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Important news for Mailbase users

From 27 November 2000, the National Mailing List Service for the UK academic sector (Mailbase) will be transferred to a new service, known as JISCmail.

You can get further information about these changes from the Mailbase web pages at:


or from the IT Services Helpdesk.

Introducing the JISCmail Service

This article by Penny Windebank, the JISCmail Information Officer, first appeared in UKERNA News and is reproduced with kind permission of the author.

This service is the successor to the Mailbase service provided by the University of Newcastle. It is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee and is run by CLRC [Central Laboratory of the Research Councils] at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire. The JISCmail service will migrate all existing mailing lists, archives and files from Mailbase to JISCmail. The JISCmail service will provide the e-mail distribution for lists and the maintenance of archives of the e-mails and files associated with lists. A mini Web interface is currently available to keep people informed of the current status of the project; it will be replaced with a full Web which will be available for searching for lists and viewing the archives of publicly accessible lists, and contains documentation to help both list users and list owners.


A number of training days are being arranged around the UK prior to the start of the service. Invitations for these will be published on the JISCmail Web and also at Mailbase. We hope, as many of you as can, will attend a JISCmail workshop. The training day will be split roughly into two parts.

Although these events are principally designed for List owners anyone who will be using the service is welcome.


The heart of the JISCmail service is based upon the LISTSERV product marketed by L-Soft International. The company have over 13 years experience providing e-mail list management and e-mail distribution solutions. LISTSERV is a versatile, scalable, cost-effective product which CLRC has been using for many years.

Overview of what LISTSERV offers

LISTSERV This product is designed for managing e-mail lists in a flexible and efficient way. LSMTP This is L-Soft's e-mail delivery software, designed to provide fast distribution even for lists with very large memberships. Web Interface A Web interface is available for using and managing lists and for browsing list archives. CataList CataList is a database of 'public' LISTSERV lists worldwide. A Web front-end is available for exploring this facility.

Service provider

The service will be run by staff in the Information Technology Department of CLRC based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. The Laboratory provides advanced research and development support to UK and international scientific programmes. Laboratory staff are involved in designing, constructing and operating large-scale facilities such as lasers and a pulsed neutron and muon source. The IT Department has a research interest with staff working in areas such as multimedia and the World Wide Web and a service provision group supporting the Laboratory's Information Systems and such facilities as UKERNA Usenet News servers, the EPSRC Superscalar Service and the UKERNA LISTSERV UK backbone service.

The Team

JISCmail support staff will deal with the technicalities of setting up lists and help owners manage lists so you don't need to be a computer expert to take advantage of this popular service. If you would like to know more visit our Web site or contact the JISCmail support team (


JISCmail Helpline
Building R27
CLRC, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
OX11 0QX
Tel: 01235 44 6780
Fax: 01235 44 6708