4. Policy on email names for individuals

4.1. Entitlement

Each person is entitled to one email address of the form firstname.lastname@unit.ox.ac.uk for each unit (department, college, etc) to which they have a current active affiliation.

4.2. Preferred name

A person can change the preferred form of their name but we do not offer permanent multiple forms of the personal name for any unit or different forms between different units.

4.3. Overlap period

When a person changes name or ceases to belong to a particular unit, the old address will no longer be advertised but it will be supported for an overlap period which is currently two months. However, this overlap period may be shortened at the request of an appropriate member of a unit's administration, or at the user's own request. There will be similar overlap arrangements if a unit is closed or merged due to reorganisation by the University authorities.

4.4. One name only

The reason for restricting name variants is to avoid confusion because only the latest preferred version will be shown in any published items such as the Contact Information on the Oxford University web pages.

4.5. Difficult names

It is appreciated that many people have names which are not easy to spell or where the exact choice of preferred email name may not be obvious to someone wishing to initiate a new correspondence. The system will respond to an incorrectly addressed message by referring the sender to the University's contact information page; this offers exact matching or approximate match which is a "sounds-like" option. The contact page is also directly accessible by using the Contact Search link on the home page of the Oxford University web site. Where a person's family name has several parts, the contact search will match any single part, or the "approximate match" option can be exercised. This will allow most addresses to be located but some restriction is unfortunately necessary to prevent people using this mechanism to obtain long lists of University email addresses for junk mail purposes.

4.6. Help with failed email

As a long-stop, every unit has a postmaster@unit.ox.ac.uk address which can deal with queries. This is a standard Internet protocol for all email addresses and anyone having difficulty should either be aware of this option or be able to get advice on it from their internet service provider.

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