Purdue e-Pubs: Policies and Help Documentation

  1. About e-Pubs
  2. How to Add Documents to e-Pubs Collections
  3. Author Agreements and Copyright
  4. Withdrawing Content
  5. Related Readings/Links
  6. Contacts
  7. Footnotes

1. About e-Pubs

What is Purdue e-Pubs?

Purdue e-Pubs is the scholarly publications component of Purdue Digital Repositories, a digital repository maintained by Purdue University Libraries. The Purdue Digital Repositories are both a repository and a service to collect, organize, store, and share the scholarly output of Purdue University. The repositories are comprised of three parts: e-Archives, the Purdue University Research Repository (PURR), and Purdue e-Pubs. Purdue e-Pubs is the component for journal articles, technical reports, working papers, conference papers, workshop materials, dissertations, and similar works of a scholarly nature produced at or associated with Purdue University. Purdue e-Pubs is also used to host the electronic publications of the Purdue University Press.

Purdue e-Pubs furthers the engagement mission of the University by providing a platform from which the global community can benefit from the scholarly output of Purdue University.

What is an institutional repository?

An institutional repository is a service used to collect and disseminate the digital scholarly products of a college, university, research center, or other base of scholarly production. Institutional repositories are often managed by academic libraries, and the goals behind building a digital repository are to enable access to scholarly documents, to provide a framework in which those documents may preserved digitally, and to increase the visibility of those documents by disseminating them as widely as possible.

Use of Purdue e-Pubs

Purdue e-Pubs is an open access service, which means most of the contents of Purdue e-Pubs are freely available and can be downloaded by all with an Internet connection. [1] In some cases, document depositors may make arrangements with a Purdue University librarian to limit access to their Purdue e-Pubs content. In all cases, copyright to the items in Purdue e-Pubs remains with the individual copyright holders and is not transferred to Purdue University.

Why did the Libraries create Purdue e-Pubs?

  • The formats of scholarly communication are no longer limited. Peer-reviewed journal articles are frequently distributed digitally and augmented with supplementary material. Purdue researchers disseminate their findings through department publications, presentations, conference proceedings, and more as well. Purdue e-Pubs is a centralized service that allows the Purdue University community to manage digital scholarship in its many formats.
  • As the cost to acquire access to scholarly communication in its several forms (e.g, journals, books, databases) continues to increase, valuable content created at and associated with Purdue is increasingly inaccessible to researchers at institutions of all sizes around the world and to the general public. Some authors choose to host digital copies of their works on departmental or personal Web sites. Purdue e-Pubs provides Purdue scholars with a preferred means to provide Web access to their scholarly publications without having to manage Web space maintenance and related issues.

What kinds of documents are eligible to put into Purdue e-Pubs

Each Purdue e-Pubs community may make specific choices about what types of work they will highlight in each series. At its foundation, however, Purdue e-Pubs is a service established by the library to distribute scholarly findings, created in any digital format, across all of the university's departments and centers of research. The following guidelines have been established as a framework to guide those community decisions.

  • Typically, any document that represents the original work of a member of the Purdue University community will be eligible. For jointly authored articles, at least one of the authors should be affiliated with Purdue University. Further, any research-related publication issued by a department or center at Purdue University is similarly eligible. Peer-reviewed journal article postprint [2] and departmental publication series are just the sorts of documents that Purdue e-Pubs has been established to distribute. Preprints, informally produced publications, and unpublished documents are also welcome.
  • The Purdue University Press also uses Purdue e-Pubs to host its electronic publications. Please contact the Purdue University Press director with inquiries on these publications.
  • The work of Purdue University undergraduate and graduate students may also be deposited if the appropriate collection for that work has been established. Please contact the Scholarly Publishing Specialist for more information about student work and Purdue e-Pubs.
  • Users are not encouraged to post bibliographic citations or abstracts into Purdue e-Pubs without also depositing the referenced paper.
  • Any faculty or staff member affiliated with Purdue University may deposit materials. Materials created cooperatively with co-authors who are not affiliated with Purdue University are also accepted as long as at least one of the authors is affiliated with Purdue University. For further information, please consult Determining Whether You May Post a Document to Purdue e-Pubs. If you are not sure whether your document is appropriate for Purdue e-Pubs, contact the subject specialist librarian for your department, or send an e-mail to

Why should Purdue authors use Purdue e-Pubs to put their work on the Web?

  • Purdue e-Pubs is indexed by major search engines such as Google, and by academic search services as well, so scholarly works in Purdue e-Pubs are more easily discovered on the Web than they are on personal or departmental Web pages alone.
  • Depositing documents is easy, requiring no more work than the online submission forms for most journals and conferences.
  • Many publishers allow published research articles to be deposited in institutional repositories - often this is the pre-published version (the author's last version after peer-review), but sometimes even the published PDF versions are allowed on Purdue e-Pubs. See the SHERPA/RoMEO list for details about the policies of individual publishers and journals.
  • Download statistics for papers in Purdue e-Pubs are available to authors who supply e-mail contact information.

How is Purdue e-Pubs organized?

Purdue e-Pubs provides any Purdue community with a Libraries-sponsored Web presence that will showcase that community's own research and scholarship.

Purdue e-Pubs communities may be sponsored by colleges, schools, departments, or centers at Purdue. Communities may publish multiple document collections, or series, which allows each community to make individual decisions about the composition of their collections. For example, one community may decide to only include faculty journal articles, while another may include articles, technical reports, and presentations.

The communities may be divided into sub-communities, which are units within the colleges, schools, and centers, and these sub-communities may publish multiple series.

Once a community or sub-community has been established, members of the sponsoring group begin establishing document series in consultation with Purdue Libraries. The sponsoring group is responsible for developing content guidelines, identifying the content, and submitting it at their convenience.

The members of each Purdue e-Pubs community are responsible for establishing the policies and procedures that guide their submissions to the repository. The Purdue e-Pubs communities are also responsible for maintaining their collections and deciding who will perform the work involved therein. Types of maintenance may include making community policy updates, adding supplementary files to already existing documents, or replacing content.

The Libraries will assist any member of the Purdue University community who is interested in setting up a community. Contact your department's librarian, or e-mail for help and answers to your questions.

Who can contribute a publication to Purdue e-Pubs?

Decisions about contributors may be handled at the community level. In general, however, any faculty or staff member affiliated with Purdue and any of its colleges, schools, departments, labs, research centers, or institutes may deposit materials, including items that were co-authored with non-Purdue authors. Purdue e-Pubs actively solicits material that is relevant and valuable to the Purdue Digital Repositories' missions of providing access to the scholarly output of Purdue University.

What is the role of the Libraries?


The Libraries established Purdue e-Pubs as part of their mission to provide access to the scholarly output and communication of Purdue University faculty and researchers. In a step toward fulfilling this mission, the Libraries have adopted a system that supports interoperability with open access systems.


The Libraries support the bit-level preservation of digital objects, regardless of format, in Purdue e-Pubs. It is suggested, however that authors submit files in open formats (such as PDF, HTML, and plain text) to assist the libraries in ensuring that the documents in Purdue e-Pubs remain accessible as software to read those documents changes over time.[3]

Technical support

Setting up a community and a series is easy - librarians will provide assistance with decisions on access, description, and community customization throughout the setup process. The Libraries can speak with you about your copyright questions and then show you how to upload your documents. Depositors need access only to a Web browser to upload items into Purdue e-Pubs.

2. How to Add Documents to Purdue e-Pubs Collections

There are three steps to the basic workflow for authors to get their documents into Purdue e-Pubs:

  1. Make sure a community has been established to sponsor your document.
  2. Either request an appropriate series for your document within that community, or contribute your document to an already-established series.
  3. Await administrative approval.


Please contact the Scholarly Publishing Specialist at any time for help in getting your work on the Web through Purdue e-Pubs.

The following sets of guidelines for the community, for content, and for authors should be observed when building Purdue e-Pubs collections:

Community guidelines

Setting up a community and a series is easy. Librarians can provide assistance with decisions on access, description, and customized looks for a series. The Libraries and the University Copyright Office also welcome your copyright questions and the Scholarly Publishing Specialist is available to demonstrate repository functions such as document upload.

The Libraries provide support to administrators and depositors of all Purdue e-Pubs communities.

Author guidelines

Document Description

Metadata is information that is used to describe the content in Purdue e-Pubs so that it can be identified and discovered by users. The metadata associated with each item in Purdue e-Pubs is similar to the information in a library's catalog record for a book, providing useful information for searching (for example title, author, subjects, etc.). Certain types of metadata, such as author and title, are required for all Purdue e-Pubs items. Other types of metadata, such as keyword search terms, are optional and must be supplied by the author or community. By associating descriptive metadata with their documents, authors and communities ensure that their works will be easily accessed through tools such as Internet search engines.

Authors do not transfer copyright when submitting to Purdue e-Pubs but rather license the right for Purdue University to provide access to their scholarly material. By clicking on the license agreement, authors acknowledge that they have the authority to submit the work and that they will not infringe on anyone else's copyright by doing so.

Purdue e-Pubs License Agreement

I hereby grant to Purdue University a non-exclusive perpetual royalty free license to use, duplicate and distribute the work (“Work”) in whole or in part. The Work is to be deposited in the Purdue University institutional repository. I further grant to Purdue University the right to transfer the Work to any format or medium now known or later developed for preservation and access in accordance with this agreement. This agreement does not represent a transfer of copyright to Purdue University.

I represent and warrant to Purdue University that the Work is my original work and does not, to the best of my knowledge, infringe or violate any rights of others nor does the deposit violate any applicable laws. I further represent and warrant that I have the authority and/or have obtained all necessary rights to permit Purdue University to use, duplicate and distribute the Work and that any third-party owned content is clearly identified and acknowledged within the Work.

By granting this non-exclusive license, I acknowledge that I have read and agreed to (a) the terms of this agreement and (b) Purdue University's policy on intellectual property.

Authors often transfer copyright to a publisher at the time of publication. If the author of a given work has not reserved licensing rights during publication negotiation, then it may be necessary to request permission from the publisher to post the work on Purdue e-Pubs. The SHERPA/RoMEO site provides easy access to the general publication terms of many publishers, but publication contracts are typically negotiated individually, so only the document creators will know whether the precise terms of the publication agreement allow for deposit in Purdue e-Pubs.

The Purdue University Senate has indicated its support for authors who would like to reserve the necessary rights for Purdue e-Pubs deposit by approving the BTAA Author's Copyright Contract Addendum for use at the time of publication. The Addendum to Publication Agreements for BTAA Authors has been approved by the Provosts of the BTAA member universities.

4. Withdrawing content

Authors may request that their content be removed by their community administrator. Once a document is placed in the repository, however, a citation to the document will always remain. The administrators of Purdue e-Pubs reserve the right to remove material that does not meet the content guidelines and, conversely, the right to decline to remove material.



6. Contacts

If you have questions about the Purdue Digital Repositories or Purdue e-Pubs, or if you need technical support, send an e-mail message to the Scholarly Publishing Specialist.

If you would like to speak with someone about the electronic publications of the Purdue University Press on Purdue e-Pubs, please contact the Purdue University Press.

If you have a question about e-Archives, please contact the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections at

If you are interested in setting up a community for your department, or in providing access to your papers in Purdue e-Pubs, contact the subject specialist librarian for your area.


[1] See Peter Suber's Open Access Overview for more information on open access to scholarly publications.

[2] A postprint is a journal article that has been peer-reviewed. Postprints include both the publisher-produced PDFs often available through subscription as well as the author's last manuscript delivered to the publisher for publication.

[3] Many of the default file formats for Microsoft Office products are proprietary, but documents created with these programs can often be converted and saved in nonproprietary formats. Purdue e-Pubs cannot guarantee the future usability of files in proprietary formats (e.g., .doc, .psd, .mp3) and recommends the deposit of files in open formats instead. When the original file must be uploaded in a proprietary file format, Purdue e-Pubs recommends uploading a version in a nonproprietary format as a supplementary file.