Frequently Asked Questions

Digital Commons @ IWU (DC@IWU) is a university-wide endeavor to share our accomplishments and record our history. If you have any questions about DC@IWU, please contact ().

What are the benefits to contributing my research in DC@IWU?

There are several major benefits to contributing your research to Digital Commons @ IWU:

  • Highlights exceptional student achievement, such as student journals, Honors Theses, artwork and performances
  • Significantly increases visibility and findability of IWU faculty and staff accomplishments through search engines
  • Provides one-stop searching for key documents related to the university
  • Provides unlimited space for data, audio, video and other formats
  • Contributes to the Open Access movement, which seeks to share scholarship in a collegial global environment
  • Support for your SelectedWorks page or community is provided by the library

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Who can deposit items in DC@IWU?

Excellent student work that has been selected by peer review or by faculty is welcome in DC@IWU. Any faculty or staff member can set up a SelectedWorks site for their research. University offices, programs, departments and schools are also welcome to request a community for their records in DC@IWU.

For information about submitting items, examples of items to contribute to DC@IWU, please see our guidelines:

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Can the library help me set up my SelectedWorks site or a community for my department or school?

Yes! Please contact () or your library liaison discuss a plan and timeline.

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Can I create my own SelectedWorks site or a community for my department on my own? Can I contribute work without setting up a SelectedWorks site?

You have the option of having your work on your own SelectedWorks page or only in your department’s community. Your work will be equally searchable in each location. We can set up your SelectedWork site for you, or you can set it up yourself. Please contact the library and we will provide training and any technical assistance you need to get started.

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I don't have electronic versions of old working papers that I'd like to include in the repository. Can the library scan my papers and upload them for me?

Yes, we can help with scanning, uploading and investigating publisher copyright policies.

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How do I know if I have permission to post an article to my SelectedWorks page?

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.

We strongly encourage faculty and staff who are publishing in journals to retain copyright to the fullest extent possible. For more information, please see the SPARC Author Rights website and the SPARC Author Addendum.

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

Yes. 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 restrict access to my work?

The Digital Commons encourages free and open access to the research and creative collections that it contains. The University encourages depositors not to place access restrictions on deposited items. Nevertheless, situations can arise when depositors need to restrict access to items in the Digital Commons. For example, a publisher may allow deposit of published articles into the Digital Commons but require an embargo of six months before the article may be made publicly accessible. Such a postprint might be deposited, but no access would be allowed for a period of six months. Or, a campus office may wish to deposit items that contain confidential information.

Access restrictions can be imposed at the collection, publication or item level. Access may also be limited to a specific person or group. Anyone who wishes to restrict access must contact () for assistance in establishing these restrictions.

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Is it possible to withdraw an item?

The Digital Commons has been established as a permanent repository and strives to provide persistent access to all deposited items. "Essential to the institutional repository’s role both within the university and within the larger structure of scholarly communication is that the content collected is both cumulative and maintained in perpetuity." (

Nevertheless, it may be necessary under some circumstances to withdraw items from DC@IWU. Triggers for withdrawal may include discovery of a copyright violation or publication of an article with a publisher that does not allow previous versions to be available; factual inaccuracy, or plagiarism. Withdrawals may be initiated by the depositor or, in the case of a copyright violation, an internal or external entity.

All withdrawal requests must be addressed via () for review. If a withdrawal is requested due to a copyright violation, we will notify the depositor and withdraw the item. Illinois Wesleyan University is not responsible for resolving copyright disputes, but will refer questions to our University legal counsel.

Items may not be withdrawn because the depositor or author is moving to another institution. The depositor has the right to give additional copies to other institutions under the non-exclusive agreement.

When an item is withdrawn, a citation including original metadata will always remain, but the work is noted as withdrawn, i.e. “removed at request of author, or removed at the discretion of X, or removed by legal order.” Withdrawn items are not available for harvesting by services such as OAIster or indexing by search engines.

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How can I get more information or make suggestions for DC@IWU?

Please contact () for information or assistance using Digital Commons @ IWU.

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