Frequently Asked Questions

What is DigitalCommons@Cedarville?

DigitalCommons@Cedarville, sometimes referred to as the institutional repository, is a collection of services designed to capture and showcase all scholarly output by the Cedarville University community. These services include:

  • Identifying and making available via the repository web site documents and files produced by the faculty, research groups, and students of Cedarville University.
  • Creation of SelectedWorks pages which highlight the scholarly accomplishments of each individual faculty member.
  • Distribution of regular reports that provide data on the impact and usage of faculty publications.
  • Access to simple and inexpensive electronic publishing of original series, journals, and monographs.
  • Promotion of research efforts via a searchable database, reports to key administrators and stakeholders, and coordination with other research recognition activities.

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Who can contribute content to DigitalCommons@Cedarville?

In general, any faculty member or administrator affiliated with Cedarville University may contribute materials, including items that were co-authored/created with non-Cedarville authors/creators. In addition, some undergraduate and graduate student work may also be deposited. DigitalCommons@Cedarville actively solicits the scholarly and creative output of the University community, as well as any other material that is relevant and valuable to the university mission, and then to archive and provide access to these materials and resources.

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What kinds of materials can be added to DigitalCommons@Cedarville?

Scholarly endeavors published, presented, exhibited, performed, or created should be added to the appropriate college, school, department, or Center section of the repository and to the appropriate faculty member’s SelectedWorks page (see below), including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Articles, books, book chapters, musical scores, librettos, and datasets.
  • Presentations, proceedings, poster sessions, workshops at state, regional, national or international conferences.
  • Performances that have been presented, evaluated, reviewed or critiqued in some way.
  • Creative works that have been exhibited, evaluated, reviewed, or critiqued in some way.
  • Patents that have been approved or technological innovations that have been commercialized.
  • Technical reports, documents, and manuals that have been recognized as a professional or industry standard.
  • Works in progress, pre-prints, instructional materials, and other professional contributions.

The work of Cedarville University undergraduate and graduate students may also be deposited. In general, students retain all rights to the materials they produce at Cedarville University, unless the material came from a grant-funded project or the student has, in writing, transmitted his/her copyright to another entity. Departments/units that would like to post student scholarship in the repository must first obtain the student’s permission to distribute the material via the repository and should provide full disclosure to students about possible future publication restrictions if the paper has been posted in an open-access repository.

If you are not sure where a particular work fits into the DigitalCommons@Cedarville, please the repository staff.

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What is Scholarly Works, how do I get my Scholarly Works page started?

Scholarly Works, a service of DigitalCommons@Cedarville, provides faculty members a customizable website to store, manage, and highlight their work. Making your publications available through your Scholarly Works site provides many advantages:

  • Enhances professional visibility and impact through broader dissemination and increased use of research.
  • Provides a quick, effortless, and inexpensive method of sharing research.
  • Allows tracking of document usage through download reports.
  • Notifies colleagues when new publications are uploaded.
  • When authorized, enables an easy method to allow assistants to update and maintain your site.
  • Creates an online vita which can provide full-text access to your publications.

To get your Scholarly Works site started, please a current c.v. to the repository staff, and we will begin your basic page. At some point, you may want to take over the editing of your Scholarly Works page. The repository staff will provide the appropriate training for you at that time.

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I understand DigitalCommons@Cedarville can support the electronic publishing of academic journals. How do I learn more about this?

DigitalCommons@Cedarville can provide a peer-review workflow application which is designed to streamline and simplify the publication of online journals. Features include:

  • A peer-review process which provides tracking referee activity, automatically emailing appropriate reminders, and providing a mechanism for anonymous correspondence between reviewer and author.
  • Oversight of editorial tasks such as referee correspondence and manuscript tracking.
  • Elimination of mail and copy costs.

If you would like to discuss this service in more detail, please the repository staff.

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What formats are supported?

DigitalCommons@Cedarville supports the preservation of digital objects, regardless of format. It is suggested, however, that authors/creators submit files in open formats, such as PDF, HTML, JPEG, MP3, WMV, and plain text to assist in ensuring that the items remain accessible as software to read/display these materials changes over time. Supplemental material related to a published article may also be deposited, assuming there are no permissions issues related to the use of the file. The DigitalCommons@Cedarville system refers to these supplementary items as Associated Files. The name of the associated file will appear on the web site along with a short description of it.

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What are the copyright issues in archiving content in DigitalCommons@Cedarville?

In the course of formally publishing journal articles and other works of scholarship and creativity, most publishers/producers require authors/creators to sign a copyright agreement or assignment of copyright. Until recently, many of these agreements transferred the "exclusive rights" of the scholar/creator to the publisher. This means that you, as author/creator, retained NO rights to distribute, reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, or use your work in future publications without the permission of the publisher/producer.

Recent efforts by research universities to regain rights to disseminate and archive the work of their faculty have resulted in a change in publisher’s contracts. More publishers are now granting authors/creators some rights to their work, especially the right to deposit a digital copy in the faculty member’s university institutional repository. Before signing the publisher’s contract, read it and use the Reviewing Publisher Agreements/Copyright Checklist to identify the rights that the publisher grants you for the use of your published work.

To archive digital content of any type in DigitalCommons@Cedarville you must either:

  1. Be the copyright holder of that content, or;
  2. Be licensed by the copyright holder to distribute the content through an open access digital archive.

For further information, see the Copyright Guidelines and Reviewing Publisher Agreements/Copyright Checklist.

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Who can access the items included in DigitalCommons@Cedarville?

DigitalCommons@Cedarville is an Open Access repository. In most cases, the uploaded content 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 Cedarville University community.

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How does uploading content to DigitalCommons@Cedarville help me disseminate my work?

DigitalCommons@Cedarville captures and disseminates the intellectual capital created by Cedarville researchers. These efforts expand readership and usage by making scholarship freely accessible. Additionally, the repository brings together into a single resource the full scope of the academic work conducted at Cedarville University. This makes it easier to access and illustrate the value of these efforts.

On a practical level, the repository is designed to work with all search engines and, in fact, has been optimized by Berkeley Electronic Press (the creators of DigitalCommons) in Google. This increases the discoverability of publications uploaded into the system. Research has begun to demonstrate that the more accessible a publication is, the more usage and ultimately citations it receives.

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

DigitalCommons@Cedarville automatically sends out monthly download reports to individual authors. These reports will provide basic usage information.

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Do I have to upload all my documents myself?

In most cases, the repository staff actively identifies and seeks out permission to post a professor's work, and we will upload the files for you. However, the repository has been designed to make it very easy for faculty and staff to upload their own publications if they so choose. Please the repository staff if you would like more information about maintaining your own SelectedWorks 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. However, 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 website alongside the complete document. For more information about uploading associated files, see below.

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

Yes. The 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 descriptions of them. Viewers must have the necessary software to open your files; that is not provided by the repository 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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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 hyphens.

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.
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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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? Will the DigitalCommons@Cedarville staff scan documents for me?

Yes--scanning printed pages is a great way to create PDF files for inclusion in the repository. There are two ways to scan a page: using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or scanning the page as an image. Making OCR scans requires careful proofreading and loses the original formatting of the documents. Image scans cannot be searched. The best solution takes advantage of both of these methods. Many software applications allow for the OCR capture of image scans. When documents are scanned this way, users see the image scan but search the full-text of the document. This is the preferred method for scanning documents for the repository. If you’d like, the repository staff would be happy to scan the document for you. Just the file and any instructions to us.

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Can I revise a submission?

If the item you want to revise has already been submitted to the public website and the repository staff is maintaining your SelectedWorks site, the changes to the repository staff. If you are maintaining your own SelectedWorks site, items that have not yet been posted to the public website can still be revised and will appear in My Account as "under review."

  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. 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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I have a whole collection of documents I would like to upload. Can I do this?

Groups of documents that fit within an established collection may be uploaded using the standard process. However, if the documents are part of a new collection, you would need to the repository staff. Depending upon the type of collection, we may be able to establish a separate series for you.

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What about predatory publishers?

If you’ve received an unsolicited invitation to re-publish a work that’s in Cedarville University’s Digital Commons, such as your thesis, capstone project, or article in one of our journals, you may have been contacted by a predatory publisher. For more information, please visit our Predatory Publishers page.

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I need more help! Whom do I contact?

DigitalCommons@Cedarville staff are available to answer any other questions you might have. Please contact the repository at 937-766-7847 or .

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