DigitalCommons@EMU is a service of the Eastern Michigan University Library.

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Digital Commons@EMU

What is DigitalCommons@EMU?

DigitalCommons@EMU is a virtual showcase of scholarly and creative works produced by Eastern Michigan University students, faculty, and staff.

DigitalCommons@EMU is a service of the EMU Library, and is designed to organize, preserve, and increase the impact of scholarly and creative work at Eastern Michigan University.

Why contribute content to DigitalCommons@EMU?

Content in DigitalCommons@EMU is easily discoverable through search engines, such as  Google, expanding the reach and potential impact of the research and creative achievements of Eastern Michigan University's scholars and enhancing the reputation of the University.

Benefits include:

  • Increased professional visibility. Other researchers can quickly and easily discover, and possibly cite, materials in DigitalCommons@EMU.

  • Permanence. DigitalCommons@EMU provides all works a stable online location that can be cited now and in the future.

  • Archiving. DigitalCommons@EMU relieves individuals and departments/schools of the need to upgrade digital files to keep up with technology.

What types of content can I contribute?

Faculty and student submissions must meet the following guidelines in order to be included in DigitalCommons@EMU: 

  • The work must be produced, submitted, or sponsored by EMU faculty, researchers, current students, staff, academic units, or research centers or institutes.

  • The work must be creative, scholarly, or research oriented, and merit preservation and dissemination.

  • The work should be in digital form. If parts of the item require different file formats, ideally all of the digital pieces will be provided as a set. (For example, a PDF document, with its associated data file(s).)

  • The author must be willing and able to grant Eastern Michigan University the right to preserve and distribute the work via the DigitalCommons@EMU.

  • A work can be co-authored by EMU-affiliated authors with non- EMU authors. The material’s EMU-affiliated co-authors are responsible for securing any necessary permission agreements from non-EMU authors before content is posted in DigitalCommons@EMU.

  • Bibliographic citations or abstracts alone are not accepted without the referenced works.

Individual departments and schools may develop additional guidelines regarding what intellectual output from their unit’s authors or creators they wish to archive in DigitalCommons@EMU.

Possible types of content include:


  • Published articles where copyright allows (including pre/post prints
  • Conference proceedings and papers
  • Presentation posters and papers
  • Books and contributions to books (where copyright allows)
  • Journals hosted by Eastern Michigan University
  • Creative works
  • Datasets (scientific, demographic, GPS, etc.) and other ancillary research material
  • Web-based presentations, exhibits, etc.
  • Audio and visual materials
  • Any other form of creative or research output that can be technically loaded to the repository


  • Dissertations and Master’s Theses
  • Master’s Capstone Projects (upon faculty advisor or department head/school director recommendation)
  • Honors Senior Theses

How do I contribute content?

Contact Julia Nims, the repository curator, at to get started.

The EMU Library will assist faculty who wish to deposit materials into DigitalCommons@EMU by:

  • checking the copyright permissions associated with published work on their behalf.

  • digitizing material not submitted electronically, as far as technology and Library resources permit.

  • uploading the materials into the repository and adding descriptive information (metadata) for each item.

  • ensuring all publisher self-archiving requirements are included in the material’s metadata page.

  • managing any time embargos associated with the work.

Are there forms I need to sign?

Before we can post any material, we require your permission.

Refer to any agreements with publishers to determine if you transferred or retained copyright.

Please contact the curator ( if you have any questions.

Where can I see examples of the different types of content?

The Digital Commons platform supports a range of content.

Browse the types of publications to see how other colleges and universities are using Digital Comons.

What are reasons content might not be added?

Some items that are otherwise acceptable may not be accepted for deposit into DigitalCommons@EMU if:

  • The item does not match the general parameters of creativity, research, or scholarship produced at Eastern Michigan University, or does not reflect its intellectual environment.

  • The item is in a file format that cannot be deposited for technical reasons.

  • The size of the item is prohibitive (for example, some very large sets of research data).

How do I withdraw content?

DigitalCommons@EMU is intended to be a permanent scholarly record of activity at EMU. Materials are removed from the repository rarely, and only in extreme conditions (i.e. copyright violation, invasion of privacy, libelous content, plagiarism). Material will not be withdrawn because the author/creator leaves the University.

Requests to withdraw faculty materials should be directed to the repository curator at Library administrators will consult with University Counsel to determine if the contested materials should be removed from the repository.  If they determine the content will be withdrawn, due diligence will be made to contact the first author/creator affiliated with EMU, and give reason for the withdrawal. However, the Library reserves the right to withdraw content immediately and without notification.

Requests to withdraw a master’s thesis or capstone project, or a doctoral dissertation should be directed to EMU’s Graduate School. Requests to withdraw honors theses should be addressed to EMU’s Honors College.

If the content will not be withdrawn, the repository curator will contact the requestor and explain why the material will remain on the site.

What happens when content is withdrawn?

In the event of a withdrawal:

  • The Library will add a comment to the metadata page with a message such as: “Withdrawn by Eastern Michigan University”; “Withdrawn at the author’s request”; or “Withdrawn at the copyright holder’s request.”

  • Neither the work nor the metadata will be searchable or harvestable by search engines. However, the metadata page will be available to people who have the persistent URL.

  • Copies of repository content or promotional materials that mention the withdrawn content will not be destroyed or removed from the repository.

  • The Library cannot remove cached copies of content from external servers.

What about copyright?

All materials in DigitalCommons@EMU are protected by copyright.  

Copyright policies for materials in journals/peer-reviewed series and events/conference proceedings are set by the journal editors and event sponsors.

If the authors/creators retain the copyright for the content they contribute to the institutional repository, they agree to grant Eastern Michigan University a royalty-free, non-exclusive license to use, re-use, display, distribute, transmit, publish, republish or copy the material for the purpose of including it in DigitalCommons@EMU.

If the authors/creators transferred the copyright for the materials they wish to add to DigitalCommons@EMU, they agree to provide copyright-holder approved versions of the materials to the Library and to adhere to the copyright-holders policies regarding copyright and self-archiving.

The EMU Library will not add material to DigitalCommons@EMU without author/creator agreement, even if the author/creator transferred copyright and the copyright holder permits posting.

If materials are in the public domain, the EMU Library will make every reasonable effort to get permission to post from the creator/author. If the EMU Library is unable to contact the author/creator of materials in the public domain, the institutional repository curator, in consultation with the Library administration, will decide if the materials will be added to DigitalCommons@EMU.

What about fair use?

Individuals have the right to download and print one personal copy of materials in DigitalCommons@EMU.

Unless otherwise indicated, individuals do not have the right to make additional copies, post, or distribute any of the materials, unless the use meets a reasonable determination of fair use. Any use of DigitalCommons@EMU content that exceeds these exceptions requires permission from the copyright holder.

Permission does not need to be obtained for linking to or harvesting DigitalCommons@EMU content.

Who do I contact for more information?

If you have any questions about DigitalCommons@EMU or these policies, please contact Julia K. Nims, the repository curator, at or 734.487.2507.