3. Email Addresses in Oxford

Because of the large number of people entitled to use email in the University, and given the distributed and autonomous nature of computing facilities here, a comprehensive scheme of consistent email addresses was set up in 1992. This provides for personal email addresses of the form firstname.lastname@unit.ox.ac.uk where the firstname.lastname part is the preferred name of the person concerned and unit is a name chosen by the department or college. Prior to that, email addresses had a computer (server) name for the domain and an account code for the name part.

This style of email address is called the generic Oxford University address (because it does not identify a specific server). It is only available to departments and colleges which are considered full institutions of the University (i.e. not to Recognised Independent Centres or Anglican Theological Colleges).

OUCS will generate the firstname.lastname part of your email address from your University Card record. The firstname will be the forename you underlined when using a paper University Card application form, otherwise your first forename. The lastname will be your full surname (with any spaces or apostrophes removed). If this name is not the one by which you are usually known (or it is inconveniently long), then you may ask that your email address be changed to reflect your preferred name. This allows for changes such as "Stephen" to "Steve" or dropping complete components of a multi-word or hyphenated family name.

Note that the University has a policy of transparency in email names, so initials or completely unrelated nicknames are not acceptable.

Each address is potentially linked to a central Nexus account. However, OUCS Registration will alter this default if a departmental or college server is to be used. The relevant local IT officer will usually arrange this on your behalf.

People with affiliations to both a department and a college will have an email address for each. This allows people a choice of how they wish to be addressed.

For example, Mary Brown is a member of staff at the Department of Food Studies and is a fellow of Enstone College. She has an email account (username food0032) on the central Nexus system. Her email addresses are:

Typically, Mary would advertise only one of these, but mail addressed to either of them will be delivered to the username food0032 on the Nexus system.

An email account is not the same as an email address. More than one address can be associated with a single account, and you will not usually get a new account when you move within the University, though you will usually get a new address.

Up: Contents Previous: 2. How email reaches the addressee Next: 4. Policy on email names for individuals