Internet Domain Name Policy

Category: Information Technology

Approval: VPOC

Responsibility: AVP-CIO

Date initially approved: August 15, 2016

Date of last revision: August 15, 2016


Domain Name Service (DNS)

The Internet-wide database used to provide name-related information for all the systems connected to the Internet. Information Technology Services (ITS) maintains the primary DNS database and servers for Queen’s University.

Domain Name

A Domain Name is a unique name that identifies a website on the Internet (e.g.,, When a user attempts to navigate to a specific Domain Name, they are directed to the appropriate location via DNS routing. Domain Names must be registered through an official Domain Name Registrar.

For the purposes of reading this policy, Domain Name can be regarded as equivalent to a website and includes Sub-folders/Domain folders (e.g.,


A Sub-Domain is a name that pre-pends a parent domain name such as, in order to more specifically reference a particular website or system (e.g., Under certain circumstances it may be desirable to have the unique name of a department, group, etc, ahead of the main Queen's name, in a format such as

Purpose/Reason for Policy:

When a member of the Queen’s Community selects a Domain Name for a website, it is possible to unintentionally put the reputation of the University at risk. While there may be valid reasons for choosing a Domain Name which does not end with the suffix, it is extremely important that those opting to do so understand the implications of that decision.

The intent of this policy is to preserve the reputation of Queen’s University by ensuring that the Domain Names for websites associated with, or appearing to be associated with, the University are named, registered and administered appropriately.

The policy:

  1. Guides members of the Queen’s community when choosing or deciding upon Domain Names for websites associated with the University; and
  2. Establishes initial and ongoing responsibilities associated with such websites.

Scope of this Policy:

This policy is intended primarily for University departments, faculty, staff and research groups. The Policy pertains to Domain Names that include content specific to Queen’s or that may reasonably be identified with Queen’s University. Exceptions to this may apply where there could be reputational risk for the University.

Policy Statement

The Internet identity for Queen’s University and its faculties, departments and units is based on the internet Domain Name. All websites and web services that are provided by members of the Queen’s University community as part of their official functions, and as part of the mission of the institution, shall fall within the domain and sub domain structure or have received an exception to do otherwise and be logged in the Domain Registry List maintained by Information Technology Services.


In certain circumstances a Domain Name may be required for any number of reasons, including a multi-university initiative or project. When there is a demonstrated need for a separate Domain Name, the following requirements must be met, and the exception must be approved.

  1. Any new domain, sub-domain or separate domain which is associated with, or can reasonably be assumed to be associated with, Queen’s University, shall be registered within the Domain Registrar Service provided by Information Technology Services, so that the University is aware of it. The Domain Name owner must provide the Chief Information Officer or designate with:
    • Chosen Domain Name and intended use
    • Name and contact information for the Queen’s employee responsible for website or web service identified by Domain Name
    • University account code from which registration payments are to be drawn.
  1. For Domain Names that were registered outside of the domain prior to this policy being approved, the Domain Name owner must provide the Chief Information Officer or designate with:
    • Registered Domain Name and contract term (start and renewal dates)
    • Purpose or intent of the website or web service identified by Domain Name
  2. Name and contact information for the Queen’s employee responsible for the registered Domain Name.
  3. Department Name and Department Head Name

Any changes to Domain Name registration information must be reported promptly to ITS.


Information Technology Services (ITS) has the following related responsibilities:

  • Maintain a register of Domain Name information in a secure location.
  • Facilitate compliance by working cooperatively with website and web service owners.
  • In the absence of cooperation from the website owner, ITS will, in consultation with relevant authorities, take steps necessary to resolve identified non-compliance.

Depending on the purpose and scope of the associated website or web service, signoffs or approvals may also be required from one or more of:

  • The Vice-Principal (University Relations)
  • Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs (use of registered University trademarks)
  • Office of the Information Privacy Officer
  • Office of the Information Security Officer

The Associate Vice-Principal IT/CIO, or designate, has the authority to monitor for and investigate suspected non-compliance with this policy, and to report alleged non-compliance to the appropriate University officer.

The Associate Vice-Principal IT/CIO and/or the Executive Director, Marketing, or their delegates, have responsibility for approving any new Domain Name which does not fall within the domain and sub domain structure, and for approving any exceptions to this Policy.

Any costs incurred in remediation of non-compliance will be the responsibility of the Domain Name owner.

Vice-Principals, Deans, Department Heads and Principal Investigators are responsible for ensuring awareness of this policy within their area of responsibility.

Contact Officer Nancy Owen, ITS
Date for Next Review 2021
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

Electronic Information Security Policy Framework

Queen’s Visual Identity Policy and Standards

Policies Superseded by This Policy n/a