Repository Policies


The purpose of ScholarlyCommons@Penn, Penn's Institutional Repository ("IR"), is to publicize, freely disseminate, and preserve the work of Penn scholars as part of the university’s mission to educate and inform the world. Penn Library intends to provide access to the work as broadly as possible and for as long as possible.

Who Can Participate

Any University of Pennsylvania research unit, department, lab, center, or institute is eligible to participate. Hereafter, all of these are referred to as "units" in this document.

Whose Papers Can Be Included in the Repository

Each participating unit will determine content appropriate for inclusion in its part of the IR (for instance, journal articles, preprints, postprints, conference papers, presentations, technical reports, working papers, lecture series, senior design papers, simulations, programs, and so forth).

While content need not be authored by Penn faculty, staff, or students for inclusion in the IR, its creation must have some Penn affiliation. Examples might be a paper from a conference sponsored by a participating unit which included both Penn-affiliated and other authors; a report collaboratively produced by Penn-affiliated and other authors; or other materials that a sponsoring Penn unit decides is appropriate for its part of the IR. Participating units can work with Library staff to define policies appropriate for their areas.

Appropriate Submissions

Each unit will work with the Penn Library to review guidelines on content and set policy for its part of the IR. Applicable copyright policies, technical feasibility (for example, content can be posted using supported format types and by referring to the file format and conversion guide), and the decision of a participating unit that the work is appropriate, are all basic criteria. Bibliographic citations or abstracts alone, without the full paper to which they refer, will not be posted. Questions should be directed to

Unit Agreements

Participating units agree to disseminate information about procedures and policies for the IR—including author responsibilities regarding copyright—as set forth by the Library and communicated through written documents, correspondence, and training sessions.

Author Agreements and Copyright

Unless otherwise noted, documents posted on ScholarlyCommons@Penn are the property of their respective authors. Authors who deposit material in the IR agree to the following:

All permission requests should be directed to the individual authors or the stated holders of copyright. The University of Pennsylvania Libraries claim no rights over the content of ScholarlyCommons@Penn. For more information about copyright, please refer to ScholarlyCommons@Penn copyright guidelines for authors. See also our copyright policy.

Removing or Updating a Work

The IR is a permanent scholarly repository. Once a paper is deposited, at least a citation to the paper will remain permanently accessible. Under special circumstances, authors may request that the IR remove a paper, or a specific version of a paper. Authors may also provide an updated version for posting. But updates need not replace originally-posted papers. Posting updated versions alongside original versions is one way that the IR can allow authors to show the progress of their research, which in some fields can have pedagogical or intellectual value.

Persistent Access and Migration

The Library will provide persistent access to IR content but cannot guarantee the persistent functionality of technological tools through which content is currently posted, maintained, and accessed. At its own discretion, depending on changes in the technological environment in which researchers, users, and the Library all function, tools may be replaced. The Library expects to preserve the content of the IR by migrating it to new technological platforms when and if the obsolescence of current technologies make it necessary to do so.

Peer-Reviewed Series and Journals

ScholarlyCommons@Penn can support peer-reviewed series and journals in the IR. Units interested in starting a peer-reviewed series or journal should contact . The Library is prepared to help you decide whether this is the right forum for your scholarship.

(Portions of the above adapted from the University of California eScholarship agreement.)

Policy last changed 29 March 2006