FAQs

Digital Commons@Becker

Digital Commons

What is Digital Commons@Becker?
Digital Commons@Becker is a digital repository for presenting and preserving the scholarly work created at Washington University School of Medicine. Administered and maintained by the Bernard Becker Medical Library, Digital Commons@Becker provides groups, departments, centers, divisions, or programs at the School of Medicine with a platform for creating customized collections that reflect the wide range of their scholarly output.

What materials can be contributed to Digital Commons@Becker?
Collections can include a wide variety of publication types and materials. Materials appropriate for Digital Commons@Becker include conference abstracts, manuscripts, capstones, monographs, book chapters, photographs, digital files, research papers, poster presentations, newsletters, data sets, sound files, working papers, videos, technical reports, annual reports, and more.

Who can contribute to Digital Commons@Becker?
Digital Commons@Becker is open to groups, departments, centers, divisions, or programs composed of faculty, investigators, or students affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.

How do I contribute materials to Digital Commons@Becker?
The staff of the Becker Medical Library will handle all of the processing, indexing, and maintenance of any materials submitted to Digital Commons@Becker. All you have to do is give us your permission to create a collection and tell us the material you wish to include.

Are materials searchable on Digital Commons@Becker?
Materials are full-text searchable. Digital Commons@Becker is optimized for fast and accurate indexing by Google and Google Scholar.

If materials are freely available, does this mean content can be redistributed or re-used without permission?
No. All materials in Digital Commons@Becker are fully protected under copyright. Access to the material in Digital Commons@Becker is free but the use of the material is still subject to the terms as noted in the copyright publication agreement form or license agreement signed between the author and the publisher.

Does submitting my unpublished work to Digital Commons@Becker constitute previous publication?
Submission of unpublished materials such as student papers or working papers are not generally considered as publication. Becker Library makes no effort to publicly disseminate the work further, nor does it perform peer review or other practices associated with the formal publication process.

Do submitters need to retain copyright to materials for works posted to Digital Commons@Becker?
Yes, some published materials may require contributors to retain the right from the copyright holder to submit a work to an institutional repository. Most journal publishers allow authors the right to submit the peer-reviewed version of a manuscript to an institutional repository such as Digital Commons@Becker. Contributors should review the copyright agreement form or the license agreement as signed for a published work to determine the copyright status. The staff of the Becker Medical Library will work with contributors to answer copyright questions including review of copyright agreement forms or license agreements. Please contact Cathy Sarli for assistance with copyright issues.

Can specific materials be restricted?
Materials (all or specific parts of a collection) can be made fully accessible to the public or restricted to a specific IP address range.

Are usage reports available on Digital Commons@Becker?
Comprehensive reports are available to allow contributors and groups to track usage statistics.

Can alerts be created for collections?
Digital Commons@Becker allows users to subscribe to a collection and provides automated RSS feeds and automatic email notification to subscribers when new content is published.

Can material be withdrawn from Digital Commons@Becker?
Digital Commons@Becker is intended to be a permanent repository for the scholarly output of Washington University School of Medicine. Contributors may request that certain material be withdrawn. Valid reasons for withdrawal of materials include concerns over copyright infringement or plagiarism, or retracted journal manuscripts.

What happens if a submitter is no longer affiliated with Digital Commons@Becker?
The material remains with Digital Commons@Becker.

How do groups, departments, centers, divisions, or programs affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine start a collection on Digital Commons@Becker?
Interested parties should contact Bob Engeszer or Amy Suiter.