UCB Libraries


Digital Collections of Colorado @ CU-Boulder: Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Digital Collections of Colorado at CU-Boulder

See also: Open Access FAQ

What is an institutional repository?
An institutional repository is an online warehouse where an institution, in this case the University of Colorado Boulder, shares and preserves the scholarly output produced by its members and makes these materials available to the world at large for free (copyright permitting). This scholarly output may include both publications in peer-reviewed journals and materials not published elsewhere (data sets, preprints, postprints, white papers, theses and dissertations, etc).

What is the Digital Collections of Colorado at CU-Boulder?
The Digital Collections of Colorado at CU-Boulder is CU’s freely accessible institutional repository.

How do I submit materials to the Digital Collections of Colorado at CU-Boulder?
If you currently have material you'd like to place in the Digital Collections of Colorado at CU-Boulder, please Contact Us and we can assist you with submitting content.

Where will materials submitted to the Digital Collections of Colorado at CU-Boulder live?
They will be stored on computer servers owned and maintained by Colorado State University.  The Digital Collections of Colorado is a shared service implemented by CSU to host scholarly communications from a number of Colorado universities.

How is this different from self-publishing on my own website or blog?
Static websites may be only periodically updated and can be difficult to maintain. As a researcher or a faculty member, it is possible for us to help you manage your materials in a central location, in standardized formats, and in ways that allow for more effective search and retrieval.

Can my articles be used to provide search or other services by companies such as Google?
Yes. Google and other search engines will pick up materials located in the Digital Collections of Colorado. This exposure is a major benefit of open access. Each object (article, video file, etc.) will be tagged with metadata that, while not modifying the object itself, allows indexing systems such as Google Scholar to harvest and ensure wider visibility of your work.

How will CU deal with long term access to file formats that may become obsolete?
We encourage the preservation of data in open, sustainable, internationally standardized formats. If you have questions about which file formats can be maintained and preserved within Digital Collections of Colorado please see this guide.

Does publishing in the Digital Collections of Colorado at CU-Boulder affect my copyright?
Authors who submit materials to Digital Collections of Colorado grant CU a non-exclusive license that allows us to store, preserve, and provide access to the content. Authors retain full copyright to the original work.

How do I know whether the journal I published in allows placement of my manuscript in the Digital Collections of Colorado at CU-Boulder?
You can consult your copyright agreement, the publisher's website, or SHERPA/RoMEO, a searchable database of many publisher's open access and institutional repository policies. Most major publishers will allow you to place a version of your article into an institutional repository, but they request that you not use the publisher's version and instead post a pre-print or post-print manuscript.

If you have not yet signed a publication agreement, we encourage you to find out what your publisher/journal's self-archiving policy is before signing. Some publishers already have self-archiving permission as a standard feature of their agreements. If yours does not, or is too restrictive, consider adding a standard publication addendum, with which many publishers are already familiar. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition) has a short write-up on copyright management and your rights as an author. Their standard addendum is available for download from their site. Additional addenda for authors, made available from different organizations, can be found here.

Some publisher policies will only allow for pre-print (or post-print) manuscript of my article in an institutional repository. How are post-print and pre-print defined?

  • A pre-print manuscript refers to your own version of the article that has not gone through peer review.
  • A post-print manuscript refers to your own version of the article that has gone through peer review
  • The publisher's copy will include the journal formatting and page numbers, and will usually be a pdf.