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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.

What is Academic Commons?

According to their about page,

Academic Commons is a freely accessible digital collection of research and scholarship produced at Columbia University or one of its affiliate institutions (Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary, and Jewish Theological Seminary). The mission of Academic Commons is to collect and preserve the digital outputs of research and scholarship produced at Columbia and its affiliate institutions and present them to a global audience.

Works in Academic Commons are:

  • freely accessible online, to anyone and everyone.
  • regularly backed up.
  • easily discoverable via search engines.
  • assigned a persistent URL so they can always be found.

For more information see AC’s FAQ.

Why Submit to Academic Commons?

​Here are some advantages to submitting your work to Academic Commons:

  • Your capstone will receive its own permanent URL and will be backed up. Note that the Barnard Archives and Special Collections does not preserve senior projects, and departments may or may not keep your capstone. Depositing your work in Academic Commons is a great part of a sound personal digital archiving strategy (see the section on personal digital archiving for more!)
  • Your capstone will enter the scholarly conversation and have readers beyond your thesis advisers (and family/friends!). Your research will have more potential to benefit others and influence future scholarship. And you can see how many times your capstone has been viewed.
  • Need a solid writing sample? Add your thesis’ permanent link to your résumé and graduate school applications.
  • The permanent URL allows you to share your thesis with others over email, social media, etc.