About Institutional Repositories

Content Submission Guidelines for the Hollins Digital Commons

The Hollins Digital Commons, a service of the Wyndham Robertson Library, is an online repository of the scholarship, creative works, and historical record of Hollins University. Material included here will be selected and deposited by individuals and departments across the HU campus, and represents the work of faculty, staff, students and alumnae/i of the university.

The Hollins Digital Commons enables the Hollins University community to disseminate research, scholarly, and creative work as widely as possible, to extend the readership and impact of our work. The HDC strives to represent the diversity of academic life at Hollins to the larger scholarly community, the community of Hollins alumnae, prospective Hollins students, and anyone who may be interested in a topic for which the Hollins community has expertise to share.

Section 1: Archiving

The Hollins Digital Commons (HDC) is an online archive that collects and preserves the research, scholarly, and creative work of the Hollins University community. To that end, work must meet the following guidelines before being included in the HDC:

  • The work must be original, produced and submitted, or sponsored by a faculty or staff member, student, organization or department of Hollins University
  • The work must be creative, scholarly in nature, research-oriented, or of institutional significance
    • For scholarly, research-oriented work, the work should make an original contribution to knowledge in its field
    • For creative work, the work should be meritorious in terms of criteria such as originality, scope, richness, and depth of creative expression
    • Work of institutional significance may include a wide variety of materials, from theses to yearbooks to visiting lectures, and be considered a part of the HU historical record
  • 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 in the HDC
  • The author/copyright owner must submit a permission form prior to the material being uploaded to the repository, granting Hollins the non-exclusive right to distribute and preserve the material via the HDC
  • For examples of types of potential content, and technical requirements, see Appendices I and II.

All members of the Hollins community are expected to take responsibility for abiding by these criteria in their submissions. In unusual circumstances, the Hollins Digital Commons advisory board reserves the right to remove or reject a submission for not meeting these criteria.

Section 2: Access

The Hollins Digital Commons makes the assumption that open access literature (digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions) is a public good, benefiting the world through scientific discovery, encouragement of innovation, and enrichment of education. The HDC also recognizes that there are circumstances, such as creative work, in which authors must be protected so that they may receive the benefits properly due them.

The HDC’s default setting for all materials other than student coursework is to make the material publicly available, to make the intellectual and creative contributions of the university easily discoverable via internet search tools. However, authors may choose to limit access to only the Hollins community, at their discretion.

For co-authored works, the desire of any one of the authors to limit access to only the Hollins community (or to not publish the material in the HDC) will result in access being restricted (or removed).

Section 2A: Student Coursework and Access

Student coursework occupies a special niche within the HDC. The HDC intends to display exemplary student coursework from all disciplines of the university, with goals of:

  • Highlighting exceptional student achievement, whether in creative or scholarly venues
  • Inspiring and motivating students, knowing their work may be seen by others outside the classroom
  • Increasing visibility and usage of materials through Google and other search engines, thus sharing research with the broader educational community
  • In order for student coursework to be eligible for open access, the work must meet at least ONE of the three following criteria:

  • Have won a juried award (e.g., an Undergraduate Research Award winner or finalist; an award presented at Honor’s Convocation) or been selected for publication/presentation through a juried process
  • OR
  • Been nominated for open accessibility by the faculty mentor or sponsor involved in the creation of the work, and by another member of the teaching faculty, due to the exceptional nature of the work
  • OR
  • Been approved for open accessibility by a committee consisting of two teaching faculty members, including at least one from the department in which the submitted work was completed, and the University Librarian
    • This committee shall offer a venue of appeal for any student who believes their work is not properly recognized by their faculty mentor or sponsor.

PERMISSION: Students must give informed consent for their coursework to be made openly accessible, after having been provided information about potential benefits and drawbacks of posting the material.

Withdrawing Content from the Digital Commons

The Hollins Digital Commons is intended to be a permanent record of academic activity at Hollins University, and it will be the responsibility of the Wyndham Robertson Library and the larger Hollins community to preserve and provide perpetual access to this content, using accepted preservation standards and techniques.

On occasion, it may be necessary to remove items; for example, posted material may be found to be in violation of copyright law. The HDC also reserves the right to remove material that does not fall within its content guidelines, as determined by the HDC Advisory Board. Authors will be notified, if at all possible, of such removals.

Authors may also request that their content or a version of their content be removed, and it will be removed as soon as practical.

When it is necessary to remove material, a place holder will be left behind to inform readers that the content has been withdrawn.

Please also note that cached copies of content may remain on the internet even after removal from the HDC; this is beyond the control of the HDC.

Appendix 1 (Types of content)

Examples of content that may be included in the Digital Commons include, but are not limited to: (assuming that copyright is held or distribution rights can be granted)

  • Working papers and conference papers
  • Published articles (including pre/post prints)
  • Audio/video content, such as performances
  • Image collections
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Theses and dissertations
  • High-quality student work, which could potentially include award-winning materials, undergraduate honor’s theses, and capstone projects
  • Journals published by the Hollins community
  • Papers and/or abstracts from conferences sponsored by Hollins
  • Books or book chapters
  • Lectures and seminar series
Appendix 2 (Technical Requirements)
  • There is no formal limit to the file size of materials, though extremely large files (as in terabytes) may be rejected
  • Most file formats are acceptable
  • Digitization of print materials will be considered on a case-by-case basis
Appendix 3: Roles

The Wyndham Robertson Library will:

  • Administer the HDC on a daily basis, including uploading of content
  • Advise potential submitters on copyright questions and their rights as authors
  • Develop policies, in consultation with the HDC advisory board and other stakeholders
  • (including faculty, administrators, and students), governing the HDC
  • Encourage submission of appropriate content to the HDC, with a particular emphasis on the inclusion of a representative sample of content from across the academic curriculum
  • Provide educational opportunities and materials to help all interested HU community members become more knowledgeable about the meaning of open access
  • Publicize the HDC to prospective audiences, including HU community members and those outside of Hollins

The Hollins Digital Repositories Advisory Board will, in respect to the Hollins Digital Commons (HDC) and other digital repositories created for usage by the Hollins University community, fill the following roles:

  • Assist in identifying sources of content.
  • Assist in prioritizing content additions, based on relative importance to stakeholders and the Hollins University mission.
  • Assist in publicizing repositories across campus and to other prospective audiences.
  • Assist in increasing campus groups’ interest in participating in the repositories.
  • Assist in developing policies that represent the interests of all stakeholders.
  • Be the arbiter, in cases of questioned content, as to whether the content meets the criteria for inclusion in the digital repository.
    • Any member of the Hollins community may ask that content be reviewed as to its appropriateness for inclusion.
    • In the interests of transparency, the advisory board will share the outcomes of any such decisions, and the reasoning behind those decisions, with all interested parties.

To learn more about Institutional Repositories, please visit our IR research page.