About Institutional Repositories

Institutional Repositories (IRs) bring together all of a University's research under one umbrella, with an aim to preserve and provide access to that research. CCU Digital Commons is the institutional repository of Coastal Carolina University, a service of Kimbel Library, managed by librarians, library staff, and student research staff. Any questions can be directed to commons@coastal.edu, the primary contact address for the repository.

IRs are an excellent vehicle for working papers or copies of published articles and conference papers. Presentations, senior theses, and other works not published elsewhere can also be published in the IR. CCU Digital Commons is indexed by Google Scholar, The Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), and The Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR). ​To learn more about Institutional Repositories, please visit the Digital Commons Resources page.

Copyright and Agreements

CCU Digital Commons follows Coastal Carolina University copyright and intellectual property policies and procedures. Please see guidelines from the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Services and the Coastal Carolina University Copyright Ownership policy for further information. CCU Digital Commons guidelines on copyright and intellectual property are outlined in the following section.

By depositing materials to the CCU Digital Commons repository, authors agree that they are solely responsible for ensuring the following:

  • that they are either the sole creator or owner of the material's copyright, or that they have informed co-creators/owners of the submission;
  • submitted materials do not infringe upon the copyrights or intellectual property rights of others;
  • submitted materials do not violate privacy rights, laws, or understandings;
  • necessary right of review will be performed if materials were sponsored or supported by agencies or institutions external to CCU;
  • any restricted, confidential, or potentially defamatory content has been appropriately redacted before submission.

As the author, you agree to grant the Board of Trustees of Coastal Carolina University the following non-exclusive, royalty free, perpetual, worldwide rights and licenses:

  • to publicly display, reproduce, and disseminate materials, in whole or in part;
  • to make derivative works based on the materials in order to protect, preserve, and store materials, including, but not limited to, processes such as format migration or other future forms of materials synthesis, for the purposes of the maintenance and preservation of public access to the materials.

CCU Digital Commons ensures non-exclusive distribution of an author's work, which means that authors can publish their work in other places even when the work is already on the CCU Digital Commons platform. Submitting a work to the repository does not transfer ownership of the work's copyright.

Publisher contracts often transfer all copyrights to the publisher in their entirety. Researchers should thoroughly read and review their publishing agreements before signing. Authors have other options for retaining rights while signing publisher contracts, such as negotiating to keep certain rights. Please see SPARC Author Rights for more information about selecting certain specific rights authors want to keep from a bundle of publisher copyrights. The rights that you retain determine whether you legally distribute copies of your work to colleagues and students, share your work online, deposit your research in the institutional repository. Librarians can assist authors in checking publisher permissions through the SHERPA/RoMEO database.

During the submission process, authors must accept our license agreement. This agreement is an acknowledgement that the author gives Coastal Carolina University the non-exclusive rights to display and distribute the submission in an electronic format.

Authors are responsible for ensuring that uploaded content does not infringe on the copyright of any third parties. If any information on CCU Digital Commons is found to be in violation of copyright or intellectual property law, please contact commons@coastal.edu. Please include your contact information, the name of the item, URL where you found the item, and a description of the infringement. If content has been found in violation of any copyright, intellectual property, privacy, or any related law, CCU Digital Commons staff reserve the right to take down offending works.

Co-authored works can be submitted by either author without the other authors' permission, but it is highly recommended that authors inform co-authors of their intent to submit to the IR.

Authors may revise or update works published in CCU Digital Commons. Student scholarship updates and revisions may require mediation from faculty sponsors.

Content containing sensitive data will not be accepted for upload to the repository, with potential exceptions for items that have been appropriately redacted.

Submission Review: All submissions are reviewed by administrators before publication in the repository. CCU Digital Commons staff reserve the right to accept or reject submissions. If accepted, all submissions will stay in the repository unless they are in violation of copyright or intellectual property law. For more information on withdrawing materials, please see the Withdrawal Guidelines below.

Licensing with Creative Commons

  • Authors submitting materials to CCU Digital Commons agree to share their work through a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (BY-NC-ND) license;
  • Other, less restrictive licenses are available to be selected by the content author(s)
  • Works uploaded to CCU Digital Commons that have a Creative Commons license are governed by the terms of that license. For any use beyond the terms of that license please obtain permission from the work's copyright owners. To learn more about Creative Commons licensing, please see http://creativecommons.org/choose/.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to provide accurate information within the repository, Coastal Carolina University cannot guarantee the accuracy of all information, especially when information is obtained through third party sources. The university is not responsible for the content, availability or accessibility of third party content, or for the accidental/premature disclosure of confidential information and findings.

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Collection Management

CCU Digital Commons generally follows the Kimbel Library Collection Management Policy. Collection management policies specific to the repository follow in this section.

CCU Digital Commons seeks to host and provide access to the intellectual output of the Coastal Carolina University community. Materials should be works of institutional significance produced or sponsored by a member of Coastal Carolina University, such as faculty (current and retired), staff, and students. Collections are organized as series by community, such as college, department, program, center, administrative office, or curricular area. Collection development priorities include, but are not limited to

  • Faculty scholarship: Working papers, project reports, data and statistics, field notes, evaluations, pre- and post-prints of scholarly papers, reviews, books, and book chapters, previously-published articles from scholarly journals, conference papers, proceedings, posters, presentations, open educational resources (syllabi, lecture notes, handouts);
  • Student scholarship: Graduate theses and dissertations, undergraduate theses and capstone projects, conference papers, posters, presentations, journal articles, and other student publications;
  • Digital collections: Photographs, documents, oral histories, other audio/video materials, and archival materials from the university and surrounding community.

Recommended file types for upload into the repository include, but are not limited to

  • Documents: PDF, TXT, HTML, DOCX, PPTX, XLSX;
  • Images: TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP;
  • Audio: AIFF, MP3, AAC, WAV;
  • Video: MPEG, QuickTime;
  • Data: XML, CSV, XLSX, ZIP.

If possible, PDF files should be OCR-enabled, to make the documents accessible for screen readers. Microsoft Word documents are automatically converted to PDF upon upload to the repository. If you experience difficulty uploading large files please contact commons@coastal.edu.

Open Educational Resources (OER)
OERs are generally defined as materials provided at no-cost with free and liberal access usage rights. Types of OER materials include, but are not limited to, textbooks, articles, books, multimedia, tests and examinations, apps, and even entire courses. For more information on open access, author rights and licensing, and the process for submitting an OER to the CCU repository, please see the CCU Digital Commons FAQ page or contact commons@coastal.edu.

Coastal's Office of Online Learning (COOL) offers grants and training opportunities for faculty wishing to integrate OERs into their classes of all formats. For further information on OER services offered by COOL, as well as other OER policies and procedures, please see the Looking for more info on OERs? document.

Student Scholarship
Student scholarship is an integral part of the repository. Types of student scholarship include, but are not limited to

  • Graduate theses and dissertations;
  • Senior Honors Theses and other capstone projects;
  • Student conference materials from the CCU Undergraduate Research Competition and Celebration of Inquiry, such as posters, papers, videos, and photos;
  • Student publications, such as The Chanticleer student newspaper, Archarios, and Tempo.

Students wishing to submit scholarship must have an official faculty member or administrator sponsor the work unless it is work presented in a public venue such as the Celebration of Inquiry or Undergraduate Research Competition.

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Submission Process

To submit materials please see the Submit Materials link on the left menu of the repository.

Library staff can assist authors with all manner of submissions. Faculty can submit articles to commons@coastal.edu and library staff will perform copyright checks with publishers. When permissions are granted, librarians can store permissions documents with submissions materials and upload materials to the repository on behalf of authors. Library staff also perform regular metadata mediation, adding or editing any data on the repository for purposes of accuracy, consistency, and reporting.

Students wishing to submit materials should have a faculty or administrative sponsor submit their materials to commons@coastal.edu.

Metadata is information that describes content so that it can be more easily found. Title, Author, and other metadata fields may be required in order to upload to the repository, but other metadata should also be added by the author. Keywords, subjects, and other associated metadata are extremely helpful in locating the work within the repository and making works findable within external search engines. CCU Digital Commons uses the Dublin Core metadata standard to describe its materials.

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Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Graduate students must upload theses and dissertations to ProQuest ETD Administrator. As part of the submission process students agree to abide by the following:

"In presenting this thesis or dissertation in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree at Coastal Carolina University, I grant to Coastal Carolina University the non-exclusive royalty-free right to archive, reproduce, distribute, and display the thesis in any and all forms, including electronic format, via any digital library mechanisms maintained by Coastal Carolina University. I represent and warrant this is my original work, and does not infringe or violate any rights of others. I warrant that I have obtained written permissions from the owner of any third party copyrighted material included in these files. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of this work, including but not limited to the right to use all or part of this work in future works, such as articles or books. Library users are granted permission for individual, research and non-commercial reproduction of this work for educational purposes only. Any further digital posting of this document requires specific permission from the author. Any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, is not allowed without my written permission."

For further information please contact Graduate Studies at Coastal Carolina University. For Honors thesis requirements and procedures please contact the University Honors Program.

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Withdrawal Guidelines

Authors wishing their work to be removed from the institutional repository should send a withdrawal request to commons@coastal.edu indicating a link to the item and their reason for the withdrawal request. Repository staff will take the materials down while attempting to substantiate the request. Authors should know that there are alternatives to withdrawing the item: the item can be hidden from view through embargo (which states a date in the future when the work can be made available again on the repository) and/or access restrictions (the item can be made available to only university employees, or only to a specific group of researchers).

ETD Removal Policy
When authors upload their ETD to the ProQuest ETD Administrator system they accept that the item will be made available on the university repository, as detailed in the Intellectual Property & Publishing Agreements, Guides & Policies section under the Resources & Guidelines tab. If the copy is removed from the repository, a copy will still be preserved in the university archives or library as an outcome of the partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree at Coastal Carolina University.

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CCU Digital Commons maintains a copy of the author's work and metadata within the repository. bepress, the host of the repository, allows export of all files in the event that CCU ends the contract with bepress.

Coastal Carolina University will preserve and provide perpetual access to selected content on CCU Digital Commons (such as digital collections and other unique materials) through quarterly download of files to local networked storage. Once new data has been downloaded, the older data will be deleted. Materials housed on local networked storage servers licensed or maintained by CCU will be set up for scheduled preservation services such as format migration and file integrity checks. Any external information, such as linked content not maintained on CCU servers, or other similar content, cannot be guaranteed to be made accessible or preservable. Sustainability of digital file formats will be a determining factor in processing files for potential digital preservation.

Kimbel Library maintains a digital preservation plan which conforms to Level 1 of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance's Levels of Digital Preservation (PDF) recommendations. If you have scholarly materials that you would like to preserve but not host on the repository, please contact commons@coastal.edu. Kimbel Library administrators retain the right to determine eligibility of items to be selected for preservation.

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