazines that you may subscribe to and receive by the Postal Service at your door, only Listserv does it electronically and with much less human intervention.

For more detailed information on the server software and on mailing lists in general, review the appropriate Lsoft manuals located on the Listserv Documentation page.