Frequently Asked Questions

Who can submit content to the DigitalCommons@Butler?

Individuals affiliated with any Butler University, college, department, program, or other campus unit can contribute content. If you have something you would like to submit, please contact BU Digital Scholarship at .

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What materials can be contributed?

Digital Commons@Butler accepts work that reflects the intellectual output of the university, including the scholarship and research of students, faculty, and staff that may or may not have been previously published. These materials may include, but are not limited to:

  • Journal articles, essays, or reviews (pre- and post-print)
  • Magazine articles
  • Contributions to books
  • Conference proceedings and papers
  • Technical reports and campus publications
  • Research reports from grant-funded projects with Open Access requirements
  • Presentations
  • Creative works (including scores, poems, plays, etc.)

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What file formats are acceptable?

Most digital formats are acceptable; however, we encourage you to use PDF formats for text-based works and are happy to convert MS Word files into PDFs on your behalf. SelectedWorks pages are capable of directly linking to an externally-held work if we are unable to secure rights to deposit your work into Digital Commons. If you are interested in digitizing your work for deposit or are unsure if you retain distribution rights, please contact BU Digital Scholarship at .

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What rights do I grant the University when I deposit my work in the DigitalCommons@Butler University?

Individual authors retain their copyright, but are asked to complete a Non-Exclusive Licensing Agreement [.pdf] for materials deposited. Any requests for commercial use of materials found in the DigitalCommons@Butler University received by repository staff will be referred back to the author.

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My work has been published in a journal and I don’t know if I still own copyright to my work. Can I still deposit my work?

That depends on the publisher’s policy. Some publishers allow you to post any version of a paper on a personal site; others only allow certain versions, require an embargo, or do not permit self-archiving at all. When an article is accepted for publication, most journals require the author to sign a consent form. Butler University Libraries will need a copy of this consent form that contains language permitting you to redistribute your article. If the consent form prohibits redistribution or is unclear, you will need to contact the publisher and obtain proof of permissions. For assistance with copyright clearance, please contact Jennifer Raye at .

You can also use the following resources to investigate copyright:

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What do I have to do to deposit my work?

For Butler University faculty and staff the first step is to contact BU Digital Scholarship at .

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I don’t have time to digitize or locate all my publications. Can the library to deposit my work on my behalf?

The library would be happy to help you deposit your work. Individual contributions and requests for SelectedWorks pages are handled on a first-come first-served basis.

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Can I withdraw a deposit?

DigitalCommons is designed to provide long-term, persistent access to deposited materials. However, situations may develop that require the removal of materials. Requests for withdrawal should be directed to BU Digital Scholarship at .

Please note that items within DigitalCommons may be cited via a persistent URL and that removal of the item will not break the persistent URL. After withdrawal, the URL will lead to a message that the item was withdrawn. However, the item and its metadata will no longer be searchable or indexed by Google during the monthly crawl of our site.

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How do I get a SelectedWorks page on the Digital Commons site?

SelectedWorks pages are profiles created for faculty and staff to show off their contributions to DigitalCommons and professional credentials. You can view Butler’s SelectedWork’s Gallery here:

To set up your own SelectedWorks Gallery please contact BU Digital Scholarship at

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What are the benefits of contributing my work?

Benefits include:

  • Visibility of your work in a centralized location means more of your peers can find and cite your work (via searches in Google Scholar and other federated search engines), providing you with a wider audience.
  • Inclusion of your work in the full range of research conducted at Butler University provides you with institutional recognition.
  • Retain control of intellectual property rights to your work by granting a non-exclusive license to the DigitalCommons@Butler University.
  • Context for your work, placing you side-by-side with the scholarly and creative contributions of your colleagues.
  • Create a digital archive of more of your work, including CVs and previously unpublished work, such as conference presentations and white papers.
  • Continuity so that your work is assured a stable online location that can be cited now and in the future thanks to a unique, persistent URL.
  • Improved sharing capabilities, including RSS feeds and “Tell a Colleague” email notifications
  • Monthly download reports help you gauge the impact of your publication by tracking full-text downloads

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Where can I learn more about Institutional Repositories?

The Association of Research Libraries has published a number of reports relating to digital repositories and new models for scholarly publishing. Raym Crow’s “The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper” and Clifford Lynch’s “Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age” are two important papers written in support of the institutional repository within academic institutions. Finally, Charles Bailey's Digital Scholarship site is an excellent resource for information about institutional repositories, scholarly publishing, open access, and digital curation.

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Who can I contact for questions and assistance?

The Butler University Library can assist with any additional questions that are not addressed in this FAQ. For questions please contact BU Digital Scholarship at . Please see also:

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