FAQs for Faculty

1. What are the benefits of contributing my work to Digital Commons @ Olivet?

Contributing your work to Digital Commons @ Olivet:

  • Greatly increases the visibility and findability of ONU faculty and staff accomplishments through online search engines. Using a centralized repository means more of your peers can find (three times as many downloads compared to traditional library databases) and cite your work (your work cited in subsequent publications will double), providing you with a wider audience.
  • Provides you with institutional recognition.
  • Allows you to retain your intellectual property rights.
  • Creates a context for your work side-by-side with the scholarly and creative work of your colleagues.
  • Creates a permanent digital archive of your work, including unpublished works such as conference presentations and white papers.
  • Assures a stable online location for your work that can be cited now and in the future.
  • Complements existing print and electronic sources in your discipline.
  • Provides unlimited space for data, audio, video, and other formats.
  • Contributes to the Open Access movement, which seeks to share scholarship in a free collegial, global environment.

2. What materials can be contributed?

The work should be scholarly in nature. Because deposits are intended to be permanent contributions to Digital Commons @ Olivet, ephemeral and "in-progress" works should not be submitted.

Examples of eligible materials:

  • Journal articles and essays
  • Conference proceedings, papers, presentations
  • White papers, technical reports, research reports
  • Dissertations, theses, undergraduate honors papers
  • Creative works (e.g., art works, music compositions)
  • News items meant for permanent archiving
  • University publications

3. What file formats are acceptable? What if my documents are not in electronic format?

Most common digital formats (e.g., MS Word, PDF, .jpg) can be uploaded. If you have documents that are not in electronic format, send the items to Digital Initiatives Department, Benner Library, whose staff can help with scanning and uploading papers.

4. Can I submit related files, such as sound clips and data sets?

Yes, related files can be uploaded along with your document as long as there are no copyright issues associated with them. Images, charts, tables and other such references should be included directly in your main document and not posted as related files.

5. What rights do I grant to the University when my work is deposited in Digital Commons @ Olivet?

Individual authors retain their copyright and choose the permissions they are willing to share with readers when selecting the Creative Commons license.

6. If my work has been published in a journal and I don’t know if I own the copyright to my work, can I still deposit my work?

In the past, publishers required that authors give the ownership (copyright) of the paper to the publisher in return for publication. With the growth of the open access movement, most publishers are being more flexible in their copyright contract bargaining with authors, particularly allowing republication in the author's institutional repository. The University now asks you to be cautious concerning signing your copyright rights over to publishers, but if you have, the library can help you get permission to republish your work in Digital Commons.

7. Publisher contracts can be so confusing. Can I get help in my contract negotiations?

When examining publisher contracts, please ask the library for help in retaining as many of your rights as possible. We can also provide information on how to retain more of your rights in the future.

8. Can items be withdrawn from Digital Commons @ Olivet?

Digital Commons @ Olivet has been established as a permanent repository and strives to provide persistent access to all deposited items. However, it may be necessary under some circumstances to withdraw items from the repository. Reasons for withdrawal could include:

  • Restriction on pre-publication by conference host or publisher
  • Author request to restrict or embargo pending publication or attempts at monetization of their scholarship
  • Copyright violation
  • Factual inaccuracy
  • Plagiarism

Requests for withdrawal can be initiated by the author, by Olivet, or by an external entity. All requests must go through the Director of Library Services at Benner Library.

If an author moves to another institution, works deposited in the Digital Commons @ Olivet should not be withdrawn. Instead, under the non-exclusive agreement signed by the author, copies of the author’s works may also be given to other institutions.

9. Can I restrict access to my work?

Digital Commons @ Olivet encourages free and open access to the research and creative collections it contains. Authors are encouraged not to place access restrictions on deposited items unless a publisher requires an embargo (usually six months after publication) or the work contains confidential information. If deemed necessary, restrictions can be imposed by Benner Library and can be defined by user group (e.g., access allowed only to Olivet users).

10. Whom do I contact for more information about Digital Commons @ Olivet?

Please contact the Digital Initiatives Librarian, Jasmine Cieszynski.

Portions of this document are based on FAQs posted by Marisa Ramirez of California Polytechnic State University and Stephanie Davis-Kahl of Illinois Wesleyan University and are used by permission.

Revised March 7, 2023