Email is provided centrally via IT Services on a system called Nexus. Email can be accessed via a web-based interface,
which is accessible from anywhere in the world, or via email client software such as Outlook and Thunderbird, which is specific to each client computer.

All members of Department must have a University e-mail SSO (single sign-on) account and should use their University email address for university correspondence. Undergraduate students are registered by their colleges and have a college address (in the
form Postgraduate students have a college address (in the form plus a Department address ( and both addresses are delivered to the same
account. Department staff without College affiliation just have a Department address ( University email addresses can be looked-up using the Oxford University contact search web-page.

Contact if you have any queries about your email addresses such as wanting to have aliases set up to reflect the name by which you are more commonly known (for example Tom instead of Thomas).

It is most likely that you will check e-mail from your own computer or a general computer provided within your group. However, there are many terminals provided in the IT Services building (13 Banbury Road). You can also use the department facilities such
as the teaching laboratory computer suite , the computers in the Library, or the general use computer in Begbroke (upstairs in Hirsch South Extension).

Department Mail Server

IT Service's Nexus mail server provides email for all members of department. Currently all users are allocated 2Gb of storage by default which can be increased for free to 3Gb upon request to Departmental IT staff.  Quotas on Nexus larger than 3Gb
are possible but are charged at £1.50/Gb/month. However the Department of Materials also operates an email server as a repository for 'heavy users' needing to store large amounts of old email messages for administrative purposes. If you are continually
receiving quota warnings please department IT staff to request an account on

Email Etiquette

A review of problems with email communications within the department has highlighted the following areas:

  • Please write messages clearly and concisely. A lot of time is wasted scanning messages for key facts.
  • Please do not blindly forward messages without first editing the content to be clear and concise and to take account of the new intended recipient(s).
  • Please avoid using attachments for simple information.
  • Please avoid using formatted text. (Note that many browsers can be incorrectly configured to automatically send all messages as formatted text which then appears as an attachment to some people. People encountering these problems should alert either
    IT staff or the senders who are probably unaware of the problem.)
  • MOST people can cope with Word attachments, but for some users this requires several minutes of messing around since not everyone uses a PC/Mac with MSWord to read their mail. Please be considerate. (large attachments >10Mb should be distributed
    as a link using the webupload facility to avoid filling the recipient's mailbox)
  • Most people ignore automatic requests for notification or receipt, so do not use them! If you require confirmation of receipt, ask for one in the message.
  • Please use vacation message (out of office) settings if you are not checking mail for more than a couple of days. It helps people know that they are not going to get a reply to their urgent message. However spammers do use vacation messages as confirmation
    that their address lists are valid.
  • Please would Admin Staff / Committee Chairmen try to avoid duplication of circulations by both email and paper, or at least notify if paper copy will follow the email.
  • Ignore / immediately delete unsolicited junk mail or financial scams. See advice on automatic filtering of junkmail
  • Hoax virus notification messages are common. Do NOT follow 'disinfection' instructions unless you are sure of the authenticity of the advice. If unsure forward the message to a member of IT staff
  • Please note that Department Mailists are intended for circulating information relevant to the department. They should not be used for advertisements or personal
    messages without prior authorization.
  • In order to reduce the number of messages sent to all members of department via the notices maillist please consider circulating the information via the weekly departmental newsletter.

Users may also like to read the IT Services email netiquette advice.

List of site pages