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Preserve Your Work! Academic Commons and Personal Digital Archiving

This guide provides information on depositing your work in Academic Commons and personal digital archiving practices.

Before submitting work to Academic Commons

Before submitting to Academic Commons (and ideally throughout the process of researching and creating your capstone), use the following checklist to determine if your submission is appropriate:

  • If my capstone discusses human subjects, have I obtained all necessary approvals from Barnard’s Institutional Review Board (IRB)? If applicable, is my thesis compliant with HIPAA’s guidelines for human subjects research? You should only submit your work to Academic Commons if you have necessary approvals. For more information, see the Provost’s Respectful Treatment of Research Participants page.
  • If my capstone contains copyrighted works, have I obtained permission/licensed them/satisfied the requirements for fair use? You should only submit work to Academic Commons that does not infringe on others’ intellectual property rights. For more information, see the library guide on Intellectual Property, and/or talk to your adviser or personal librarian.
  • If my capstone discusses potentially sensitive/personal information, have I obtained informed consent and permission or adequately anonymized it? You should only submit work to Academic Commons that can be openly available online, with no restrictions. For more information, talk to your adviser or personal librarian.
  • You should also talk with your faculty adviser about publishing options. If you or your faculty adviser is planning on publishing your work (or some portion of it, including your data), you may want to deposit your work to Academic Commons with an embargo. This means your work will be deposited but will not be publicly available for the term of the embargo (you may select an embargo of one year or two years). For more information about publishing, embargoes, and open access undergraduate journals, talk to your personal librarian.

Once you have addressed the items on this checklist, ask your faculty adviser to email the Academic Commons staff at to sign off on the deposit of your project. Throughout the process of creating your capstone, talk with your with faculty adviser and your personal librarian about any of the above topics.

How to submit to Academic Commons

The process for depositing may change. Please check back here or talk with your personal librarian for updates!

  • If you are self-depositing, you can follow Academic Common’s instructions for depositing.
    • You’ll read and accept an author agreement.
    • You’ll fill out some basic information about yourself and your work.
    • You’ll upload a file.
  • If you have not already done so, ask your faculty adviser to email the Academic Commons staff at to sign off on the deposit of your project. Once your adviser's approval has been received, your project will be added to Academic Commons.
  • Academic Commons accepts a wide variety of format types: papers, data, images, and moving images. Academic Commons is for final products of research, not drafts or in-progress works. For more information on format, copyright, data protection and more, see the Academic Commons site.

In addition to submitting to Academic Commons, or in place of submitting if Academic Commons is not an option for you, you should consider utilizing a personal digital archiving strategy. Personal digital archiving will help you to save your work!