Frequently Asked Questions

Who can add content to eCommonsat the University of Dayton?

In general any faculty or staff affiliated with UD may deposit materials, including items that were co-authored/created with non-UD authors/creators. eCommons at UD actively solicits material in order to archive and provide access to the scholarly and creative output of the University of Dayton.

What kinds of materials can be added to eCommons at UD?

  1. Scholarly/Creative endeavors published, presented, exhibited, performed, or created should be recorded in the Colleges, Schools, Departments, and Centers section of eCommons at UD, including:
    • Publications such as articles, books, book chapters, musical scores, librettos, works of fiction, Web sites
    • 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
    • Data collected as part of a research study
  2. Conferences, workshops and symposiums held at the University of Dayton or organized by a member of the UD faculty or staff
  3. Journals created and/or published by UD faculty and staff
  4. The work of UD undergraduate and graduate students may also be deposited with the approval of a faculty member. In general, students retain all rights to the materials they produce at the University of Dayton, unless the material came from a grant-funded project or the student has, in writing, transmitted or shared his/her copyright with another entity. Departments/units who would like to post student scholarship in eCommons 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. Download and have the student complete the Submission form for Student Work.
  5. If you are not sure where a particular work fits into eCommons contact the administrator at

What formats are supported?

eCommons at UD 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 in eCommons remain accessible as software to read/display these materials changes over time. eCommons is not equipped to support the archiving of dynamic resources like open Web sites, interactive applications, dynamic learning objects, etc.

What are the copyright issues in archiving content in eCommons at UD?

To archive digital content of any type in eCommons at UD 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 more information see Copyright for Scholars and Creators. Use the Publisher Copyright Agreement Checklist to identify the rights that a publisher grants you for the use of your published work.

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?

Yes--scanning printed pages is a great way to create PDF files for inclusion in the repository. Before you start, be sure you have the rights to do this. See Copyright for Scholars and Creators for more information. 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. Contact the eCommons administrator at for assistance.

A working paper in eCommons has now 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 such as eCommons would constitute noncommercial use. Assuming the working paper does remain on 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 the eCommons administrator at to request this change.

Can I revise a submission?

Items that have not yet been posted to the public Web site can still be revised and will appear in My Account as “under review.” Select the title you want to revise and select “revise submission” from the menu on the left. If the item you want to revise has already been updated to the public Web site, e-mail the changes to the eCommons administrator at

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 that 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 or contact the eCommons administrator at

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

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 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.

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

How do I include accents and special characters in the abstracts and titles?

The repository software supports the ISO 8859-1 character set (this includes the numbers 0-9, upper- and lower-case letters A-Z, and Standard English punctuation). Although you may take advantage of the complete character set, we recommend you consider not using special characters as these may inhibit user searches, both on the web and on the site.

Adapted with permission from OPUS at the Indiana Purdue University at Fort Wayne