1. Background

1.1. What is a unit generic email address

A unit generic email address is one which reflects a Department or College or job function rather than a particular person. For example enquiries@oucs.ox.ac.uk or postmaster@balliol.ox.ac.uk.

Generic address have several advantages
  • They provide a consistent contact point with the 'outside' which does not change when personnel changes
  • Printed matter will not go out of date
  • Web references will not go out of date
  • People's identity and email address are not exposed on the web- so collection by automatic email address trawlers is reduced.
  • Different names for the same things (aliases) can easily be set up and routed to the one place e.g.help@,support@
  • No matter how many times 'where' it is routed to or 'what' it is routed to is changed - be it a call tracking system, or a project account, the outside world will never know, as they just use the same address.
  • Some times they can be guessed eg postmaster@

1.2. Where generics are routed

There are a variety of destinations for a unit generic address

  • Call tracking systems is the preferred destination. An email exchange is kept together, it can be picked up by any authorised person, and the exchange is visible. All information is accessible to all who need it. See your local ITSS about setting one up.
  • A mailing list is useful if it is to be for announcements. To request on be set up See http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/email/maillists/new/index.xml?ID=request and mention it is to be use with a Generic- as the list has to be explicitly configured for that to happen.
  • A Project mailbox keeps personal and 'generic' work mail separate. Shared mail boxes are not a good idea if it means passwords have to be shared. Fortunately, the Oxford Nexus server has the ability to 'delegate' access so additional users login with their own credentials but can access the project account.
  • Personal mailbox only if there are no other alternatives.

1.3. 'Oxford' accounts

Each person with a qualifying University Card, will be issued with an Oxford username. This username is used to identify you on many systems wit in the University eg Weblearn, staff access to Student Records. This username can never be transferred to anyone else *.. It should not be used as the destination of a generic address if anyone else needs access to that information after you have left.

*In exceptional circumstances, eg death, the head of Unit can authorize temporary access

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