Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR) FAQ: HEAR-maintained e-lists

HEAR e-lists home HEAR e-lists FAQ "Rules of the road" Other relevant e-lists

This FAQ (frequently-asked questions) document contains the answers to the most commonly-asked questions regarding internet mailing lists maintained by the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

For itemization of specific lists maintained by HEAR, or for additional information about these lists and how to use them (as well as information about other related lists), please refer to the HEAR-maintained internet mailing lists homepage.

Questions addressed include:

What exactly is an internet mailing list, anyway?

"Internet lists" (sometimes known as "listservs" or "list servers") are handy for sharing information/interacting with others regarding a specific topic of common interest. When you "subscribe" to an internet list on a particular topic, your email address is added to the list of addresses of all other subscribers to that list. When any member of the list sends a message to the list, everyone on the list receives the message. You may then reply to the message to the list, or to the individual who sent the message, as appropriate.

There are different types of lists. Without getting into to much detail, I'll point out a few of the variations.

  • List server software (LISTPROC, LISTSERV, MAJORDOMO, etc.)
    There are various programs which maintain internet lists, some of the most common being LISTPROC, LISTSERV, and MAJORDOMO. These programs are maintained on each list's host computer; subscribing to lists requires no special software on your machine (just whatever you already use for e-mail). Each of these lists requires slightly different syntax when subscribing, unsubscribing, etc. Typically, if send a message containing only the text "HELP" (no quotes) to the server--in either the subject line or the body text of the message, depending on the software--you will receive by automated "return e-mail" a list of the valid commands for that list processing software. (All the lists itemized on this page are set up using LISTPROC or LISTSERV.)

  • PUBLIC vs. PRIVATE lists
    A public list is one to which anyone may subscribe. Anyone may also submit a request to be on a private list. However, when you send a subscription request to a private list, however, the administrator of that list receives the request and must APPROVE your subscription before you are actually subscribed to the list. Therefore, when sending a request to subscribe to a private list, it may also be adviseable to send a message directly to the list's administrator introducing yourself and explaining your interest in the list. (The administrator of all the lists itemized on this page is hearlistadmin@hear.org.) (Some HEAR-maintained lists are public, some are private; this is indicated in the descriptive text for each particular list.)

    An unmoderated list is one on which your messages are sent directly to each person on the list. Messages sent to a moderated ("censored") list, on the other hand, are reviewed by the list administrator for appropriateness, etc. before being distributed to the subscribers. (All HEAR-maintained lists are UNmoderated.)

    An archived list is one which automatically stores copies of all messages received by this list in an archival file (usually accumulated monthly), which may be accessible to list members either through the University of Hawaii online Listserv archives or via a request to the list server (e.g. LISTSERV). New users can use these archives to review what has transpired on the list previously; long-time subscribers often access these archives to find "that critical message that I REMEMBER receiving, but I forgot thenbsp;details...!"). (Syntax for retrieving archives can be obtained by requesting help from the list server.) (All HEAR-maintained lists are archived, with archives accessible by any subscriber.)

How do I (un)subscribe (from/)to HEAR internet lists?

  1. Online Interface
    All of the lists maintained by HEAR are hosted by the University of Hawaii. You can subscribe, unsubscribe, and modify subscription settings to all HEAR lists via the University of Hawaii Listserv online interface at the listserv website (https://listserv.hawaii.edu). Go to the individual HEAR listserv's page and click on the (Un)subscribe link, then follow the directions given.

  2. Email Commands
    You can also subscribe by sending an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LISTS.HAWAII.EDU including the following text (don't include the brackets ["<>"]):

SUBSCRIBE <listname> First name Last name

For example, for Lloyd Loope to subscribe to the ALLISCS-DISCUSS-L list, he would send (as the TEXT, not the SUBJECT) a message to LISTSERV@LISTS.HAWAII.EDU from his e-mail account as follows:


Note: The body of your e-mail must be in PLAIN TEXT FORMAT with a BLANK SUBJECT LINE and BLANK E-MAIL BODY other than the LISTSERV command.

It is customary to send a message of introduction to the list immediately after you received acknowledgement from the list server that your subscription has been approved; that way, the other members of the list know that you've joined them, and to let others know who you are, your interests, etc. (Hint: You'll send this message to <listname>@LISTS.HAWAII.EDU, not to LISTSERV@LISTS.HAWAII.EDU. See "How do I send messages to HEAR-maintained lists?" for more information about this.)

UNSUBSCRIBING: Please UNSUBSCRIBE your account before closing or changing your internet account (to avoid unnecessary hassle to the list administrator). To unsubscribe, simply follow the "(un)subscribe" link on the individual HEAR list's web page, or send a message (as above) from the subscribed account as follows:


...substituting the list name to which you are subscribed for "ALLISCS-DISCUSS-L" in the above example.

How do I send messages to HEAR-maintained lists?

Sending mail to subscribers of HEAR internet lists is easy. Simply address your e-mail to <listname>@LISTS.HAWAII.EDU just like you would address e-mail to any other person. In this case, however, instead of your message being sent to just an individual recipient, it will be sent to ALL the current subscribers to that list. So, a typical address would be something like MISC-L@LISTS.HAWAII.EDU.) You can add the list address (<listname>@LISTS.HAWAII.EDU) to your e-mail address book just as you can any other address, and treat it just as all other addresses in every other respect. (Since everyone's e-mail software is different, please check your software documentation or consult your system administrator for general questions about how to use e-mail, and if you have questions regarding how to operate your specific e-mail software.)

It is customary to send a message of introduction to the list immediately after you received acknowledgement from the list server that your subscription has been approved; that way, the other members of the list know that you've joined them, and to let others know who you are, your interests, etc.

To unsubscribe to a list, get a list of current subscribers, access list archives, or to perform other maintenance functions regarding your subscription, you'll send e-mail not to the list members, but to LISTSERV@LISTS.HAWAII.EDU instead (remember, you sent your subscription request to this address?). In order to find out how to perform these functions, send from your e-mail account to LISTSERV@LISTS.HAWAII.EDU an e-mail message with a BLANK subject and the following text:


...and/or refer to the UH Listserv subscriber's help document Adobe Acrobat PDF icon.

(If all of this still doesn't make sense, or you're stuck on a particular issue, e-mail the HEAR list administrator.)

NOTE: LISTSERV "knows" what e-mail account you're subscribed to when you're sending messages to the lists, and the HEAR lists are set up so that only subscribers to a particular list are allowed to submit messages to that list. (This is so our lists don't get inundated with "SPAM" [unsolicited commercial e-mails].) Therefore, generally you cannot send messages to a HEAR list from any account except the one you used to originally subscribe to the list.

For more detailed information about the LISTSERV list server, refer to the List Subscriber's Manual Adobe Acrobat PDF icon from L-SOFT's LISTSERV resources page.

(If any of this doesn't make sense, or you're stuck on a particular issue, e-mail the HEAR list administrator.)

Who's subscribed to various HEAR-maintained lists?

If you want to find out who is subscribed to a particular HEAR mailing list, email the HEAR list administrator & explain your need. The list administrator can obtain the subscriber list and send appropriate information to you.

How do I change my listserv email address?

Only the hearlist administrators can update email addresses in the UH listserv system. Users must unsubscribe and resubscribe with an updated address. As a service to our subscribers, we are more than happy to update email addresses for you. Just email the HEAR list administrator (hearlistadmin@hear.org).

*Please Note: Outdated email addresses that remain subscribed to the listserv generate error messages for every message sent to that listserv. These addresses/subscribers are deleted from the listserv if we do not recieve and updated email address. If you know that your email address will be changing, or has changed, please let us know and we will update it. We appreciate the kokua.

Where do I get more information about more advanced features of HEAR internet lists?

For more information about advanced features of HEAR internet lists, including how to access archives/etc., see the following online documentation (some from the University of Hawaii, where our lists are hosted; and some from CREN, the listserver software creator):

If you're really stuck and the above documents don't help you solve your problem, feel free to e-mail the HEAR list administrator (hearlistadmin@hear.org).

PDF icon Some documents posted on the HEAR website are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. If your computer is not already set up to read these files, you can download the FREE Adobe Acrobat reader. You can set up most web browsers to automatically invoke this reader (as a "helper application" or "add-in") upon encountering documents of this type (refer to your browser's documentation for how to do this). [Download Acrobat reader]

The Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR) is currently funded by grants from the Hau'oli Mau Loa Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service with support from PCSU (UH Manoa). Historically, HEAR has also received funding and/or support from the Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN) of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), PIERC (USGS), the USFWS, HCSU (UH Hilo), and HALE (NPS).

  [  top ]    [ HEAR e-lists home ]    [ HEAR home ]

Comments, questions, feedback about this website or its contents? e-mail the HEAR project
This document was adapted from the previously-existing document http://www.hear.org/hear/hearlists.htm on 20 June 2002 by PT, and was last updated on 16 October 2011 by PN.
Valid HTML 4.01!