IT and study places


Etiquette is an important factor in communication situations. In electronic communication, etiquette is even more important as the channels of non-verbal communication are excluded and it is not possible to respond directly as in face-to-face conversation.

It is for this reason that the rules for electronic communication are listed below and a number of guidelines concerning etiquette in electronic communication are provided.

The rules

Nowadays everyone communicates online. For that reason Tilburg University has equipped their students with a personal account. By using the facilities made available by Tilburg University, users must adhere to the following four rules explicitly:

In principal there are four kinds of activities that are strictly forbidden:

  1. Giving details of your user name and password(s) to third parties. The original owner remains responsible at all times for any activity on the network in his/her name.
  2. Sending messages anonymously
  3. Performing activities on the network, that would seriously interfere with the use of that same network by others.
  4. Providing information on the network that is forbidden by the law.

Only when all users adhere to these rules and use the network in a responsible manner, is possible to safeguard the network for the entire university community.

The Guidelines

Choose the appropriate medium

For each situation , carefully choose the appropriate form of communication. Not all messages are suitable to be sent via email. For example, alternative channels are preferable for communicating confidential documents or information.

Consider social relations

With an email, bear in mind the relation you have with the addressee with regards to style, tone, and content, just like you would do in a letter or in a personal conversation.

Be polite

Always be polite, even when you communicate with someone you know well.

Avoid flaming

Be careful when using capital letters and exclamation marks and words or sentences that may be considered to be insulting or hurtful.

There is a chance that sentences can be unintentionally interpreted as criticism or insulting, because non-verbal signals (gestures, face expression) cannot be transferred.

Address your message correctly

Address your email to the right person in the right way. Email knows three different addressee-fields: "To", "CC" and "BCC". The "To"-field is meant for the recipient of your message. Use the "CC" field to direct the message to persons for whom the message is relevant. All these email addresses are visible to all the addressees. The addresses in the "BCC" are not visible to other recipients.

Give a clear description of the subject

Give a clear description of the subject of the message. The recipient then sees quickly what the email is about. It is also clearer for the recipient when the email is saved in their archive. It is advisable to restrict to one subject per email/message.

Be brief

Be brief and concise in formulating your message. Long messages are read with less attention or understood less quickly than short, clear messages. Consider another medium when the message cannot be formulated briefly, such as by telephone or face-to-face.

Do not send junk mail

E-mail is a means of personal communication. It is not intended to be used for sending mail to unknown persons. Such messages cause irritation with the receiver and can be annoying.


For any questions you can contact the LIS Service Desk