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CommonKnowledge Collection Policies

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Collection Management |Collection Parameters |Content Administration |Metadata |User Commenting |Preservation |Content Policies |Access Restrictions |Corrections and Withdrawals

Collection Management

About CommonKnowledge

CommonKnowledge is the online digital repository for the collected scholarship and creative works of Pacific University faculty, staff, and students—and of their collaborators from around the world. These collections, organized and made accessible by the Pacific University Libraries, demonstrate Pacific’s commitment to the idea that shared information and academic collaboration are essential to the “progress of knowledge” in our global community.

The creation and maintenance of collections in CommonKnowledge are guided by these values:

  • Increasing the impact of local knowledge. The intellectual inquiry and creative expression of Pacific’s faculty, staff, and students often result in work that has the potential to benefit people outside of the University.
  • Promoting discovery, innovation, and interdisciplinary work. CommonKnowledge provides a way for members of the Pacific community to not only share with those within their disciplines but to also allow their work to be discovered and used in new and unanticipated ways.
  • Preserving the availability of local knowledge. CommonKnowledge provides a persistent, long-term home for work created at Pacific University. By contributing their work to CommonKnowledge, students, faculty, and staff can be assured that their documents and files will be preserved and will be persistently available.
Relationship to other Digital Collections

The Pacific University Libraries maintains separate platforms for the curation of digital collections in different units. The nature and potential use of specific digital content will determine which unit should manage that content, and on which platform it should be housed:

  • Digital content which falls within the collection parameters described in this policy will be housed and managed in CommonKnowledge.
  • Digital content that is determined to possess predominantly historical value, or which is properly considered to constitute a primary archival resource, will be housed and managed by the University Archives.
  • Administrative records and documents from Pacific University offices and academic units will generally be deemed to fall outside of the scope of the CommonKnowledge collections; such content will be considered for inclusion in the University Archives.
Scope of Policy

This policy describes the relationship between CommonKnowledge and other digital collections held by the Pacific University Libraries, outlines the collection parameters and priorities for CommonKnowledge, and provides guidelines for the administration of those collections. Specific processes and workflows for the administration of CommonKnowledge are not included in this document.

Although University Libraries-published journals and monographs are accessible through the CommonKnowledge platform, such works are not considered part of the repository collections. Policies governing the creation, editorial oversight, and production of University Libraries-published journals and monographs are outside the scope of this document.

Policy Revisions

This policy is reviewed by the Open Resources Librarian on an annual basis. Final approval for policy changes is provided by the Dean of University Libraries.


Some portions of content in this policy were adapted from: University of Utah IR collection policy; MIT Libraries DSpace policies; Coventry University; BioMed Central; IDEALS; and OxyScholar.

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, gray 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).

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 iles (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 creating accessible files are available at

File Formats: Accessibility

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 gray 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, gray 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 Open Resources 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 created during their course of study at the University.

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.

(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.

Content Administration

Selection and Submission

The Open Resources Librarian is primarily responsible for (a) communicating the purpose of CommonKnowledge to faculty, staff, and students, and (b) identifying and recruiting content for inclusion in CommonKnowledge.

Content may be submitted to CommonKnowledge directly by contributors or by library staff on behalf of contributors. Submission by contributors requires the creation of a personal account within CommonKnowledge.

Submitted content is routed into a mediated publication queue; content will not be posted to CommonKnowledge until the following is verified:

  • The contributor is eligible (see Eligibility to Contribute and Requirements for External Contributors);
  • The content has been submitted to the appropriate collection;
  • All metadata required for the specific collection has been supplied;
  • The contributor has completed the CommonKnowledge submission agreement (as part of the online submission process for direct submissions, or as a separate document for mediated submissions); and
  • The file(s) supplied is the correct version, is not corrupted/unreadable, and (in the case of previously published work) does not violate publishers’ posting policies.
Editorial Responsibility

CommonKnowledge is open to eligible scholarly and creative work, whether or not that work has undergone external peer-review prior to submission.

The University Libraries do not provide editorial support or facilitate peer review for content in the repository. Individuals submitting work to CommonKnowledge, whether through an online submission form or through an administrator-mediated submission, are solely responsible for the content of their work. While the University Libraries reserve the right to request assurances or relevant documentation from submitting authors related to the legality of their submissions (and to delay posting until said assurances or documentation are received), CommonKnowledge administrators do not systematically review the content of submissions for compliance with intellectual property, privacy, or other applicable law.

Though works from University Libraries-published journals are accessible through the CommonKnowledge platform, content submitted to a journal is subject solely to the editorial and peer review policies of that journal and is not received or administered through the same workflows as content submitted for inclusion in repository collections.

Content Management

Excluding editorial oversight (other than determining that submitted content complies with the CommonKnowledge collection parameters and policies), the Open Resources Librarian is responsible for managing content in CommonKnowledge. Core content management responsibilities are:

  • Creating, and configuring, standard content collections, as well as any collections requested and approved by the Pacific University community or its collaborators;
  • Managing the creation, and consistent application, of relevant metadata to improve discovery and access of content collections;
  • Facilitating the submission and posting process for content collections (with the exception of those addressed in Independent Content Management below);
  • Obtaining and preserving appropriate license agreements from contributors;
  • Maintaining the integrity of the ‘version of record’ for individual works included in CommonKnowledge (consistent with Corrections and Withdrawals );
  • Determining appropriate access restrictions, if any, for individual works or content collections, and ensuring that such restrictions are correctly applied;
  • Making determinations on requests to withdraw individual works or collections from CommonKnowledge (consistent with Corrections and Withdrawals );
  • Performing an appraisal of long-term preservation needs within twenty (20) years of the creation of each content collection; and
  • Communicating with the Pacific University community, and especially with content contributors, regarding updates or changes to the CommonKnowledge platform or policies that will affect the access or presentation of their content.
Independent Content Management

Although the Open Resources Librarian is ultimately responsible for the administration of content in CommonKnowledge, limited content management functions may be delegated to other individuals for specific collections, particularly for those collections developed in partnership with an external entity or collections where independent editorial oversight is required.

Requests for independent management of new or existing content collections will generally be approved in the following circumstances:

  • The content in the collection is subject to the review/approval (prior to public posting) of the academic unit, office, or external entity from which the content was produced;
  • The content in the collection requires substantive editorial oversight and/or revision prior to public posting;
  • The collection is connected to an event (e.g. academic conference) and requires oversight by the organizing individual(s) or body; or
  • The content in the collection otherwise requires management or oversight beyond the scope of that provided by the Open Resources Librarian.

Individuals, academic units, offices, or external entities that assume independent management of a content collection are responsible for:

  • Collaborating with the Open Resources Librarian to develop consistent standards for the submission and description of content in the collection;
  • Ensuring that content posted in the collection complies with copyright and other intellectual property laws;
  • Ensuring that content posted in the collection does not violate any individual’s or entity’s rights (especially privacy rights);
  • Ensuring that content posted, and the administration of that content, complies with all applicable parts of this policy; and
  • Promptly reporting any technical errors or issues with the content collection to the Open Resources Librarian.

Individuals, academic units, offices, or external entities that assume independent management of a content collection retain the right to:

  • Determine who is eligible to submit content to the collection;
  • Determine what type of content is eligible for submission;
  • Determine the appropriate access restrictions (if any) for content;
  • Correct or withdraw content; and
  • Receive a copy of all metadata and digital files from the collection within (2) weeks of such a request.

Note – All of these rights must be exercised within the bounds of, and consistent with, this policy.

For content collections under independent management, the University Libraries retain the right to:

  • Refuse or de-accession content that is not within the CommonKnowledge collection scope, or that otherwise violates this policy;
  • Assume management of collections for which the independent manager(s) is not meeting the responsibilities outlined in this policy;
  • Distribute/redistribute metadata for all content to improve access or visibility of content;
  • Migrate content locations and formats as needed;
  • Set limits of content size and type, or determine an appropriate fee-for-service, if a collection requires the allocation of additional Library resources (system, financial, or human) to appropriately manage; and
  • Perform appraisal for long-term archiving when new content is not added to a collection for a period of one (1) year or more or within twenty (20) years of the creation of a collection, whichever comes first.

For content collections under independent management, the University Libraries commits to:

  • content (e.g. format migration) or system (e.g. system upgrades or outages); and
  • return content to collection managers if the Libraries cease to support CommonKnowledge.


Descriptive Metadata

A basic descriptive metadata record is required for all content contributed to CommonKnowledge. Required elements are:

  • Title
  • Creator(s)
  • Date (Publication or Creation)
  • Rights

Additional recommended elements are:

  • Description
  • Subject(s)

All metadata elements are coded by the system using the Dublin Core metadata elements (elements with an asterisk are automatically assigned by the system, but may be used for additional custom metadata fields):

  • dc:title
  • dc:creator
  • dc:description
  • dc:date
  • dc:type*
  • dc:format*
  • dc:identifier*
  • dc:source*
  • dc:publisher*
  • Dc:subject

Although the basic elements of title, creator, date, and rights are required, custom field display labels may be created for each collection within CommonKnowledge. There is no limit on the number of custom metadata fields (beyond the required elements) that may be created for individual collections.

Subject Headings

The default controlled vocabulary for subject headings used in CommonKnowledge is the Discipline taxonomy provided by the Digital Commons system. It is recommended that a minimum of (1) discipline term be assigned for each item contributed to CommonKnowledge.

In addition to the Discipline taxonomy, custom fields may be created for individual series if another controlled vocabulary is required (e.g. Library of Congress Subject Headings, Medical Subject Headings, etc.).

Name Authority

Only one accepted name format will be used for each individual listed in the ‘Creator’ metadata field of an item record in CommonKnowledge. The same name must be used for all item records in which that individual is listed as a ‘Creator’.

For Pacific University-affiliated individuals, the accepted name will be that used in conjunction with the individual’s Pacific University network account, unless a variant name is requested in writing by the individual in question.

For non-Pacific University-affiliated individuals, the accepted name will be that used in the initial metadata submitted to CommonKnowledge by the individual in question (or by an individual submitting on his/her behalf). Requests to use a variant name must be made in writing.

Institutional Affiliation

All individuals submitting work to CommonKnowledge are encouraged, though not required, to include an institutional affiliation along with their preferred name. For Pacific University faculty, staff, and students, the institutional affiliation must be ‘Pacific University’. Departmental affiliations, if desired, must be reflected in a separate field (e.g. ‘Comments’). For content that was created by faculty or staff before their employment at Pacific University, pre-Pacific institutional affiliations will not be recorded as part of the individual’s name/affiliation metadata (it may be reflected in a separate field).

For external contributors, the institutional affiliation at the time of submission to CommonKnowledge should be used.

Recommended Citations

A recommended citation for each item in CommonKnowledge is generated by Digital Commons. This recommended citation may be revised within an individual content collection to adhere to a specific citation style (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). The same citation style must be used across an individual content collection.

User Commenting

Commenting Functionality

An optional reader commenting plug-in may be added to a content collection at the request of the department/unit/school/office that provides the content for the collection.

Reader comments on CommonKnowledge content are not initially moderated; readers may post comments after creating an account (which requires provision of an email address) through the plug-in. However, all posted comments will be reviewed by the Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian according to the policy below (comment moderation/review will not be delegated, even for independently managed content collections).

Comment Moderation Policy*

The University Libraries reserve the right to remove a comment at any time if the comment:

  • is indecent, offensive, or contains negative content of a personal, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, or religious character—or otherwise appears to be libelous or violate the privacy of any individual or corporate body; or
  • purports to provide medical or legal advice and does not cite published literature as the basis for the statements therein; or
  • is irrelevant to the article or is otherwise trivial; or
  • appears to be advertising a product or service; or
  • is not in English (resources for confirming the content of non-English comments are not available); or
  • is otherwise deemed inappropriate.

*Adapted from BioMed Central


Content Standards

It is recommended that for text-based content, files be submitted to CommonKnowledge in the PDF/A format. Other recommended formats include: .pdf, .doc/.docx, .html, and .xml. For multimedia-based content, the recommended file formats for submissions are: .gif, .jpeg, .tiff., .aiff, .wav, .mp3, .avi, .mpeg, and .mp4.

While there are no guarantees as to the persistent integrity of digital file formats, the University Libraries will make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity of .doc/.docx, .pdf, .html, and .xml files. Content submitted to CommonKnowledge in formats other than those listed will be considered for preservation efforts on a case-by-case basis, as resources allow.

Format Migration

Every ten (10) years, the support for/utility of the file formats listed above will be assessed by the University Libraries. As necessary (and as possible), content in formats for which viewers/readers are becoming rare in common use will be migrated to new formats with broader support. (New formats that are experimental or lack an established user community will not be used without careful evaluation).

Outside of the ten-year file format review cycle, individual files/content may be migrated if it is determined that the original files have become corrupted or unstable.

Ubiquity Press

CommonKnowledge is hosted by Ubiquity Press. Ubiquity preserves all objects uploaded to the repository in their original format. This provides the ability to build in capabilities for either emulation (provision of a virtual environment that can display a digital object in its native format), or migration. Beyond this, Ubiquity is committed to making PDFs web accessible on a permanent basis. If Adobe changes Acrobat to such an extent that older PDFs are no longer readable, Ubiquity will migrate these objects to ensure they remain readable.


On an annual basis, the University Libraries will receive a delivery of all CommonKnowledge metadata and associated files via FTP or SFTP from Ubiquity. The previous annual delivery will be stored securely on a rolling basis on a hard drive, by the University Libraries.

System Migration or Termination

If the University Libraries ceases to support CommonKnowledge (as distinct from migrating CommonKnowledge to a new platform), all content will be transferred to the Pacific University Archives and to individual units/offices/schools/departments who request copies of content they (or their faculty/students/staff) have provided.

Content Policies

All contributors to CommonKnowledge are required to complete a formal submission agreement (or provide assurances in writing) that describes the disposition of intellectual property within the submitted work, and which acknowledges the contributors’ responsibilities with regard to the content of the submission. Depending on the configuration of the specific content collection, the submission agreement will be completed either physically, via email, or via the CommonKnowledge platform.


Contributors to CommonKnowledge must hold the copyright (either solely or jointly), or have the permission of the copyright holder(s) (with the exceptions noted below), for the content that they submit to CommonKnowledge. Copyright for content submitted to CommonKnowledge is retained by the author/creator/copyright holder(s); no copyrights are transferred to Pacific University or the University Libraries. However, contributors must provide Pacific University and the University Libraries with a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, display, distribute, transmit, copy, reproduce, archive or otherwise make accessible the content through CommonKnowledge.

Inclusion of Third-Party Copyrighted Materials/Fair Use

For previously published full-text materials (e.g. journal articles), the copyright status of each item will be reviewed prior to public posting in CommonKnowledge, and every effort will be made to ensure that ingesting and providing access through CommonKnowledge is in compliance with copyright holders’ stated policies.

For unpublished materials (e.g. student coursework, theses/dissertations, faculty or student conference presentations, etc.) assurances will be received from the creator(s) during the submission process that, if necessary, permission has been obtained from owners of third-party copyrighted materials included in the unpublished work. In the instance of a mediated submission wherein a formal submission agreement is not received, it is assumed that the creator of the work is not knowingly submitting infringing material.

The University Libraries do not review for compliance with copyright law the content of all such scholarly or creative unpublished materials that are submitted to CommonKnowledge. Furthermore, the Libraries fully support the right of our community members to make fair use of copyrighted materials (as outlined in Title 17, Section 107 of the U.S. Code) in the creation of their own works. The Open Resources Librarian will not make a fair use determination of submitted work; such a determination is considered to be the responsibility of the creator(s). However, in instances when it is readily and reasonably apparent that copyright law would be violated by posting a work, the University Libraries may request that the creator(s) obtain permission from any relevant copyright holder(s).

Collaborative Works

The University Libraries encourages submission of collaborative works to CommonKnowledge. When works with multiple authors, creators, or owners are submitted for inclusion in CommonKnowledge, the submitting author or owner is responsible for ensuring that the submission does not violate any existing contractual agreements governing the work and that the submission conforms to all applicable policies and laws.

Under United States copyright law, individual authors in a joint work share equal rights in that work (absent a contract to the contrary) and, as such, have the right to independently grant a non-exclusive license like that required by CommonKnowledge. Given this, the University Libraries do not require that all co-authors provide permission to post a work in CommonKnowledge. However, it is recommended that the submitting author consult with his or her co-authors prior to submitting a work to CommonKnowledge.

Exception – All student authors must grant permission for a shared work to be submitted to CommonKnowledge. Permission may either be granted explicitly or may be attested to by the submitting author.

Terms of Use

The following terms govern third party use of content contributed to CommonKnowledge:

General Terms of Use

For previously published works (journal articles, book chapters, etc.) for which the publisher retains copyright, permission has been granted (where necessary) to post this Material on CommonKnowledge. For any use which exceeds personal use or fair use, permission may be required by the copyright owner of the Material (see “Comments” section in the Material record).

For theses, dissertations, or other previously unpublished scholarly or creative works, the right to download or print any portion of this Material is granted by the copyright owner only for personal or educational use. The author/creator retains all proprietary rights, including copyright ownership. Any editing, other reproduction or other use of this Material by any means requires the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Except as provided above, or for any other use that is allowed by fair use (Title 17, §107 U.S.C.), you may not reproduce, republish, post, transmit or distribute any Material from this web site in any physical or digital form without the permission of the copyright owner of the Material.

Inquiries regarding further use of these materials should be addressed to:

CommonKnowledge Rights
Pacific University Library
2043 College Way
Forest Grove, OR 97116

Email inquiries may be directed to:

Terms of Use for Creative Commons-Licensed Works

For works posted in CommonKnowledge that display a Creative Commons license in their record and/or on the work itself, the use of that work is governed by the terms of the license selected by the content creator.

For more information about Creative Commons licenses, or to license your own work, please visit Creative Commons.

Take-Down Policy

To assure compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the University Libraries have instituted the follow policy to address claims of copyright infringement in works contributed to CommonKnowledge:

Persons who have questions, or who believe that their copyrights have been infringed upon by the posting of material to CommonKnowledge, may contact the administrators at:

CommonKnowledge Rights
Pacific University Library
2043 College Way
Forest Grove, OR 97116

Email inquiries may be directed to:

Requests to remove materials from CommonKnowledge should include:

  • A physical or electronic signature of the owner, or authorized agent of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
  • Clear identification of the copyrighted work(s) claimed to have been infringed.
  • Clear identification of the material in CommonKnowledge that is claimed to be infringing, including the URL(s).
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit the University Libraries to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
  • A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
  • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and if applicable, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

The University Libraries will respond to take-down questions and requests within one week (five business days). If, within that time frame, the Libraries are not able to determine that the use of the work in question is lawful, access to the work through CommonKnowledge will be removed.


No works that infringe on an individual’s privacy rights under law or under the Pacific University Privacy Policy may be submitted for inclusion in CommonKnowledge. Upon notification that content in CommonKnowledge (a) infringes on an individual’s privacy rights under law, (b) is in violation of the Pacific University Privacy Policy, or (c) is in violation of FERPA, HIPAA, or other relevant privacy laws, the Open Resources Librarian will, in consultation with the contributor, immediately withdraw or amend said content in a manner consistent with the procedures outlined in this policy (see Corrections and Withdrawals).


The University Libraries fully support the intellectual and academic freedom of the faculty, staff, and students within the Pacific University community. However, the Libraries also recognize that those freedoms may only be exercised to the extent that they do not become unlawful. As such, the Libraries require that contributors to CommonKnowledge refrain from statements that would be considered defamatory in a court of law.

As with the use of third-party copyright materials, the University Libraries will not review content submitted to CommonKnowledge for the inclusion of potentially defamatory material. However, if material of a defamatory nature comes to the attention of the University Libraries, such material may be removed from CommonKnowledge without notice.

Any individual who believes that content in CommonKnowledge may be defamatory of them or others must inform the Open Resources Librarian as soon as possible. Defamation claims may be submitted to:

CommonKnowledge – Defamation Claims,
Pacific University Library
2043 College Way
Forest Grove, OR 97116

Email inquiries may be directed to:

Claims of defamation should include:

  • A physical or electronic signature of the individual claiming defamation (of self or others).
  • Clear identification of the content in CommonKnowledge which is believed to contain defamatory statements, including the URLS(s).
  • Clear description of the defamatory statements, as well as the rationale for the defamation claim.
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit the University Libraries to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.

Upon receipt of a defamation claim, the Open Resources Librarian will disable access to the content in question and will consult with Pacific University’s legal counsel regarding the merits of the claim. If, after this consultation, the content is determined not to be defamatory, access may be restored.

The University Libraries, pending consultation with legal counsel, may also remove potentially defamatory content which comes to light independently apart from this claims/complaint procedure.

*Adapted from Coventry University

Human Subject Research

Unpublished products (e.g. manuscripts, posters, datasets, etc.) of human subjects research will only be accepted for inclusion in CommonKnowledge under the following conditions:

  • The associated research study was approved by the Pacific University Institutional Review Board*;
  • The distribution of research results through the repository is consistent with the nature of dissemination described to research subjects in the study’s informed consent document;
  • The distribution of research results through the repository has been approved by study sponsors/funders; and /li>
  • Appropriate measures consistent with the study’s protocol have been taken to ensure that distribution of results through the repository does not place subjects’ privacy at additional risk. The University Libraries reserve the right to confirm approval of associated studies with the Institutional Review Board prior to making submitted research products accessible.

*For research products that are the result of collaborative research and for which ethical oversight has been ceded to another institution’s IRB, the approval of that IRB shall be sufficient. Products of international research collaborations for which ethical oversight has been provided in another country will be accepted for deposit upon assurance of ethical review by an IRB or relevant analogous body.

Datasets and Databases

All data products derived from (a) human subject research, (b) private educational records, (c) private health records, or (d) any other data source that is considered private by law must comply with the following guidelines prior to deposit in CommonKnowledge:

  • Depositor must obtain appropriate consent and/or authorization for the collection/use of the data that does not include language that would prohibit the data from being distributed through the repository; and
  • As appropriate given the terms of said consent and/or authorization, all direct identifiers must have been removed prior to deposit. For data covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule, all 18 identifiers must be removed (unless appropriate authorization has been granted for other forms of disclosure).

The University Libraries reserve the right to request documentation of appropriate consent and/or authorization for use of the data prior to making submitted data products accessible. Data derived from human subject research studies is also subject to the conditions of deposit for such studies described elsewhere in this policy.

Access Restrictions

By default, all content in CommonKnowledge will be visible and fully accessible to public users—this includes both the metadata record and the full-text (i.e. complete digital content) for individual items. However, in certain circumstances, it may be necessary or appropriate to place access restrictions on individual items or content collections. For example, a publisher may require an embargo of six to twelve months before making a journal article publicly accessible.

Access restrictions in CommonKnowledge may be requested during the submission process by an individual contributor or by the academic unit, office, or external entity from which a content collection was produced. Access restrictions requested by student contributors must be approved by their school, program, or department, as appropriate. The University Libraries may also impose access restrictions on content in response to concerns about unlawful or unethical content (see Content Policies). Access may be restricted either at the individual item level or at the collection level.

Access Levels

There are currently three levels of access restrictions available for content in CommonKnowledge:

Institution-only access

The full-text of content may be downloaded only by logging in to CommonKnowledge with a email address. This can include off-campus access via a proxy server.

Closed access

The full-text of content is embargoed (i.e. accessible to no one) for a specific period of time (either 6, 12, or 24 months), but the metadata record is publicly visible.

Dark access

Content is submitted to CommonKnowledge, but is not publicly posted (i.e. public metadata record is created). This option is available only in cases where legal or personal safety issues are present. Dark access may be temporary or maintained indefinitely.

Institution-only access and closed access are available both for individual items and for entire content collections; dark access is available only for individual items.

Changing Access Levels

If an individual contributor or academic unit, office, or external entity for which a content collection was produced wishes to change the access level for an item or collection, such a request must be made in writing to the repository manager via email at

Renewing Access Restrictions

If an access restriction on an item or collection has been set for a specific period of time, the access level will automatically revert to open access at the expiration of the restricted period, unless the Open Resources Librarian is notified in writing at least 48 hours in advance by the individual or group who contributed the content in question. The contributing individual or group is responsible for renewing a temporary restriction; no reminders will be sent by the University Libraries prior to the time period lapsing.

Corrections and Withdrawals

CommonKnowledge is intended to provide persistent access to scholarly and creative works—to serve as an authoritative record of each work’s provenance and to maintain a reliable version of record for each work. As such, items contributed to CommonKnowledge should be considered permanent additions to the scholarly record. However, in some instances, it may be appropriate to provide access to a corrected version of a work or to withdraw a work from CommonKnowledge. The options for correction or withdrawal will vary upon the nature of the work and the unique circumstances of the request for such action.

Corrections or Retractions of Published Works

In order to ensure that all users who access scholarly articles (pre-prints, post-prints, or published PDFs) through CommonKnowledge have an avenue to be apprised of corrections or retractions made by the article’s publisher, the DOI or other persistent identifier that links to the article on the publisher’s website will be provided within the metadata for each article posted in CommonKnowledge.

If the University Library is notified of a correction or retraction to a published article, an appropriate prominent notation will be made in the CommonKnowledge record and a link to the notice of correction or retraction provided within the metadata for that article. If possible for corrected articles, an updated version of the article will be posted, and access to the original version will be maintained as a supplemental file. For retracted articles, access to the original version will be maintained, but a watermark will be added to the document to indicate its retraction by the publisher.

Correction or Withdrawal of Unpublished Works

Works should generally not be modified once they are deposited, so as to preserve the integrity and accuracy of the scholarly record. If there are discrepancies in the descriptive record (metadata) for a work, depositors may request corrections by contacting the CommonKnowledge Administrator.

In general, corrections to unpublished works* contributed to CommonKnowledge will only be permitted if the error(s) for which correction is requested by the author(s) seriously affect the scholarly record (e.g., if accuracy/intended meaning, scientific reproducibility, or author reputation is judged to be compromised). Errors in an unpublished work that do not affect the contribution in a material way (e.g. minor grammatical or typographical errors that do not affect the meaning of the work), and that were not introduced by the University Libraries in the process of posting the work to CommonKnowledge, will usually not be corrected.

In instances where a correction is made to a work, the corrected work will be made available as the primary download, but an errata note will be added to the metadata record that describes that nature of the correction and the date the corrected work became available. The original version of the work will be retained within CommonKnowledge, but will not be visible or accessible to users.


In order to preserve the integrity and accuracy of the scholarly record, works contributed to CommonKnowledge will only be withdrawn under limited circumstances. Such circumstances include notification by an author, contributor, or other affected party that a work: (a) contains factual inaccuracies, (b) contains plagiarism, (c) infringes on copyright or any other intellectual property right, (d) infringes on an individual or corporate privacy right, or (e) includes defamatory statements. [Note: Works will not be withdrawn if the contributing author (i.e. faculty or staff member) leaves the employ of Pacific University (in such cases, updated contact information may be added to the record, but the item metadata and access will not be changed).]

Any request for withdrawal must be made to the Open Resources Librarian. Requests based on claims of copyright infringement will be subject to the CommonKnowledge Take-Down Policy. Requests based on claims of defamation will be handled as described in the Defamation section. All other requests are subject to the following procedures:

  • Requests for withdrawal may be made by authors or contributors of the work in question, or by any other affected party.
  • Requests must be made in writing.
  • Pending a final determination, full-text access to the work in question will be temporarily disabled for all users.
  • No content will be permanently removed from CommonKnowledge without an attempt to reach the author.
  • All determinations as to permanent withdrawal will be made within (10) working days of the initial request.

If it is determined that a work should be withdrawn from CommonKnowledge, full-text access to that work will be removed permanently for all users. However, in order to preserve the scholarly record—and because the withdrawn work may have been cited using the CommonKnowledge URL—a metadata “tombstone” will be maintained at the original URL. This will include the original metadata for the work, as well as a note in the record that describes the purpose for the withdrawal: either “Removed at author’s request”, “Removed at Pacific University Libraries’ discretion”, or “Removed by legal order”. This metadata record will be visible, but will be removed from further indexing by web search engines and made unavailable for metadata harvesting.

DownloadCommonKnowledge Collection Policies

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