e-mail Best Practices

This maybe a bit off track but I still think it can be usefull for many, at least to circulate it around the people you receive e-mails from to try to reduce the amount of irrelevant items in your inbox.

1. Reducing the number of emails in circulation
  • Do you want to reduce the number of emails you get? A good start is to reduce the number you send.
  • Think before you send an email. Is it the best way to communicate? Would it be easier to phone or meet in person?
  • Think about putting up information on your unit's web pages or on news and events systems.
  • Restrict your use of email mailing lists to messages about University business - however interesting and/or worthwhile your activities off-campus may be.
  • Think before replying to or forwarding an email. Do you really need to reply at all or send it on?
  • If you find yourself getting into a repetitive email dialogue, consider two things: cut out copy recipients, and try speaking in person instead.
  • Make sure that people copied in actually need to know what is being sent. Email makes copying messages too easy: don't copy people in "just in case".
  • When replying, don't send a "reply to all" unless it is necessary for all copy recipients to know your response.
  • Unless the email asks for an acknowledgement, don't send one.
2. Sending emails to the right people
  • Mailing lists provide useful groupings to target messages to the right groups of people. But don't misuse mailing groups by emailing with a 'scattergun' approach.
  • Make clear if you are sending an email to a person in their role, e.g. as 'head of department'. That will help them to organise and manage emails. (See section 3 on making email content clear.)
  • Don't use 'heads of unit' as post boxes. People should be asked to cascade information only if they themselves need to know the information first, or have useful context to add in sending it on to their teams.

SOURCE: University of Sussex

(more tips on how to write and handle e-mails on their web and the links included below)


Beyond the pay-wall

Mind the gap, hit the pay-wall, and you haven’t seen it all yet. I wonder:

why would a scientist publish with a journal that is not even going to provide their e-mail as corresponding author. Yes, it will be, most probably, available somewhere on-line but, is it ethical to put an extra requirement to those that are already limited by pay-walls? Which kind of scientific community are we building?