Frequently Asked Questions


What is WestCollections?

WestCollections is Western Connecticut State University’s Institutional Repository (IR). It is an online collection of the scholarly and professional work of faculty, students, and staff of the University. WestCollections makes this work freely accessible to the world at large.

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Who can submit their work to WestCollections?

Faculty, students, and staff of Western Connecticut State University may submit their work to WestCollections. Additionally, individuals not affiliated with WCSU may submit work to journals hosted within WestCollections. Please direct any inquiries related to this to the journal of interest.

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What content is appropriate for WestCollections?

Faculty may submit scholarly work such as journal articles, working papers, book reviews, book and/or book chapters, conference or other professional/academic presentations, technical papers, educational materials, images, video and audio files.

Students may submit dissertations and theses, capstone projects, and other faculty approved research.

WestCollections is a collection of completed work and only completed work should be submitted.

If you have any questions about your content and whether it is appropriate for WestCollections contact the repository administrator.

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What file formats can be deposited?

The preferred format for uploaded/imported files is a PDF. You may submit/import a file in Word or in RTF (Rich Text Format), but they will be converted to a PDF in WestCommons. Other formats are also accepted, but they will not be converted to PDF automatically.

Additionally, you may submit supporting documents in a variety of formats. These will retain their original format, such as an Excel file, an image, an audio, or a video file.

When you make a submission you will have the opportunity to do one of the following:

  • upload a document from your computer
  • import a document from a remote site
  • link out to a resource on a remote site

If you link out to a resource, such as a journal article, you will be asked to provide a URL for it. Users can click on the URL, but they will only gain access to the article if they have access to the journal in which it is published.

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Why should I submit to WestCollections?

Placement of your work in the Institutional Repository has several benefits for you.

  • Discovery: WestCollections is searched by Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines, which means increased visibility of your research and creative activity. Items placed in WestCommons can be found by these search tools, world-wide, 24/7. More researchers can find your work.
  • Professional advancement: Research studies indicate that articles made available in an IR have a greater frequency of being cited than articles available only in subscription based journals.
  • Access and preservation: Items deposited in WestCollections have a permanent URL assigned to them, which provides long term access and preservation.
  • Statistics: Receive an email providing statistics for number of downloads of your work.
  • Convenience: Easy submission via online forms.

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How do I submit an article/document?
  • Click the Submit link on the bottom right side of the page, under Author Corner.
  • Submission Instructions will be on the next page you see, along with a Submission Agreement to which you must agree by selecting a checkbox.
  • After agreeing, the next page will be a form that contains several fields, including title, author, and abstract. Depending on the area to which you are submitting, there may also a dropdown list to select the type of document to be submitted, including article, book, book review, conference proceeding, and dissertation. If presented with these choices, simply select the correct document type.
  • Fill out the remainder of the form as appropriate and click the Submit button at the bottom of the page

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Can I submit a scanned copy or does it have to be an original electronic copy?

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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Can I submit supporting documents? (text, image, audio, datasets, etc.)

Yes. When you are near the end of the submission there will be a checkbox that, if checked, will allow you to submit additional documents. This needs to be done at the time of submission and cannot be done at a later date, so make sure you have all of your supplementary material available.

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Can I submit my senior project/thesis?

Undergraduates may submit their senior project/thesis at the appropriate link under their department in WestCollections. If you have any questions about this please contact the repository administrator.

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Can I submit my dissertation?

Yes. Each department should have a link to the departmental dissertation and/or theses page. If your department does not have one, please contact the repository administrator.

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Can I submit a video/audio tape?

Yes, video and audio files can be submitted. If the submission centers on the video/audio file, such as a video of a presentation or an interview, or if it is an audio file of an interview, you can upload the file as a part of the submission. In other cases, you may want to submit a video/audio file as a supplemental file(s). To do this you would check the checkbox when for additional files at time of submission.

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Does my department have a presence on WestCollections?

It probably does within the Collections link. If you do not find them, please contact the repository administrator.

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Can I remove my submission?

One of the purposes of the repository is to preserve the work of the University permanently. However, if you need to have your individual work removed from WestCollections, contact the repository administrator. and we will take steps to remove the submission.

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How do I edit my submission?

If there is a need to revise a submission that has been posted to the repository, contact the repository administrator. with the new version.

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Who can access the documents I put in WestCollections?

WestCollections is an open-access collection. Anyone with internet access can access the resources in WestCollections. If desired, access can be limited to the WCSU network. Contact the repository administrator.

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Can I prevent access until a later date?

Yes. If your submission is time sensitive for any reason you may make it unavailable until a time you stipulate. Access can also be restricted to the WCSU computers.

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What issues involving copyright should I be aware of?

In order to submit material to WestCollections you need to verify that you are the copyright owner or, if you do not own the copyright, that you have permission from the copyright owner to post the material.

As the creator/author of material, you own the original copyright on it. However, if you publish your work in a journal, book, or other format, publishers often ask authors to sign an agreement regarding copyright. Often one of the outcomes of this agreement is to transfer copyright to the publisher. If you have signed an agreement with a publisher you need to be aware of the effect it may have on copyright.

For more information see US Copyright Office - Copyright Basics:
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

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What are my rights as an author?

When you create a work (an article, essay, poem, photograph, painting, etc.), you automatically are granted copyright. You retain these rights unless you agree to transfer them to another party. Copyright is a bundle of rights, as indicated in Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act (Title 17). These include the right:

  1. to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
  2. to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
  3. to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
  4. in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
  5. in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
  6. in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

For more information see US Copyright Office - Copyright Basics:
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

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I already published an article in a journal. Can I submit it to WestCollections?

When you published the article you probably had to sign an agreement with the publisher. That agreement will have information about the status of copyright. If you signed copyright over to the publisher, you may not be able to submit the article without publisher permission. If you retained copyright, you are free to submit your article.

When you published the article you probably had to sign an agreement with the publisher. That agreement will have information about the status of copyright. If you signed copyright over to the publisher, you may not be able to submit the article without publisher permission. If you retained copyright, you are free to submit your article.

If you are not certain of your agreement with the publisher, you can find permissions for many publishers at SHERPA/RoMEO.

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I have questions and/or suggestions to improve WestCommons. Who do I contact?

Please contact the repository administrator.

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Where can I learn more about Institutional Repositories?

The Association of Research Libraries is a good resource for information about Institutional Repositories. The following paper, "The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper" by Raym Crow, defines Institutional Repositories and argues their merits within an academic institution.

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