I'm such an idiot! Email mistake.


I sent out two group emails yesterday, one to people I would like to be in my first group of interviewees, and one to people I want to interview later in the year - and I put the email addresses in the To field instead of the BCC field.

I can't believe I did it - it was an honest mistake, not something done through ignorance, but I feel absolutely dreadful that I could do something so stupid. I didn't sleep last night and I still feel sick. I am so angry with myself. Several recipients have got back to me, pointing it out (though none have withdrawn from the research or complained or anything like that), which almost makes it worse - if no one had noticed I'd still feel bad but at least it wouldn't be quite so embarrassing.

So I'm spending today trying to find the right words to use to send another email out to them (BCC'd this time, obviously) apologising and reassuring them that their anonymity within the study won't be affected.

So, this isn't a question, it's more like a confession to the rest of you. And it would be very reassuring if anyone else has done something this daft at some point during their PhD...!



I'm sure you are not alone!

Not directly related to my PhD, but to my teaching - was in the good habit of bcc'ing emails to my students while addressing the To box to myself so that they didn't all see each others email addresses. Needless to say, one one busy, distracted occassion I managed to put them in the To box - they didn't seem to care but I did email back and apologise afterwards.

It's really easily done - just point out it was a mistake, didn't mean any harm, ask them to delete that email or whatever.


I haven't done that yet, but I think eventually it happens to everyone.

A colleague accidentally emailed me a file of nude pics of her that was meant for her boyfriend. She apologised profusely. I didn't know what to say.

The people emailing you back to point out the mistake probably think they're being helpful!