Acceptable Usernames for CSE accountsSee also Account Names FAQ.
Summary of PolicyStudents have the username of their account generated for them; holders of most other types of CSE account have their username assigned by People.System Support (SS). These users may choose their username from several different formats based upon their actual name, known as named account. Usernames of the form initial + last name or first name + initial are strongly encouraged; other forms are rarely allowed.
Who This Policy Applies ToAll users entitled to a username based upon their actual name. These users are:
- academic and general staff
- tutors and demonstrators
- Help Desk supervisors
- undergraduate thesis students
- postgraduate research students
- Co-op and summer research scholarship students
- student representatives
- student society executives (COMPSOC, SESOC, BINFSOC, CSE Revue)
- visitors to academics
Who Maintains This PolicyCSG, under delegation from the CSE Computing Committee. See Facilities Committee minutes from 1999.
Policy DescriptionThe rationale behind named accounts is to make it easier for other people to email the user. The localmail program queries the System.UDB to try to match an email address to a username, so the closer the match between a user's actual name and their username the more likely intended email will reach them.
The original version of the policy was written to cover the transition from usernames based upon student numbers and is archived here. This is the version currently enforced by CSG.
- the username must be at least three characters long. For ease of use, a maximum of 8 characters is recommended.
- the username must start with a letter, must be alphanumeric only and must be all lowercase. Punctuation characters are reserved for the mlalias program.
- the username must reflect and be derived from the user's first and last names as they appear in the user's account. The accepted forms are:
- first name plus initial of last name, in either order
- initial of first name plus last name, in either order
- initials of first, middle and last names, in that order
- first name plus last name, in that order, if the resulting username is 8 characters or less
- if the user's first or last names are long (8 or more characters), they may substitute a diminutive (first name only) or the first syllable of the name for the full name. Diminutives are well-known short forms of names, such as Rob for Robert.
- the username must not equate to only one of the user's names, no matter how rare the user deems their name to be, except in the case where the user only has one name.
- the username must not be a nickname, a dictionary word or potentially offensive, or conflict with an existing username.
New staff or visitors who can show they have an established internet identity that differs from one of the accepted options may request SS to give them this identity as their username, provided it meets the other conditions.
If SS and the user cannot reach agreement on the proposed username, the dispute may be referred to the CSG manager.
 For the purposes of this policy, a staff member is a person who has a continuing or fixed term appointment with the School or a person with a visiting academic appointment.