Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is DigitalCommons@TMC?

DigitalCommons@TMC is an open-access digital repository serving the Texas Medical Center community, dedicated to providing permanent and free access to works authored by TMC scholars and researchers. Selected Texas Medical Center historical materials and publications are also collected here. DigitalCommons@TMC is also an open-access e-journal publishing platform. Two long-established e-journals are published here, and a third journal was just launched in 2016.

Can I add my own work to DigitalCommons@TMC?

Yes, you are welcome to deposit your works here, as long as:

  • You are or were affiliated with a TMC institution when the work was created
  • The work was created or co-created by you
  • You currently own or co-own the copyright

What kinds of materials can I contribute?

Formats and types of material eligible for deposit include:

  • pre-prints (unrefereed author version)
  • publisher-approved manuscripts (post-prints)
  • published works (subject to your rights to the work)
  • teaching and learning materials
  • theses and dissertations
  • working papers
  • capstone projects/student projects
  • conference papers/posters
  • self-published e-books
  • images/scanned documents/research data

Why should I want to deposit my works in DigitalCommons@TMC?

Safekeeping -- Community -- Convenience -- Distribution -- Networking
Placing your scholarly output in this repository means...

  • A copy is maintained for the TMC community, securely stored and backed up
  • A permanent, sharable link to each of your works is always available
  • Your work is easily discovered via Google Scholar, Google and other search engines
  • Your linked citation is incorporated into the shared index of One1Search, a search and discovery tool in use at this and many other libraries
  • An open-access avenue connects you to colleagues and collaborators around the globe

And...

  • DigitalCommons@TMC is part of a network of nearly 500 active institutional repositories hosted by the same provider. These are easy to explore in a single search- just choose "in all repositories" before launching your search. As of mid-2016, the Digital Commons network contained well over two million works of original scholarship, over 250,000 of them in medicine, health and life sciences. Downloads from these disciplines alone total over 36 million to date.
  • Placing your article, dissertation or thesis here makes it publicly accessible at no cost to you. Even if you place your dissertation in Dissertations & Theses Global, a database paid for by you and/or your institution, you have the right to deposit it in DigitalCommons@TMC as well, where its accessibility does not depend upon having a subscription.
  • Open-access papers are read and cited more frequently than papers published in subscription journals.

Can everyone view everything in DigitalCommons@TMC?

For the most part, yes; Digital Commons is intended to be a freely-accessible archive; but at almost any given time, a few works are embargoed, i.e., a delay period has been requested by the author or mandated by a publisher. Access to some dissertations and theses cited here is provided only via a pay-wall; full text of those papers is limited to users from TMC academic institutions. Other users can order documents directly from the database provider. This applies to UT School of Public Health's documents and some older dissertations from other UT schools. In every other respect, this is an open-access resource. Full text journal articles and other works are usually published under the Creative Commons licensing model.

Who manages DigitalCommons@TMC?

The repository itself is paid for and maintained by The TMC Library. Each participating institution or editorial staff sets its own policies and manages its workflow and content. The Library provides advice and technical support, and is in turn supported by the software provider. Administrative decisions for the site as a whole are made by the TMC Library, in consultation with participating communities and journal editors, as appropriate.

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Yes, as long as you are still a copyright owner. Please note that what you deposit in DigitalCommons@TMC will remain there for posterity.

Generally speaking, no. If you need to change a previous submission in some way, you may be able to submit a revised version, as long as your school approves it (dissertations and theses) or you have the publication rights. The document originally posted will not be removed from the repository, but it can be hidden from public view. To correct minor errors, the procedure is to submit an erratum note to accompany your original file, just as you would do with a printed document. If your document inadvertently includes information that compromises someone’s privacy, we can redact that portion (subject to your school's approval in the case of a thesis or dissertation.)

DigitalCommons@TMC accepts completed manuscripts and articles at any stage of publication, but please understand that whether, and at what point, a deposit is permissible is determined entirely by the policy of the publishing journal. It is the author’s responsibility to check any agreement signed with the publisher, check the specific journal's website directly for details on authors' rights, and/or look up the publisher's or journal's policy at the SHERPA/RoMEO site maintained by University of Nottingham. Some journals' copyright agreements allow authors to post published articles to institutional repositories, but most of those impose an embargo (delay) on posting them, so that open access does not depress subscription sales.

Check your author agreement with the journal. In most cases, this use of the original version of a working paper is unrestricted. It would be helpful and advisable for you, your readers and the publisher to add a note to the working paper's cover page, citing (preferably with a link) the subsequently-published article.

Yes; in fact you will be prompted during the submission process to upload any "Associated Files". Please secure and document the necessary permissions before posting accompanying files of any kind, in any format, that come from other sources.

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Posting Content - How To's

How do I add my scholarly content to DigitalCommons@TMC?

Normally, content is added via the academic communities that contribute to the repository. The TMC institution with which you are affiliated may be one such group, and it may include a sub-group specific to you. Check this repository's website for an outline of these communities. Each has submission guidelines for its own content, along with administrative workflows supporting the submission, approval and upload of materials. The section of the Digital Commons site devoted to your community will include instructions and guidelines for uploading your content. You will need to establish a personal account (click "My Account") as a first step to submitting your work. If you belong to an institution in the Texas Medical Center that is not listed here, please contact the repository administrator for help.

What file formats does the repository accept?

A variety of file types can be uploaded. For dissertations and theses specifically, Word or PDF files (with or without Optical Character Recognition) are the most-used submission formats. A variety of other formats is also accommodated, including but not limited to Excel documents, images, PowerPoint, audio and video files. For dissertations and theses that include separate files, these are referred to as associated files. After submitting your main document, you can upload the associated file(s). For the most part, images, charts and tables referenced in your document are better embedded into the text or included in an appendix. Separate associated files, data sets for instance, will appear alongside your document; however, the reader must supply the appropriate programs to open these files.

How do I revise a document that’s already been submitted?

  1. From the My Account page, click Submission Management.
  2. If your work has been submitted, but not yet posted, look for it under "Pending Submissions" and click on the title. If the work has already been posted, you will need to contact us to see whether you can have the work revised.
  3. Click Revise Submission at top left of page. A form will appear. Enter your changes (no need to re-fill the entire form, just edit the relevant sections) and at the bottom of the page, click Submit. You can make revisions to all article metadata, as well as upload a new version of the full-text using this form. If your paper has been submitted but not yet posted, you may be able to withdraw it and submit a corrected copy. For a dissertation or thesis, you must consult your school and follow that procedure.

Can I use special formatting and characters? What about adding html code to format the text in my abstract?

Yes, Digital Commons software handles special characters and html.

Can I submit multi-part files?

Yes. Treat very large files, such as book chapters, separately for others' convenience in downloading. We suggest submitting a single file with all content, as well as uploading the chapters or sections singly as "Associated Files". Using Adobe, you can also do the opposite- combine separate files into one file.

More questions? Contact us!

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