Do I need a Distribution List or a Listserv?


  • User needs to decide if they need a distribution list or a Listserv.


  • Determine need based on capabilities of each option.


UTHSCSA has two mechanisms for creating centralized e-mail lists: Exchange distribution lists and a Listserv.  Which one you choose depends on several factors.  The two options are explained in more detail below.

Exchange distribution list (DL)
Exchange distribution lists are created and stored within our Exchange e-mail environment.  As such, they can only contain recipients that are listed in the UTHSCSA Global Address List (GAL), which typically means that the recipient must have a UTHSCSA e-mail account ( or  Access to send to DLs can be restricted to certain people and postings can be moderated if desired.  DLs can be configured to accept mail from external senders (i.e. non-UTHSCSA senders) upon request; otherwise, they are limited to internal Exchange users only.  There can be one or more designated “owners” of the list, and they can manage the membership of the list through the Outlook GAL or through OWA.  If desired, DLs can be configured such that recipients have the ability to add or remove themselves from the list with or without owner approval.  When recipients on the list leave UTHSCSA, they are automatically removed from the list.  DLs are typically static, but there is the ability to create “dynamic” lists that filter our GAL based on one or more specific attributes, so long as that attribute is available in our system.  (Typical examples of this are DeptID and/or affiliation.)  DLs appear in the GAL by default but can be hidden on request.  There is no charge to set up an DL.

The “Listserv” is a separate, self-contained server that handles mailing lists.  Typically, Listservs are used to facilitate e-mail discussion forums for a specific topic or group.  However, they can also be used for one-way announcements.  Listservs can include both internal UTHSCSA recipients as well as external recipients.  Access to send to Listservs can be open to anyone (including non-members), members-only, just to the list owner(s), or to specific addresses.  Postings to the list can be moderated if desired.  Listservs can receive e-mail from external senders.  There can be multiple designated owners for a Listserv.  Listservs can be configured to allow recipients to join/leave the list themselves with or without owner approval, or can be configured to allow only the owner to add or remove recipients.  The owner manages the list via a web interface.  Listservs are static, but when an e-mail address becomes invalid, the Listserv will remove the address after a certain number of failures.  Also, the list can be configured to notify the owner when an address is invalid.  Listservs are not listed in the Exchange GAL.  There is a one-time $50 setup fee for creating a Listserv. 

Here is the URL to access the ListServ 

How to request
You can submit a request for a Listserv or distribution list here:



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Article ID: 21913
Thu 12/15/16 4:10 PM
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