Frequently Asked Questions about ScholarWorks

What is SSU ScholarWorks?

SSU ScholarWorks is a digital archive designed to capture, preserve, and make available research, creative works, and the administrative output of Sonoma State University. It provides permanent digital storage and access to the depth and breadth of the University’s intellectual assets.

SSU ScholarWorks is part of a broader CSU initiative, CSU ScholarWorks. The Chancellor’s Office maintains the infrastructure to run SSU ScholarWorks, using the open source DSpace institutional repository software developed at MIT.

Why should SSU support and participate in SSU ScholarWorks?

Permanent preservation—the commitment to long-term centralized preservation, security, and stewardship eliminates losses endemic to the many departmental and personal electronic storage options.

Open access—each new generation of researchers expect free open access. Materials stored in SSU ScholarWorks, which are searchable in Google, offer enhanced visibility over print publication, attracting new audiences and opportunities for collaboration.

Potential cost savings—SSU ScholarWorks reduces the cost and time associated with publication in traditional journals while not precluding that option.

Promotes the value and status of SSU—a concentration of important output in SSU ScholarWorks will heighten public awareness of SSU. This increased presence will demonstrate educational, social, and economic values that can translate into tangible benefits, including funding, recruitment, and broad recognition of subject expertise.

How do authors benefit from depositing works in SSU ScholarWorks?

Enhanced author profiles—regular submission of works to SSU ScholarWorks provides an author with a central archive and a record of publications for a CV. Faculty, faculty emeritus, graduate students, affiliated independent researchers, and campus administrators are invited to participate.

Broad visibility—academic work available online offers wider dissemination and enriched career prospects for the author. Postings to SSU ScholarWorks are not generally regarded as prior publication, making copyright arrangements with employers and publishers easier to manage.

Media accommodation—audio and video materials, not compatible with print publishing, can be readily accommodated in SSU ScholarWorks.

Rights—with SSU ScholarWorks, you are not transferring your rights to the Library or the University. As the author, you are free to publish in other venues.

Moves SSU toward a new model for scholarly communication—SSU ScholarWorks is the beginning of a long term investment in changing the structure of scholarly communication, augmenting the existing academic publishing system and easing peer assessment and institutional review processes.

I have to submit my Master's thesis. How do I do that?

You can learn more about electronically submitting your Master's thesis on our Electronic Master's Theses Submissions page.

What kinds of materials does SSU ScholarWorks accept?

Final versions of your output are welcome and may include many types of materials, such as:

  • Pre-prints and post prints of articles
  • Published journal articles [with permission confirmed]
  • Working papers & reports
  • Teaching materials & learning objects
  • Seminars
  • Conference papers & presentations
  • Electronic theses & dissertations
  • Photographs & other visual media
  • Sound & video recordings
  • Web pages & born-digital items
  • Datasets from research projects
  • Out of print books & other endangered content
  • Gray literature
  • Governance & administrative records

How does copyright and licensing apply to my submissions to ScholarWorks?

As creator, you retain non-exclusive rights to your work. By agreeing to store your material in SSU ScholarWorks, you are not transferring your rights to the Library or the University and remain free to publish in other venues. If rights associated with your work also apply to co-authors, sponsors, publishers, or others, the SSU ScholarWorks team will endeavor to assist you in meeting legal and contractual obligations before uploading to SSU ScholarWorks.

How do I ensure compatibility between my publisher's rights and ScholarWorks?

Note: The copyright information provided here is intended only as guidance, not as a substitute for legal counsel.

To post your work to SSU ScholarWorks, you can express the rights you wish to retain when communicating with your potential print publisher. Examples of ways to establish pre-publication permission are summarized below. For works previously published, the SSU ScholarWorks team will contact publishers for permission on your behalf.

  1. Keep copyright and transfer limited rights to the publisher: Amend your contract with an addendum (see a sample addendum) or cross out the original exclusive transfer language in the publication contract provided by the publisher and replace it with text such as:
    The author grants to the Publisher exclusive first publication rights in the Work, and further grants a non-exclusive license for other uses of the Work for the duration of its copyright in all languages, throughout the world, in all media. The Publisher shall include a notice in the Work saying "© [Author's Name]". Readers of this article may copy it without the copyright owner's permission, if the author and publisher are acknowledged in the copy and copy is used for educational, not-for-profit purposes.
  2. Substitute your own publishing agreement for the publisher’s contract. Create one that specifies you as the copyright owner, granting publication rights to the publisher. This provides you with the additional opportunity to grant other rights to the public, such as the freedom to use the work for non-commercial purposes, provided attribution is given, which fosters further use and impact of your work.

How do I determine my publisher's policies?

To find the policies of the journal you are working with, visit RoMEO, a database maintained by SHERPA [Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access]. This organization is devoted to working to secure open access to journal publications.

How do I time the permissions process?

Getting non-exclusive permission prior to publication is always best, but it is still possible to get permission after publication. Contact your publisher or call us.

Who do I contact for more information?

Contact Rita Premo at the University Library
(707) 664-4196

Additional Resources

Examples of other institutional repositories are: