Introduction to Discussion Groups & Listservs

Prepared by Julie Still (

A. How to find discussion groups:

1. Check to see if your local system makes a list available
2. For a comprehensive file of all bitnet listserv lists (about 6000)
send email to
message: list global
or use the World Wide Web:
3. For a guide to scholarly discussion groups
send email to
message: get acadlist readme f=mail
(it will give you instructions)
or use the World Wide Web:
4. For a list of newsgroups
ftp to
path: usenet/news.lists
or use the World Wide Web:

B. How to join discussion groups:

Send a message to the listserv or other subscription service. Leave the subject line blank.

send to
[, the library media specialist information exchange]
In the body of the message type
sub listname yourname
example: sub LM_NET Melville Dewey
To leave a list, send
unsub listname
example: unsub LM_NET
If you will be on vacation and don't want email messages to pile up, send
set listname nomail
On your return, send
set listname mail

C. Tips and Netiquette:

Outline * Definitions * E-mail * Discussion Groups * Telnet, FTP, gopher * Other Resources
Questions? Comments? Ka-Neng Au (
Updated April 14, 1997