.cern registration policy

This document sets out the policy which applies to applications for the registration of domains under the .cern top-level domain

1. Introduction

CERN is an intergovernmental organization that supports a broad community of collaborations in conducting fundamental research.

CERN is a globally recognized brand. As the leading laboratory for high-energy physics, and as an early adopter of the internet and birthplace of the web, CERN is an acknowledged hub of innovation.

CERN runs the .cern domain to serve its international community of scientists and innovators and to further the interests of the Organization.

2. Governance of the .cern top-level domain

The .cern domain is under the overall responsibility of the Director-General of CERN.

Under delegated authority from the Director-General, it is governed by the .cern Top Level Domain Board ("TLDB"): a board of four persons comprised of the web manager, who liaises with ICANN as technical responsible for .cern, and one member from each of:

All decisions of the TLDB are communicated to the CERN Management by way of a report following each TLDB meeting. In line with the position of the Director-General having overall responsibility for the CERN domain, such decisions are subject to the ultimate approval of (and therefore may be revisited by) the Director-General.

2.1 Board Responsibility

The TLDB has responsibility for the following:

2.2 Domain Name Service

CERN has responsibility for managing the Domain Name Service (DNS) for all .cern domains.

2.3 Takedown

The TLDB has the discretionary authority to take down .cern domains. In particular, it can remove .cern domains that it considers to be in violation of third-party rights, that do not adhere to the principles of the CERN Code of Conduct (including the safeguard and protection of confidential information, documents or data), or whose contents are regarded by the TLDB as against the interests of the Organization or outside the stated purpose of the domain.

3. How to apply for a .cern domain

The .cern top-level domain is a closed domain for the exclusive use of CERN and its affiliates.

.cern domains are to be used as an operational tool for web applications of the Organization. As such, they are not intended for individual or personal use.

Alias names can be requested to allow for one or more alternative urls to point to another url in the .cern domain (e.g. the alias "jobs.cern" pointing to the website "careers.cern").

All applications for .cern domains need to be proposed by an applicant and supported by a sponsor before they will be considered by the TLDB.

Applications must be made via the CERN service portal.

4. Who can apply?

Applications for .cern domains may only be made by or via current members of the CERN personnel (i.e. current at the time of the application). The application must be sponsored by a separate current member of the CERN personnel, who is responsible for the relevant CERN entity associated with the proposed .cern domain.

5. Criteria

Applications must meet the following criteria and be in line with section 6 below:

This list of requirements is intended to be indicative but not necessarily exhaustive.

5.1 Accepted domain names ("strings")

Preference will be given to names that are:

5.2 Name collisions

Names that may be confused with one another (e.g. "visit.cern" and "vislt.cern") are said to be in 'collision'. The potential for collision will be considered with every batch of applications for new .cern domains and will be handled on a case-by-case basis in line with the .cern strategy in place at the time.

5.3 Generic names

Applications for generic names must demonstrate that the applicant is the typical owner of the process in question (e.g. HR for "jobs.cern"), or that the applicant has cross-community support for the acquisition and running of the domain from other relevant/interested potential applicants for that name.

5.4 Two-character labels, country codes and country name domains

5.4.1 Two-character labels and country codes

In general, the use of letter/letter two-character ASCII labels (e.g. AB and CD) is discouraged, as they are rarely meaningful. However, exceptionally, when meaningful, they may be registered so long as they do not conflict with those blocked by ICANN for registration (e.g. EU, UN, EP, EC, AU). Permisison will not be granted for two-character labels to be used to represent countries in .cern e.g. Italy.cern would be used to represent Italy rather than it.cern.

By registering a letter/letter two-character ASCII label, the applicant must take steps to ensure against misrepresenting or falsely implying that the domain is affiliated with, sponsored, or endorsed by a government or country-code manager if such affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement does not exist.

CERN will take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to any reports from governmental agencies and ccTLD operators of conduct that causes confusion with the corresponding country code in connection with the use of a letter/letter two-character ACSCII domain.

5.4.2 Country name domains

Applications for country name domains (e.g. united-states.cern) should only be made after due consultation with CERN's International Relations Director and the appropriate authorities of the country concerned.

The content of country name domains within .CERN should reflect the corresponding national interest and highlight only publicly available content. Content must be available in at least one of the CERN official languages (English or French). Translation into other languages is the responsibility of the CERN applicant, CERN does not have the resources to provide authoritative professional translations of web content into non-CERN official languages. Domain names and aliases can only be issued in Latin characters and in CERN's official languages.

5.5 Prohibitions

6. Website technology and hosting

6.1 Website technology

The recommended technology is any of the CERN centrally managed solutions, so long as the site nonetheless follows the design guidelines that apply to CERN websites (see Section 7.2).

6.2 Website hosting

By default, websites on the .cern domain are hosted within CERN's web infrastructure. Any requested exceptions to this default position will be discussed by the Top Level Domain Board (TLDB) on a case-by-case basis and will be considered in the context of the .cern strategy in place at the time.

7. Website content

7.1 Purpose

Websites hosted on the .cern domain are considered as official communication channels of the Organization. They must be outward-facing and ensure that appropriate information about CERN, its functioning and its scientific endeavours is represented professionally, accurately and in a manner which reflects well on the Organization. The Member of Personnel responsible for the domain has responsibility for ensuring that the content of the site continues to meet these expectations.

7.2 Design guidelines

Websites hosted on the .cern domain must comply with the design guidelines that apply to CERN websites: http://design-guidelines.web.cern.ch. Guidelines are revised periodically and the websites have up to one year to implement these changes, depending on the nature of the change. The Member of Personnel responsible for the domain has responsibility for ensuring that the content of the site continues to meet the design guidelines.

7.3 Required content

Along with a visible CERN logo in the footer linking to the home.cern homepage, websites on the .cern domain must also provide easily accessible links to:

7.4 Third-party rights

Content on .cern domains must always respect third-party rights.


TLD Board
29/04/2019
v2.0