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From time to time your patrons might report that they have not received an account related email.  Here is how in general to find out what is up and what to do.

First check if it is one user, several users or all users:

  • One user - most likely something at the user's end, but could be a typo in their email address.
  • Several users - still most likely something at the user's end but could be a repeated typo and if they are all on the same mail server it could be that server blocking things.
  • All users - check our service status page in case it is something at our end, but it is more likely that all your users are on the same email server and that is what is blocking the emails. (http://status.openathens.net/)

In all cases, it is also possible that you told the system not to send the email.

Customised email templates

If you have customised the email templates, it is worth considering whether the user would recognise them for what they are - e.g. does the activation email still include the link near the beginning? 

You can also introduce problems yourself if you copy text into the email template from a word processor as that can include hidden tags that often stop the email being sent. 

Fixing typos in email addresses

  1. Search for the affected account(s).
  2. You may be able to spot the problem from the list view.
  3. Access the account details to update the address.
  4. Resend the activation email.

Fixing spam filtering

  • Whitelist the eduserv.org.uk and openathens.net domains

How this is done will depend on whether it is the end-user's email client doing the filtering, or the mail server.

The whitelist approach is sufficient for your own servers and end-users already experiencing problems, but if your end-users tend to have personal emails rather than your own it is worth checking the email templates for text that is likely to trigger filtering again such as words in all caps, attachments, words like 'free' or currency symbols. 

Checking you sent the email

  • The activity stream for an account will show whether an email was sent.
  • Check the defaults used for account creation under Preferences > Organisation (for each organisation)
  • If you use bulk upload, check that you are not specifying 'false' under  'emailUser'


Anything to watch out for?

The forgotten password page will not send an email to a user who has never activated their account, you will need to trigger an email from the administration interface. See: How to reset a password

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