A: The user-visible part of a mailing list is a normal e-mail address (e. g. firstname.lastname@example.org (fictional name)). When mail is sent to this address, the message is automatically distributed to everyone currently subscribed to the list, including the sender.
Q: OK, that's great, but I am a reviewer for the TDB project and I have my own distribution lists in my mailing program that I can use instead. Why should I even consider bothering to use a mailing list?
A: You don't have to, but there are some reasons why you may still wish to do so. Here they are:
Q: So, who is on these lists anyway?
A: For the unrestricted list email@example.com, anyone who so wishes can subscribe and be put on the distribution list. The distribution lists for the restricted mailing lists normally contain all the people in the review teams, as well as the designated Executive Group liaison for the review group in question group, plus (always) the TDB project coordinator. The EG mailing list is also distributed to the chairman of the TDB Management Board. If you send mail to the mailing lists, you don't risk forgetting anyone who should be informed. It is not uncommon, that limited numbers of people in a review group or whatever have little discussions among themselves, cc:ing messages only to a limited number of people, and then when some decision is reached, noone else knows what has happened and confusion reigns. By keeping relevant discussions "public", so to say, on a mailing list, people are automatically kept up to date and can trace what has happened in the archives.
Q: Does this mean, that anyone can now terroriSe me by sending irrelevant mail to these lists, and go in and read my messages in the archives?
A: No. Only the people registered by the NEA can send mail to the restricted mailing lists, and these same people are also the only ones who will receive the mail from these mailing lists. The archives all require a user name and password for access, so no-one outside the group, excepting the TDB Management Board, TDB Executive Group and NEA TDB project coordinator, can read the archives of the restricted mailing lists. The archive of the unrestricted mailing list tdb-announce is, of course, open for anyone to read. Submissions to the unrestricted firstname.lastname@example.org list must be approved by the NEA project co-ordinator before they can be posted. This restriction is automatically upheld by the mailing list software.
Q: I have forgotten the e-mail address of the mailing list for my review group/organisation unit. What is it?
A: To avoid commercial junk mail programs that go through the web pages and extract e-mail addresses to send their unsolicited mail to, the mailing list addresses for the restricted lists are not openly listed. Go to the specific web pages for your review group or organisational unit; the mailing list address can be found by clicking on "Mailing list", which should display a document giving, among other things, the address of the list. The mailing list addresses can also be found in the common area for review team material on the TDB web pages.
Q: How do I know that my message has been distributed?
A: If your message was accepted and distributed by the mailing list software, you should get back a copy of your own message if you sent to a list where you are on the distribution list (usually the review team or organisational group where you are a member). If you don't, there is most probably something wrong. Possible reasons for the failure are:
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Last reviewed: 27 May 2011