Email Communication

From Swevo

In the spirit of promoting a professional working environment within the group, you are encouraged to follow the guidelines below when using email for research-related purposes. These are especially important when contacting researchers outside the group. If you are emailing me, strong divergences from the guidelines may result in infinite response delays.


  • Use a salutation line. A valid exception to this rule is when following up on long multi-email threads.
  • Fill in the subject line.
  • Use an appropriate level of formality. If you do not know the recipient personally, it's a good idea to use the title ("Dear Prof. Smith", etc.)
  • Clearly state the purpose of the email
  • Keep it short and to the point
  • Sign your email
  • Use your official university email address if you are requesting any type of sensitive information.


  • Use inappropriate forms of address (e.g., "Hey", "Yo", "Dude")
  • Use text messaging-style abbreviations (e.g., "b4" for "before")
  • Use inappropriate tone. A good guideline is to write as if you were speaking to the recipient in person. Overly terse/direct/informal language can be misinterpreted as rude. Elementary markers of politeness are a good idea.
  • Use email under the impulse of strong emotion.