When you send a message to a list it will be read by a variety of people, on a variety of computers. This means that messages need to be sent in a format that can be read in as many of those situations as possible.
Please remember that all messages must comply with the OCR Community Acceptable Use Policy.
Security of E-mail messages
Due to the nature of the Internet, the security of your messages cannot be guaranteed, and you should bear this in mind when posting confidential information to the list. This is true even when access to the list is limited. In particular, you should never send live examination questions via unencrypted email.
Use a meaningful subject line
Since the subject line in your message is what other people use to find out what your message is about before they open and read it, you should try to make your subject descriptive and succinct.
You should also keep in mind that when you are replying to a message, the subject won't change unless you change it. So if the topic changes, you should change the subject line appropriately.
The best messages are those that are brief and to the point and most importantly relevant to the list. It's good practice to not send messages like "I agree" to the whole list and not sending messages purely to point out other people's errors in typing or spelling is always welcomed.
When you do reply to a list, it is usually a good idea to quote part (quoting the entire message is unnecessary) of the original message, so that List Members reading the reply have a context.
If you ask a question on the list, or send a questionnaire, you should send a summary (not just a long list of all the messages) of the responses to the list.
Watch where that reply is going
In most cases, OCR Community mailing lists are set so that replies to a message are directed to the list, and not directly to the sender. Since this may not be appropriate, you should really ask if your reply will be of interest to everyone before replying to the whole list.
Some email programs will automatically carbon-copy (cc) your reply to the whole list as well as sending it to the original sender, so always check the message headers before sending.
Most email programs can send non-text files, such as word-processed documents, or computer programs, via email. These are called attachments.
You shouldn't normally send attachments to lists, unless you are on a small closed list and you know that all the other List Members can cope with the attachment.
On larger lists you should send a message to the list asking List Members to contact you if they want the attachment.
In your own interests we advise you to scan any attachment you do receive for viruses before opening it.
Format of emails
Some email programs allow you to format your email as an HTML page. This option should be turned off before sending messages to a list.
To do this in Outlook Express go to 'Edit' - 'Preferences' - 'Compose', then make sure that 'Mail Format' is set to 'Plain Text' in the drop down menu, and also that the 'Reply to messages in the format in which they were sent' box is unchecked.
Please refer to the user documentation for all other email programs.
Messages sent to the list should use plain text. You should only use ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange), or standard keyboard characters in your email messages. Some email programs will allow you to send non-standard characters, but this does not mean that other List Members can read your messages. To be on the safe side make sure your messages don't:
- Use foreign characters such as È (E-grave)
- Use pound (£) signs. You can avoid using the pound sign by writing "30 pounds" instead of "£30"
- Use "smart quotes" if pasting text from a word processor
Many people include a 'signature' at the bottom of email messages, which gives personal details such as name, email address and phone number. It's good practice to use a short, well-designed signature of preferably four lines long at the most!
Please respect people's privacy and copyright. You should not send emails to the list that you have received privately unless you have the permission of the author of the message. It violates their copyright, and could expose you to civil and/or criminal liability.
Messages sent to a closed mailing list should not be forwarded to non-List Members without the author's permission.
Messages sent a public list can be forwarded provided that:
- The message is not changed or reworded
- Attribution is given to the author
- Any appended copyright notice is respected
Remember that a large audience will see your messages, so be careful what you write. You should also bear in mind that List Members may keep a copy of your messages or they may also be archived, so your words could be stored for a very long time!
You should think twice before replying to something that you feel angry about.
Commercial advertising is not allowed on OCR Community mailing lists. However, publicising items of potential interest to List Members, such as new releases of software packages, publications, conferences, etc., can be to the benefit of the List Members.
If you have an advert which you feel would be of interest to members of a particular list, then you should send the message to the List Owner. If the message is deemed suitable, the List Owner will forward it to the list.
The OCR Community mailing lists may not be used to send junk mail of any kind. This means unsolicited commercial email, chain letters, press releases or advertisements. You should be aware anyone who uses a list for this purpose, no matter what the subject, can be banned from using any OCR Community mailing list, and their mail administrator or Internet service provider will be contacted.
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