Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ouachita Baptist University's Scholarly Commons?

The Ouachita Baptist University's Scholarly Commons is an institutional repository (IR) and publication platform that brings together all of OBU's research, intellectual and scholarly works, and creative material under one umbrella. Its goal is to collect, preserve, and disseminate digital copies of these materials produced by OBU faculty, students, staff, and affiliates. OBU's Scholarly Commons is an excellent repository for faculty working papers or copies of published articles and conference papers. Student presentations, senior theses, and other works, including images of artwork, music recitals, and digital videos of performances can also be published in the Scholarly Commons. To learn more about institutional repositories, please visit IR Research.

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Why should I contribute to Scholarly Commons @ Ouachita?

OBU's Scholarly Commons makes your scholarship available in a single place online, enabling global access. Research indicates that articles are cited earlier and more often if they are availabe lin an open-access repository like Scholarly Commons@Ouachita. This visibility creates awareness that benefits both you as the creator and Ouachita Baptist University.


  • Your scholarship receives high visibility in a centralized, online location where researchers can easily discover and cite your work (via searches in Google Scholar and other search engines).
  • The Scholarly Commons provides you with monthly readership reports for immediate feedback on your work and for inclusion in tenure and promotion portfolios.
  • The Scholarly Commons creates a digital archive of all your academic work, including previously unpublished work, conference presentations, and creative works.
  • Your scholarship is provided a context side-by-side with the scholarly and creative contributions of your colleagues.
  • Your academic work is included in the full range of research, which provides you with institutional recognition.
  • For your unpublished works, you retain copyright ownership and control your intellectual property rights while granting OBU's Scholarly Commons permission to include your materials in the repository.
  • For previously published materials (e.g. journal articles, books, chapters, etc.), the library makes every effort to obtain clearance from the copyright holder, thus enabling an electronic copy to be archived in the Scholarly Commons. Continuity assures that your work has a stable online location that can be cited now and in the future.
  • Every work deposited is assigned a unique, persistent URL so users can cite work freely without concern for broken links.

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Who can submit?

OBU faculty or staff may submit content to Scholarly Commons. This includes alumni, and former faculty and staff affiliated with any OBU school, department, center, or program. Additionally, non-affiliated scholars may submit material if they are co-authoring with Ouachita authors, have close ties with the university, or are submitting via a Ouachita-sponsored publication, conference, or event.

Students may also contribute their works to the Scholarly Commons. Some professors and/or programs may require students to submit their class papers or program projects to the Scholarly Commons. These may include honors theses, Scholars Day documents, and images of artwork. Faculty may also recommend and encourage students to submit work they deem outstanding.

If you are an OBU student, faculty, staff member, or affiliate, and wish to submit to the Scholarly Commons, please contact the coordinator, Autumn Mortenson, for more information.

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What is the submission criteria?

To submit work for inclusion in OBU's Scholarly Commons:

  • The work must be produced and submitted or sponsored by a faculty or staff member, student, organization, or department of Ouachita Baptist University.
  • The work must be creative, scholarly in nature, research oriented, or of institutional significance.
  • The author must sign a permission form prior to material being uploaded to the repository, granting Ouachita Baptist University the right to digitally disseminate and preserve the material. For works with multiple contributors, only one author needs to give permission for a work to be uploaded. However, other non-consenting authors of that work may request that it be removed.
  • The work must be original.
  • The author must own the copyright to all components and content within the work, or have received and shown permission to have the material available on OBU's Scholarly Commons. If your work contains images, music, data sets, or other material that is not original work created by you, you must include permission from the original content provider with your submission, unless your use falls within fair use under United States law ( If your work includes interviews, you must include a statement that you have permission from the interviewee(s) to make the interview(s) public.
  • The work and all materials must be in digital form. Ideally, all components will be provided as a set and in one submission.

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What types and formats of materials can be submitted?

Many types of materials can be submitted to OBU's Scholarly Commons. A single work may have many include different files, such as chapters, supplementary material, data sets, etc. There is no limit to the number of files attached to an entry. However, all files need to be submitted together. There is also no file size limit, but be aware that larger file sizes mean a slower download speed. Examples of possible content include:

  • Journals produced by the Ouachita community.
  • Published articles or preprints when copyright and/or license allow.
  • Books or book chapters when copyright and/or license allow.
  • Working papers, conference papers, and technical reports.
  • Honors projects, senior theses, and other distinguished student work.
  • Datasets.
  • Institutional or organizational newsletters, reports, and related materials.
  • Image collections or audiovisual materials, either primary or supplementary.

Types of file formats accepted are:

  • Images: TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF
  • Audio: AIFF, MP3 “unprotected” (DRM-free), WAV, AAC
  • Video: MPEG, QuickTime, Vimeo, YouTube
  • Data: XML, Comma-separated values

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I don’t have time to digitize all my publications. Can the library do that for me?

Yes, the Scholarly Commons Coordinator, Autumn Mortenson, may be able to help. Please contact her at, to arrange for digitization.

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How do I submit my work?

To submit your work, first download, sign, and send the Submission Agreement via email to the Scholarly Commons Coordinator, Autumn Mortenson, or via campus mail to Riley-Hickingbotham Library, OBU Box #3742, 410 Ouachita St., Arkadelphia, AR 71998. Then, email or mail the full citation and a copy of your work to the addresses above. Please contact the Coordinator if you have any questions.

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My work has been published in a journal, and I don’t know if I still own the copyright. Can I still deposit my work?

In many cases, yes. For published works, if you have transferred your rights to your publisher, you may still be able to archive and disseminate it in OBU's Scholarly Commons. Please check your contract, your publisher's website, or SHERPA-RoMEO (Rights Metadata for Open Archiving) to determine your publisher's policies toward self-archiving/depositing into institutional repositories. If you have an exclusive contract, you must observe copyright law by requesting permission to place the work in the OBU's Scholarly Commons. Contact the Scholarly Commons coordinator, Autumn Mortenson, for assistance in checking your copyright permissions. In the future, before you sign exclusive contracts, you may consider using the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) Addendum to Publication Agreement, which allows you to keep author rights to your article, including the right to deposit your work in an institutional repository such as OBU's Scholarly Commons.

In addition to checking copyright permissions, it is the submitter's responsibility to inform any co-authors that the work is being submitted to OBU's Scholarly Commons. For works of authorship created by two or more persons, one co-author must be affiliated with OBU. Subject to any applicable publication agreement, a single co-author may be able to grant permission for the work to be deposited in OBU's Scholarly Commons. Any non-consenting authors may request that the work be removed from the Scholarly Commons@Ouachita. Thus, ideally, permission from all co-authors should be obtained.

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What are my rights as a submitting author and who owns copyright for works in Scholarly Commons @ Ouachita?

PLEASE NOTE: The recommendations in this section are offered as guidelines and should not be relied upon for legal advice.

OBU does not seek nor claim copyright ownership of a work submitted to the Scholarly Commons, except for institutional works and works commissioned by Ouachita Baptist University. Authors retain copyright ownership and reserves all rights granted under US Copyright Law. These creative or scholarly works are protected by copyright law regardless of whether or not copyright notice appears on them. Thus, authors are free to reuse these works or submit them for publication elsewhere, but it is their responsibility to check the terms of any future publication agreements. Authors may also update and add to existing works.

For previously published items, the copyright may be owned by the author or by the publisher to whom those rights have been transferred. For questions regarding author's rights and copyright, please contact the Scholarly Commons coordinator, Autumn Mortenson.

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Can a submission be withdrawn?

ScholarlyCommons@Ouachita is a digital repository. Its purpose is to digitally archive the scholarly and creative works of Ouachita Baptist University students, faculty, staff, and affiliates and make these works freely and permanently accessible around the world via the internet. Once a work is deposited, it is our hope that it will remain. However, if an author wishes to have an item withdrawn, a written request for the removal of an item must be sent to the Scholarly Commons Coordinator at Additionally, Ouachita Baptist University does its best to check copyright, but if a breach of copyright or other intellectual property rights is found, OBU reserves the right to remove the work.

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I would like to use something I found in ScholarlyCommons@Ouachita. Can I do so?

All material in ScholarlyCommons@Ouachita, unless stated otherwise, is freely available for users around the world to view, download, and print. Users must respect the intellectual property rights and copyright of the author(s). Material may be downloaded for educational and research purposes, as allowed by fair use (Title 17, §107 U.S.C.), provided the author is given due recognition through proper citation. Additionally, users may not reproduce, republish, perform, alter, transmit, distribute, or use for commercial purposes any work from this web site in any physical or digital form without the permission of the copyright owner.

In select cases, certain material may only be available to Ouachita Baptist University students, faculty, and staff.

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Who can I contact for assistance?

You may contact the Scholarly Commons Coordinator Autumn Mortenson, Additionally, you may contact any member of the Scholarly Commons Planning Committee. Members are:

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