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Mailing lists and discussion forums   Tags: following, forum, mailing list, netiquette  

Operating principles, uses and specific advantages of mailing lists and discussion forums
Last Updated: Jul 8, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Mailing lists

A mailing list is a list of email addresses to which one can subscribe to receive information on specific topics. Mailing lists can also be used for discussions and for the delivery of online newspapers. A mailing list brings together a number of users with a shared interest in a topic, a discipline, a profession, etc.


Discussion forums

Discussion forums are places such as websites, web pages, or other web platforms (Usenet forums) where registered Internet users can interact.

Discussions are usually classified by topics that are themselves classified into various categories. All discussions can usually be seen by the participants and some may also be accessible to any Internet user.


What can mailing lists and discussion forums be used for?

  • Following a topic:

Discussion platforms such as mailing lists, forums and groups offer communities of Internet users a means to interact over a shared topic of interest. Users can exchange news and resources on the topic of their choice.

  • Interacting and communicating:

Information exchange can easily lead to discussions or debates, which makes it all the more interesting to follow a topic. Lists and forums are also a way to develop a "network" of contacts and resource persons, which can be very useful in the long term.

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To cite this guide

Le Men, Hervé, Belvèze, Damien. "Mailing lists and discussion forums". In UEB (Université Européenne de Bretagne). Form@doct. Rennes: UEB, 2010 (last updated on 4 July 2013). Available at


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