Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

Technical Issues

Author Rights

What is ScholarWorks?

ScholarWorks is a collection of services designed to capture and showcase all scholarly output by the Boise State University community. These services include:

  • Identifying and making available via the ScholarWorks web site documents and files produced by the faculty, research groups, and students of Boise State University.
  • Creation of SelectedWorks pages which highlight the scholarly accomplishments of each individual faculty member.
  • Distribution of regular reports that provide data on the impact and usage of faculty publications.
  • Access to simple and inexpensive electronic publishing of original series, journals, and monographs.
  • Promotion of research efforts via a searchable database, reports to key administrators and stakeholders, and coordination with other research recognition activities.

{ top }

What can be uploaded to ScholarWorks?

Types of materials and projects in ScholarWorks include:

  • Journal articles
  • Theses
  • Dissertations
  • Presentations
  • Datasets
  • Working papers and pre-prints
  • Technical reports
  • University documents
  • Books, series, and journals
  • Images
  • Video and sounds files

{ top }

Who can upload documents to ScholarWorks?

Any Boise State University faculty or staff member may upload scholarly publications. Additionally, Masters and Doctoral candidates can upload their thesis and dissertations, and in select cases graduate projects. Faculty who wish to include undergraduate student work should contact the ScholarWorks staff at 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }

Do I have to do all the uploading myself?

In most cases, the ScholarWorks staff actively identify and seek out permission to post a professor's work. However, ScholarWorks has been designed to make it very easy for faculty and staff to upload their publications. If you have questions or need assistance uploading content, please feel free to contact the ScholarWorks staff at: 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }

I have a whole collection of documents I would like to upload. Can I do this?

Groups of documents that fit within an established collection may be uploaded using the standard process. However if the documents are part of a new collection, you would need to contact ScholarWorks. Depending upon the type of collection, we may be able to establish a separate series for you. To discuss this option, please contact the ScholarWorks staff at: 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }

Who can access the items included in ScholarWorks?

ScholarWorks is an Open Access repository. In most cases the uploaded content is available to any person with access to the Internet. However, when requested by individual authors or required by publisher copyright agreements, some documents may be embargoed for a period of time or limited to members of the Boise State community.

{ top }

I understand ScholarWorks can support the electronic publishing of academic journals. How do I learn more about this?

ScholarWorks can provide a peer-review workflow application which is designed to streamline and simplify the publication of online journals. Features include:

  • A peer-review process which provides tracking referee activity, automatically emailing appropriate reminders, and providing a mechanism for anonymous correspondence between reviewer and author
  • Oversight of editorial tasks such as referee correspondence and manuscript tracking
  • Elimination of mail and copy costs

If you would like to discuss this service in more detail, please contact ScholarWorks at: 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }

My colleague told me he has his own “SelectedWorks” page. What is it and can I set one up?

SelectedWorks, a service of ScholarWorks, provides faculty a customizable web site to store, manage, and highlight their work. Making your publications available through your SelectedWorks site provides many advantages:

  • Enhances professional visibility and impact through broader dissemination and increased use of research
  • Provides a quick, effortless, and inexpensive method of sharing research
  • Allows tracking of document usage through download reports
  • Notify colleagues when new publications are uploaded
  • When authorized, enables an easy method to allow assistants to update and maintain your site
  • Creates an online vita which can provide full-text access to your publications
If you would like to have a SelectedWorks site, please send a current Curriculum Vita to . We will begin your basic page which you can then revise as needed.

{ top }

My publisher is requiring me to wait a certain period of time before I can post my publication on ScholarWorks. What can I do?

In cases where publishers require an embargo period before allowing authors to distribute their own work, ScholarWorks can limit access to your publication until the embargo period has passed. However, it is recommended that authors review the copyright agreement they signed when their manuscript was accepted for publication. Many publishers are now allowing authors to disseminate pre-publication versions of their work. If you have questions or need assistance understanding your author rights, please contact ScholarWorks at: 208-426-2580 or . Additionally, please review the Author Rights FAQs below.

{ top }

I’m a Boise State University graduate student. Can I upload my thesis/dissertation to ScholarWorks?

Yes! The Boise State University Graduate College has developed a process for students to create and make available via ScholarWorks an electronic copy of their thesis or dissertation. The advantages of this approach are that content can be presented in far more versatile and effective ways compared to paper, and it is possible for a student to allow digital access to his or her work so that it reaches an audience that extends well beyond the library shelf. To learn more about this option, please contact the Graduate College at 208-426-3903 or visit their web site at: http://www.boisestate.edu/gradcoll/.

{ top }

How does uploading content to ScholarWorks help me disseminate my work?

ScholarWorks captures and disseminates the intellectual capital created by Boise State researchers. These efforts expand readership and usage by making scholarship freely accessible. Additionally, ScholarWorks brings together into a single resource the full scope of the academic work conducted at Boise State University. This makes it easier to access and illustrate the value of these efforts.

On a practical level, ScholarWorks is designed to work with search engines like Google. This increases the discoverability of publications uploaded into the system. Research has begun to demonstrate that the more accessible a publication is, the more usage and ultimately citations it receives.

{ top }

I need help! Who do I contact?

ScholarWorks staff are available to answer questions and assist you in uploading content. Please contact ScholarWorks at: 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }

How do I upload a document?

To upload a document:

  1. Select the "My Account" link and log in.
  2. Select the "Submit Research" link in the left sidebar.
  3. If you have not already done so, select a collection in which to upload your document.
  4. Fill in the form.
  5. Click the Submit button.

After you submit a document, you will see a confirmation screen. You will have the option to Revise Your Submission or Upload Another Submission. If you are finished uploading documents, you may simply logout of your account.

If you need assistance uploading files, please contact ScholarWorks at: 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }

What document types does ScholarWorks accept?

ScholarWorks can receive a wide variety of document types. The system can accept: .doc, .docx, .rtf, or PDF files, which are then displayed as PDF documents. Additionally, specialized image galleries can handle most standard image types including: .bmp, .jpg, .gif, .png, and .tiff. Any other file type will be categorized as "download to desktop," allowing users to access the file depending on whether or not they have the appropriate software.

{ top }

I don't have electronic versions of old working papers that I'd like to include in ScholarWorks. 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 ScholarWorks. 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. However, 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 ScholarWorks.

If you need assistance posting a print document, please contact ScholarWorks for assistance at: 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }

When I copy and paste abstracts into the Submit form, some text is missing, quotes look odd, or strange characters appear in the abstract. 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 may support fonts and special characters (like symbols or "smart quotes"). Because the abstract is intended to be presented on the web, the format of the abstract needs to be reduced to plain text with no fonts or special characters. We recommend the following changes to keep your titles and abstracts legible on the web:

  • Change "smart" single and double quotes to straight quotes
  • Change an ellipsis to three periods (...)
  • Change em- and en-dashes to hyphens

If you would like to use bold and italic in your abstracts, you may do so using the corresponding 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

{ top }

How do I include accents and special characters in the abstracts and titles?

The repository software supports the ISO 8859-1 character set (this includes the numbers 0-9, upper- and lower-case letters A-Z, and standard English punctuation). Although you may take advantage of the complete character set, we recommend you consider not using special characters as these may inhibit user searches, both on the web and on the site.

{ top }

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 using Adobe Acrobat, 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 Additional Files. These files will appear on the web page alongside the complete document. For more information about uploading associated files, see below.

{ top }

Can I post related files (sound clips, data sets, etc.) alongside the published article?

Yes! ScholarWorks refers to these supplementary items as Associated Files. You will be prompted to submit Additional 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. However, please realize visitors must have the necessary software to open your files.

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.

{ top }

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 ScholarWorks, you're welcome to do so. Permissions for many publishers can be found at SHERPA – RoMEO. Or assistance in determining copyright restrictions can be obtained by contacting the ScholarWorks staff at: 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }

A working paper in ScholarWorks 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. Uploading content into ScholarWorks would constitute noncommercial use.

{ top }

How do I know how many people have downloaded my papers?

ScholarWorks automatically sends out monthly download reports to individual authors. These reports will provide basic usage information.

{ top }

What are my rights as an author?

As the author of a work you are the copyright holder unless and until you transfer the copyright to someone else in a signed agreement. Normally, the copyright holder possesses the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, public performance, public display, and modification of the original work. An author who has transferred copyright without retaining these rights must ask permission unless the use is one of the statutory exemptions in copyright law.

{ top }

Do I have to sign the publisher’s copyright agreement?

The law allows you to transfer copyright while holding back rights for yourself and others. In most cases publishers require only your permission to publish an article, not a wholesale transfer of copyright. It may be beneficial to hold onto rights to make use of the work in ways that serve your needs and that promote education and research activities.

{ top }

What else can I do if I want to retain my copyrights as an author?

Publishers’ agreements (often titled “Copyright Transfer Agreement”) have traditionally been used to transfer copyright or key use rights from author to publisher. They are written by publishers and may capture more of your rights than are necessary to publish the work. Ensuring the agreement is balanced and has a clear statement of your rights is up to you. One way of doing this is to include an addendum with the agreement. SPARC – Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition Resources for Authors provides information and tools to help authors create these sorts of amendments.

{ top }

I signed a publisher’s copyright agreement giving them the right to control distribution of my work. Can I still upload my publication(s) to ScholarWorks?

Please be aware that if you have already signed over your copyright to a publisher or other third party, you may still be able to deposit your work into ScholarWorks. Many publishers allow authors to freely disseminate either a pre-print or even the final, published version of their document. To find out what your publisher allows, please visit SHERPA – RoMEO. Or contact the ScholarWorks staff for assistance with this at 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }

What is Boise State doing to promote open access to the research produced by the university?

As a metropolitan research university of distinction, Boise State is dedicated to disseminating its world class research. In support of this mission, ScholarWorks actively solicits faculty publications and research of all types, and within the restrictions of existing copyright agreements makes those resources freely available.

{ top }

Where can I learn more about my rights as an author?

For more information on author rights, please visit the SPARC – Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition Resources for Authors or contact the ScholarWorks staff at: 208-426-2580 or .

{ top }