Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

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

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

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 OneSearch, 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

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 selective UTHealth School of Public Health's documents and some older dissertations from other UTHealth 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.

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.

All articles published on Digital Commons@TMC are automatically indexed on Google and Google Scholar. Unfortunately, these are not indexed in WorldCat, or any of the other databases. If your thesis/dissertation has been published in an academic journal after you have submitted yours to your school's thesis/dissertation page, please contact us to let us know which journal it is published so it can be updated accordingly to increase your article downloads via DigitalCommons@TMC.

Other services we provide include helping you publish your peer-reviewed academic journal, hosting conference/symposium workshop content and hosting your research data without sensitive information. For more info, please visit Get Started Guide.

The short answer is no. The existing collections that are able to pull in populate with dissertation metadata from ProQuest (like UTHealth School of Public Health Dissertations (Via ProQuest)) are grandfathered in functionality that pre-existing to current formats. New pages on DigitalCommons@TMC can only be created like Cizik School of Nursing Dissertations (Open Access).

Copyright Issues, Permissions, Publisher Policies

Yes, as long as you are still a copyright owner. Please note 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.

Positing Content - How To's

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. 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 not listed, please contact usfor help.

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.

  • From the My Account page, click Submission Management.
  • 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.
  • 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,consult your school and follow its procedures.

Yes, Digital Commons software handles special characters and html. If submitting an abstract in HTML format, please be sure to select the corresponding option on the submission form.

The following HTML tags are recognized by the system and may be used to format an abstract (use lowercase tags):

  • <p> - paragraph
  • <br> - line break
  • <strong> - strong/bold
  • <em> - italics/emphasis
  • <sub>- subscript
  • <sup> - superscript

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 individually as "Associated Files." Using Adobe, you can also do the opposite- combine separate files into one file. More questions? Contact us.

After Posting Content: Additional Questions

The short answer is no. Despite theses having always been public, the question of whether open access e-theses (OAETs) are considered “pre-published” that may inhibit future publishing opportunities in academic journals is a myth. A thesis can now be discovered and read by anyone in the world with an open Internet connection simply by publishing them on institutional repositories such as DigtialCommons@TMC or other pre-print servers. Evidence shows publishers do not view open theses as prior publication. (Christian Gilliam & Christine Daoutis (2019) Can Openly Accessible E- Theses Be Published as Monographs? A Short Survey of Academic Publishers, The Serials Librarian, 75:1-4, 5-12, DOI: 10.1080/0361526X.2019.1589633)

PlumX Metrics are integrated into a number of Digital Commons reporting tools for multiple ways to gain insight about repository usage. You can access PlumX Metrics when you view the Digital Commons Dashboard or Author Dashboard, plus article-level pages in Digital Commons display PlumX Metrics to showcase impact in context.

PlumX has been providing Twitter based metrics such as tweets and retweets as part of social media metrics and to help users gain insights and track performance. Due to changing market conditions around cost, Twitter based metrics would no longer be available, For more info on tracking real time usage statistics for your posted work, see Author Dashboard: Real-Time Usage Statistics for Authors.