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Policy 5.2
Domain Names

Responsible Official: Enterprise CIO and Sr. Vice Provost for Library Services and Digital Scholarship
Administering Division/Department: LITS: Library & IT Services
Effective Date: December 14, 2015
Last Revision: July 07, 2017

Policy Sections:


This policy explains the rules for assigning domain names to IT resources associated with Emory University and/or hosted on the Emory network.


This policy applies to any person who wishes to assign a domain name to online computer resources associated with Emory University and Emory Healthcare and/or hosted on Emory networks. This policy applies to all domain names for university web sites and other resources, including but not limited to those under the “emory.edu” domain name space as well as non-emory.edu domain names such as those ending in .com, .net, .org, and other endings.

However, this policy does not apply in these specific situations:

  • Authorized Library and IT Services (LITS) staff members routinely assigning domain names in the course of their jobs.
  • Authorized Information Technology (IT) staff members for other departments assigning domain names in their established department's subdomain, such as College IT assigning names under college.emory.edu.Authorized Communications and Public Affairs (CPA) staff members assigning domain names for either strategic communication assets or functions related to CPA’s mandate.




Policy Details

Submit all domain name assignment requests using procedures outlined in the Emory Knowledge Base article “How to Request Approval for a New Domain.”

Requests will be considered by the Domain Name Request Committee (“the Committee”) which shall consist of at least one authorized representative from each of the following groups: LITS Web Hosting, LITS  Networking, Communications & Public Affairs.

The Committee is the university’s first-line authority for adjudicating assignment of requested domain names. The Committee shall establish and observe its own procedures, but the Committee shall acknowledge and consider each request within five university business days. If the Committee declines to approve a domain name as requested, the requester may amend the submission according to the Committee's recommendations and submit it again. If no agreement can be reached or no response is received, the requester may appeal by sending an email request to the Enterprise Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice Provost for Library Services and Digital Scholarship and the Senior Vice President for Communications & Public Affairs.

Domain names may not be “reserved” in advance. Domain names must be requested and assigned when needed. If a domain name is not utilized within 180 calendar days of request and approval, the domain name may be reassigned at the Committee’s discretion.

The Committee will generally consider the following nonbinding criteria in making its decision. This list is subject to change at the discretion of the Committee without notice.

  • If the domain will be used for a new, redesigned or migrated web site, has a mock-up design been completed?
    • An existing or mock-up design, either in images or rendered HTML/CSS, demonstrates a threshold level of planning for the use of the domain. Designs must demonstrate intent to follow Emory visual brand requirements established by University Communications and Public Affairs. If an HTML/CSS version of the mock-up is not available, the Committee may re-evaluate the domain name request when the HTML/CSS becomes available.
  • If the domain will be used for a web site, is the site closely related to an existing site
    • When possible, related sites should share a single domain name. For example, a new sub-site of it.emory.edu should use it.emory.edu/newsite/ rather than newsite.it.emory.edu or newsite.emory.edu.
  • Is the requested domain under emory.edu, emory.net, eushc.org, or emoryhealthcare.org?
    • Emory-branded web sites and services must use names under one of these domains. To be considered, a request for a name not under these domains must include specific business reasons why an Emory domain name does not meet the need, and why a non-emory.edu name is necessary.
  • Is the requested name for a web site to represent an Emory research lab?
    • Research labs are numerous at Emory, and despite the real and perceived advantages of a standalone site with its own domain name, research labs should be hosted at an address path within the lab’s parent school or department subdomain.
  • Is the requested name for a web site to represent Emory Healthcare units or services?
    • Emory Healthcare hospitals, departments, units and services must be hosted under the emoryhealthcare.org domain.
  • Is the domain directly under emory.edu?
    • Names directly under emory.edu are a limited resource. Such names must be unique, and the name-space is shared by the entire community. Other name spaces such as service.emory.edu are much less contested. All subdomains directly under emory.edu will be evaluated both for strategic importance and will be subject to a higher level of scrutiny.
  • Does the name correspond to a school, division or official department?
    • Schools, divisions and official departments receive priority for domain names under emory.edu.
  • Will the name be used for a web "redirect?"
    • Domain names can serve as convenience aliases for longer and more cumbersome URLs. This use is acceptable but not preferred, especially in the case of multiple aliases for the same site. In cases where a convenience alias is needed, the LITS Web Hosting group will determine the best redirect method. CPA reserves the right to evaluate the impact of any such “redirect” domains on domain integrity and discoverability.
  • Is the requested name vague, confusing, or likely to conflict with other uses?
    • Because they are a limited resource, domain names must be as specific as possible. Sites and services must not use names that are very similar to existing names, or that may be interpreted to suggest a use or topic other than the intended one, or that are highly likely to conflict with a similar name in the future. Whole words that are meaningfully related to the subject matter of the web site are generally preferable to initialisms and acronyms.
  • Does the requested domain name include the name of an individual or family for a web site to represent, or for use by, the same individual or family?
    • Emory University does not provide personal web hosting for individuals. Emory and Emory Healthcare online resources must represent university schools, units, departments, programs, buildings, places, services, partnerships, Emory-sponsored organizations, and initiatives (collectively, “official entities.”) Accordingly, assignment of domain names requested in the name of an individual which do not represent an official university entity, program or service will not be considered. Domain names for web sites of research labs must not be named for the researcher or other affiliated individual. Individual and family names may be incorporated in a domain name when the name has been adopted as part of the name of an official university entity, unit, building, scholarship, or program, other than a living individual, or when such name is a reference to an historical figure.


  • Failure to comply with this policy may have legal consequences and may result in:
    • Suspension or termination of access;
    • Disciplinary actions (up to and including termination of employment) in accordance with applicable university policy.

Related Links

Contact Information

Domain Name Review Committee  the committee via listserv  none  domainrequest@listserv.emory.edu 

Revision History

  • Version Published on: Jul 07, 2017 (Updated sanctions language)
  • Version Published on: Dec 14, 2015 (Removed "Emory" from policy title and other changes approved by ITSC)
  • Version Published on: Nov 08, 2015 (Version approved by IT Governance, October 27, 2015)
  • Version Published on: Sep 16, 2009 (This policy is a significant update to 5.2 and replaces 5.2 and 5.3.)
  • Version Published on: Mar 29, 2007 (Original Publication)