Frequently Asked Questions - Mailing Lists

Frequently asked questions and answers about the Private-Rx mailing lists


The Mailing Lists


How private are the Private-Rx mailing lists?

The simple answer is, they are as private as we can make them. We only allow pharmacists to join Private-Rx and subscribe to the mailing lists. Those members are asked to comply with our privacy policy.

You should however bear in mind that anything you post to a Private-Rx mailing list will be distributed to a large number of other pharmacists. You cannot determine how those recipients treat the information that you have sent. In effect, you are probably safest to see the Private-Rx mailing lists as being akin to the letters page of the Pharmaceutical Journal. If you wouldn't feel comfortable sending your thoughts on a particular topic to the editor of the PJ for publication, it is probably wise not to post them to a Private-Rx mailing list either.

I'm getting deluged with messages. Is a digest version available?

Yes, all the lists have a digest version. Switching to the digest version means that you will receive one or two e-mails (digests) a day for each list, containing all the messages posted since the last digest. Although the same amount of information is being e-mailed to you, you may find the digests a more manageable option, especially if you are unable to check your e-mail every day. You can switch lists to and from digest format on the My Details page.

Alternatively, you could unsubscribe from the mailing list and read it online instead at the List Archive.

I'm going on holiday. Can I suspend my mailing list subscriptions until I get back?

You can unsubscribe from your mailing lists on the My Details page. Please don't forget to call back when you come home and subscribe again.

You've stopped sending me mailing list messages. Why?

It's most likely that your ISP's mail server developed a fault and started returning mail to us as undelivered. If the fault persists we will suspend your list subscritions. It's nothing personal, but if we didn't take action we'd be inundated with returned mail. Of course, since your email account is rejecting incoming mail there is often no way for us to contact you to tell you what we've done.

You may use the My Details page to re-subscribe to the mailing lists, and the List Archive to catch up on what you've missed.

If your email account is persistently rejecting email, please contact your ISP's technical support department for advice.

Can I send file attachments to the mailing lists?

No.Please do not send file attachments to the mailing lists. This is for a number of reasons. File attachments take a lot more time to download than simple text messages. They are also not compatible with the digest version of the mailing lists. If you have a file which you wish to share with others on the list, either upload it to a web site and then send the URL to the list together with a description of the file, or advertise the availability of the file to the list and then e-mail it directly to any interested parties.

Can I post to the mailing lists in HTML format?

Although technically possible we would prefer it if you only sent "plain text" messages to the list. Although many e-mail programs are capable of posting and reading messages in HTML format, this format is not a standard amongst all e-mail systems, and there is no guarantee that the recipients of your message will be able to read them.

Please send all e-mails to the mailing lists as plain text. Most of the HTML-formatted mail arriving at Private-Rx originates from people using Microsoft Outlook Express. To send a message in plain text with Outlook Express simply select Format | Plain Text from the menu while composing your message (or even before you start writing).

I'm subscribed to the digest, and it arrives as a bunch of .ezm attachments. How am I supposed to view them?

Most of the people who report this problem are using Microsoft Outlook Express. Unfortunately Outlook Express is unable to handle the standard digest format as sent by the mailing list, however, there are several 'workarounds':

I posted a message but it didn't show up on the list. Why?

The usual reason is that you posted your message from an e-mail address that the mailing list doesn't recognise. If this happens you will receive an email explaining the likely cause of the problem.

What do the abbreviations and strange symbols that people use in their messages mean?

Some Internet users rely on abbreviations to save a bit of typing. There are a multitude of abbreviations and acronyms in common use, but some of the most prevalent ones are:

In addition, people sometimes use smileys (a.k.a. emoticons) to express themselves. These are little faces, sideways on, made from the characters you can find on your keyboard. For example:

And so on.


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