2.25.104 Lyris List Procedures


  1. The purpose of this IRM is to provide standard, procedural, and administrative guidance as it relates to the IRS.gov Listserv.

  2. The IRS.gov Listserv is an extension of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) main Web site. The Internal Revenue Service's Web site (IRS.gov) hosts all of the subscription pages for the public lists which are maintained through the Listserv. The IRS.gov Web site is owned by the Electronic Tax Administration (ETA), Internet Development Service (IDS), Public Portal Branch (PPB).

  3. The Electronic Tax Administration, Internet Development Services, Public Portal Branch is responsible for the administration of the Listserv from a Site perspective and parties within this organization will ensure to the degree possible that IRS goals and objectives are advanced through the effective facilitation of the IRS.gov Listserv.

  4. The contents provide information to IRS personnel on how to request the creation of a new list, required training, list maintenance, and List Administrator responsibilities associated with the maintenance of list(s).

IRS.gov Listserv Administration

  1. All requests for administration to the IRS.gov Listserv shall be directed to the IRS.gov Listserv Administrative e-mail box at: IRS.GOV.Listserv.Admins@irs.gov. or in the Outlook Global Address Book look for *IRS.GOV List-Serv Admins.. Upon receipt the IRS Listserv Site Administrator will process the requests.

  2. The Listserv runs on the server that is an extension of the IRS.gov Web site. As such, the infrastructure and all maintenance of the infrastructure is included in the primary contracting vehicle for the IRS.gov Web site. The contractor is responsible for ensuring that the application is up and running as prescribed by the contract.

Listserv Software

  1. Lyris List Manager Version 8 is the current software used to manage the IRS.gov Listserv.

  2. Lyris List Manager software is designed to be somewhat maintenance free when it comes to processing list information. The Lyris List Manager processes incoming and outgoing mail based on a prescribed set of parameters assigned by the IRS. These parameters can be adjusted at any time by the IRS Site Administrator as needs change.

  3. Access to the Listserv software is controlled by the IRS Site Administrator. In order to be granted access to this software a user needs to be identified as a List Administrator and is the person responsible for posting content to the Lyris List Manager for publishing. See IRM, Site Administrator Responsibilities and IRM, List Administrator Responsibilities for more information.

  4. Anyone who is identified as a List Administrator and requires access to the Lyris List Manager software will need to attend and complete the necessary training prior to receiving the proper credentials for accessing the system. For more information see IRM on (Training).

Lyris List Manager
  1. Lyris List Manager is a high-performance software application for opt-in e-mail lists, e-mail announcement lists, and online discussion groups. Currently, all IRS lists are one way announcement lists.

  2. Lyris List Manager is designed to manage incoming and outgoing e-mail traffic with parameters set by the Server and Site Administrators, based on business needs. These settings are flexible and can be modified as business needs change. Currently, Lyris List Manager is set to maintain 60 days worth of historical data on all out bound messages.

  3. Lyris List Manager maintains both mailing and member activity with little required interaction from the Server Administrator, Site Administrator, or List Administrators. However, there are monthly reports on subscriber activity that shall be monitored to ensure accurate information is maintained in the database. For more information about these reports and possible related maintenance refer to IRM, Reports.

Access to Listserv Software
  1. All access to the Lyris List Manager software is controlled by the IRS Site Administrator and is granted on an as needed basis to identified List Administrators.

  2. In order to gain access all List Administrators must attend the Lyris Listserv List Administrator training. This training is currently being administered using the CentraOne online virtual classroom. For more information on the required training refer to IRM, , Training.

  3. All access to the Lyris List Manager Web interface is provided through the following URL: http://listserv01.irs.gov:8687/. In order to use this URL a user must first be identified as a List Administrator and attend the Lyris List Administrator training. During the training the participants will receive their credentials for using the production Lyris List Manager. For more information on the required training, refer to IRM,, Training.

Site Administrator

  1. The IRS Site Administrator and his/her backup are responsible for facilitating the delivery of Listserv services to internal and external stakeholders.

  2. All requests relating to the Listserv should be sent to the IRS.GOV.Listserv.Admins@irs.gov. or in the Outlook Global Address Book look for *IRS.GOV List-Serv Admins.. for processing. The personal e-mail accounts should only be used after at least three attempts have been made to contact the IRS Site Administrator at the organizational mailbox without a response, or his/her Voicemail and/or e-mail indicates that he/she is out of the office.

Site Administrator Responsibilities
  1. The IRS Listserv Site Administrator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited, to the following:

    • Monitoring day to day operations to ensure that the Listserv software is functioning and continues to meet the needs of the IRS

    • Preparing training material for the List Administrator training

    • Training all List Administrators on the Lyris List Manager Web interface

    • Creating and maintaining List Administrator accounts

    • Maintaining existing list settings and assigning appropriate Headers and Footers as prescribed by IRS management and Law

    • Processing requests for the creation of new lists

    • Assisting in the conversion of plain text contributions into " html"

    • Preparing and delivering of all training to List Administrators

    • Supporting the day to day operations of List Administrators

    • Continuing to work with the Listserv software to develop and implement a solution for the creation of the "html" portion of all messages that does not require the List Administrators to learn " html.;" This may involve a combination of using the embedded " html" editor built into Lyris and/or using pre-built templates to be used by List Administrators or any combination of these.

    • Ensuring that the Lyris List Manager software is operational and available for use by both Site Administrators and List Administrators

    • Working with contractors to troubleshoot software and architectural problems which

    • interfere with both access to the Lyris List Manager and delivery of messages by the Lyris List Manager

  1. The IRS Site Administrator is responsible for delivering training to all List Administrators and other stakeholders who need to have a basic understanding of how the system works in order to provide backup to the List Administrators.

  2. Lyris List Administrator training is continually changing. IRS has recently upgraded the Lyris List Manager software and there are plans to upgrade the software again after the filing season is over. All training has recently been migrated to the CentraOne online training platform. In order to sign up and participate in the training participants will need to create an account in the CentraOne product by visiting the following url: .

  3. As classes are scheduled they will be announced to existing List Administrators and to organizations that have initiated contact with the Site Administrator in an effort to establish new lists with new List Administrators or simply adding new Lists.

  4. When classes are announced an e-mail will be sent out to all persons who have been identified as "new" List Administrators and to all existing List Administrators. This e-mail will explain the process for enrolling in the class or classes and outline any criteria for qualifying for participation in the class. Any questions about these classes or participation in these classes should be directed to the Site Administrator.

List Administrator Training
  1. All Lyris List Administrator training is currently being delivered using the CentraOne virtual classroom. These classes will consist of two to three sessions of no more than three to four hours in length.

  2. All students can participate from their desks (providing they are working from an IRS facility and they are connected to the IRS LAN) or they can access the LAN using ERAP.

  3. All trainees will be provided User IDs and Passwords for the Lyris List Manager training environment.

  4. The training is primarily hands on interactive instruction and discussion with live exercises designed to provide first-hand experience with the types of work users will face when they interact with the production Lyris List Manager. Every student will have the opportunity to create, edit and publish content through the Lyris List Manager Web interface while in the training class.

  5. Once the training is completed, the students' List Administrators training accounts will remain active. Students may use their accounts to practice their skills with the Lyris List Manager software without the concern of publishing incomplete or incorrect content.

  6. All training materials are provided to the students at the conclusion of the class in soft copy.

  7. Upon completion of the Lyris List Administrator training all new List Administrators are required to have their work products reviewed and tested prior to publishing to any list. The List Administrators should first send a test message to themselves using the Lyris List Manager. After the message is received and they have reviewed it for accuracy and completeness it should be sent as an attachment to an assigned List Administrator coach for secondary review. If no List Administrator coach has been assigned then the test message should be forwarded to the Site Administrator for review. For more information refer to Section IRM, List Administrator Coach.

List Administrator

  1. A List Administrator is an individual who has been identified as a responsible party in facilitating the disbursement of content via one or more lists to subscribers. A list may have more than one List Administrator but should be limited by no more than three administrators in order to provide the necessary backup.

  2. All List Administrators must attend the Lyris List Administrator training prior to gaining access to the production Lyris List Manager.

  3. At the end of the List Administrator training the Site Administrator will provide all List Administrators with their credentials for gaining access to the Lyris List Manager production system.

List Administrator Responsibilities
  1. The List Administrator responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

    • Ensure that all content published to the IRS Listserv has been approved for publishing by the appropriate C&L Executive Manager or Management Official prior to entering the content into the Lyris software.

    • Since much of the content published is time sensitive, the approval process should be facilitated within 24 hours of receipt of the content. If a response is not received within the prescribed 24 hour period, local management can sign off on the content and document the action taken.

    • Attend and complete the Lyris List Administrator training

    • Provide content to be published to one or more lists on the IRS Listserv

    • Use the Lyris List Manager Web interface to generate outgoing content to associated lists

    • Use the Lyris List Manager Web interface to schedule the delivery of content created for each list

    • Assist in the review process where plain text content is being converted into "html" by the Site Administrator.


      Once this training has been received, it will be the List Administrators responsibility to create and review both the plain text and html versions of all messages.

  2. All List Administrators should notify the Site Administrator immediately when a problem with the Lyris List Manager Web interface is identified or a problem is experienced accessing the Lyris List Manager Web interface.

List Administrator Coach
  1. On a voluntary basis experienced List Administrators may be asked to provide assistance to newly trained List Administrators. In these instances they will be referred to as an assigned List Administrator Coach. This is an informal process and has no predefined beginning and end period and could continue for as short or as long of a period of time as deemed appropriate by the Site Administrator, List Administrator Coach, and the new List Administrator.

  2. The primary duty as a coach will be to:

    • Review new List Administrators content created in the Lyris List Manager Web interface as it relates to the minimum requirements for content being published from the Listserv

    • Compare "plain text" to "html" versions to make sure they provide the same links and have the same message

    • Ensure the IRS.gov banner displays correctly

    • Ensure the message has a title

    • Ensure the Date is correct

    • Ensure the Issue Number is correct

    • Ensure the Table of Contents is correct

    • Ensure the prescribed footer is accurate

    • Ensure that in the "html" version all Table of Contents items link properly to the appropriate story

    • Ensure all links work in both the "plain text" and "html" versions.


      This review does not include verifying the accuracy of the verbal content within each article/story. It is the sole responsibility of the List Administrator creating the content to ensure that this information is reviewed and approved by the appropriate level of management prior to publishing it within the Lyris List Manager.

  3. The List Administrator Coach should provide feedback to the Site Administrator after reviewing three to five messages. At this time the List Administrator Coach and the Site Administrator will make a determination on whether the review needs to continue.


  1. For the most part all of the IRS lists are open to anyone. There are several lists that require the List Administrator to enter the member information. In these instances there is no link to this type of list on the Internet. This setting should not be changed by the List Administrators.

  2. Currently, all of the IRS lists are one way information/announcement lists. In the event the IRS determines there is a need to begin using discussion lists the IRS would need to begin using the Lyris Web interface functionality. This would allow members to select a password and then afford them the opportunity to post messages to a given discussion list via the Internet. At this time this field should be left blank for all lists.

  3. The Site Administrator administers, maintains, and monitors list settings for all lists associated with the IRS Listserv. Any change to the individual list setting must be requested through the Site Administrator with documentation supporting the need for the change.

Types of Lists

  1. Lists consist of One-Way Announcement Lists, Discussion Lists, and Discussion Forum.

  2. One-Way Announcement Lists. All current IRS public lists are One-Way Announcement Lists. The IRS sends out the message and no responses are allowed by the recipients to these messages.

  3. Discussion Lists. The IRS currently does not have any discussion lists. These lists would allow members to submit messages that would then be delivered to all members of the list.

  4. Discussion Forum. The IRS currently does not have any discussion forums. This function is slightly different than discussion lists in that all subscribers would use a Web interface to interact with the list. Each member would log into the Web interface and have the opportunity to submit contributions and/or search and read all of the contributions submitted to other members. Discussion Forum lists can require moderation depending on the type of content involved with a particular list.

Existing Lists

  1. All current IRS lists are one-way announcement lists.

  2. Each list is assigned at least one List Administrator.

  3. All active lists which can be subscribed to from the IRS.gov Web site can be accessed through the following URL: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/content/0,,id=103381,00.html.

List Settings

  1. All list settings are controlled by the IRS Site Administrator. Many of the settings are determined by the IRS as a whole.

  2. Any request for a change to the settings should be explained in an e-mail to the IRS Site Administrator at: IRS.GOV.Listserv.Admins@irs.gov . or in the Outlook Global Address Book look for *IRS.GOV Listserv Admins. Exceptions to enterprise settings will be considered on a case by case basis. Granting an exception does not necessarily indicate that any other list qualifies for the same exemption without review.

  1. All IRS List Administrators must use the Lyris List Manager Web interface to generate content to be pushed out to subscribers. Specific guidelines for these mailings are provided in the training material that is provided in the Lyris List Administrators training. For more information see IRM List Administrator Training.

  2. Each mail message that is generated from the Lyris List Manager will be sent out in both "plain text" and "html " versions.

  3. Required information for both versions of each message are:

    • Title

    • Date of mailing

    • Issue:

    • In this issue:

    • Numbered Table of Contents

    • Numbered stories that correspond with the Table of Contents

    • List Level Footer (Refer to IRM, Headers and Footers for additional information on the List Level Footers.

Headers and Footers
  1. Every message that is sent out by the Lyris List Manager must have an appropriate List Level Footer appended to the bottom of the message. A user can enter more information in a footer than the minimum prescribed by the IRS but do not enter less. The footer is controlled by the Site Administrator but to ensure consistency a footer must contain the following:

    • A thank you for subscribing

    • Information about what the subscriber can do if they have concern about a specific tax issue

    • A message that includes the ability to unsubscribe from that list

    • A message that indicates to the subscriber that they should refrain from replying to this message.


      All of IRS lists are one way announcement lists and do not accept replies to messages. In addition, a member could have their membership revoked, if they continually violate this rule.

  2. If there is a need to create a customized List level footer, prepare the information to be included in the footer and append it to the information identified above. E-mail this information to the Lyris Site Administrator at: IRS.GOV.Listserv.Admins@irs.gov. or in the Outlook Global Address Book look for *IRS.GOV List-Serv Admins.. A notification will be sent to the user when the footer has been approved, requires edits, or was disapproved.


  1. Within the Lyris List Manager IRS has the ability to create and manage multiple sites depending on the business needs. Currently, all public IRS lists are on the IRS-Public Site.

  2. If the IRS decides to implement Discussion lists or Discussion Forums, an additional site could be created in the database in order to accommodate this change. One of the primary reasons for creating a different " site" for discussion lists or discussion forums is due to the fact that the settings that are set at the "site" level apply across all lists on that site. Settings applied at the site level for discussion lists will vary drastically from the settings for the IRS public lists.

Site Settings

  1. The IRS Site Administrator is responsible for facilitating the Site specific settings which are assigned to all lists and dictated by IRS enterprise business needs.

  2. The Site Administrator is granted his/her permissions based on the settings assigned to each site.


  1. A variety of reports are available and can be generated at various scheduled times or they can be created at any point in time to provide a snapshot of information for but not limited to all of the following categories:

    • Members

    • Members by status

    • Members by domain

    • Members by kind

    • Subscriber activity

    • Mailings

    • Mailings Overview

    • Delivery Statistics.


      More reports will be available should the IRS decide to stand up the external public facing Web server. If this does happen, this IRM section will be updated to identify the additional reports available.

  2. All List Administrators will automatically receive subscriber activity reports on the 1st or 2nd day of each month for the previous month. These reports will be discussed during the Lyris List Administrator training.

  3. Other reports may be available upon request. If there is a specific need, submit information to the IRS Site Administrator.

New Lists

  1. All requests for the creation of new lists must be accompanied by written approval from the appropriate Executive or Management Official responsible for the list and its' administration.

  2. The IRS Site Administrator is responsible for reviewing, approving or denying all requests for the creation of new lists.

  3. Some of the criteria associated with this process are as follows:

    • Who is the audience for the proposed list?

    • Has the requestor clearly identified the purpose of the list?

    • Does IRS currently have a list that will meet the requestor’s needs?

    • Has a List Administrator been identified?

    • Has ownership of the proposed list been established?

  4. Once the Site Administrator has reviewed the request he/she will approve the request, deny the request, or contact the requestor for more information.

Requesting the Creation of a News List

  1. All requests for the creation of a new List should be directed to the IRS Site Administrator:

    • Organizational Mailbox: IRS.GOV.Listserv.Admins@irs,gov or from the Global address book in Outlook *IRS.GOV List-Serv Admins.

  2. All requests for the creation of new lists must be accompanied by written approval from the appropriate Executive or Management Official responsible for the list and its' administration.

  3. Required information for the creation of a new list:

    1. List name – the parameters for list names are fairly flexible. The list name must be entered in lower case, hyphens are required between words, and acronyms are acceptable. The list name becomes the front end portion of the list’s e-mail address but subscribers are prohibited from using this e-mail address. The basic construct for the e-mail addresses for any list is list-name@lists.qai.irs.gov

    2. Who is your target audience?

    3. How is audience different from other lists that we currently have available?

    4. How frequently will the information be mailed out to subscribers, if known?

    5. Who is the business owner of this list?

    6. Who is going to be assigned as the List Administrator, if known? For more information regarding the List Administrators responsibilities, see IRM, List Administrator Responsibilities.

  4. If the request is approved, the following additional information is required:

    1. Complete and submit a Content Publishing Request (CPR) to your Content Area Administrator with the information in (b) and (c) below. For more information regarding the CPR process, contact your Content Area Administrator or refer to IRM, IRS.gov Content Publishing Request Form

    2. Content describing the list and the service(s) the user expects as a subscriber. In order to get an idea of what the content on a subscription page looks like, visit some of the existing subscription pages on the IRS.gov Web site and review the content. The following link is to the main page where all IRS subscriptions can be accessed and the subsequent links are for individual subscription pages identified as examples. Feel free to visit any of the other subscription pages on the site to get more ideas. (Main Subscription page in " The Newsroom" section of the IRS.gov Web site - http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/content/0,,id=103381,00.html – Links to specific Subscription pages - http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/content/0,,id=154818,00.html and http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/page/0,,id=123315,00.html.


      The portion of the subscription page you are creating content for appears before the "caution" statement. The information from the " caution" statement and below is standard information for all subscription pages.

      Content is also needed for the "abstract" portion of the CPR. This content does not get viewed on the normal page but is used when a link is created on an assembly page. This information should provide an overview of the page.

    3. Once the CPR has been processed by you Content Area Administrator they will need to prepare a second CPR and submit it to IRS.GOV.Listserv.Admins@irs,gov . This CPR needs to provide the Content ID # for the article created by the user will receive an e-mail indicating that the subscription page has been created and the list will automatically be added to the Main subscription page located in the Newsroom section of the IRS.gov Web site. The user will need to submit additional CPR forms to his/her Content Area Administrator to have any additional links or content regarding the list added to the IRS.gov Web site.


      Any questions about these instructions can be submitted to the IRS Site Administrator at IRS.GOV.Listserv.Admins@irs.gov. or in the Outlook Global Address Book look for *IRS.GOV Listserv Admins.

Security and Privacy of List Information

  1. All list information is property of the IRS and does not belong to any individual List Administrator. All privacy and security guidelines that apply to the IRS.gov Web site also apply to the Lyris List Manager and the associated databases. The information collected will not be used for any other purpose than those intended.

Records Retention

  1. The IRS is planning on archiving historical information from List Manager to. To date, the IRS does not have this information in place. In the interim the List Administrator should maintain source data information on both the "plain text" and "html" versions of all content published from the Lyris List Manager Web interface. This section of the IRM will be updated once the specific procedures are in place.