This document describes email addresses and accounts as managed through IT Services Registration.

1. Email addresses

An email address is what someone uses when sending you a message, such as or or Fuller details are under Email at Oxford, particularly for University email addresses.

1.1. University email address

A University email address is one which ends with the format Any individual holding a current University Card of category Congregation, University Staff, College Staff, Departmental Staff, Retired Staff, Undergraduate, Graduate, RVO Student, Registered PT Student, Academic Visitor or Card Holder is entitled to a University email address (but Card Holder is not entitled to a Central email account). Note that an address ending in the format is not counted as an official University email address.

Staff and graduate students might have University email addresses at both a college and a department.

1.2. Alternative Email Address

This is any email address, separate from your University email address and your University email account. You can register or update it on the OUCS self-registration facility. It can then be used by IT Services or your IT Support Staff to contact you if you have asked for help with a problem affecting your primary email account. For security reasons, we will not send sensitive information such as rescue codes to unregistered external addresses.

Please note that this address will only be used when requested for some one-off emergency. Routine administrative messages, such as expiry warnings, will only be sent to your University email address.

An alternative email address can be registered by anyone entitled to a University email address (see above), and also the Virtual Access category.

2. Oxford Single Sign-On account

For every card category Congregation, University Staff, College Staff, Departmental Staff, Retired Staff, Undergraduate, Graduate, RVO Student, Registered PT Student, Academic Visitor, Card Holder or Virtual Access, an "Oxford" account is created.

The Oxford account gives access to a variety of facilities such as WebLearn, booking systems, and OxCort in addition to email and other services provided by IT Services. Therefore, you may need to keep your Oxford account password up to date even if you do not use central email or any other services provided by IT Services.

OUCS sends out a letter, usually on the morning after the University Card is created, which gives you the details needed to activate the Oxford account. For Virtual Access, where there is no physical card, the letter is sent to your departmental or college administration via the University Card office, so it will take a little longer.

3. Email account

An email account is a place where email is received. Messages are stored there for you. When you want to read your email, you use a client such as Outlook or MacMail to connect to your email account. An email address must be tied to an account for it to work properly. However, more than one email address (for example a college address and a departmental address) can be tied to the same email account. For your Oxford University email addresses, your local IT Support Staff, or IT Services Registration, can, on request, change the records so that the email address is tied to a different account from the default.

3.1. Central email account

IT Services maintains the central Nexus email system. Anyone entitled to an Oxford account (except Card Holder and Virtual Access card categories) is entitled to have a central email account on Nexus. The account name and password for Nexus are the same as those for the Oxford account. Most people will be given a Nexus account automatically, in which case the Oxford account activation letter will include your University email address and this will be tied to the Nexus account. Until the end of Michaelmas Term 2009, some users will have their central email account on the old Herald system, which is being phased out.

3.2. Departmental or college email account

Some colleges and departments run their own email systems, which may be for all their members or for staff only. Your local IT Support officer will provide you with the details needed for using the account - IT Services does not have account name or password information for these services. The IT officer will arrange for your University email address (for that department or college) to be tied to the local system. Eligibility for these accounts is not necessarily based on the University Card but the department or college will set its own rules for the use of these services. In some cases, there may be a special arrangement so that you are not also given a central email account.

When you move to a different department, check with IT Support staff or IT Services Registration to ensure your email address is tied to the correct account.

3.3. External email account

Many email services, including free-of-charge ones, are available outside the University.

If you set an Alternative Email Address, it should be independent of the University service you normally use.

Note that IT Services will not be able to help if you have problems or make mistakes when using a service which is outside the control of the University.