Effective collision strengths for forbidden transitions among the five energetically lowest fine-structure levels of O II are calculated in the Breit–Pauli approximation using the R-matrix method. Results are presented for the electron temperature range 100–100 000 K. The accuracy of the calculations is evaluated via the use of different types of radial orbital sets and a different configuration expansion basis for the target wavefunctions. A detailed assessment of previous available data is given, and erroneous results are highlighted. Our results reconfirm the validity of the original Seaton and Osterbrock scaling for the optical O II ratio, a matter of some recent controversy. Finally, we present plasma diagnostic diagrams using the best collision strengths and transition probabilities.

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Published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, v. 397, issue 2, p. 903-912.

This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2009 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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