Digital Commons: Frequently Asked Questions

Contact us at with questions not answered in this FAQ.

For Students at CSB/SJU

How do I submit my work?

Contact your instructor or the chair of your department and ask them to recommend your work for inclusion in DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU. You can also contact us at for further information. Use the form available here to submit your work.

What types of materials can be deposited?

We encourage students to consider submitting the following types of scholarly and creative work:

  • Theses and other papers
  • Conference presentations, papers, and posters
  • Artwork, music, theatre, or dance performance
  • Journal articles
  • Books, book chapters, or manuscripts
  • Data sets
  • Open Educational Resources

Submitted works should be scholarly and substantive. Contributions are intended to be permanent additions to the repository, so works that are still in progress or ephemeral in nature are not recommended for contribution.

What are the benefits of contributing my work?

DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU highlights exceptional student achievement, including Honors Theses, capstone projects, academic papers, poster presentations, artwork, performances, and other scholarly and creative work. Your work is permanently archived in DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU and will be easy to find through search engines. This makes it more visible and more likely that your work can add to the scholarly conversation in your discipline. It also gives you an easy way to direct future employers, graduate programs, and colleagues to the exemplary work you’ve done.

{ top }

For Faculty and Staff at CSB/SJU

How do I submit my work?

CSB/SJU faculty and staff members currently have two submission options: fill out and submit a material contribution form, or create a DigitalCommons account and independently upload content. Select one of these options here. Any individual affiliated with a CSB/SJU department, program, institute, office, or campus unit can submit content. Monastic members are also encouraged to submit works for inclusion in this repository.

Guest lectures

DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU also hosts content from guest lectures and other campus events. If you would like a department-sponsored lecture or presentation to be video-recorded and added to the repository, please have your presenter fill out our Multimedia Release Form and send to David Wuolu in the Library.

How do I recommend outstanding student work to DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU?

Student work needs official departmental approval before being added to DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU. It is the policy of DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU to include only student work that has been “deemed exceptional by the department” and that highlights the quality of teaching and learning in your department. Department chairs may email the department’s decision to us for student work approved by the department.

What are the benefits of contributing my work?

There are several major benefits to contributing your work to DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU.

Improved Access and Visibility

  • DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU makes faculty and staff scholarship available in one centralized location online.
  • Publishing in DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU shares your work with your peers around our institution, fostering greater understanding and engagement with the campus.
  • Items are indexed by Google and other federated search engines. Studies have shown that articles are cited earlier and more often if they are made available in an open-access repository like DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU. Your work has the potential to reach a much wider audience.
  • Integrated features like RSS feeds and "Tell a colleague" email notifications allow contributors and users to easily share resources with others.


  • DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU serves as a digital archive of your work. You can include a wider range of works – including previously unpublished work, such as conference presentations and white papers – that may not otherwise be published or preserved.
  • Your work is assured a stable online location with a unique, persistent URL that can be cited now and in the future.
  • You are also provided space for storing data, audio, video, and other files.

Scholarly Communication

  • Provides context for your work by placing it side-by-side with the scholarly and creative contributions of your colleagues.
  • Complements existing print and electronic sources in your field.
  • Contributes to the Open Access movement, which seeks to share scholarship in a collegial global environment.

Intellectual Property Rights

  • Retain control of intellectual property rights to your work by granting a non-exclusive license to DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU.
  • Receive assistance with copyright clearance for previously published works and author addendums for works to be published in future.

Institutional Recognition

  • Provides one-stop searching for key documents related to your institution.
  • Inclusion of your work in the full range of research conducted at CSB/SJU increases the visibility, awareness, and public value of your works and CSB/SJU as an institution.

Reader Analytics

  • Receive analytics (reader statistics) on who is reading your work.

What types of materials can be deposited?

We encourage faculty and staff to consider submitting the following types of scholarly and creative work:

  • Journal articles
  • Conference proceedings, papers, presentations, and posters
  • White papers, essays, technical reports, and campus publications
  • Artwork, music, theatre, or dance performance
  • Books, book chapters, or manuscripts
  • Teaching and learning resources
  • Research reports from grant-funded projects with Open Access or data management requirements
  • Data sets

Submitted works should be scholarly and substantive in nature. Contributions are intended to be permanent additions to the repository, so works that are still in progress or ephemeral in nature are not recommended for contribution. We suggest that faculty and staff consider adding more ephemeral work to departmental or personal websites rather than to to DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU.

File Formats: What file formats can be deposited?

OCR-enabled PDF files are recommended to assure long-term operability and improved search engine results, but most digital formats can be uploaded to DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU. We will make our best efforts to maintain the content, structure, and functionality of work you deposit into the future. However, not all formats can receive the same level of preservation commitment, particularly with proprietary or uncommon file formats.

Related Files: Can I post related files alongside a published article?

Yes. The names of the related files (sound clips, data sets, etc.) you upload will appear on the web site along with a short description. Viewers must have the necessary software to open your files; that is not provided by DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU’s bepress system.

Please be sure that there are no permissions issues related to use of the associated material. Sometimes, especially with others’ images, you must write a letter seeking permission to reuse these materials before they can be posted. Also note that where possible, items such as images, charts, and tables that are referenced in the document should be included directly in the article itself and not posted just as associated files.

Can you help me if I don’t have the resources to locate or digitize my publications?

Yes, contact to get assistance with locating, scanning/digitizing, clearing copyright, and depositing your materials in DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU. We’ll need you to sign and return a copy of our Non-Exclusive License along with a list of specific citations or your vita so we know which works you’d like to deposit.

Is it possible to withdraw an item?

DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU has been established as a permanent repository and strives to provide persistent access to all deposited items. Nevertheless, it may be necessary under some circumstances to withdraw items from DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU. Triggers for withdrawal may include discovery of a copyright violation, factual inaccuracy, plagiarism, or later publication of an article with a publisher that does not allow previous versions to be available. Withdrawals may be initiated by the depositor or, in the case of a copyright violation, an internal or external entity. If withdrawal becomes necessary, contact and we will determine the best course of action together.

Since any item within DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU may have been cited via its persistent URL, a removed item will always supply a “tombstone” whenever the item is requested. The tombstone will contain metadata for the item with a message indicating the item was removed. The tombstone metadata will be visible to those who already have its persistent URL, but your deposit and its metadata will no longer be searchable and the items will no longer be available for harvesting by services such as Google and Worldcat.

{ top }

Copyright and Author Rights

What is copyright?

Copyright is “‘the right to copy,’ but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, and who may financially benefit from it." Most publishers own the rights to the articles in their journals; they customarily require that the author give ownership of the paper to the publisher in return for publication. Anyone who wants to access or use the articles must obtain permission from the publisher and is often required to pay an additional fee. In order to make more resources available through an open access institutional repository, the CSB/SJU Libraries’ Institutional Repository Committee can assist authors with requesting copyright clearances for previously published materials that they would like to deposit in DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU, and can also provide information on how to retain rights for future work.

What do I need to know about copyright issues?

Authors affiliated with CSB/SJU normally own the copyright to their unpublished scholarly and creative work; this remains true for your works that are added to DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU. If your work has been previously published, we’ll work with you and the publisher to see if a copy can be added to DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU. If your work contains images, video clips, or other copyrighted materials that you don’t have permission to use, we will not be able to accept your work in our institutional repository.

How do I know if I have permission to deposit one of my published articles in DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU?

This depends on what the journal allows, which is usually specified in your author agreement. If it would not violate copyright to post the reprint on DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU, you’re welcome to do so. If you don’t know what is allowed in your author agreement, permissions information for many publishers can be found at SHERPA RoMEO. The CSB/SJU Library can assist with requesting copyright clearances for previously published materials and can provide information on how to retain rights for future work.

How do I retain my author rights?

We strongly encourage CSB/SJU authors to retain copyright to the fullest extent possible. For more information, see the SPARC Author Rights website and the SPARC Author Addendum.

Individual authors depositing unpublished works in DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU retain their copyright, but are asked to complete a Non-Exclusive Licensing Agreement for the works deposited. Any requests for commercial use of materials found in DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU will be referred back to the author.

What happens if I publish a work when an earlier version is already in DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU?

Many journals do not have any restrictions on working papers that preceded an article, especially if substantial revisions were made. You should check your author agreement with the journal to confirm that there is no problem with leaving the working paper on the site. Keeping it on DigitalCommons@CSB/SJU constitutes noncommercial use.

Assuming the working paper does remain posted in the repository, it is a good idea to include the citation to the published article on the cover page of the repository working paper. Please contact the repository administrator at to request this change.

{ top }