Oregon State University

Naming Conventions

Naming conventions may change over time. Group names are limited to lowercase letters (a-z), numbers (0-9), a dash (“-“), and a period (“.”). The delimiter between components is underscore ("_").

Stems can serve both as the name of a group and as a base for another group. For example, you can have a group called osu_partners and a group called osu_partners_foo.

There are 4 different group types and naming conventions associated with each one. Below are the different group types and their respective naming conventions.


All of these start with “u” and is followed by an ONID name. For example “u_morgan” where “morgan” is the ONID username of the person the group belongs to. If the person wants to create more groups, the naming convention of the other groups would become “u_morgan_friends” or “u_morgan_ext-contacts.”

OSU Affiliation/Organization

Groups affiliated with OSU will start with “osu.”  The second part will depend on the type of organization. For example, “osu_students” is a group whose members have the affiliation “student.” One source of affiliation names is the eduPersonAffiliation attribute defined in the eduPerson specification.  Other affiliation names might be added locally at OSU.

As a general rule names under this stem will correspond to DNS subdomains under oregonstate.edu that have been delegated for organizational use.  For example, if a fictional OSU organization "Pavement Science" has an existing DNS subdomain "pavesci.oregonstate.edu", then “osu_pavesci” could be a stem delegated to that organization, and “osu_pavesci_admins” or “osu_pavesci_postdocs_third-year” could be groups under that stem.

Academic Course Naming Convention

All courses will start with “course” as the stem. The structure of the rest of the name will follow the pattern of “subject + "-" + courseNumber + "-" + sectionNumber + "-" + term”

So Math 100 Section 001 for spring 2013 would appear course_mth-100-001-S2013


There may be existing practice where centrally-managed groups are named with names that do not conform to the scheme defined in sections 3 and 4.  There may also be cases where applications require group names that do not conform to this plan, but it is still appealing to manage such groups centrally.  In these cases exceptions may be granted.  Such group names must still conform to the base OSU NetID syntax.  Groups named with exceptional names should still benefit from participation in group management and use operations.  Such names do not participate in the hierarchical naming scheme, however; that is they are not used as stems.  For example “xyz-team” or “superdupergroup” might be exceptional group names.

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