Frequently Asked Questions

I don't have electronic versions of old working papers that I'd like to include in the repository. Is it okay to scan the printed page to a PDF file?

Yes--scanning printed pages is a great way to create PDF files for inclusion in the repository. There are two ways to scan a page: using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or scanning the page as an image. Making OCR scans requires careful proofreading and loses the original formatting of the documents. Image scans cannot be searched. The best solution takes advantage of both of these methods. Many software applications allow for the OCR capture of image scans. When documents are scanned this way, users see the image scan but search the full-text of the document. This is the preferred method for scanning documents for the repository.

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When I copy and paste abstracts into the Submit form, some formatted text reverts to plain text. What's going on?

When copying abstracts from a word processing file or a PDF file, and pasting the text into the submission form, you are taking text from an environment that supports fonts and text style changes. Because the abstract is intended to be presented on the web, text styles must be specified using HTML codes.

If submitting an abstract in HTML format, please be sure to select the corresponding option on the submission form.

The following HTML tags are recognized by the system and may be used to format an abstract (use lowercase tags):

How to include HTML tags

HTML tags
<p> - paragraph
<p>This is the first paragraph.</p>
<p>This is the second paragraph.</p>

This is the first paragraph.

This is the second paragraph.

<br /> - line break
<p>This is a line of text with a linebreak here. <br /> This is text after</p>

This is a line of text with a linebreak here.
This is text after

<strong> - strong/bold
<strong>bold text</strong>

bold text

<em> - italics/emphasis
<em>italicized text</em>

italicized text

<sub> - subscript
Text with <sub>subscript</sub>

Text with subscript

<sup> - superscript
Text with <sup>superscript</sup>

Text with superscript

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How do I include accents and special characters in the abstracts and titles?

The repository software supports the worldwide character set (Unicode, utf-8). Accents, symbols, and other special characters may be copied and pasted into the abstract or title field from a word processing file or typed in directly. Windows users may also use the Character Map to insert these characters. Macintosh users may use the Character Palette (available via Edit > Special Characters in the Finder).

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How do I revise a submission?

DC@WU has been established as a permanent repository. Once materials are submitted and posted, items CANNOT be withdrawn but can be hidden from view. Possible reasons for withdrawal include factual inaccuracy, plagiarism and possible copyright infringement. Authors may request that the administrator remove their paper, or a version of their paper. They may also request that an updated version be posted. Posting updated versions along with the original material is one way faculty can show the progression of their research.

  • Any requests for withdrawal must be sent to the DC@WU administrator.
  • Authors or affected parties may request that works be removed from Digital Commons for reasons of factual inaccuracy, plagiarism, or potential copyright infringement.
  • No materials will be removed without an attempt to reach the author.
  • If authors who have submitted work to DC@WU leave the University, their work will be retained in the repository. If the authors would like to have new contact information added to their material, the DC@WU administrator will assist them in having such information added.
  • If a work meets the qualifications and is withdrawn, a citation including original metadata will always remain, but the work is noted as withdrawn. Sample statements might include “removed at request of author” or “removed by legal order.”
  • Please note: theses and dissertations, both graduate and undergraduate, MAY NOT be revised.

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How can I submit a multi-part file, such as multiple chapters for a book?

Combine all the sections together as one Microsoft Word file or PDF file and submit that.

To make one PDF file from multiple files, open the first PDF file, then choose Document>Insert Pages from Acrobat's menus to insert the second file (indicate it should go after the last page of the first file), and repeat for all documents. The result will be one compound PDF file which may then be submitted.

If you feel that the one large PDF file might be too large for some people to download, we suggest that you submit the consolidated file as the full text of the article, and then upload the separate chapters or sections of the document as Associated Files. These files will appear on the web page alongside the complete document. For more information about uploading associated files, see below.

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Can I post related files (sound clips, data sets, etc.) alongside the published article?

Yes. The bepress system refers to these supplementary items as Associated Files. You will be prompted to submit Associated Files when you upload your submissions. The name of the files you upload will appear on the web site along with your short description of it. Viewers must have the necessary software to open your files; that is not provided by the bepress system.

Please be sure that there are no permissions issues related to use of the associated material. Sometimes, especially with images, you must write a letter seeking permission to use the material before it can be posted.

Also note that where possible, items such as images, charts and tables that are referenced in the document (or otherwise an integral part of the document) should be included directly in the article itself and not posted just as associated files.

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Can I post a reprint from a journal?

It depends on what the journal allows, which is usually specified in their agreement with the author. If it would not violate copyright to post the reprint on your repository site, you're welcome to do so. Permissions for many publishers can be found at SHERPA RoMEO.

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A working paper in our repository site has been published in a slightly revised form in a journal. What should I do?

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. The repository would constitute noncommercial use.

Assuming the working paper does remain on 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 to request this change.

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Is there a committee of individuals from diverse disciplines that is responsible for reviewing new revisions/updates to the University’s Digital Commons policies?

Digital Commons is a cloud-based institutional repository system that facilitates open access discovery and sharing of scholarly and creative works produced by Winthrop University faculty, staff, and students. The Digital Commons submission policy follows the requirements set by the hosting service, BePress.

Voluntary submissions to the repository are received from individuals and publishing units on campus. Each publishing unit has its own process for submission. Documents received by Digital Commons are permanently archived and assigned a unique persistent URL that is indexed by Google and other federated search engines.

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Can a student publish work on Digital Commons without their faculty advisor’s explicit permission (signature)? This includes, but is not limited to: graduate theses, undergraduate honors theses, SOURCE abstracts, the McNair Bulletin, etc.

Students can submit creative material at any time without an advisor’s signature. Work produced as a requirement for an academic program or included in a student publication must include a faculty advisor signature and/or adhere to the unit’s established guidelines for submission. Individual units set guidelines for the submission of theses, SOURCE abstracts, and the McNair Bulletin.

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Can all advisors/students embargo their work before placing it in Digital Commons? If so, how long is the embargo in place? Can the student/advisor renew the embargo indefinitely?

Yes. Students can request an embargo before placing their work in Digital Commons. The initial embargo is in effect for 6 months. Students can request a yearly extension after the initial 6 months.

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What is the process for lifting the embargo?

The software program automatically lifts the embargo after the initial 6 months or at the end of the yearly embargo period. Students and/or advisors can request a yearly extension by email.

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Are the student/advisor notified with sufficient advance notice before the embargo expiration date?

No.The software program does not send renewal notifications. Students can view the expiration date in Information Commons.

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