Oxley did his undergraduate studies in Australia, and earned a doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1978, under the supervision of Dominic Welsh. He joined the Louisiana State University faculty in 1982.
Oxley is the author of the book Matroid Theory (Oxford University Press, 1992).
- LSU Mathematician Named Boyd Professor Archived 2013-04-04 at the Wayback Machine, Louisiana State University, December 7, 2012, retrieved 2013-03-20.
- Brief vita, retrieved 2013-03-20.
- James G. Oxley at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
- List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-03-20.