Frequently Asked Questions

What is CCU Digital Commons??

CCU Digital Commons is the institutional repository of Coastal Carolina University, a service of Kimbel Library, managed by librarians and library staff. Any questions can be directed to, the primary contact address for the repository.

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What is an IR?

Institutional repositories are systems that store and provide access to the scholarship and intellectual property of an institution. Materials often found in institutional repositories include faculty publications, university publications, student research, digital collections materials, electronic theses and dissertations, and research data. CCU Digital Commons is Coastal Carolina University's institutional repository, helping to communicate the breadth and depth of the university's intellectual production.

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Why contribute?

Contributing your materials to the repository can result in increased visibility, and often increased citation rates, for your scholarship. Uploading your scholarship to the repository also preserves the content into the future, and provides a permanent link to materials. This permanence makes it easier to track analytics for materials, such as downloads and shares. Making your work part of the Digital Commons Network can increase usage by discipline and research interest. CCU Digital Commons is indexed by Google Scholar, The Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), and The Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR).​

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Who can contribute?

Members of Coastal Carolina University, such as faculty (current and retired), staff, and students. 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 Undergraduate Research Competition.

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How do I submit materials?

To submit materials please see the Submit Research link on the left menu of the repository. Submitters must use their university email address for all submissions. For further information on the submission process please see the CCU Digital Commons guidelines on the About page.

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Do I have to upload everything myself?

The CCU Digital Commons staff can in most cases aid in uploading and rights checking for materials. Please contact and include contact information, files, and any permissions documentation available. Staff will check publisher permissions using the SHERPA/RoMEO publisher agreements database before uploading items to the repository. Faculty and staff are encouraged to self-deposit published materials to CCU Digital Commons. To submit materials, sign up for an account by clicking on the My Account link near the top of this page and following the provided instructions.

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Can I download and use materials?

Individuals have the right to download and print a personal copy of CCU Digital Commons materials, and to use the materials in other ways that meet "fair use" standards (Title 17 U.S.C. § 107). Creative Commons licenses can also be applied to materials to detail the types of uses the author(s) intend for the public. For further information please see CCU Digital Commons guidelines on the About page.

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Can I restrict access to my materials?

CCU Digital Commons is an open access repository of works meant to be shared with the public. Please consider making your works open access if possible. Authors can specify certain levels of access if necessary:

  • Open Access: Materials may be publicly viewed by anyone;
  • CCU Only: Open to current CCU faculty, staff and students, accessible by CCU login. Some items are made CCU Only by default, such as legacy ETD;
  • Embargo: Can be useful if authors plan to publish a work in a journal. Some publisher agreements necessitate a period where the material is under embargo until an agreed-upon future date. During the embargo period, while full-text will not be available, metadata about the object will still be accessible to the public. If you need to place an embargo on your materials please contact

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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. Librarians can help you check publisher permissions through the same database. If you are having trouble tracking down a publisher please contact

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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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Can I create a conference or event on the repository?

CCU Digital Commons provides the entire process of conference hosting, including call for papers, peer-review and selection of papers and presentations, conference schedule hosting, and publication of conference proceedings. For more information on how to host a conference please fill out the Digital Commons Event Setup form. A librarian can go through the form and admin procedures with conference/event administrators. Please contact to set up a call or appointment. For further information on guidelines and procedures for hosting conferences and events on the repository please see the bepress Conferences and Events page.

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Can I host an academic journal on the repository?

CCU Digital Commons offers hosting and publication of refereed, peer-reviewed academic journals. The entire peer review process can be accomplished within the system, including call for papers, peer-review and selection of papers, and journal hosting. For further information on guidelines and procedures for publishing journals on the repository please see the bepress Journal Publishing page. A librarian can go through the form and admin procedures with journal administrators. Please contact to set up a call or appointment.

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Why do some materials link out to other sites?

Some materials are required to be hosted on external sites due to existing agreements. CCU Digital Commons can comply with funder mandates by linking out to external sites while hosting metadata on the repository to increase access to materials.

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How do I find stats on my work?

The repository can send out monthly download reports to authors. For more detailed information on download and usage statistics please contact

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How do I cite items from the IR?

A recommended citation should appear at the bottom of every item's page, and on many front pages of downloadable PDF files. For further information on citation styles please see the Kimbel Library How to Cite Resources guide.

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