Mail directories

There are two mail directories provided by Information Services. One is for staff and one is for students.

Searching the Edinburgh Mail Directory

Staff addresses can be searched using the search form at the top of each page on the University website. Student addresses can only be searched by first logging into the MyEd portal. Remember that it's the mailnames that are searched for and not the username or server. Results are returned in the form:

MailnameUser@hostInformation
James.Jordan@ed.ac.ukjordan@staffmailInformation Services

Staff mail directory

The staff mail directory, sometimes known as eddir, is available for all staff and research postgraduates to opt into and create their own personal email address in the ed.ac.uk domain e.g. a.b.surname@ed.ac.uk. Addresses should be of the form firstname.surname@ed.ac.uk, though the form initials.surname@ed.ac.uk is also permitted but not preferred.

Normally, only one personal address per person is permitted except where people change name and previous addresses are allowed to remain for forwarding purposes. Any number of functional addresses are allowed per person e.g. course.administrator@ed.ac.uk.

Requesting the creation of an email entry in the staff directory

Which email service you use influences how you can request a personalised email address in the staff directory.

If you are unsure which email service you are using please use the Email Service Lookup Tool below to find out.

As an Exchange user, to request an entry in the directory, email maildir@ed.ac.uk from the account you want the address to point to and request the name and whether you wish it to be included in the public search facility of the directory or not.

As a Staffmail user, either email maildir@ed.ac.uk as described above or login to the Staffmail interface using webmail and click on Options and then Email directory aliases and fill out the form.

Staff mail addresses are published by default

If the request does not indicate that the directory entry should be excluded from the public search facility it will be published on the university website and be searchable by the general public. You may request your entry is hidden to exclude it from being published.

Student Mail directory

The student mail directory, sometimes known as smsdir, is automatically generated from the student record system and mail addresses are formed from the initials and surname of each student. Where there is a clash of address with multiple people having the same name, an additional number is added to the end of the address. All student addresses end with @sms.ed.ac.uk.

Requesting the creation of an email entry in the student directory

Since addresses are automatically generated, it is not possible to change or add additional addresses to the student directory. However, name changes registered in the student record will create additional aliases in the directory.

Student mail addresses are private

The student directory is not published outside the University and all student mail addresses are regarded as confidential and not divulged beyond the University's systems or staff and students

How the directories work

Every user of electronic mail has a basic mail delivery address which is derived from the host or server where their mail is received and the account name which they use to log in to that host or server. For example, jordan@staffmail.ed.ac.uk. The mailname James.Jordan@ed.ac.uk can be requested, created and used in such a way that emails addressed to James.Jordon@ed.ac.uk will automatically be redirected to jordan@staffmail.ed.ac.uk.

The advantage of these special Edinburgh mail addresses is that while a user's basic mail address may change as servers or hosts come and go, the Edinburgh mail address can remain constant with only the associated delivery address changing. This makes these addresses suitable for quoting, publishing in media with a long lifetime, signing up to mailing lists, and so on.

Policy on Cleaning up the Edinburgh email directory

The attached is a policy agreed by the then Communications and Information Technology Committee (C&IT) on the cleaning up of the staff directory and the move to creating a single personal alias per member of staff for all staff.


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