In order to authenticate yourself for any number of services at Rutgers, you need a username and password. In the past, what was generally used was a Unix username from any one of a number of systems. It is now possible to need to authenticate oneself without the need for a Unix account, so the concept of NetID was introduced. It's just a username without a Unix account attached. If you're not sure whether you have one, there is now a form for looking up your NetID. As of October 30, 2003, all students, faculty and staff are required to have a NetID and register a current email address.
The OIT has set up a web form for creating a NetID. Since the form is a slight modification of a form for creating a Unix login account, it uses some terms which might be confusing in the context of creating a NetID (eg, referring to your username instead of NetID and reporting "account created successfully" when you have created your NetID). Incidental to creating the NetID you will be asked to specify a password for use in the systems of machines RUCS administer (eg, RCI, a general faculty/staff Unix cluster and ICI, a general student Unix cluster). Although this is not the same password as you will be using on the LCSR-CF administered machines, it will still be worth remembering in case you ever use some of RUCS services.
Your NetID should be chosen carefully because it is what you will be known by throughout your career at Rutgers. As this will also be your email address, consider that this is how you will be know to faculty, staff, deans, colleagues, and potential future employers. See the RUCS documentation on Choosing a Username You Can Live With for further discussion.
There is no sure way that we know of to see if someone in the PDB already has a NetID. If you don't know, just try and create one. If you already have one, you will be told "Your username[ie, NetID] as[sic] already been established as" and tell you the NetID.
Note: Although the NetID creation process requires you to choose a password and tells you that your account has been created, for our purposes you have only reserved that NetID. (If you are new Rutgers faculty or staff, do remember the password you specify as it can be used for other services at Rutgers -- just not for login accounts within LCSR, as we have a different password server.)
Once you have chosen your NetID, you should let us know by replying to the previous email so we can go on to the next step, creating the requested account(s).