Mailing List Guidelines and Procedures

Types of Mailing Lists
Searching and Browsing List Archives
Requests to Edit Mailing List Archives


OASIS hosts a wide variety of mailing lists to enable and augment the work of Consortium members and encourage public input. Along with OASIS Standards and other approved documents, these mailing lists represent a vital community asset, a unique knowledge base produced through collaborative effort. With the conviction that access to information is the foundation of the open standards process, all OASIS mailing lists are archived online, and the vast majority are viewable by the public.

Types of Mailing Lists

The OASIS Mailing List Directory contains many different types of lists. Each OASIS mailing list is designed to address a defined topic and a given audience. Lists range from discussion forums to general interest newsletters to specific Committee work. Types of lists include:

  • TC general discussion mailing lists used by OASIS Committee members to conduct their work
  • -comment lists for feedback on Technical Committee work
  • general -discuss lists for ongoing exchange of ideas on topics of interest to the standards community
  • specific -discuss lists that host 90-day dialogues vetting ideas and soliciting interest in forming new OASIS Committees
  • special purpose lists, e.g., for volunteers translating OASIS documents into other languages
  • -announce list for news from OASIS members
  • -dev lists to encourage open dialogue on implementing an OASIS Standard or specification
  • -users lists to assist those adopting an OASIS Standard or specification
  • -interest lists to support community awareness of an OASIS Standard or specification
  • -publicmirror lists to provide read-only subscriber access to selected TC and Subcommittee general discussion lists


Public mailing lists:
All interested parties are encouraged to subscribe to OASIS public mailing lists using the Subscription Manager. Unsubscribe and change-of-address requests may also be made via this form. As an alternative to using the Subscription Manager, subscribe/unsubscribe requests may be made directly via email by sending a message to: <LIST>-[un] For example, to subscribe to the fictitious list “shoes-dev”, send email to

Note: Once the online form has been submitted, the OASIS system will send an email confirmation request to verify that the instructions are accurate and originated from the specified addressee. A reply to that confirmation email is required to complete the request.

To change an email address, it is first necessary to unsubscribe the old address, keeping in mind that response to the OASIS email confirmation (as described above) will be required. This response must be sent from the address for which the unsubscribe action is desired. (This is to insure that unauthorized persons are unable to alter subscription information for others.)

Subscription requests are generally processed automatically; however, assistance is available by contacting the TC Administration team or Member Services.

Committee mailing lists:
Committee mailing lists, although publicly archived, require OASIS membership to subscribe. Each Committee home page contains a link for joining. See Participation Instructions for details.


It is the responsibility of each person to exercise informed caution when posting to OASIS mailing lists. Users should be aware that their messages will be publicly available in perpetuity through publicly accessible mailing list archives and related archiving projects.

Note: Comment lists can be found in the Mailing List Directory and specific instructions are included for each committee on their respective home pages.

  • Individuals are solely responsible for the content of their posts.
  • Posting of technical material to an active list for OASIS Committee business may, in appropriate circumstances, be deemed a contribution to that Committee under the OASIS IPR Policy. OASIS members are responsible for their contributions under the terms described in that policy.
  • Messages must directly pertain to the list topic as described in the OASIS Mailing List Directory. Individuals are advised to review the purpose of each mailing list and select the single list that is most appropriate for the nature of their communications. Cross-posting to multiple mailing lists is discouraged and may be considered spam.
  • Posts should be made in plain text format in the body of the message. When necessary, HTML message format may be used, and email attachments may be included. Attachments should be provided in a non-proprietary format.
  • Individuals should not forward messages to OASIS mailing lists without the permission of the original author(s).
  • Messages containing inappropriate content should not be distributed to OASIS mailing lists. These include posts which are:
    • mass-distributed (spam)
    • unrelated to the topic of the mailing list
    • disrespectful or abusive in tone
    • commercial or overtly promotional
    • political or religious (including references in email signature content)
  • Posts should not include email addresses considered private-use-only by their owners.

Those who post messages containing inappropriate content to OASIS mailing lists may be permanently unsubscribed and restricted from future participation. Spam may be removed from list archives and subject to further action.

Searching and Browsing List Archives

The mailing list archives serve as a permanent chronicle of OASIS work, enabling others to discover, learn from, and build on development efforts. All messages posted to OASIS mailing lists are archived on Consortium web sites as listed in the OASIS Mailing List Directory.

Messages in the mailing list archives may be searched and browsed through the use of different tools, each of which supports distinct features.

  1. OASIS List Archive Pages
    • View indexes and individual messages using any web browser
    • Indexes are provided for each list and each month (by date, by thread)
    • URIs for messages and file attachments reveal the list name and date (month)
    • No local search facility was provided as of 2009-07
  2. MarkMail Search
  3. Google Search
    • Search (e.g., for “interoperability”) by restricting a Google search to “Mailing List Archives”
    • Uses the familiar Google search syntax and results interface
    • Search is fast and applies superior ranking algorithms

Requests to Edit Mailing List Archives

The archives serve as persistently accessible repositories, documenting the day-to-day email communications of the OASIS community. To preserve the integrity of these historic records, messages posted to OASIS mailing lists (with the possible exception of identified spam) are not removed or edited, except in cases of extreme need arising from legal threats or risk to physical safety.

Users of OASIS mailing lists should consider the immediate as well as long-term effects of disclosing personal or sensitive information before posting. OASIS is unable to consider requests to edit archives in order to change or remove personal contact information, decrease perceived vulnerability to spam, or avoid citation from search engines.

In exceptional cases, where an acute need to edit an OASIS mailing list archive can be demonstrated in satisfactory detail, requests should be sent to for consideration by OASIS Staff and Management.


Suggestions that improve upon the above guidelines or which seek to add value to the OASIS mailing list procedures are welcomed. Please send comments to