Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Technical Issues

What is an Institutional Repository and what is its role at Trinity College?

Please see the description under About the Repository.

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What are the benefits for faculty who deposit their work in the Repository?

Works in the Repository are much more visible than those only available through a journal or library subscription. On a practical level, the Repository is designed to work with search engines like Google, which increases the discoverability of publications. Research has begun to demonstrate that the more accessible a publication is, the more readership and citations it ultimately receives. Download statistics for each work provide quantifiable evidence of this increased visibility.

For student works or those previously unpublished, the Repository provides a convenient publishing outlet. Each work is assigned a unique URL, which can be listed on CVs, resumes, applications, personal Web sites, etc.

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What exactly does "Open Access" mean and how does it apply to works in the Repository?

Open Access is intended to facilitate and promote the advancement of research by unlocking access to scholarly publications. The Budapest Open Access Initiative defines OA as follows: "By open access, we mean its immediate, free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose…" This definition is taken from the SPARC Web site on Open Access:

An article that has been published in an Open Access journal can be deposited and made freely available in Trinity’s Repository, without asking the publisher for permission. A directory of Open Access journals currently in publication can be browsed at

Trinity authors who deposit material for which they still own full copyright, may choose to offer their work under traditional copyright terms, Open Access terms, or they may select a Creative Commons License. Go to for more information on Creative Commons licenses.

It is important to not confuse "Open Access" with "openly available on the Web." The primary difference is that Open Access typically permits extensive copying and redistribution that would not normally be permitted under Copyright law. For instance, New York Times articles may be freely available to read by anyone, but they are still subject to traditional copyright limitations, and may not be reposted in their entirety on another Web site without prior permission from the NYT.

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How does content end up in the Repository?

Library staff are automatically uploading faculty-authored articles published in Open Access journals, or in journals with lenient policies for depositing works in institutional repositories. For other material, particularly publications where postprints are eligible for deposit, authors are encouraged to upload the material themselves, or forward the postprint to for uploading. Please see How do I upload a document? to get started.

Students with Senior projects and theses are generally responsible for uploading their work themselves. Instructions and guidelines can be found at Submission Guidelines for Senior Theses and Projects. Some departments prefer to collect theses in their own office first, though, so students should consult their department for any preferred procedures.

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How can I retain my rights as an author instead of transferring them to publishers?

First, as the author of a work you are the copyright holder unless and until you transfer the copyright to someone else in a signed agreement. Normally, the copyright holder possesses the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display, and modification of the original work. An author who has transferred copyright (i.e. to a journal or monograph publisher) without retaining these rights must ask permission unless the use is one of the statutory exemptions in copyright law.

Publishers' agreements (often titled "Copyright Transfer Agreement") have traditionally been used to transfer copyright or key use rights from author to publisher. They are written by publishers and may capture more of your rights than are necessary to publish the work. As an author, you may be able to retain more of your rights when entering into these agreements. Ensuring they are balanced and have a clear statement of your rights is up to you. One way to negotiate in your favor is to include an author addendum with the agreement. SPARC – Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition Resources for Authors provides information and tools to help authors create these sorts of amendments. See also this list of Author Addenda that have been adopted by other Academic institutions:

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How much of my previously-published work can I deposit in the Repository?

Any articles or creative works that you completed while at Trinity College are eligible, depending on the publisher’s policies. If you would like to suggest the inclusion of other Trinity-related materials not authored by you, but which could benefit from being housed in the Repository, please contact .

For previously published works:

  • Journal articles: If you already know that the journal is published expressly as an Open Access journal, you may freely deposit the publisher’s version. Otherwise, the permission to deposit your work depends on the publisher's agreement with the author. Permissions for many publishers can be found by searching your journal’s name at SHERPA RoMEO. You will find that many publishers will allow you to deposit a "preprint" or "postprint" version of the article, but not the publisher’s version. In these situations, if you have the postprint and feel comfortable making it available, then you are encouraged to submit it to the Repository. Please see How do I upload a document? to get started.
  • Monographs: Please consult the original agreement you signed with the publisher for your work. If you no longer have it, you will need to contact the publisher for permission.

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How is a postprint or preprint different from the publisher’s version?

The preprint is the manuscript version prior to peer review. The postprint is the version after peer-review, including some revisions, but it *does not* contain final copy edits. It *is not* the publisher's version with page numbering, etc.

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How do I deposit my senior thesis or project?

Please see the Submission guidelines for seniors, at

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Who can access the items included in the Repository?

In most cases the uploaded content in the Repository is available to any person with access to the Internet. However, when requested by individual authors or required by publisher copyright agreements, some documents may be embargoed for a period of time or limited to members of the Trinity College community.

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I need help! Who do I contact?

Amy Harrell at is available to answer questions, as well as work with you in identifying and uploading content.

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How do I cite items in the Repository?

In general, the Digital Repository may be treated as if it were a Library database or a Web site, in whatever citation style you prefer. See our Repository Citation guide for a few examples.

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Who owns the copyright for works in the Repository?

Authors retain Copyright ownership for works submitted to the Repository, e.g. unless otherwise indicated, the author of a work is the copyright owner and reserves all rights granted under US Copyright Law. Please remember that all creative or scholarly works are protected by Copyright law regardless of whether or not Copyright notice appears on the work.

Some exceptions: 1) Authors may choose to modify their rights using a Creative Commons license, which may permit uses beyond typical Fair Use scenarios, 2) Digitized material from the Library’s physical collections are in the public domain, 3) Previously published articles, particularly those in the Faculty Scholarship section, may have been published under Open Access terms, which allows for further re-distribution.

Please contact the Repository Administrator with any further questions regarding the copyright status of materials in the Repository.

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How do I upload a document?
  1. Navigate to the area where your work belongs, i.e. Faculty Scholarship, or Senior Theses and Projects
  2. Click "Submit research" from the left sidebar
  3. Create an account (separate from your Trinity credentials), or login if you already have an account.
  4. Read and accept the User agreement
  5. Fill in the fields on the submission form, and upload your work.
  6. Once your submission has been received and accepted by the Repository administrator, it will appear on the site.

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What document types does the Repository accept?

The Repository can receive a wide variety of document types. The system can accept: .doc, .docx, .rtf, or PDF files, all of which are then displayed as PDF documents. Powerpoint files should be converted to PDF before uploading. If you have a collection of images, we can create a specialized image gallery that will handle most standard image types including: .bmp, .jpg, .gif, .png, and .tiff.

For audio and video, please contact Amy Harrell for assistance in providing the material as streaming media. Otherwise, you may simply upload audio or video, and it will be categorized as "download to desktop," allowing users to access the file depending on whether or not they have the appropriate software.

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When I copy and paste abstracts into the Submit form, some text is missing, quotes look odd, or strange characters appear in the abstract. 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 may support fonts and special characters (like symbols or "smart quotes"). Because the abstract is intended to be presented on the web, the format of the abstract needs to be reduced to plain text with no fonts or special characters. We recommend the following changes to keep your titles and abstracts legible on the web:

  • Change "smart" single and double quotes to straight quotes
  • Change an ellipsis to three periods (...)
  • Change em- and en-dashes to hypens

If you would like to use bold and italic in your abstracts, you may do so using the corresponding HTML codes. If submitting an abstract in HTML format, please be sure to select the corresponding option on the submission form.

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 ISO 8859-1 character set (this includes the numbers 0-9, upper- and lower-case letters A-Z, and standard English punctuation). Although you may take advantage of the complete character set, we recommend you consider not using special characters as these may inhibit user searches, both on the web and on the site.

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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.

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

Yes. The Repository 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. However, please realize visitors must have the necessary software to open your files. Please be sure that there are no copyright permissions issues related to use of the associated material.

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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How do I know how many people have downloaded my papers?

The Repository automatically sends out monthly download reports to individual authors. You also have access to an Author Dashboard with detailed readership statistics. Log in to the Repository and click Dashboard to access this feature.

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