The university itself owns several domains for trademark protection (for instance
oxforduniversity.com) or for historical reasons (such as
oxford.ac.uk and oxford.edu). College or department
usage of these domains is deprecated and new DNS entries will not be
permitted; units should normally look to use the ox.ac.uk domain, save
for exceptions as described below.
We strongly advise that external domains should be registered through us to simplify
administration and to minimise future problems, although this is not mandatory save
in the case of .ac.uk domains. IT Services are a member of
Nominet and act as a registrar for
co.uk, org.uk and other Nominet-managed second-level
domains. For most other domain names, IT Services act as an OpenSRS reseller. For certain special cases
(such as .museum), we simply register through commercial providers.
- Domains: are “identified by a domain name, and consists of that part of the
domain name space that is at or below the domain name which specifies the domain”
(p.7, RFC 1034)
- Subdomains: are subsets of a parent domain e.g. unit.ox.ac.uk is subdomain of
the parent ox.ac.uk domain.
- Name Servers: “…are server programs which hold information about the domain
tree's structure and set information.” (p.5, RFC 1034)
- DNSSEC: “…[adds] origin authentication and integrity protection for DNS data,
as well as a means of public key distribution. These extensions do not provide
confidentiality.” (p.2, RFC 4033).
- AD Zones: "For a given domain, certain subdomains are used by Microsoft Active
Directory1.The term AD Zones is used to refer specifically to these subdomains but
not the parent domain of unit.ox.ac.uk."
2. ox.ac.uk domain
3. Non-ox.ac.uk domains
‘The University's policy is that all University activities (other than
those within OUP's remit) should be presented within the ox.ac.uk domain.
Oxford University Computing Services ("OUCS") is solely responsible for
controlling ox.ac.uk and its sub-domains. Any department, faculty, unit,
institute or other grouping within the University (except OUP) which wishes
to make use of any other domain should refer to OUCS for approval (which in
general will be granted only in connection with projects which have a wider
reach than the University, and which need a distinct and identifiable
- 3.2 Hostnames not within the ox.ac.uk domain may not ordinarily be pointed at IP
addresses on the University network. Exceptions will be made only by special
arrangement (and may require payment of a licence fee). Reverse-mapping will
always return an address within ox.ac.uk.
- 3.3 Purchasing
- 3.3.1 Subject to all the above caveats IT Services will purchase domains for
- 3.3.2 As a matter of courtesy, IT Services can also register domains when
requested by appropriate staff in Colleges and subsidiaries, which will
be registered on their behalf.
- 3.4 DNS hosting on University of Oxford IP address space
- 3.4.1 Anything purchased by IT services would normally be DNS hosted on our
central DNS servers.
- 3.4.2 We will also consider DNS hosting domains purchased through other
means e.g. project shared between different Universities.
- 3.4.3 We will not host personal vanity domains, or any domain for
- 3.4.4 Trademark Protection: In the case of domain names obtained purely for
trademark protection, we will normally only permit a DNS entry for
www within that domain. Accessing that site should result
in the user being redirected to the standard URL within the
ox.ac.uk domain. Where multiple domains have been obtained for use by the
same project (for instance identical names under .com,
.net, and .org), we strongly encourage use
of one domain as standard and the alternatives to be configured as
In addition to local policy, all purchases and usage of domains must be in line
with the policies laid down by the appropriate domain registries and the domain
registrars through which we make our purchases. These are listed below:
Approved OUCS/SMG (31/07/12)