Finishing computer use in the Department of Materials

Guiding Principles

The University owns the intellectual property rights to all files including data, software, etc, generated using University facilities. Therefore all members of department are obliged to not destroy files and data which might be of use. This can best be achieved by archiving your files and data before departure. You should discuss with your supervisor what files and data should be archived.

Typically you will need to gather together ALL your files from the various different systems that you currently access before your accounts are disabled. This implicitly will lead to the sorting/arranging of your files in a structure which suits you. However for the files which your supervisor has requested archive copy, it will be necessary to arrange and label the files more carefully if the archive is to be of use to someone else. The actual method of archiving your data will depend on the amount of data and whether any of the data remains active.

It is recommended to take a non-rewritable 'snapshot' of ALL your files and data before departure. This ensures that you have a copy of all your files at that time. After you have a complete snapshot of ALL your files, then you can consider re-arranging and sorting those files which are important and need archving for others to access, and deleting the unimportant or private/personal files (e.g. internet cache files, miscellaneous downloaded files etc.).

Central IT services

Various services are provided centrally (e.g. email). Please read for details about what happens to your access to central services when you finish at Oxford.

You might also check your Registration data by visiting and selecting view personal data.

Department Services

Files and accounts on department servers

The department runs various departmental file servers for different groups of users. e.g. \\\shares  

Data should be sorted with a view to archiving wanted data and deleting unnecessary data. Accounts are kept for at least 3 months after departure and eventually accounts are deleted. Accounts are disabled upon departure unless specified otherwise.


The Oxford Maillist system automatically removes email addresses which cease to respond (after a while). If you want proactively be removed from department maillists email (as recommended on the footer of all maillist messages) or by checking your own subscriptions at


Some users make use of their personal webspace ( which cease to be accessible when you leave. Copy any files you want to keep before you leave. See

Some users manage or maintain group webpages via generic project accounts. Please arrange with your supervisor for ownership/accessrights to be transferred to the next user so that access continues.

Some users manage websites on the department webservers. Please contact IT staff to discuss continuity or deletion of these websites.

Backups and Archvies

If you registered any department-owned computers via IT services HFS service , talk to your supervisor about who should take ownership of the backups (rather than just de-registering and deleting them).
Check your backup registrations via


Hardware owned by the department should be returned to your supervisor or to department IT staff. Sometimes it is possible to continue the loan of hardware (e.g. laptop) in order to aid completion of your work/publications/thesis but all equipment loans must be registered in advance with department IT staff. Department IT staff review the location of hardware annually.


The licensing terms and conditions of Oxford University licensed software installed on personally owned hardware usually require the removal of the software when your time at Oxford comes to an end. Please check your personally registered software licenses at Please see the license terms and conditions at

Support and Help

Department IT staff can advise you about how best to archive your files and for advice on transferring your email and files to your next job.

Please keep department IT staff informed about the status of your files and accounts clearly indicating which accounts can be deleted and which will still be needed (quite often it is necessary for accounts to remain active after you have left Oxford in order for you to finish off publication of results or for continued collaboration). By default your accounts will be disabled when you depart.