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Frequently Asked Questions

    What is DigitalCommons@Fairfield?

    Q: What is DigitalCommons@Fairfield?

    A: DigitalCommons@Fairfield, an institutional repository service of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, offers open access to the collected scholarship and creative works of Fairfield University faculty, students and staff.

    What is Open Access?

    Q: What is Open Access?

    A: "Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment."  -- Definition from SPARC, "Open Access." Accessed September 22, 2017.

    What is green open access?  Green open access is content archived through digital repositories. Items in repositories cover a range of archived research outputs as well as copies of peer-reviewed articles.

    What is gold open access?  Gold open access is content delivered by open access journals with peer-review.

    What does this mean to you?:

    • Open access increases access to articles, especially to those with limited journal budgets and to those who are in remote locations.  This is especially useful for distance learning initiatives.
    • In creating an open access journal, you have control over whether or not an author retains copyright, but traditionally, open access journals allow the author to retain their copyright.
    • The DigitalCommons@Fairfield e-journal functionally allows the journals to offer open access to its contents.


    Why Contribute to DigitalCommons@Fairfield?

    Q: Why contribute to DigitalCommons@Fairfield?

    A:DigitalCommons@Fairfield makes the scholarship of Fairfield University easily available in one location online, enabling increased access to colleagues (both at Fairfield and beyond), students and the greater internet community.  Works placed in the repository are more easily discovered in common internet search engines as well as other academic search portals.  This greater access makes it easier for researchers around the world to discover your work.

    In addition, because a permanent URL is established, researches can cite these works without the normal concerns regarding content online disappearing or moving.  DigitalCommons@Fairfield is a valuable way to extend the scholarly output of Fairfield University to include greater reach and increased circulation not only in Connecticut, but throughout the country and beyond. This increased visibility, awareness, and stability benefits both content creators and Fairfield  University as well.


    • Increased visibility: DigitalCommons@Fairfield opens up the accessibility of your content increasing its discoverability and usability by making it available through common online search tools allowing the author to gain wider distribution of their scholarly output.

    Permanence: DigitalCommons@Fairfield provides a stable URL to your publications so your research will always be findable.

    E-Publishing: DigitalCommons@Fairfield facilitates creation of electronic journals, newsletters and conferences.

    Grant requirements: Submitting your works to DigitalCommons@Fairfield can help meet the criterion of some grants with data-sharing aspects.  An example is those funded by the NIH.

    Who can contribute to DigitalCommons@Fairfield?

    Q: Who can contribute to DigitalCommons@Fairfield?

    A: Upon initial launch of DigitalCommons@Fairfield, priority is being given to faculty publications.  However, individuals affiliated with any Fairfield University school, department, center, program, or other campus unit can contribute content in the near future. Other groups that do not fall under this definition will be considered by the Advisory Board on a case-by-case basis.

    Faculty at Fairfield University can submit their work for inclusion in DigitalCommons@Fairfield by sending a copy of their vita or publications list to

    Repository staff will then work on:

    • Metadata gathering and copyright checking;
    • Uploading the permitted version into the repository or linking out to it; and
    • Once content has been contributed to the repository, the library staff will create a Selected Works research page for the author

    For more information about submitting work to the repository, please contact the DigitalCommons@Fairfield team at

    We are in the process of revising our student work submission policies and nomination process. If you would like to discuss nominating a student project for inclusion, please contact the DigitalCommons@Fairfield team at

    What materials can be contributed?

    Q: What materials can I contribute to DigitalCommons@Fairfield?

    A: DigitalCommons@Fairfield plans to achieve very broad collection development goals for our digital collections.  However as noted above, upon initial launch, content and contributors will be prioritized.

    Appropriate content may be added following the guidelines below:

    • The work must be original, produced and submitted, or sponsored by a faculty, student, staff, department, program or center of Fairfield University. 

    • The work must be creative, scholarly in nature, research oriented, or of institutional significance.

    • The author must own the copyright to all components and content within the work, or have received and shown permission to have the material available on DigitalCommons@Fairfield.   Upon initial launch, library personnel will check for publisher copyright policies on behalf of faculty.
    • If your work contains images, music, data sets, or other accompanying material that is not original work created by you, you must include permission from the original content provider or those items will not be included in the IR submission.

    • If your work includes interviews, you must include a statement that you have permission from the interviewee(s) to make their interviews public.
    • Once self-submission is available, the content producer must sign a permission form prior to material being uploaded to the repository, granting the University the right to distribute and preserve the material via DigitalCommons@Fairfield.

    • Contributors may include non-affiliated scholars if they are co-authoring with Fairfield University authors or are affiliated closely with the University, e.g., are emeritus professors, or hold honorary appointments.

    • Because deposits are intended to be permanent contributions to the repository, works that are in progress or ephemeral in nature will not be accepted.

    Additional Information:

    • Some material may be available only to current faculty, staff and students.

    • At present, there is no formal limit to size of material.

    • Most file formats are acceptable.

    • Textual files are automatically converted to PDF format during the upload process.

    • For audio, image and video files, please contact the librarian liaison or for guidance.

    What if my material is not in a digital format?

    Q: What if my material is not in a digital format?

    A: Upon initial launch, priority is being given to materials that are in digital format.  If you have a work or research that is not in a digital format and needs to be digitized please contact the DigitalCommons@Fairfield Project Coordinator at 

    Can I post files that are related to the primary work?

    Q: Can I post files that are related to the primary work?

    A: Yes, you may submit any digital material that is related to your article/research as an associated file.  This is an advantage of a digital environment over traditional publishing.  However, please note that if specific software is required to view the associated files, DigitalCommons@Fairfield does not provide that software. The associated files maybe submitted to the Project Coordinator at

    What is SelectedWorks?

    Q: What is SelectedWorks?

    A: SelectedWorks is a research announcement tool to maximize the readership and impact of your work.

    Why do SelectedWorks?

    Q: Why do SelectedWorks?

    A: A SelectedWorks site offers tools that allow you to easily manage your work, generate readership reports, and send mailings.  It will also rank higher than a personal website in Google and other search engine results because sites are aggregated with all bepress content.

    How do I sign up for SelectedWorks?

    Q: How do I sign up for SelectedWorks?

    A: SelectedWorks pages are available to Fairfield University faculty members who contribute content to DigitalCommons@Fairfield. Library staff will create your Selected Works page.

    To Sign Up:

    • The first step is to contact Nina Peri, Project Coordinator for DigitalCommons@Fairfield at with your CV or other information regarding any content you would like added to the repository.
    • Library staff will conduct all the necessary rights-checking and metadata gathering and the permissible content will be uploaded into DigitalCommons@Fairfield.
    • After your content has been loaded into the repository, Library staff will create your SelectedWorks page and “collect” all the content in the repository over to your SelectedWorks page.
    • You will receive an automatically generated email once your SelectedWorks site is visible on our site. At that time you may go into your SelectedWorks account and edit it as you see fit.

    NOTE: It is very important to have all permissible content first loaded into DigitalCommons@Fairfield to avoid technical and access issues. Thank you for your cooperation. Your questions are welcomed via

    What is E-journals in DigitalCommons@Fairfield

    Q: What is E-journal publishing through DigitalCommons@Fairfield?

    A: The DigitalCommons@Fairfield E-journal functionality provides the opportunity for any department, school or group on campus to publish an E-journal. 

    Advantages of this include:

    1. Journal submission software which makes it easy for authors to submit articles

    2. A fully customizable interface that allows the journal to create a unique look and feel.

    3. A well-structured site including journal structures that include volumes, issues, etc.

    4. Full-text indexiing by bepress and search options that include browsing the issues, simple searches within the journal and full-text searching of the content.

    5. Flexibility of the system allows the creation of open access journals or a journal by subscription.

    6. A full fledged workflow for editors and reviewers and contributors that makes the publishing process easy.


    What scholarly publishing issues are addressed?

    Q: What problems does E-journals publishing solve?

    A: The DigitalCommons@Fairfield e-journal functionality replaces many issues found in traditional publishing models including:

    • Publishing costs are prohibitive which makes starting new journals difficult - this is resolved by eliminating most of the overhead involved in traditional publishing.
    • The audience is more limited in traditional publishing because of the nature of subscription and constantly increasing costs.

    I want to make an e-journal, now what?

    Q: How do I start an E-journal?

    A: If you are interested in starting an e-journal for your department, school, organization, etc., please contact  DigitalCommons@Fairfield at

    What are my rights as an author?

    Q: What are my rights as an author?
    This information adapted from SPARC.


    • The author is the copyright holder. 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.

    • Assigning your rights matters. 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 without retaining these rights must ask permission unless the use is one of the statutory exemptions in copyright law.

    • The copyright holder controls the work. Decisions concerning use of the work, such as distribution, access, pricing, updates, and any use restrictions belong to the copyright holder. Authors who have transferred their copyright without retaining any rights may not be able to place the work on course Websites, copy it for students or colleagues, deposit the work in a public online archive, or reuse portions in a subsequent work. That’s why it is important to retain the rights you need.

    • Retain your rights. Transferring copyright doesn’t have to be all or nothing.The law allows you to transfer copyright while holding back rights for yourself and others.  Some available options:
      • Choose journals with non-exclusive agreements
      • Choose journals with self-archiving friendly agreements
      • Negotiate with the publisher to amend existing ageement (SPARC Author Addedum)
      • Use an alternative agreement (Creative Commons License)

    What if the Publisher Rejects the Author Addendum or Creative Commons License?

    Q: What if the Publisher Rejects the Author Addendum or Creative Commons License?
    This information taken from SPARC.


    • Explain to the publisher why it is important for you to retain these rights in your own work.

    • Ask the publisher to articulate why the license rights provided under the SPARC Author Addendum or Creative Commons license are insufficient to allow publication.

    • Evaluate the adequacy of the publisher’s response in light of the reasonable and growing need for authors to retain certain key rights to their works.

    • Consider publishing with an organization that will facilitate the widest dissemination of their authors’ works, to help them fulfill their personal and professional goals as scholars.

    How is copyright involved in all of this?

    Q: How is copyright involved in all of this?
    Adapted from the University of Connecticut's Copyright Guidelines.

    Author With Copyright:

    Any author publishing work in DigitalCommons@Fairfield must either be the copyright owner for the work or have the permission of the copyright holder to publish it in the Repository.

    If the author retains copyright for their submission, no further efforts are required, and they may proceed to the submission process.

    Author Without Copyright:

    If the author does not maintain copyright, he/she still may be able to submit material to the repository. Many publishers will allow placement in an institutional repository of articles published in their journals or books as a form of "self archiving" in pre-print or post-print form. SHERPA-RoMEO provides information by publisher on what kind of self-archiving activity is allowed for articles in their journals, and one can search for a particular journal and its policies here. If after consulting these sources and/or the publisher, an author is unable to determine whether they retain the right to post their material in the repository, they can email for assistance.

    Preserve Self Archiving Rights:

    Remeber, authors can always preserve basic self archiving rights when negotiating copyright issues in book and journal contracts. The DiMenna-Nyselius Library endorses the SPARC Author Addendum which contains language that allows for the posting of published documents in an institutional repository, and which can be attached to any publisher’s publication agreement.  We encourage authors to use this form or otherwise protect their rights when submitting documents to a publisher.

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