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How to contribute your work to the Digital Conservancy

It's quick, easy, and free to contribute content to the Digital Conservancy! Requirements for submission include:

  • Contributors must be U of M affiliates with a valid Internet ID.
  • The Digital Conservancy must be granted permission (via our Deposit Agreement) to distribute and preserve all works placed in the repository. The author/original copyright owner retains copyright on all works.
  • Works must be free from any restrictions and be appropriate for open access by all users of the Digital Conservancy (see a list of issues to consider below).
  • Student submissions are mediated through University program offices (e.g. Graduate School, Honors Program). For undergraduate or UROP students, see this FAQ on submitting your work.

On this page:

Submit your work

To upload your work, sign in to the Digital Conservancy (upper-right corner of screen) and click on "New Submission". Follow the on-screen instructions. Not all works are suitable for deposit into the Digital Conservancy. Please review the Issues to consider before you deposit.

Choosing a collection

New contributors to the Conservancy will have a few options to choose from, which are outlined in the table below. If you need to upload work to a collection not on this list, or would like to create a new collection, please contact us.

Collection What to contribute What to expect
Inbox for New Users If you have never contributed work to the Digital Conservancy before, this collection provides a simplified submission process to get you started. Digital Conservancy staff will contact you to determine which collection best fits your work, or we will create a new collection.
Articles and Scholarly Works (campus specific) Upload your work for open-access (i.e. pre-prints, post-prints, and published manuscripts, as well as supplementary information or some capstone projects). Staff will review and accept submissions, and will contact you to let you know if there is an existing collection that may fit your submission.
Undergraduate Research/UROP (campus specific) Add your UROP, URS, or other undergraduate research poster or paper. Please see the guidelines below for more details. Staff will process submissions, usually within 1-2 business days of receipt, and provide you with a persistent URL for your project.
Data Repository for the University of Minnesota (DRUM) Publish data that you’ve collected or produced while a student, researcher, or faculty member of the University of Minnesota. Your data will be reviewed by curators who will work with you to ensure that your data is discoverable and accessible. Please see the DRUM about page for more details.

If you have any questions or problems submitting content, contact us.

Adding your thesis or dissertation

Theses and dissertations must be submitted to the Graduate School according to their policies and procedures.

If you would like to add a Plan B thesis, please contact us.

Adding your undergraduate research poster or paper

Note: Please see the University Honors Program thesis submission instructions if you are a Twin Cities student looking to add your honors program thesis.

The Digital Conservancy provides a digital home for your Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Undergraduate Research Scholarship (URS), or other undergraduate poster or paper, as well as other benefits including:

  • Permanency: You’ll have a permanent and accessible digital copy of your work in the repository.
  • Improve your résumé: You'll get a link in your portfolio to use in your résumé, C.V., or future school applications.
  • Visibility: When people ‘google’ you, your research work will appear high in the search results, because UDC items have higher search engine rankings.
  • Contribution to scholarship: Your work will be a valuable resource for future U of M students.

There are two ways to add your work to the Digital Conservancy:

Option 1: Email us your work and we will upload on your behalf

  1. Get approval to add your work to the UDC from your research advisor as well as any co-authors if applicable. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have any questions about authorship and approval
  2. Read and complete the online Deposit Agreement
  3. Email your file (as a PDF) to, along with the following information:
    • Program name: UROP, URS, or another program
    • Your campus
    • Author name(s)
    • Department name and/or research group
    • Faculty advisor name
    • Grant numbers or sponsor information, if applicable
    • Abstract of no more than 500 words (optional)
  4. We’ll upload your poster or paper to your campus UROP collection, and send you a confirmation email with a permanent link to your work

Option 2: Upload your work directly

  1. Get approval to add your work to the UDC from your research advisor as well as any co-authors if applicable. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research if you have any questions about authorship and approval
  2. Sign in to the Digital Conservancy
  3. From the collection selection menu, choose the UROP collection for your campus
  4. Fill out the form (author, title, etc.)
    • Hint: Your college, department, and/or research center / lab should be added as Subjects
    • Hint: Your faculty advisor's name should be added in the description field
  5. Review and accept the Deposit Agreement as part of the upload process
  6. After submitting, your deposit will be reviewed by the UDC staff
  7. You will receive a confirmation email with a permanent link to your work once it has been published

For additional questions, please contact us.

Issues to consider before you deposit

Please consider these important issues before depositing work into the Digital Conservancy.

Previously published work

The following tools can assist with understanding and responding to publisher copyright agreements:

  • The SHERPA/RoMEO Database provides summaries of permissions normally given to authors by academic and scholarly publishers to help you determine your works' copyright status.
  • Authors may also use the official U of M Author's Addendum [PDF] when negotiating with publishers to retain their copyrights when publishing.
  • Signed a copyright transfer agreement with a publisher? The University Open Access Policy (effective January 1, 2015) may apply and allow you to upload previously published content.

Future publication conflicts

Some commercial publishers prefer not to publish works that are already available in full online. However, if you expect you'll make significant revisions or edits to the work before commercial publication (as with revising a dissertation) this is often less of a concern.

Potentially sensitive data

Works in the Digital Conservancy are accessible to anyone with an internet connection, worldwide. It is important to understand that some sensitive or private information should not be made publicly available. Before submitting, you are responsible for meeting all relevant legal and ethical obligations.

  • You may need to obscure or anonymize private information about identifiable individuals, and remove data such as social security, health, or education records that are protected under specific privacy laws (U of M Data Security Policy) or through other non-disclosure agreements, before you upload your work to the Digital Conservancy.
  • In some cases, information may be so sensitive that public sharing will simply not be a good option for your work, even with the information obscured.

Potentially patentable inventions

If information about a patentable invention is shared publicly before the inventor applies for a patent, the patent may be denied. The Office of Technology Commercialization can help you determine what you may need to do with regard to securing a patent.

Working with collaborators

Only one author is needed to deposit into the Digital Conservancy. However, co-authors, supervisors, and advisors may have interests in your works.

  • If your work was authored jointly with other collaborators, it is good practice to make sure that all interested parties agree on sharing publicly via the Digital Conservancy.
  • If you are not the primary investigator or inventor, please ensure you have the permission of the primary investigator or inventor before uploading to the Digital Conservancy.
  • If your work was produced under the supervision of someone else (e.g. UROP and Honors students) or if there are other interested parties (e.g. funders), you should consult with your supervisor or advisor or administrator before uploading.