Scholarly Commons Guideines

Scholarly Commons is Augusta University’s institutional repository that is managed by the University Libraries.

What is an institutional repository?

An institutional repository is a digital archive of scholarly works designed to document, preserve, and provide access to scholarly materials for historical, academic, and research purposes. The Scholarly Commons contains scholarly output by our faculty, students, staff, researchers, and administration.

All works submitted to Scholarly Commons are encoded with metadata to increase their discoverability in search engines, such as Google Scholar. Metadata from scholarly works in Scholarly Commons is included in the SHARE project supported by the Association of Research Libraries in partnership with the Center for Open Science. This membership helps increase the visibility of our university’s research and publications.

Why is an institutional repository important?

The University Faculty Senate at Augusta University passed an open access resolution in Support of Open Access Dissemination of Research April 2014. Faculty are encouraged to share their scholarly outputs via Scholarly Commons and statistics on the number of views and downloads are available for each item.

Additional reasons why an institutional repository is important include:

  • Scholarly Commons is an open access repository, which may fulfill federal and other grant requirements
  • Scholarly Commons faciliates high visiblity of scholarly works in search engines by using prioiroty indexing and ranking
  • Departments are able to collect all scholarly works and organize them in one place
  • A handle (permalink) is assigned to all materials deposited

For more information about Scholarly Commons, such as historical information, please visit the Scholarly Commons Research Guide.



Scholarly Commons is organized in a hierarchical structure composed of Communities and Collections. The highest level is Communities which may represent colleges, centers, institutes, administrative unites, etc. Communities contain collections and collections hold the digital work. Each community and collection has its own entry page displaying information, news, and links reflecting the interests of that community or collection. 



Most common file types are accepted, but may be converted to PDF or an open file type once accepted for security and archival purposes. For a complete list of accepted file types visit the Scholarly Commons Research Guide.

The following items are included in our repository, but are not limited to:

  • Journal Article pre and post prints
  • Working Papers or White Papers
  • Clinical reports
  • Conference papers
  • Theses, dissertations, and other student works
  • Audio and visual materials
  • Annual reports
  •  Newsletters
  • Datasets

All materials are included on the basis of their educational, research, or institutional merit. However, sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information, is excluded from our repository.

Any research involving human research must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and include proper consent from all test participants in order to share their information.

Any materials in violation of copyright terms will not be accepted and Augusta University reserves the rights to withdraw any materials in violation of copyright terms or those containing sensitive information.

If you are interested in archiving a dataset or large file please contact

Who can submit content to Scholarly Commons?

Content can be submitted to Scholarly Commons by any Augusta University affiliated person by submitting the scholarly work via the online form or by emailing



Original copyright holders retain full copyright of their submitted works. If the copyright is held in full or partially by a publisher or more than one author, please check the publisher’s policies regarding dissemination of works and obtain permission from any other applicable persons or institutions before submitting your work. Those wishing to submit to our repository must possess the proper copyright permissions in order to do so.

When submitting previously published works, you can check the publisher’s copyright policy on archiving with institutional repositories on SHERPA/RoMEO. Search for the journal’s title and review the policies. Under “General Conditions” you may find if there are restrictions on archive location and version. Any materials in violation of copyright terms will not be accepted and Augusta University reserves the rights to withdraw any materials in violation of copyright terms.


Works in Scholarly Commons may be assigned a Creative Commons license upon submission to provide a simple, standardized way to give users permission to share and use your creative work.


Access to Materials

Most content in Scholarly Commons is open access with a few exceptions. Electronic theses and dissertations are embargoed by request of the Graduate School. Full text is inaccessible for first two years with only the abstract being freely available. Authors may choose to delay access to their theses or dissertation for an additional 2, 5, or 10 years. After the delay has expired, users must be AU affiliated and sign in to access the full text of theses and dissertations. Some additional materials in the repository require an embargo for a certain timeframe per publishers’ requests.


Withdrawal of Materials

Scholarly Commons is a digital archive and is intended as a permanent location for digital collections. However there are a few instances where works may be withdrawn:


  • Proven copyright violation or plagiarism
  • Breaches of confidentiality
  • Falsified research

When a request is made to remove a file, only the file is removed. The record and all pertaining metadata remains for future reference (sometimes referred to as a tombstone record), and the “handle,” (permalink) will remain active. If necessary an explanation for the work’s removal may be included as well. To request the removal of an item please contact



The Augusta University Libraries are committed to providing long-term access to all material submitted to Scholarly Commons. Atmire’s OpenRepository participates in a CLOCKSS, or Controlled LOCKSS (for Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe), a not-for-profit joint venture started by libraries and publishers committed to ensuring long-term access to scholarly publications in digital format.