Policies and Guidelines

What types of materials are hosted in Digital Commons?

The repository is open to all faculty, staff, graduate students and affiliates of FIU. Submissions from undergraduate students will be considered on a case by case basis by the IR coordinator in conjunction with a sponsoring faculty member. Examples of possible content are (but are not limited to):

  • Working papers, conference papers, and technical reports
  • Faculty-student collaborative projects
  • Journals published by the FIU community
  • Published articles when copyright and/or license allow
  • Faculty course-related output primarily of scholarly interest
  • Organizational annual reports, newsletters, founding documents etc.
  • Data sets
  • Books or book chapters when copyright and/or license allow
  • Image collections or audiovisual materials, either primary or supplementary

Members of the FIU community interested in submitting work should work with the collection administrator or directly with the Institutional Repository coordinator and should review the policies and guidelines listed below. Different collections may have specific guidelines for submissions but basic guidelines and principals govern all work submitted to the repository.

  • The work must be original, produced and submitted (or sponsored by) a faculty, staff, student, organization, or department of FIU.
  • The work must be creative, scholarly in nature, research-oriented, or of institutional significance.
  • The author must own the copyright to all components and content within the work, or have received and be able to show permission to make the material available within the Digital Commons.
  • Authors retain the copyright of all works submitted and are free to reuse content as long as it complies with any other publication agreement.
  • All users must respect the intellectual property rights of the author and cannot copy, distribute, display, alter, or use for commercial purposes, any of the works unless otherwise specified.
  • The repository follows an open access policy but in some cases material may be available only to current college faculty, staff, and students.
  • At this time, there is no formal limit to size of material but Collection Administrators or the Institutional Repository Coordinator reserve the right to deny inclusion of artifacts that are too large.


Please note that the following content is NOT permitted for submission/publication to FIU Digital Commons

  • FERPA-protected information, including student email addresses.
  • HIPPA-regulated information (protected health information, including any information related to the past, present or future physical or mental health of an individual, except only if the individual has authorized release of his or her information in writing, and such release is in the hands of the publisher.
  • Content barred by law or regulation from publication.
  • Intellectual property for which the submitter does not have permission to submit and distribute.
  • Non-public personally identifiable financial or contact information of any kind including, but not limited to, social security numbers, credit/debit card numbers, account numbers, account balances, and private residential addresses, except only where such records preexist as legitimate publicly accessible records outside the university.
  • Photographic depictions of individuals in areas where reasonable expectation of privacy exists, except if all individuals depicted have given written consent to publication of their image.
  • Records protected by state privacy laws. Please note that privacy laws vary by state and protect their residents even when they are out of state.


Authors Rights

  • The author retains the copyright for all works submitted.
  • The author is free to reuse the content, but it is his or her responsibility to check the terms of the publication agreement if a document published in Digital Commons is published elsewhere.
  • Authors may update and add to existing works.
  • Author’s (or those submitting on behalf of an author) sign a Non-Exclusive Rights form outlining the terms and conditions under which the submission is made.  See Appendix A.


Users Rights

  • All users must respect the intellectual property rights of the author.
  • Materials may be downloaded for education and research purposes provided due recognition is given to the author.
  • Material may not be copied, distributed, displayed, altered, or used for commercial purposes, unless such use is specified.


Hosting your publications in Digital Commons

To create a new collection, each department, center, or research unit will work with the Institutional Repository Coordinator to determine the appropriate collection structure and guidelines for each collection.

An initial meeting with the IR Coordinator will help to determine scope of work including any special requirements on behalf of the sponsoring department (format, access etc) and timeline.

Withdrawal of Content

The FIU Digital Commons has been established as a permanent repository. Once materials are submitted and posted items CANNOT be withdrawn but can be hidden from view. All withdrawal requests must be submitted to the IR Coordinator using the withdrawal request form (See appendix). No materials will be removed without an attempt to reach the author. Possible reasons for withdrawal include factual inaccuracy, plagiarism and possible copyright infringement.  If authors who have submitted work to FIU Digital Commons leave the university, their work will be retained in the archive. If the authors would like to have new contact information added to their material in FIU Digital Commons, the IR Coordinator will assist them in having such information added. If a work is withdrawn, a citation including original metadata will always remain, but the work is noted as withdrawn. Sample statements might include “removed at request of author” or “removed by legal order”.