Skip to content | Change text size

Domain Names Procedures

Parent Policy

Domain Names Policy

These procedures provide for the management of domain names at Monash University, the process for applying for new domain names, and the naming standards that apply.

The Domain Naming System (DNS) is a global hierarchical system for naming devices and services on the Internet, managed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).  A domain name represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a web site, or the web site itself or any other service communicated via the Internet. The DNS provides a means for subdividing and delegating control of the name space and avoiding name clashes and ambiguity.

Domain Name Authorities issue Domain Names because Domain Names have important implications for communications and marketing on the Internet. Names that Monash seeks and uses are administered by several different naming authorities.  Some Monash requests might be refused and some names may already be in use.

The various naming authorities each have their own different requirements (technical, administrative, cost and substantiation) for Domain Name Registration.  Some naming authorities require considerable detail to substantiate that Monash University is an appropriate organisation to be granted a name within the name-space that they administer - i.e. that Monash University legitimately performs the type of business that the naming authority seeks to include in their domain name space.  Hence there is considerable work (time, effort, money) in each individual name application.  Authentication checks by those naming authorities that apply strict requirements have the effect, to some extent, of protecting Monash's brand names. Conversely, some naming authorities impose minimal checks.  It is in these spaces that Monash's brand names might be at most risk.  Monash University needs to carefully manage the names that are applied for and the priority order of application.

Monash University operates through a range of domain name levels with the overarching Monash web architecture of the form monash.edu/theme. Monash will register a range of similar domain names and enable their use to maintain a common and accessible user experience e.g. monash.edu/law and law.monash.edu and law.monash.edu.au. The University is also the registrant of a global top level domain .monash which is a closed top-level domain name acquired in 2014 for the sole and exclusive use of Monash University in its education and research activities.

Different domain name conventions are used in different countries.  Hence, Monash requires different practices for each type of country in which it operates:

#1. The USA, which does not use a country suffix - this format is also used by multi-national organisations such as Monash University, and organisations which do not want to tie their name or brand to any one country, e.g.: monash.edu

#2. Countries (e.g. Australia) which use .edu. as an education sector category descriptor, e.g.: monash.edu.au

#3. Countries (e.g. South Africa) which use .ac. as an academic sector category descriptor, e.g.: monash.ac.za

#4. Countries (e.g. Sweden) which do not subdivide their country name-space into industry categories (i.e. no industry category field), e.g. (hypothetically): monash.se

Note: From 2000, the .edu domain name space was restricted to US based education institutions. Monash University was already registered in this domain name space prior to 2000 as monash.edu, and was able to continue the registration of monash.edu i.e. the registration was grandfathered.

Users may see a range of temporary or transitional URL standards:

  • These may be in transition to the standards being articulated in this procedure, e.g. the University is transitioning away from country specific suffixes (.au, .nz).
  • Promotional URL's are in the form monash.edu/promotion and may point to, or redirect to a web presence. These are generally grouped into functional or theme areas such as: research, education. (e.g. monash.edu/research/matf -> platforms.monash.edu/matf)
  • Transitional (temporal). From time to time, when managing the University's web presence, it is useful to use temporary domains and URL's to redirect traffic to more appropriate locations, or provide for instances where sites and content are of a temporary nature. (e.g. monash.edu/cop à change of preference, which only runs in December, but redirects to another section when out of this period.)

Definition of terms

CIO: Chief Information Officer
DNS: Domain Name Service
HDR: Higher Degree by Research student
IETF: Internet Engineering Task Force
RFC: Request For Comments (IETF standard specification)
URL: Uniform Resource Locator (WWW address)
WWW: Word Wide Web

1. Domain Name Management

Domain Names and email names are to conform to the Monash University Domain Name Plan, as articulated by these Procedures.

The eSolutions Division will provide the Domain Name Service (DNS) hosting facility for all Domain Names covered by this Policy and Procedures.

Domain Name applications and management expenses that are within the scope of this Policy may be charged for cost recovery purposes by the CIO or delegate.

Responsibility

Chief Information Officer and Vice-President (Information)
All staff and students

2. Monash Top Level Global Domain

Monash University is the registrant and registry operator of a top level global domain .monash which is a closed domain for the exclusive use of the University. The .monash domain will be restricted in its use and is not the standard architecture for the broader University web presence which is .monash.edu.

The operation and use of this global top level domain is under a contract agreement with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and is subject to a number of compliance rules including specific policies. These are available at www.nic.monash.

Applications for Domain Names in .monash are subject to the same process outlined in Section 3.

Responsibility

Chief Information Officer and Vice-President (Information)

3. Applying for Domain Names

Applications for Domain Names may be made to eSolutions through Service Desk Online, or Campus IT Director (for campuses outside of Australia).

There are application options for external and internal domain names, and for internal host sub-domain names. Applications should be made by the Faculty Manager/campus equivalent/organisation senior officer and authorisation is required by the Dean/Division or Campus Head.

Specific exceptions to this policy and procedures will be considered upon application through the above process to the CIO.

Responsibility

All staff and students
Faculty Managers/Campus equivalent/senior department officer
Heads of Department/School/Dean
Campus IT Director
Chief Information Officer and Vice-President (Information)

4. General Guidelines for Authorised Domain Names

Monash will register Monash will not register
Collaborative Research Centres Professional Societies
Joint Monash/Enterprise Organisations Private Companies
University Publications  

Conferences with Monash Association (on annual basis)

 
Major Projects  
Spceific bodies/groups working under funding arrangements  

Monash will host Monash will not host
Anything with registration authorisation issued by Monash University Something that was not registered by Monash (and where Monash cannot reclaim the Domain Name)
  •  A wholly contained sub-section of a larger organisation with the same focus as the parent organisation (e.g., education/commercial/non-profit), should use the parent's Domain Name or a sub-section of it.
  • If the primary role of the organisation/body is "education" or "research" then .edu applies. Where the organisation/body is also Monash owned then, .monash.edu applies, examples are:  monash.edu/research/sustainability-institute and Monash College, monashcollege.edu.au
  • If the primary role is neither "education" nor "research", then eSolutions will resolve the most appropriate domain base with requestor and relevant University entities.
  • If the organisation is not 100% Monash owned or Monash controlled, then the Domain Name does not require monash in it.
  • The convention that well known domain names .org, .net, .com implied organisation, networks and commercial are no longer strictly adhered to in the wider internet, but may be applied as deemed appropriate.

 

Responsibility

Chief Information Officer and Vice-President (Information)

5. Monash Domain Names Plan

The standards for the internet Domain Name System are defined by Request for Comments (RFC) documents published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

5.1   General Format

The overall format of a domain name is defined in IETF RFC 1034 and consists of a number of alphanumeric fields delimited by the period "." character. There must be no embedded spaces or other reserved characters such as the "at" @ character. The allowed characters are "0~9", "A~Z", "a~z" and "-". The domain name is not case sensitive.  The domain name is the basic building block for web addresses (URLs), email addresses and physical device and other service names, each of which are defined individually in later sections of these Procedures.

A domain name consists of a prefix-part (sub-domain), which is administered internally by Monash eSolutions, and a suffix-part, for which Monash must apply to external Domain Name Authorities.  A typical domain name might have the following general format:

Servicename or orgunit.monash.edu.au
prefix-part.suffix-part →
(internal) (external)
"sub-domain" "domain"

The prefix and suffix parts are defined separately below.  Unless otherwise noted, the same prefix-part should be able to be applied to any of the allowed suffix-parts, and give the same or equivalent result in each case.

5.2   Monash Naming Principles

5.2.1 Global name: Monash University may register a global domain name in line with convention for multi-national organisations. This domain name is the primary and universal umbrella domain name for the University.
Motivation:To reflect Monash's multi-national operations within Monash branding and marketing activities.
Application:The primary domain architecture and all Monash domain names and email addresses. Specifically, the following domain name suffix:
monash.edu

5.2.2 Local country name: In each country in which Monash University operates, Monash may also register a domain name consistent with local convention in that country.
Motivation:Compatibility with local practice familiar in each country.
Application:All Monash domain names and email addresses. Specifically, including the following domain name suffixes:
monash.edu.au  
monash.edu.my  
monash.ac.za

5.2.3 Org-unit, theme or function: Monash domain names are organised by an org-unit, theme or function /suffix, which is generally the faculty, division or equivalent top-level group name, theme or function.
Application:Most Monash domain names and some special-purpose email addresses:
monash.edu/law
monash.edu/research
monash.edu.my/research

5.2.4 Specific purpose: Specific-purpose domain names that are not based on the ...monash.edu... form are allowed for and controlled by the Monash Domain Names Policy and Procedures.
Application:Domain names and email addresses for specific projects or related entities that require distinctive branding separate from the common Monash brand. Examples:
XYZ.org
ands.edu.au
radiomonash.net
climateworksaustralia.org

5.3 Domain Name suffixes

5.3.1 Global form: The global form of all Monash domain names including email addresses shall be of the form:
....monash.edu

5.3.2 Local form: The local form of a Monash domain name in a specific country shall be of the form:
....monash{.<industry>}.<country>
where:
.<industry> is .edu or .ac or <null> as per local country convention
<country> is the ISO 3166 standard 2-letter code for the local country
for example:
monash.edu.au
monash.edu.my
monash.ac.za

5.4 Physical device names

Physical devices registered for use on the Monash network shall have names of the form:
hostname.orgunit.suffix-part

where:
suffix-part must be the local country form because a device is registered in a specific country.

Examples:
myPC.orgunit.monash.edu.au
myPC.orgunit.monash.ac.za

5.5 World Wide Web (www) Uniform Resource Locator (url) names

Web URL addresses conform to IETF RFC 1738.

Monash web pages and web applications shall have URL names of the following form and shall comprise the allowed characters "0~9", "a~z" and "-" plus the special reserved field delimiter characters ":", "/" and period "." and there must be no embedded spaces or other special characters such as "%", "@" or underscore "_". 

 http{s}://{www.}suffix-part{/org-unit or function}

where:

  • www. field is increasingly optional in current usage.
  • suffix-part includes both the global and local country forms defined above, i.e. entering the country extension is optional for the end-user for globally applicable content.
  • Org-unit, theme or function (where present) is generally a faculty, division or equivalent top-level group name, or occasionally a service or function name.

Where the web page or application requires secure (https) access, entering the "s" extension is optional for the end-user, i.e. the http form shall automatically redirect to the https address.

Examples:

monash.edu                                    = Monash home page
my.monash.edu                              = my.monash portal home page
monash.edu/arts                            = Faculty of Arts landing page
monash.edu/berwick                     = Berwick campus promotional landing page
monash.edu/about                        = a function area immediately under the Monash home page

Notes on usage:

5.5.1     Consistency of Monash web presence
It is appropriate to have standards across the Monash web presence, however because of the size of the Monash web presence there will be instances of inconsistency with these standards. Monash web addressing may be in a state of flux and transition to the standards, and there may be instances where the standards have not yet been applied.  The application process for new domain name requests will determine the most suitable url in keeping with the standards and the business requirements of the request.

5.5.2          Use of ‘www' prefix

Where ‘www' is used as a domain suffix, this version shall redirect to the shorter version without the ‘www'.  For example:

www.monash.edu                                            redirects to                       monash.edu
www.orgunit.monash.edu                             redirects to                       orgunit.monash.edu
www.servicename.monash.edu                    redirects to                       servicename.monash.edu
www.XYZ.monash.org                                    redirects to                       XYZ.monash.org

5.5.3          Top-level Monash URLs

Top level folders on the main Monash website (monash.edu) are reserved for significant University functions and initiatives.  Requests for top level folders should be made to the Executive Director Marketing via an email to webmaster@monash.edu.au

5.5.4          Web address equivalences - global Monash versus local country addresses

The web service address is managed as appropriate for the specific content (i.e. as selected by the content developer):

5.5.4.1        Universal:  Web page or application is common to and identical in all countries:
The global form is the actual service address; all local country addresses exist and automatically redirect to the global form address.

5.5.4.2        Customized:  Web page or application exists in all countries but content is customized in each country:
The local country forms are the actual addresses. The global form exists and presents the user with common information together with a mechanism to navigate to the relevant local country page.  The relevant content developer/s (as listed in the "maintained by" field in the page footer) are responsible for ensuring that the navigation mechanism from the global form page exists and is kept up to date.

5.5.4.3        Local:  Web page or application is specific to one country only. The local country form is the actual address.  The global form of the address does not exist.

Where web page authenticity is protected by digital certificates, any required redirects must occur without generating a certificate error, i.e. digital certificates (and similar authorizations) must cover both the global and relevant local country forms and the certificates must be browser-recognised for all services available to end-users.

5.5.5          Folder and file-naming in URLs

Web folders and filenames shall be named logically and consistently so that URLs read as a sensible string and may be guessed in simple cases.

Folders and filenames must be in all lower-case and may only contain alphanumerics and hyphens.  URLs must not contain underscores, percent signs, at signs, spaces or other special characters.  For example:

Correct URL                                                                                           Incorrect URL

monash.edu/pubs/handbooks                                                           monash.edu/pubs/Handbooks
monash.edu/research/sustainability-institute                                  monash.edu/research/sustainability_institute
adm.monash.edu/workplace-policy                                                   adm.monash.edu/workplace policy
adm.monash.edu/workplace-policy                                                   adm.monash.edu/workplace%20policy

5.6 General form for Monash email addresses - staff and HDR students

Email addresses conform to IETF RFC 5322 (section 3.4.1).  The allowed characters are "0~9", "A~Z", "a~z" and "-" plus the special reserved field delimiter characters period "." and at "@".  Email addresses are not case-sensitive.  There must be no embedded spaces or other special characters.

Monash staff email addresses shall be of the form:

NameA.NameB@monash.edu

which normally equates to:

First.Last@monash.edu

For example: Alexis.Doe@monash.edu

So as to empower HDR students to function as early career researchers (ECRs), all HDR candidates shall be allocated email addresses conforming to the staff format.

Further details, variants, special cases and local country equivalences are described below.

5.6.1      Name variations and preferences

Where people prefer to be known by a name other than their first name, e.g. by their second name or a nick‑name, the standard form becomes:

Preferred.Last@monash.edu

For example:
If Alexis prefers to be known as Alex:                                                Alex.Doe@monash.edu
If Alexis prefers to be known by the second name, Rowan:                  Rowan.Doe@monash.edu

Where people prefer to be known by three (or more) names, these shall be of the form:

NameA.NameB.NameC{...}@monash.edu

such as:

First.Middle.Last@monash.edu

For example:  Alexis.Rowan.Doe@monash.edu

A very tiny percentage (less than 0.01%) of people have only one name, these shall be of the form:

Name@monash.edu

 For example:        Alexis@monash.edu

5.6.2      Name clashes

Where there is a name clash, this shall be resolved by the insertion of a 3rd name, usually a middle initial or middle name:

First.M.Last@monash.edu or  First.Middle.Last@monash.edu

For example:  Alexis.R.Doe@monash.edu

Where a name clash involves someone whose preferred name is their second name, the name clash will be resolved by prefixing with a first initial or first name:

F.Second.Last@monash.edu or  First.Second.Last@monash.edu

For example:  A.Rowan.Doe@monash.edu

Where disambiguating a name clash cannot be resolved by any of the methods above and below, a numerical suffix N will be appended directly to the name, such as:

First.Second.LastN@monash.edu

For example:  Alexis.Rowan.Doe2@monash.edu

Resolution of name clashes:

Given the size of Monash, inevitably some staff have the same (two part) name.  This leads to a small cohort of email name clashes.  As a general procedure, if a staff member has been using the email address for more than 3 months, it remains allocated to them for the remainder of their time at Monash.  This is to provide certainty to staff that their email address will not be moved to someone else due to a name clash emerging over time.  In such case, the staff member who has more recently joined Monash will need to choose an alternative email address.

The process for resolving name clashes shall be as follows:

  • Explore alternative preferred names
    The people involved in a name clash will first be given the option of resolving it amongst themselves, for example by moving to or from a nick-name to disambiguate (e.g. Liz vs Elizabeth).
  • Move to three-part names
    Failing that, each individual will be given the option to choose between any of the three‑part name formats listed above.
  • When a clash emerges over time
    Where a name clash emerges over time, the incumbent user of the two-part address will be given the option of retaining their existing address or (e.g. if this becomes inconvenient due to too many mis-addressed emails received for the other party) will have the option at any time subsequently of moving to a three-part name.
    The newly arrived person (who triggered the name clash) will always be assigned a three-part name in one of the formats listed above.
  • When agreement cannot be reached
    In cases where a suitable agreement cannot be reached, the name clash will be referred to the eSolutions Service Manager who will resolve the dispute, or failing that, escalate it to the CIO.

5.6.3      Local country equivalences

For compatibility with local country conventions, the following synonyms shall in all cases be implemented.  For each and every individual both the global and the relevant local country form shall exist and map to the same email account:

Table 2:  Local country synonyms (normal cases)

New standard Monash global form

Synonym for Australian addresses

Synonym for Malaysian addresses (and other countries that follow the .edu. convention)

Synonym for South African addresses (and other countries that follow the .ac. convention)

First.Last@monash.edu

First.Last@monash.edu.au

First.Last@monash.edu.my

First.Last@monash.ac.za

First.Mid.Last@monash.edu

First.Mid.Last@monash.edu.au

First.Mid.Last@monash.edu.my

First.Mid.Last@monash.ac.za

Local variant option for Malaysian campuses:

People from some specific cultural backgrounds prefer to be known by their Family Name, in which case the standard form becomes:

Family.First{.Second}@monash.edu

For example:  
Doe.Alexis@monash.edu
Doe.Alexis.Rowan@monash.edu

5.7 Email addresses - other

The following types of Monash email address shall have the form shown:

  • Student email addresses: usercode@student.monash.edu
  • Fax addresses: phonenumber@fax.monash.edu.country
  • Email list names: orgunit-listname-L@monash.edu{.country}
    generally replaces: listname-L@orgunit.monash.edu{.country}
  • Functions/services: orgunit-servicename@monash.edu{.country}
    generally replaces: servicename@orgunit.monash.edu{.country}
  • System administration: supervisor@orgunit.monash.edu{.country}
    for supervisor addresses: postmaster@... webmaster@... abuse@... info@...
  • Physical server based addresses: usercode@server.orgunit.monash.edu.country
    [never published - only used for internal system admin purposes]
  • Exceptions will be determined on a case-by-case basis upon request to the eSolutions Service Desk..

Responsibility

Chief Information Officer and Vice-President (Information)
Campus IT Director

Content Enquiries: Policy Bank

University Policy Use Only:

Version Number: 2.1Effective Date: 30-July-2015Contact: adm-PolicyBank@monash.edu