I work in the research group of one of the professors in my college. My professor forwards me emails which he receives regarding some webinars/seminars being organized in college/companies or articles related to our work. However, those emails are forwarded and don't contain any message personally written by him.

In such a situation, should I thank him for every such mail? (which I receive thrice per week) or will such frequent thank-you emails be deemed funny and spam by him? but if I don't respond in any way, I fear he will think I am ignoring his emails and my behaviour might be taken as rude.

What is common practice in such a situation?

  • 3
    No. If they are regularly useful to you, thank him once in person.
    – user111388
    May 9, 2020 at 17:13
  • If you send emails forward, and the other responds with a brief expression of gratitude, would you be annoyed or slightly pleased? I think I would be pleased. A little thanks goes a long way.
    – anpami
    May 9, 2020 at 17:42
  • If this professor really helped you, rather then sending them an email, when you see. them, thanks them. A face to face thank you really makes the other person feel good. (And yourself too)
    – Promaster1
    Oct 17, 2020 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


I would suggest not for each of the emails. He probably just has a forwarding list and does this as a matter of course. Since you describe it as happening in a research group, he is probably trying to make sure everyone sees things that might advance the work of the group generally.

However, if you find any of them particularly useful for your own work, thank him for those, individually, and say why.

You could, in fact, return the favor when you see something that works for you and might for others in the group. Send them to the prof. and let him pass them on if he agrees on the value.


If you get a rather important one or something that can relate to your work, I would thank the professor that sent it to you. But you don't need to do that every time. Although he might have a forwarding list, it always makes people feel good when you thank them for their work. Many professors really appreciate a meaningful and descriptive thank you letter. So if you do send them a thank you email, make it meaningful and descriptive and not just a quick blurb.

Hope this helps.

  • 2
    As a professor, I have to say that I would find it very odd if someone sent a "heartfelt thank you" for forwarded seminar announcements. It's so extremely minor on the scale of importance, it doesn't warrant any thanks at all, certainly not a "heartfelt" one. Oct 18, 2020 at 16:38
  • 1
    Well, then I guess some professors appreciate a heartfelt thank you. My friend is a college professor and when he gets thank you's like: Thank you for the paper. I look forward to reading it, he doesn't really care, but when he gets one like: Thank you so much for the paper you sent me last wednesday. It really helped me on my biology quiz, he feels like he should help that person in the future. And when I was in college, my professors didn't really take me seriously or feel compelled to help me because of my thank you's. I always used to rush it and I guess the professors could tell that.
    – Promaster1
    Oct 18, 2020 at 16:40
  • 1
    "Thank you so much for the paper you sent me last wednesday. It really helped me on my biology quiz" is meaningful and fine. I wouldn't describe this as "heartfelt" but rather just informative. A statement of just "Thank you so much for the paper you sent me" would be odd and unnecessary. Oct 18, 2020 at 18:08
  • I revised the sentence.
    – Promaster1
    Oct 18, 2020 at 18:24

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