Frequently Asked Questions

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. 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.

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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 been posted to the repository, contact the repository administrator with the new version.

If the submission 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.

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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 your repository site, you're welcome to do so. 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 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 repository administrator to request this change.

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How do I or other’s benefit from FIU’s Digital Commons?

Digital Commons is a digital archive as well as another access point for research and creative works at FIU. Each deposit receives a permanent URL that you can copy into an email, vita, or elsewhere and open at the document level. The database is easy to search and highly discoverable on the web. Faculty experience wider distribution of their works, whether previously published in a different version or newly published, as the repository provides worldwide open access.

If you want to launch an e-journal, publish an e-newsletter or a book, Digital Commons is a publishing platform that allows for many types of publications and many levels of involvement. Additional training is available for those interested in starting a new journal or other types of publications, such as newsletters or conference proceedings. See Journal Hosting

As an author, if your deposit has downloads, you receive monthly statistics that tell number of downloads. You can also access real time usage reports about your work from your Author Dashboard. In addition you may receive email inquiries for copies of your articles where the sender might not have access to printing a PDF.

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Who can contribute?

The repository is open to all faculty, staff, graduate students and affiliates of FIU. Submissions from undergraduate students will be considered on a case by case basis by the IR coordinator in conjunction with a sponsoring faculty member.

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What types of materials are included in Digital Commons?

Any scholarship, creative work or work of institutional importance coming from FIU are eligible for inclusion into Digital Commons. Examples of possible content are (but not limited to):

  • Working papers, conference papers, and technical reports
  • Faculty-student collaborative projects
  • Journals published by the FIU community
  • Published articles when copyright and/or license allow
  • Faculty course-related output primarily of scholarly interest
  • Organizational annual reports, newsletters, founding documents etc.
  • Data sets
  • Books or book chapters when copyright and/or license allow
  • Image collections or audiovisual materials, either primary or supplementary

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What is Selected Works and how do I get my Selected Works page started?

SelectedWorks are websites where faculty can collect and organize their research and creative works. They are easy to use, customizable and provide a persistent link to faculty work. Types of materials include publications, gray literature, unpublished works and course materials in various formats (.pdfs, mp3’s etc) Work included in SelectedWorks provides increased visibility of faculty research since it will be indexed by google and is easily uploaded into FIU Digital Commons. To get started contact Jill Krefft,

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What formats are supported?

Digital Commons supports the preservation of digital objects no matter what format. However, it is suggested that materials be deposited in open formats such as .PDF, HTML, JPEG, MP3, WMV etc. for ease of user accessibility and preservation purposes. There is no limit on file size, but files should be reasonably sized. Contact the Digital Commons Coordinator if you are concerned about file size or format.

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What are the copyright issues related to content in the Digital Commons?

To archive material in Digital Commons you should:

  • Be the copyright holder
  • Be licensed by the copyright holder to distribute the work through an open access digital archive

In many cases, when a researcher publishes an article in a journal they hand over the rights to the publisher. Some publishers allow authors to retain certain rights, such as making pre/post prints available. The best way to retain rights to work published is to read the agreement closely and make appropriate changes. Download this simple form and add as an addendum. Recently publishers are much more open to allowing authors to retain rights.

In the case of multiple authors, please be sure you have the consent of all authors to include the work in Digital Commons.

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Do I need to inform co-authors of an intention to add items to Digital Commons?

Co-authors are should be notified of the intent to include items in the Digital Commons. They also own part of the copyright. It is the responsibility of the contributor to seek appropriate rights. See the Non-exclusive rights form for more details

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Who can access items in FIU’s Digital Commons?

FIU’s Digital Commons is an Open Access repository. In most cases, anyone can access and download content from Digital Commons, unless the author or other agreement specifically limits access to the work. Learn more about Open Access.

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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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