Collection Parameters

Scope of Content

CommonKnowledge primarily collects scholarly and creative work created by Pacific University faculty, staff, and students. ‘Scholarly’ work may include formal publications, grey literature (research posters, conference papers, academic papers, white papers, technical reports, program evaluations, etc.), data or databases, or any other work, irrespective of format*, which is of potential value to scholars and practitioners in any discipline. ‘Creative’ work may include artistic and literary creations, computer code (software, applications, etc.), or any other work, irrespective of format*, which is a creative expression of an individual’s disciplinary skill or knowledge.

Non-Pacific Contributors

Scholarly and creative work created by individuals outside of the Pacific University community will be considered for inclusion only if the Requirements for External Contributors are satisfied.

Collection Dates

CommonKnowledge primarily serves as a mechanism for collecting the scholarly and creative work of faculty, staff, and students created during such individuals’ period of employment or study at Pacific University. While employed at Pacific University, faculty members and staff may also request the inclusion of work completed prior to their arrival at the University. However, in general, scholarly and creative work created prior to 1950 will be considered of historical interest and will not be included in CommonKnowledge (see Relationship to other Digital Collections).

*Subject to the format guidelines outlined in this policy.

Open Access

CommonKnowledge is an open access digital repository. By default, all content will be visible to public users. Except in certain circumstances (see Access Restrictions), both the metadata record for an individual item and the full-text (i.e. complete digital content) will be accessible to all users.

Content in CommonKnowledge is deemed ‘open access’ because it is openly available and free for personal use (as permitted by U.S. copyright law). Content is not required to be distributed under a Creative Commons license.

File Formats: General

CommonKnowledge is open to scholarly and creative work in any digital format. Any type of file can be made available for download, including, but not limited to: documents, audio files, video files, image files, data sets, presentation slides, and computer code. The following restrictions should be noted:

  • Full-text indexing of submitted works for the native CommonKnowledge search function is available only for those works in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Adobe PDF (.pdf) format (the latter only if it is text-readable or able to have optical character recognition performed).
  • There is currently no formal limitation on the size of files accepted into/distributed through CommonKnowledge; however, contributors are encouraged to limit file size to two (2) gigabytes. Files which would prove difficult for users to efficiently download over slower Internet connections may be compressed and made available as a .zip file.
  • There is currently limited support for streaming media in CommonKnowledge. If a contributor wishes a media file (audio or video) to be streamed in CommonKnowledge, the file must be hosted by the contributor (on a personal or institutional server, YouTube, or Vimeo), and the link provided as part of the CommonKnowledge deposit.
  • Future format migration will be performed as necessary/as possible. While there are no guarantees as to the persistent integrity of digital file formats, reasonable efforts will be made to maintain the integrity of .doc/.docx, .pdf, .html, .xml, .gif, .jpeg, .tiff., .aiff, .wav, .mp3, .avi, .mpeg, and .mp4 files (see Preservation for further information).
File Formats: Accessibility

The University Libraries are committed to making digital content in CommonKnowledge accessible to individuals with disabilities. Individuals contributing content to CommonKnowledge should ensure that their files comply with federal accessibility guidelines. Guidelines for individual files types (Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Acrobat, HTML, and multimedia files) are available at

Collection Priorities

Content recruitment and resource allocation for support and administration of collections will be determined by the CommonKnowledge collection priorities (in descending order):

Level 1 Priorities

Theses, dissertations, and other culminating projects (both undergraduate and graduate)

Exemplary student academic work (other than culminating projects)

  • Student publications*
  • Faculty publications*
  • Collaborative student/faculty publications or academic work
  • Faculty grey literature
  • Open educational resources

*Pre-prints, post-prints, or published versions.

Level 2 Priorities

  • Materials from scholarly conferences held at, or sponsored by, Pacific University
  • Collections composed primarily of content from external contributors (subject to Requirements for External Contributors)
  • Media files of student or faculty presentations or performances

Level 3 Priorities

  • Data sets or databases
  • University publications (from centers or offices) that are already openly available
  • Image or other media collections created by Pacific University faculty or staff and designed for use in classroom teaching

Level 4 Priorities

  • Administrative records or other documents from Pacific University offices or academic units
Approval of New Content Collections

CommonKnowledge contains standard collections for (a) student and (b) faculty work (publications, grey literature, or other general academic work) from each college, school, or other academic unit. There are also standard collections for culminating student projects (theses, dissertations, capstone projects, etc.) from each college or school, as appropriate.

Additional collections for specific types of content may be created at the request of faculty, staff, or administrators. New collections can be created in any of four (4) configurations:

  • Series: Appropriate for simple organization/dissemination of individual digital files (e.g. articles, posters, media files, etc.).
  • Monograph: Appropriate for organization/dissemination of compound objects (e.g. books with multiple chapters, editions, or translations; or primary objects with multiple supplementary files).
  • Image Gallery: Appropriate for organization/dissemination of digital images.
  • Conference: Appropriate for academic/scholarly meetings, conferences, and events.

Proposed content for collections must be consistent with the CommonKnowledge collection parameters and priorities outlined in this document. Proposed collections are also subject to the guidelines in Eligibility to Contribute and Requirements for External Contributors below.

All new collection requests will be reviewed by the Scholarly Communications & Research Services Librarian, and may be subject to the approval of the Dean of University Libraries. Collection requests that do not meet the requirements of this policy may be granted in exceptional circumstances and as resources allow.

Eligibility to Contribute

All current Pacific University students, faculty*, and staff are eligible to contribute to CommonKnowledge during their course of study or employment at the University (subject to the parameters of individual content collections, which are determined either by the University Libraries or the collection administrators, as appropriate—see Content Administration). Faculty and staff may contribute content created prior to their employment at Pacific University.

Pacific University alumni are also eligible to contribute; preference will be given for work creating during their course of study at the University.

*Adjunct faculty members must have a minimum of (1) academic year total service to the University to be eligible.

Requirements for External Contributors

Individuals or corporate entities who do not meet the criteria described in Eligibility to Contribute will be considered external to Pacific University. External individuals or entities may (a) contribute content to CommonKnowledge if at least one (1) of the following criteria is met:

  • content was created collaboratively with a current (at the time of submission) Pacific University student, staff member, or faculty member, and the Pacific collaborator(s) assents to the deposit in CommonKnowledge; or
  • content was created for an academic/scholarly meeting, conference, or event hosted or sponsored by Pacific University, and for which there is an existing conference structure in CommonKnowledge;
  • content was commissioned, distributed, or published by a Pacific University office or academic unit; or
    content is added as part of an approved collection created at the request of an external corporate entity.

External corporate entities may (b) request the creation of new content collections in CommonKnowledge if all the following criteria are met:

  • at least one (1) Pacific University staff member of faculty member is currently affiliated (in an official capacity, such as membership or holding office) with the corporate entity; and
  • at least one (1) Pacific University office or academic unit agrees to co-sponsor the content collection with the external entity; and
  • the external entity and Pacific University sponsor agree to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the University Libraries regarding the administration of the content collection, which shall include a provision for continual affiliation with Pacific University.

All proposed contributions and content collections from external individuals or corporate entities must be consistent with the CommonKnowledge collection parameters and priorities outlined in this document.