Frequently Asked Questions about ScholarWorks

What is ScholarWorks?

ScholarWorks is a digital archive designed to capture, preserve, and make openly available research, creative works, and the other scholarly output of the California State University system. It provides permanent digital storage and access to a variety of types of intellectual assets via a single location. Materials can be accessed directly from the site or located via most common search engines, which enhances visibility of both individual creators and the CSU system and attracts new audiences and potential collaborators.

The CSU Chancellor’s Office maintains the infrastructure to run ScholarWorks, using the open source Samvera institutional repository software.

How do authors benefit from depositing works in ScholarWorks?

Enhances author archiving—regular submission of works to ScholarWorks provides an author with a central archive and a record of publications for a CV.

Increases visibility—academic work available online offers wider dissemination for authors, particularly to those outside the traditional academy and to underrepresented voices within, contributing to information equity and social justice.

Complies with public research mandates—by disseminating research results and data publicly, ScholarWorks is an avenue for compliance with public research mandates from funders such as the State of California, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Government. 

Accommodates media and other materials—audio and video materials, data, learning objects, and other types of output can be readily disseminated in ScholarWorks.

Maintains author rights—With ScholarWorks, authors do not transfer their intellectual property rights and are free to publish in other venues.

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 Electronic Master's Theses Submissions.

What kinds of materials does ScholarWorks accept?

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

  • Preprints and postprints of articles
  • Published journal articles 
  • Working papers and reports
  • Teaching materials and learning objects
  • Seminars
  • Conference papers and presentations
  • Electronic theses and dissertations
  • Photographs and other visual media
  • Sound and video recordings
  • Web pages and born-digital items
  • Datasets from research projects
  • Out-of-print books & other endangered content
  • Gray literature

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

As creator, your rights to your work depends on the contract you sign with a publisher. By agreeing to store your material in ScholarWorks, you are not transferring your rights to the Library or the CSU system and remain free to publish in other venues. If rights associated with your work also apply to co-authors, sponsors, publishers, or others, the ScholarWorks team will assist you in meeting legal and contractual obligations before uploading to 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 ScholarWorks, you can express the rights you wish to retain when communicating with your potential publisher. Examples of ways to establish prepublication permission are summarized below. For works previously published, the 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 (for more information and a sample addendum, see Author Rights & the SPARC Author 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 nonexclusive 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 noncommercial 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 SherpaRomeo, an online resource that aggregates and presents publisher and journal open access policies from around the world.

How do I tie 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?