Listserv: FAQs for List Owners


Access LISTSERV

Click ListServ at Princeton University to access the ListServ application.

ListServ Login

If you have an active Princeton email address (netID@princeton.edu), login to LISTSERV using your Princeton University email address and password.

login prompt

LISTSERV users with non-Princeton email addresses can access the LISTSERV web interface by registering for a LISTSERV password using their external email address. Please refer to Register for a LISTSERV Password for more information.

Request a ListServ

To Request a ListServ, complete the LISTSERV Request form in the Princeton Service Portal.

Add or Remove ListServ subscribers

Log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University. In the List Management Dashboard, select the list you want to manage from the Select List pull-down menu. Click List Management on the LISTSERV toolbar and select Subscriber Management.  

Remove an address that causes undeliverable errors

Sometimes an address is accidentally subscribed to the Listserv list that is formatted in a way that renders it unusable.  It generates undeliverable errors and the List owner is unable to unsubscribe it themselves.  Here is how OIT can do it for them:

Add subscribers from a spreadsheet

  1. Your list of subscribers must be in the proper format. The input file must be a plain text file, *.txt, (not a Word document or a spreadsheet) and must contain one email address per line, optionally followed by a space (or Tab) and the subscriber's name. If your list of subscribers is in an Excel spreadsheet or Word document, you will need to save it to the proper format before bulk processing to the LISTSERV list. Note the text file cannot contain any extraneous data, just a column of email addresses and (optional) subscriber name. 
  2. Log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University. From List Management on the toolbar, select Subscriber Management. If you own several lists on LISTSERV, first select the list from the drop down box and ensure that you are adding subscribers to the desired list. Click on the Bulk Operations tab for the list. In the Function area, select the appropriate radio button. In the Input File box, browse or type in the path to the text file (created from step 1) containing the desired subscribers.
  3. Before clicking the Import button on the Bulk Operations page, it is helpful to know how many subscribers included in your text file because once you click the Import button, LISTSERV will display a confirming message indicating how may subscribers have been successfully added/removed, and also, if there were any errors with the import. When you are ready, click the Import button to add/remove the subscribers. Verify that the proper numbers of subscribers have been added/removed.

Display To and CC to all subscribers

LISTSERV Lists remove all addresses from the TO: and CC: headers other than the list itself by default. For example, if a user sends a message such as:

TO: computing-support@princeton.edu
CC: billgates@outlook.com
When it is distributed to the subscribers of computing-support@princeton.edu , they will only see the following in the to field:

TO: computing-support@princeton.edu
This behavior can be changed to retain the contents of the TO: and CC: headers, but it is configured on a subscriber level basis, meaning that each individual subscriber may change their own personal setting. As as listowner, you may change the default setting which all subscribers receive when they are are subscribed. You must then also bulk change the setting for all existing subscribers.

The change the default setting for your list, add the following keyword to the Default-Options line: IETFHDR

To change the settings for your existing subscribers, send the following command to listserv@princeton.edu or by going to List Management - LISTSERV Command:
QUIET SET yourlistname IETFHDR FOR @


Note that setting IETFHDR for a list will supercede the setting of the Reply-To Keyword. When subscribers are set to IETFHDR, the Reply-To keyword will always be reset to Reply-To=Sender for those members.

Add or change a List Owner

If you already own the list, to add or change the owner, follow these steps:

  1. Log into LISTSERV at Princeton University.
  2. Select List Management from the toolbar, then select List Configuration and List Configuration Tasks.
  3. If you own more than one list, select the list you want to modify from the Select List drop-down.
    • You may then add/change /delete list owners' email addresses by modifying the Owner= input box.
    • To remove a List Owner, simply delete the owner's email address from the box.  When you are finished, click the Save button.

Add a Quiet Owner

A Quiet Owner has the same list management abilities as a non-quiet list Owner, except that a Quiet Owner does not receive any error messages (e.g. bounce or non-delivery messages) or other administrative email notifications (e.g. subscribers voluntarily leaving the list) from LISTSERV.

Note: A LISTSERV list must have at least one non-quiet Owner.

To add or change a Quiet Owner for a list that you own, please follow these steps:

  1. Log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University.
  2. Select List Management from the toolbar, then select List Configuration and List Configuration Tasks.
  3. If you own more than one list, select the list you want to modify from the Select List drop-down. You may then add/change /delete list Quiet Owners' email addresses in the Quiet: input box. 

To make an existing list Owner a Quiet Owner, simply move the email address from the Owner= input box to the Quiet: input box.
To remove a Quiet Owner, simply delete the owner's address from the Quiet: input box.

Add a Configuration Owner

Limit subscribers to Princeton only

Note: In order to limit your list to members of the Princeton community, you may need to change your LISTSERV preferences.

  1. Log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University.
  2. In the upper right corner of the LISTSERV toolbar, click Preferences. Under General Preferences, set the Mode to Expert Mode and click Update.

To limit your list's subscribers, please follow these steps:

  1. Log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University.
  2. Select List Management from the toolbar, then List Configuration and List Configuration Tasks.
  3. If you own more than one list, select the list you want to modify from the Select List: drop-down.
  4. Click the Security tab. Scroll down to the Confidential section and, from the drop-down, select Service.
  5. Scroll down further to the Service section, type princeton.edu,*.princeton.edu in the input box. This will limit subscriber requests to subscribers who have princeton.edu email addresses. This setting has no impact when a subscriber is directly added to the list by the list Owner.

Limit senders to Princeton only

Note: In order to limit your list to members of the Princeton community, you may need to change your LISTSERV preferences.

  1. Log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University.
  2. In the upper right corner of the LISTSERV toolbar, click Preferences. Under General Preferences, set the Mode to Expert Mode and click Update

To limit your list's senders, please follow these steps:

  1. Log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University.
  2. Select List Management from the toolbar, then List Configuration and List Configuration Tasks.
  3. If you own more than one list, select the list you want to modify from the Select List: drop-down.
  4. Click the Security tab. Scroll down to to the Send section and drop the box down to set Send= to Service.
  5. Scroll down further to the Service section, type princeton.edu,*.princeton.edu in the input box. This will limit postings to the list to those from people who have princeton.edu email addresses.

Add senders who are not subscribers

In general, it is not good practice to allow senders to a list who are not also subscribers, except for the list owners.  Assuming your list allows all subscribers to post to it, the first way to add a new sender is to make them a subscriber.

If you have an overriding need to make one or more persons a sender without being a list subscriber you have several approaches available to you:

  1. Add the sender's email address to the valid senders list
  2. Create a list (another listserv list) of non-list member senders and add the listname to the valid senders list.

When to use which approach:

Use #1 when you are processing a one off.  You are certain that this address will never need to be placed as a sender on any other list and that no additional sender addresses will be added to this list.

Use #2 when you don't know if the criteria for #1 will be met.  Examples of this are a group of departmental people who need to send to the department's lists.  You don't want to have to update every list every time this group changes.  The solution is to create a separate list (call it DepartmentSenders for this example) and to subscribe these users to the DepartmentSenders list.  Then add "(departmentsenders)" to the list of allowed senders (using the instructions below).  Even if you have only 1 user this can be a win because you can unsubscribe them from DepartmentSenders and that will remove all there non-standard sending privileges.  You can go back and clean up the "(departmentsenders)" entries at your leisure.

To add additional senders, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University.
  2. Select List Management from the toolbar, then List Configuration and List Configuration Wizard.
  3. If you own more than one list, select the list you want to modify from the Select List: drop-down.
  4. Click the Access Control tab. Scroll down to to the Send section.
  5. Place your additional email address ("user@somewhere") or list reference ("(DepartmentSenders)") in the larger box.  If you have any questions, examples of valid formats appear below the box).
  6. Click Save

Access List Archive

To access your list's archive, please follow these steps:

  1. Log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University
  2. The List Management Dashboard will display the lists you own and additional information about the current list configuration of your list(s).
  3. Click the list's name to access the list Home Page, which displays the latest posted messages, the list archives, and the Search box for simple and advanced searches.
  4. On the right side of the screen, click on Advanced Options to search for a specific message by subject, authors email, key words (String) and/or date range.

Sub-lists and super-lists

A super-list is a "container" list that includes all the subscribers in a predefined set of sub-lists. A super-list becomes a super-list with the addition of the Sub-lists= keyword. The value of the keyword is a comma separated list of all the sub-lists. For example: Sub-lists= Testlist1, Testlist2 may be added to the list header of the super-list named Test to sub-list other LISTSERV lists named Testlist1 and Testlist2. The sub-lists added to your super-list must be lists that you own.
The difference between a normal list and a super-list is what happens when you post to it. With the super-list, the membership of all the sub-lists is added (recursively) and duplicates are suppressed. Other than that, the super-list is a normal list with its own archives, access control, etc. 

Only the LISTSERV administrator can add the Sub-Lists= keyword to your lists. If you wish to use sub-lists, please email your request to listhelp@princeton.edu.

Enable self-subscription

Use the url https://lists.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=LISTNAME&A=1  Replace LISTNAME with the name (not the email address) of the List.  They will then be taken to a Listserv page where they'll be prompted to add their name and email address in order to subscribe.  The request will either be automatically granted, or forwarded to the List owners for their approval, depending on how the List is configured.

Setup approval for messages before they are posted

It is possible for the list owner (or configuration owner) to change settings so that messages sent to the list must be approved by an Editor or Moderator before being distributed to the listserv subscribers.

What is the difference between an Editor and a Moderator?

How to configure a Listserv list to have an editor:

Next, define who the editor is.  

  1. On the top bar, select the Administrators tab.
  2. Enter email addresses in the Editor= field. Note that these Editors can be, but do not need to be, listserv owners.
    • You must have at least one Editor, even if you intend to have moderators.
  3. Click Save when all desired Editors have been added.

Once you have the List configured and and one or more Editors defined, you can then chose to add moderators:

Newsletter Templates

Newsletter templates for LISTSERV lists are a new feature in LISTSERV 16.0; however, they are disabled by default. To request that newsletter templates be enabled for your list(s), email your request to listhelp@princeton.edu.

Once the newsletter template is enabled for your list, log into the LISTSERV at Princeton University. From the the List Management Dashboard, select the list name in the table to get the list Home Page. On the list Home Page, click on Newsletter Templates in the Options section on the right side of the page.

Delete a LISTSERV list

Please submit a Generic Request to have your Listserv list deleted.  You must be a list owner, and should inform your co-owners (if any) before requesting deletion.