print friendly version

Questions and answers

What is the difference between a Role-based Account and a Mailing List?

If you are considering applying for a role-based account or a Mailing List, you need to be absolutely certain about the totally different functions they perform, so that you do not accidentally ask for the wrong thing. 

A Role-based account is an email account (identical in structure and operation to the account you use for your own personal email) which can be used by co-workers as a contact point in a group within a department, for administrative work, research or any other shared work.   The important distinction between this and a personal email account is that a role-based account is not tied to or associated with any particular person, although all role accounts have an 'owner' or registered keeper who is formally responsible for the account.  Any authorised member of staff may access a role-based account in order to send or read email on behalf of their group.  A Guide to role-based accounts and how they can be shared, can be found at /its/help/guide?id=83.

A Mailing List is essentially what it sounds like - a list of email addresses of people associated with a particular activity, project or group.   It is used to communicate with all those people.   A Mailing List is NOT an 'account' to which you login.  It is a single address used to deliver email to all the addresses of the people in the list.  A Mailing List will also usually have restrictions preventing its unauthorised use, and usually only one or two people will be authorised to do administration work on the list.  You can find out more about Mailing Lists in the IT Services Mailing Lists website.

Help us to improve this answer

Please suggest an improvement
(login needed, link opens in new window)

Your views are welcome and will help other readers of this page.


This is question number 1429, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Andy Clews on 14 January 2008 and last updated by Sandy Radford on 13 September 2016