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IT Rules

Overview

This page draws together the rules that govern the use of centrally provided IT and Communications facilities at the University. Anyone using these facilities, whether directly or via a connection to a departmental or college network, must follow these rules. Users should also be aware that departments and colleges may impose additional rules for use of facilities under their control.

All departments, faculties, colleges and halls of the University are responsible for ensuring that their own local IT rules are compatible with, and where necessary implement, the rules presented on this page.

As well as presenting links to the rules themselves, this page also sets out some common tasks and their associated relevant rules. If you have any questions about how these rules apply to you or your job, please contact policyhelp@it.ox.ac.uk.

Governance and process

It is important that the University’s use of IT is in compliance with national law and its contractual agreements with external bodies such as Janet, which provides UK universities with connection to the Internet. Council, the University’s executive body, delegates responsibility for developing and maintaining policies and regulations regarding the University's IT operations to the IT Committee. In addition to these, some guidance relevant to IT is provided by the University’s core legislation the Statutes. If you are interested in the structure and administration of the University, and how it governs itself, please consult the links below:

University Statutes and Regulations

The current IT regulations as approved by the IT Committee are available here:

These cover issues such as who may use University facilities, for what purposes, and who may access user data, and what constitutes misuse of facilities. As such they can be seen as the core of the University’s IT ruleset.

In addition Statute XVI on Property, Contracts, and Trusts gives information on who owns material produced using IT facilities at the University

Policy Statements and Codes of Practice

In support of its statutes and regulations, the University also formulates policies and codes of practice. These serve the purpose of making compliance with national law and internal regulations easier, by providing information and guidance.  The Legal Services Office provides a useful and comprehensive list of these here:

Of these, the following policies are likely to be of particular relevance to IT staff and users:

Finally the following links provide information and guidelines prepared by the University administration to help users comply with the broad responsibilities laid out in regulation and statute:

 

Rules imposed by external bodies as a condition of use

As well as complying with the University’s own statutes and regulations, and national law, users of IT within the University must also comply with the terms of agreements the University has made with external bodies.

Common tasks and their associated rules (examples)

Creating a web site

When creating a web site for a University activity or funded project you may need to consider the following:

 

Publishing research data

When making research data available to people outside the University, whether specific individuals or the general public, you may need to consider the following:

Writing and releasing software

Increasingly software is being written by researchers, educators and administrators at the University. When considering whether or how to release this software, you may need to consider the following:

Collecting research data

If you are undertaking a data collection exercise in support of your research, you may need to consider the following:

Investigating misuse

If you are investigating potential misuse of University IT facilities, you may need to consider the following?