Frequently Asked Questions


How to use Smith ScholarWorks

Simply browse collections to find items you wish to view or download. All faculty work is open access, when appropriate their work is embedded in their respective records in order to enable viewing without having to download.
Accessing student work: Some student work is restricted and requires that you either have Smith credentials or be on Smith's campus to download the material.

  • On campus users: select the "download" button.
  • Off campus users (Smith only): select the "off-campus download" button and log in via Smith's Shibboleth.

Do not attempt to log in via a ScholarWorks account if you do not have a ScholarWorks account. A ScholarWorks account is not necessary to view or download items.

How To Submit FAQ


  • Who may submit items to ScholarWorks?
  • What kind of works may be submitted?
  • What file types and formats are possible?
  • How do I submit a work to ScholarWorks?
  • How do I know if I have sufficient rights to deposit my work in the repository?
  • What if the work contains images or other third-party content for which I was required to obtain permission prior to the publication of the work?
  • What is an embargo period, and how do I request one?
  • May I change or delete a work already submitted?
  • How will items in ScholarWorks be preserved and maintained over time?
  • Who can access my scholarship in ScholarWorks, and what can they do with it?

  • Who may submit items to ScholarWorks?

    Any member of the Smith community: faculty, student, or staff may submit an item to ScholarWorks, as long as they are the original author of the item and have retained sufficient rights to deposit the work in the repository.

    What kind of works may be submitted?

    Smith ScholarWorks houses works authored in part or in full by members of the Smith community that are scholarly, educational, creative, or of institutional significance and intended for wide dissemination.

    Faculty articles covered by the Open Access Policy:

    • Faculty, student and staff scholarly works
    • Student theses, dissertations, honors projects
    • Online journals, newsletters, and podcasts
    • Presentations, performances, and posters
    • Data and Datasets
    • Events and Performances
    • Grant reports, white papers, technical reports, supplementary materials, and other 'grey literature’

    What file types and formats are possible?

    The repository supports most file types, including audiovisual materials and datasets.

    How do I submit a work to ScholarWorks?

    Faculty and staff authors can submit work by contacting the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance. Student authors who are submitting dissertations, master theses, and honors projects should consult the Libraries Theses, Dissertation, & Honors Projects guide for instruction.

    How do I know if I have sufficient rights to deposit my work in the repository?

    The easiest way to find out is to contact the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance.

    For faculty-authored scholarly articles published after April 22, 2015, the open access policy applies (see Open Access FAQ) granting the college a license to all scholarly articles authored by faculty, allowing for the publication of the accepted manuscript version, reflecting changes made during the peer-review process, in the ScholarWorks repository.

    For all other works, including faculty articles published before April 22, 2015, you will need to check your publication agreement. If you have signed a copyright agreement with a publisher that assigns your copyright exclusively to the publisher, then you do not have any rights except those that the publisher gives you. As part of such agreements, however, publishers sometimes explicitly permit authors to deposit articles in institutional repositories, so long as they follow stipulated guidelines. Contact the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance in understanding guidelines.

    If you have ceded your rights to a publisher and your author agreement does not explicitly allow you to deposit your work in ScholarWorks, you may still be able to deposit under one of the following circumstances:

    • The publisher has a policy allowing you to do so. Many major publishers include clear authors’ rights statements on their websites, and many allow their authors to deposit a submitted manuscript version, (pre-print version), or the accepted manuscript version, (post-print version), of a work in a repository, sometimes after a short embargo period. The SHERPA/RoMEO site compiles many major publishers’ policies.
    • You request and receive the publisher’s permission to do so. You should make a written request even if you believe the publisher’s policy has changed since you signed your original author’s agreement. You should document this process by printing both your initial request and the publisher’s response. If the publisher responds with a link to their posted author rights or similar policy, it is wise to print that policy as well and to keep these materials together in a secure place.
    • Your work is subject to the open access policies of a government or private funder. Many funders now require that grantees make the results of funded research available via open access channels within a specified period of time.

    Articles posted in ScholarWorks will be in one of three forms:

    • Archived as published.
    • Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.
    • Author’s submitted manuscript.

    Remember that you are the copyright owner of any work that you author, unless and until you sign away your copyright to someone else. If you have any questions please contact the library for assistance.

    What if the work contains images or other third-party content for which I was required to obtain permission prior to the publication of the work?

    If you sought permission to incorporate images, photographs, graphs, extended quotations, or other third-party material in your scholarly article or other original work, you should review whether that permission covers publication in an open access repository. If in doubt, please contact the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance.

    What is an embargo period, and how do I request one?

    A submitter may set an embargo period during which their submission is saved in the repository but not available for public view. If you would like an embargo imposed, please contact the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance.

    May I change or delete a work already submitted?

    For faculty and staff authors:
    Because the repository is meant for scholarly work that is as close as possible to its final or published form, we prefer not to delete or change items once they are archived in ScholarWorks. Authors should only deposit in ScholarWorks the version to which they intend to provide permanent open access. However, in the case that an author wishes for an article to be taken down contact the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance.

    For student authors:
    ETDs deposited in ScholarWorks are a part of the graduation requirements of the student author's degree. All student authors sign a permission form at the time of deposit explicitly acknowledging the terms of future access. If you have any questions please contact the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance.

    How will items in ScholarWorks be preserved and maintained over time?

    We are committed to the long-term preservation of items added to the Smith ScholarWorks repository. However since permanent access is not a guarantee with any technology, we urge scholars to keep personal copies of their files in both print and digital format.

    Who can access my scholarship in ScholarWorks, and what can they do with it?

    For Faculty and Staff Work

    ScholarWorks is an open access repository for Smith faculty content, meaning that anyone can search, view, and download content. Users must comply with the provisions of the Creative Commons CC BY license if they intend to reuse your work. This license allows any user to copy and redistribute the material as well as adapt it for any purpose, as long as they give proper credit and indicate if changes were made. Under the Smith open access policy, upon written request faculty may alternatively opt for the more restrictive CC BY-NC-ND license which allows the user to share the material with proper credit, but prohibits both commercial uses and the distribution of derivative works.

    For Student Work

    Full-text access to many student theses, dissertations, and honors projects is limited to the Smith College community, and requires Smith login credentials. If you do not have a Smith login, you can access these materials by visiting any of the Smith College libraries or by arranging an interlibrary loan through your local library. The Five College Library Catalog indexes all theses and dissertations from the Five Colleges, including older works.

    ScholarWorks includes full-text access to theses, dissertations, honors and other projects are as follows:

    • Smith College School for Social Work Theses, 2007-present Available to anyone both on and off-campus (some with a 5 year restriction limiting access to the Smith community), anyone via interlibrary loan
    • Smith College School for Social Work Dissertations, 2009-present Available to the Smith community including off-campus access with a current Smith login, anyone on campus, and anyone via interlibrary loan
    • Smith College Masters Theses (non-Social Work), 2013-present Available to the Smith community including off-campus access with a current Smith login, anyone on campus, and anyone via interlibrary loan
    • Smith College Undergraduate Honors Theses and Projects, 2008-present Available to the Smith community including off-campus access with a current Smith login, anyone on campus, and anyone via interlibrary loan

    More resources:

    Additionally, by being a part of Digital Commons, ScholarWorks is able to access and integrate PlumX Metrics. Usage, Captures, Mentions, Social Media, and Citations are all metrics available to track a work’s impact, giving insight into the ways people interact with the research and scholarship of Smith ScholarWorks.



    Open Access FAQ


  • What is Smith’s faculty Open Access policy?
  • Who may submit items to ScholarWorks under the Open Access policy? What kinds of works may be submitted?
  • Who can access my scholarship in ScholarWorks, and what can they do with it?
  • What are my rights and responsibilities under the Open Access policy?
  • What file formats are accepted?
  • How do I comply with the policy?
  • What if the publisher’s agreement requires me to transfer all rights to the publisher? Am I still able to deposit in ScholarWorks?
  • What if the publisher’s agreement has language that requires an embargo period before my article can be placed in an open access repository?
  • Which version of my article should I submit?
  • What if the publisher wants to charge me a fee to make my article open access?
  • How do I opt out of the Smith College Open Access Policy?
  • What if the work has multiple authors, including authors from other institutions?
  • How do I know if I have retained sufficient rights to deposit my work in the repository?

What is Smith’s faculty Open Access policy?

The Smith College faculty approved an open access policy on April 22, 2015 which permits the college to disseminate digital copies of faculty scholarly articles published after that date. The policy reads: Subject to the Faculty Member’s right to opt out of this policy, upon completion of the final manuscript of a scholarly article, the Faculty member grants Smith College permission to make the article available to scholars and the public under the Creative Commons CC BY License, which is the most permissive of the Creative Commons licenses.

Who may submit items to ScholarWorks under the Open Access policy? What kinds of works may be submitted?

The Open Access policy guarantees sufficient rights for scholarly articles authored by members of the faculty and published after April 22, 2015. While ScholarWorks functions as a repository for Open Access works, it also includes many of other kinds of works as well, including books, presentations, and data sets by faculty, students and staff.

Who can access my scholarship in ScholarWorks, and what can they do with it?

For Faculty and Staff Work

ScholarWorks is an open access repository for Smith faculty content, meaning that anyone can search, view, and download content. Users must comply with the provisions of the Creative Commons CC BY license if they intend to reuse your work. This license allows any user to copy and redistribute the material as well as adapt it for any purpose, as long as they give proper credit and indicate if changes were made. Under the Smith open access policy, upon written request faculty may alternatively opt for the more restrictive CC BY-NC-ND license which allows the user to share the material with proper credit, but prohibits both commercial uses and the distribution of derivative works.

For Student Work

Full-text access to many student theses, dissertations, and honors projects is limited to the Smith College community, and requires Smith login credentials. If you do not have a Smith login, you can access these materials by visiting any of the Smith College libraries or by arranging an interlibrary loan through your local library. The Five College Library Catalog indexes all theses and dissertations from the Five Colleges, including older works.

ScholarWorks includes full-text access to theses, dissertations, honors and other projects are as follows:

  • Smith College School for Social Work Theses, 2007-present Available to anyone both on and off-campus (some with a 5 year restriction limiting access to the Smith community), anyone via interlibrary loan
  • Smith College School for Social Work Dissertations, 2009-present Available to the Smith community including off-campus access with a current Smith login, anyone on campus, and anyone via interlibrary loan
  • Smith College Masters Theses (non-Social Work), 2013-present Available to the Smith community including off-campus access with a current Smith login, anyone on campus, and anyone via interlibrary loan
  • Smith College Undergraduate Honors Theses and Projects, 2008-present Available to the Smith community including off-campus access with a current Smith login, anyone on campus, and anyone via interlibrary loan

More resources:

More resources:

Additionally, by being a part of Digital Commons, ScholarWorks is able to access and integrate PlumX Metrics. Usage, Captures, Mentions, Social Media, and Citations are all metrics available to track a work’s impact, giving insight into the ways people interact with the research and scholarship of Smith ScholarWorks.

What are my rights and responsibilities under the Open Access policy?

Under the policy, faculty grant Smith College the right to distribute their scholarly articles under a Creative Commons CC BY license. A Creative Commons license is an extension of copyright that permits the public to read, share, and modify a creative work under certain conditions, while preserving the author’s ownership of that work.

The CC BY license allows the user of the article to copy and redistribute the material as well as adapt it for any purpose as long as proper credit is given and the user indicates if changes were made. Under the Smith open access policy, upon written request faculty may instead choose the more restrictive CC BY-NC-ND license, which allows the user to share the material with proper credit, but prohibits both commercial uses and the distribution of derivative works.

The policy applies to all faculty articles published after April 22, 2015. Faculty may choose to opt out of the policy at any point, either for a particular article or for all future publications.

Authors can submit work by contacting the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance.

What file formats are accepted?

The repository supports most file types, including audiovisual materials and datasets.

How do I comply with the policy?

In order to comply with the policy, faculty are encouraged to provide the Smith College Libraries with a copy of the accepted manuscript version of any article published after April 22, 2015. Send articles to the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu.

What if the publisher’s agreement requires me to transfer all rights to the publisher? Am I still able to deposit in ScholarWorks?

Yes, Smith’s Open Access Policy operates automatically to give Smith a license to any scholarly articles faculty members complete after its adoption, Smith’s license predates this transfer of copyright to a publisher. Therefore, even if the article’s copyright is held by the publisher, that copyright is subject to Smith’s pre-existing license. Smith has informed major publishers of our policy, a step that provides protection for you in case you are asked to sign an incompatible agreement with a publisher. Publishers control the use of their published versions, but Smith’s open access policy gives us the right to archive accepted manuscript versions or submitted manuscript version in those cases where publishers do not allow their published version to be archived.

What if the publisher’s agreement has language that requires an embargo period before my article can be placed in an open access repository?

We can place an embargo on items at the time of submission. The record will be accessible, but the item will not be available for download until the end of the embargo period at which time it will be made available.

Which version of my article should I submit?

Our staff will review all versions and even citations of work. However, we encourage faculty to preserve their accepted manuscript versions (the final, edited, and if applicable peer-reviewed version) for submission to Scholarworks. If the published version can be archived, we will use the published version, but in cases where that is not allowed, the accepted manuscript version can always be archived.

What if the publisher wants to charge me a fee to make my article open access?

It depends on the situation. Some journals are entirely open access and sustained by article fees paid by authors rather than subscription fees paid by libraries; some of these are legitimate but others are predatory. If you choose to publish in one of these journals, you will need to pay the fees or seek support for paying the fees. Visit the Provost's funding opportunities Provost's funding opportunities website for more information or the Committee on Faculty Compensation & Development's faculty funding cheat sheet.

Some subscription-based journals offer a “hybrid” open access option, meaning the author can pay a fee to convert his or her article to open access. We do not recommend paying these “hybrid” journal fees. As noted above, Smith’s open access policy allows you to make your article open access through Smith ScholarWorks without paying these fees. In addition, these fees do not reduce the price that Smith or other institutions pay to subscribe to the journal.

How do I opt out of the Smith College Open Access Policy?

According to the policy, faculty may apply in writing to the Provost/dean of faculty to request that the policy be waived for individual articles or for the faculty member’s work as a whole. Please notify ScholarWorks staff of any request to opt out. See the policy for more details.

What if the work has multiple authors, including authors from other institutions?

The Smith Open Access policy applies to all faculty articles, including those that are co-authored. Under copyright law, each author has a right to grant nonexclusive licenses--the kind of license faculty grant to the college automatically under the Smith open access policy. As a matter of collegiality, however, we recommend that Smith faculty consult with their co-authors and arrange for their permission before submitting to ScholarWorks. A Smith faculty member may always choose to opt out of the policy for a given article in order to accommodate the preferences of a co-author.

Please note, however, that for works not covered under the open access policy, you should only deposit a work if you are certain that you have permission from all copyright holders to place the work in the repository.

How do I know if I have retained sufficient rights to deposit my work in the repository?

The easiest way to find out is to contact the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance. .

For faculty-authored scholarly articles published after April 22, 2015, the open access policy applies (see Open Access FAQ) granting the college a license to all scholarly articles authored by faculty, allowing for the publication of the accepted manuscript version, reflecting changes made during the peer-review process, in the ScholarWorks repository.

For all other works, including faculty articles published before April 22, 2015, you will need to check your publication agreement. If you have signed a copyright agreement with a publisher that assigns your copyright exclusively to the publisher, then you do not have any rights except those that the publisher gives you. As part of such agreements, however, publishers sometimes explicitly permit authors to deposit articles in institutional repositories, so long as they follow stipulated guidelines. Contact the Smith ScholarWorks staff at scholarworks@smith.edu for assistance in understanding guidelines.

If you have ceded your rights to a publisher and your author agreement does not explicitly allow you to deposit your work in ScholarWorks, you may still be able to deposit under one of the following circumstances:

  • The publisher has a policy allowing you to do so. Many major publishers include clear authors’ rights statements on their websites, and many allow their authors to deposit a submitted manuscript version, (pre-print version), or the accepted manuscript version, (post-print version), of a work in a repository, sometimes after a short embargo period. The SHERPA/RoMEO site compiles many major publishers’ policies.
  • You request and receive the publisher’s permission to do so. You should make a written request even if you believe the publisher’s policy has changed since you signed your original author’s agreement. You should document this process by printing both your initial request and the publisher’s response. If the publisher responds with a link to their posted author rights or similar policy, it is wise to print that policy as well and to keep these materials together in a secure place.
  • Your work is subject to the open access policies of a government or private funder. Many funders now require that grantees make the results of funded research available via open access channels within a specified period of time.

Articles posted in ScholarWorks will be in one of three forms:

  • Archived as published.
  • Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.
  • Author’s submitted manuscript.

Remember that you are the copyright owner of any work that you author, unless and until you sign away your copyright to someone else. If you have any questions please contact the library for assistance.