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Guidelines for requesting domain names

General principles when applying for a domain name

Applications for names within the cam.ac.uk domain must be made using the online form (except for those at an institutional level, where authority is devolved). The form contains pop-up help for most items explaining what is needed. This website also provides detailed help for completing the form.

There are further pages explaining the basic concepts, terminology and other useful information about domain names. These pages include the Managed Zone Service for obtaining names for University use in other domains, e.g. org.uk.

Domain names within the cam.ac.uk domain are governed by University policy. This policy, approved by the Information Services Committee, is implemented by a panel in UIS, which includes the Relationship Managers. It is important to get the choice of name right as it can be quite hard and time-consuming to change it later.

It is helpful if applications for new top-level names (i.e. those directly under cam.ac.uk), are made following discussion with the applicant's Relationship Manager, who can provide guidance. Top-level names will normally only be allocated to institutions of the University (faculties, departments and colleges) and to University-wide facilities (e.g. the student information system, camsis.cam.ac.uk). Proof of the existence of a new institution is required; a formal announcement in the University Reporter is ideal. The Research Policy Committee provides approval for top-level domain names for some cross-School initiatives under the Strategic Research Initiatives scheme. Non-qualifying cross-disciplinary initiatives are encouraged to use one of the second-level umbrella domains described below.

After entry into the form, the proposal for a new name goes to a panel for approval or reasoned rejection. The panel have technical expertise and experience of the sort of clashes and confusion that have occurred in the past, often when acronyms or overly generic names have been used.

Ongoing use of the domain name once allocated

Allocation of a domain name and its subsequent use with a website and for email addresses places an onus on the responsible institution to maintain content and currency actively. Planning should be in hand for names that are associated with initiatives and institutions that have finite lifetimes and this lifetime noted when the domain is created.

When a name is no longer required, the institution's Relationship Manager should be informed, redirections should be used for a period of time, and unmaintained web content should be labelled as such. UIS may suppress domain names that are obsolete and/or are in danger of damaging the University's reputation.

Second-level umbrella domains of cam.ac.uk

The domain name policy notes that, for those cases ineligible for a top-level domain but which do not fall within the remit of a single institution, a sub-domain of one of the following may be appropriate:

  • apps.cam.ac.uk — web applications
  • cdt.cam.ac.uk — centres for doctoral training
  • cloud.cam.ac.uk — cloud services
  • event.cam.ac.uk — conferences and symposia
  • fund.cam.ac.uk — funds and bursaries
  • group.cam.ac.uk — a recognised University group, e.g. cross-disciplinary research group
  • masters.cam.ac.uk — inter-Institutional postgraduate degree-bearing courses
  • societies.cam.ac.uk — an established University society
  • tripos.cam.ac.uk — inter-institutional undergraduate degree-bearing courses.

Note that these names should not used for cases that fit within the scope of a single institutional name.

Institutional names

Where the activity for which the name is requested fits within a single established top-level domain – for example, a single institution's domain – a sub-domain of its domain should be used. As examples, the Institute for Manufacturing is ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk as it is part of the Engineering Department; whereas the Colleges' IT Managers Group is citmg.group.cam.ac.uk as it does not belong to any single college or other institution.

Authority for the creation of new names within an institutional domain is usually delegated to the institution and does not need to go via this UIS process. However, if in doubt, please fill in the online form and we can forward it to the institution where appropriate.

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