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Network etiquette, or 'netiquette', recognise that email messages can be dispatched very quickly, and often little thought is given as to how the message will be received. For instance, if you had intended something in fun, will the humour be evident? If not, it could become quite offensive. The department has developed some key points on email etiquette; staff are encouraged to address these points before sending an email.

  1. Take another look before sending the email - don’t send anything you personally wouldn’t want to receive, and think how the end user will perceive that email. If you wouldn’t say it to the contact's face then don’t send it in an email.
  2. Respond to group emails appropriately – only “reply to all” if it is appropriate to do so - do all the contacts really need to know your reply? There is a one-person “reply” button for a reason.
  3. Utilize CC and BCC properly – do you really need to carbon copy (CC) particular contacts into an email. Are you intimidating the receiver of the email by CC-ing all those people, how would you feel if all those contacts were CC'd into an email you received – think carefully.
  4. Keep emails short – too much information and the reader will switch off.
  5. Use CAPITALS carefully – Think before you use CAPITALS. Capitals can appear as SHOUTING!
  6. Respect laws and regulations – review the University policy on computer use and email etiquette.
  7. Delete unnecessary content – when forwarding an email it never hurts to delete irrelevant content.
  8. Be careful what you say - every single email ever sent has been saved somewhere in cyberspace. This means being very careful about what you say is more important than you may think. Think about the possible repercussions of your words or if it were to fall into the wrong hands.
  9. Professionalism – remember you are representing the University of Oxford in all email communication.
  10. Subject – The subject field is the window into your email and can many times determine whether your email is even opened.