Frequently Asked Questions

What is JSU Digital Commons?

JSU Digital Commons is an online repository offered and maintained by the Houston Cole Library. In addition to unique historical and cultural materials from the Library’s archival collections, the repository also contains research, scholarship, presentations, creative work, and other intellectual output from JSU faculty and students. The scholarship in JSU Digital Commons has been deposited by JSU faculty, students, administrators, and other University stakeholders.

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What policies govern JSU Digital Commons?

JSU Digital Commons operates under the Library’s Institutional Repository Policy. Information regarding contributors, appropriate submission types, submission guidelines, access and withdrawal, copyright and intellectual property, and privacy can all be found in this policy document. It is recommended that all users read this document before submitting content. Submission Guidelines to aid with submission procedures are also available.

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Who can submit to JSU Digital Commons?

JSU Digital Commons is open to submission of content from JSU faculty, staff, students, or any University department, unit or organization. Those who collaborate with the University in an official capacity may also be permitted to contribute content.

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How do I submit my research or other scholarly/creative work?

You must first create an account with JSU Digital Commons. Use the My Account link to set up your account. An email will be sent to the address you provided with a link to verify your account. (If this email does not arrive in a timely manner, please check your spam folder.) Once you have verified your account and have your JSU Digital Commons credentials, you may submit to the repository.

Use the Submit Research link in the Author Corner to upload your content. Before upload, you will be asked for descriptive information about yourself, any co-authors, and your content, and agree to the repository’s Submission Agreement. Once you have uploaded your content, it will be reviewed by a JSU Digital Commons administrator. If it meets the requisite criteria, it will be published to the site, at which point you will be notified via email. In the event that there are problems with your submission, the Library will contact you via email to resolve any issues and ensure the content can be posted.

Detailed information regarding appropriate content, acceptable file formats, copyright and permissions, and more can be found in the Submission Guidelines. If at any point you experience difficulties with submission, require assistance, or have questions, please Contact Us.

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What if I can’t figure this out – can you help me submit?

Absolutely. If you’re experiencing difficulty with the submission process, please Contact Us. We can walk you through submission or, in most cases, submit the content for you. We will do our utmost to help get your content into JSU Digital Commons.

We also offer a detailed Guide for Faculty with step-by-step instructions for many common JSU Digital Commons procedures.

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I don't have electronic versions of old working papers that I'd like to include in the repository. Is it okay to scan the printed page to a PDF file? Can JSU Digital Commons help me convert my content to digital?

If you don’t already have a digital version of your content, scanning printed pages is a great way to create PDF files for inclusion in the repository. Using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is important for scanned files – OCR allows users to search within your PDF. If you’re using a software application such as Adobe Acrobat, be sure to use its “recognize text” feature to create a searchable PDF. If you’re uncertain if your PDF has searchable text, trying using the “find” feature and search for a word you know the document contains. If no results are returned, you will need to OCR the document.

If you don’t have the appropriate software or are experiencing difficulties creating a digital version of your submission, please Contact Us – we may be able to provide assistance.

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When I copy and paste abstracts into the Submit form, some formatted text reverts to plain text. 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 supports fonts and text style changes. Because the abstract is intended to be presented on the web, text styles must be specified using HTML codes.

If submitting an abstract in HTML format, please be sure to select the corresponding option on the submission form.

The following HTML tags are recognized by the system and may be used to format an abstract (use lowercase tags):

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 worldwide character set (Unicode, utf-8). Accents, symbols, and other special characters may be copied and pasted into the abstract or title field from a word processing file or typed in directly. Windows users may also use the Character Map to insert these characters. Macintosh users may use the Character Palette (available via Edit > Special Characters in the Finder).

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How do I revise a submission?

To revise a submission that has already been posted to the repository, please Contact Us with the new version.

If the content has been submitted, but not yet posted, you may revise it via your My Account page:

  1. Locate the article on your My Account page, and click the title.
  2. Click Revise Submission from the list of options in the left sidebar.
  3. Enter your changes in the Revise Submission form, and click Submit at the bottom of the page to submit your changes. (You only need to modify the portion of the form that corresponds to the changes you wish to make.)

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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.

To make one PDF file from multiple files, open the first PDF file, then choose Document>Insert Pages from Acrobat's menus to insert the second file (indicate it should go after the last page of the first file), and repeat for all documents. The result will be one compound PDF file which may then be submitted.

If you feel that the one large PDF file might be too large for some people to download, we suggest that you submit the consolidated file as the full text of the article, and then upload the separate chapters or sections of the document as Associated Files. These files will appear on the web page alongside the complete document. For more information about uploading associated files, see below.

If you would like assistance consolidating your files, please Contact Us.

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

Yes. The bepress system 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. Viewers must have the necessary software to open your files; that is not provided by the bepress system.

Please be sure that there are no permissions issues related to use of the associated material. Sometimes, especially with images, you must write a letter seeking permission to use the material before it can be posted.

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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Can I post a reprint from a journal?

It depends on what the journal allows, which is usually specified in their agreement with the author. If it would not violate copyright to post the reprint on the repository site, you're welcome to do so.

Most commercial publishers will not allow the final, published PDF files to be deposited in an institutional repository for public access. This is the case with the American Chemical Society, American Psychological Association, Elsevier, Institute of Physics, Oxford, Routledge, Sage, Springer, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley, to name a few. These publishers do allow the final revised manuscript (including changes made after peer review) to be deposited.

There are other publishers who will permit the deposit of finished versions (eg, American Mathematical Association, American Physical Society, Chicago University Press, Rockefeller University Press).

Permissions for many publishers can be found at SHERPA RoMEO.

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A working paper in our repository site has been published in a slightly revised form in a journal. What should I do?

Many journals do not have any restrictions on working papers that preceded an article, especially if substantial revisions were made. You should check your author agreement with the journal to confirm that there is no problem with leaving the working paper on the site. The repository would constitute noncommercial use.

Assuming the working paper does remain posted in the repository, it is a good idea to include the citation to the published article on the cover page of the repository working paper. Please Contact Us to request this change.

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