Guidance for Websites and Branding

Domain names and hosting

All University activities must be presented within the .ox.ac.uk domain, as stated in the University’s Financial Regulations. Using this domain name provides numerous benefits, including being associated with the University of Oxford, and ensuring that the University maintains a cohesive image.

In addition, websites falling under the .ox.ac.uk domain benefit from the Ownership, Liability and Use legal notice on the University’s website. This offers protection regarding issues of copyright, inaccurate information, and technical problems.

OUCS is responsible for controlling .ox.ac.uk and its sub-domains. The OUCS DNS pages provide further information on the domain name system, eligibility and charges. Websites in the Oxford domain must adhere to OUCS policy and the policies of other appropriate domain registries (such as JANET(UK) in the case of .ac.uk domains).

It is recommended that domain names outside the Oxford domain should only be used for projects that have a wider reach than the University and need an identifiable web presence. OUCS will generally be willing to host non-.ox.ac.uk names for inter/national academic groups and projects, but requests will be treated on a case by case basis.

OUCS can also facilitate domain transfers, moving existing domains handled by commercial providers to OUCS.

NDMS are happy to help develop unit and group webpages. Please see the Proteomics and Kessler group pages as an example of this.

Branding

Oxford Quadrangle

Brand marks, if used consistently, can establish a strong and distinctive identity for the University. The visual identity of the University is legally protected and must be used in an appropriate manner.

Websites must conform to the University’s Branding Guidelines. The Branding Toolkit provides information on how to do this.

The quadrangle (right) is the primary version of the brand mark. The rectangle is the secondary form of the brand mark and should only be used when vertical space is restricted.

The logo, or belted crest as it is sometimes known, should only be used selectively for ceremonial purposes and on merchandise. It should never be considered as an alternative identifier for normal branding purposes.

Licenses

In accordance with the Trademark and Domain Names Policy, units that are wholly part of the University of Oxford do not need permission to use University logos, but must adhere to the branding guidelines.

For units that are not wholly part of the University, use of University logos requires a licence. This should be sought from Legal Services, or in the case of a normal joint research programme from Research Services. However, very often, no licence is required because the University itself is using the brand in order to mark its own participation.

If you believe any websites associated with your unit may require a licence, please contact Catherine Workman, phone (2)87987.

Writing for the Web

The University’s branding toolkit contains the University of Oxford Style Guide. It includes advice on abbreviations, capitalisation, and has a glossary of Oxford acronyms and terms. It aims to create consistent presentation for the University’s written communications.

NDMS have also created guidance for writing for the web, with handy hints for making sure readers get the most information from your web page.