UST Research Online Policies


The University of St. Thomas's Research Online (UST/RO) is a digital repository intended to collect, organize, disseminate, preserve, and highlight the scholarly and creative work produced by faculty, students, and staff of UST.   Research Online is administered by the staff of the University of St. Thomas Libraries, who collaborate with a network of UST/RO officers across the university to review, post, and manage content.  Members of the university community are invited to work through this network to post new as well as already-published scholarly and creative work for permanent preservation and worldwide electronic accessibility.  Contributions are expected to support research, have persistent value, and be on deposit in the UST/RO permanently.

A.  Policies

I.   Eligible Contributors

University of St. Thomas Research Online is meant to reflect the scope and richness of scholarly and creative work produced by members of the University of St. Thomas community.  Eligible contributors to UST/RO include:

  1. members of the full-time regular faculty;
  2. members of the adjunct faculty;
  3. clinical researchers;
  4. full-time and part-time degree-seeking undergraduate students;
  5. full-time and part-time degree-seeking graduate students;
  6. members of the full-time and part-time permanent staff; and
  7. others with written permission from the Grants and Research Office.

Acceptable Content

Research and creative work posted on UST/RO must meet these standards:

  1. The work must have been subjected to an internal peer review (see below, Section B.).
  2. The work must meet the standards of the appropriate UST review committee (see below, Section B.).
  3. The work must not be ephemeral; deposits are intended to be permanent contributions to the repository.
  4. The work must be in digital form.
  5. If unpublished, the work must be complete and ready for public dissemination.
  6. If already published in another forum, the work must be posted or linked to Research Online as an abstract or in its complete form
  7. The copyright owner must be willing and authorized to grant UST the right to preserve and distribute the work via UST/RO, although the copyright owner retains copyright for all works submitted.
  8. Posted materials may be written in any language.

Types of works that are not appropriate for submission to UST/RO include, but are not limited to:

  1. any research or creative work that has not been subject to an internal peer review
  2. incomplete works;
  3. educational records (such as files containing grades, transcripts, or identification numbers);
  4. confidential materials (such as restricted archival records of the university);
  5. operational materials (such as departmental policies); and,
  6. digitized historical and archival works.

Items submitted to UST/RO that fall outside the scope of these content guidelines will be rejected or sent back to the contributor for revision.

Copyright, Rights, and Permissions

Authors of digital works must authorize the submission of each work, and must be willing to permit immediate campus or global access to the content. Authors must agree to a non-exclusive license allowing UST to distribute the content and to change the format of the material for preservation purposes. The license permits authors formally to publish their work, in the same form as in UST/RO or in a revised form, without obtaining permission from UST.

Materials submitted must be the intellectual property of the author, the department, or UST and not under any copyright restrictions imposed by a third party. Materials must be submitted by one of the authors listed on the material or by an appointed agent of one of the authors. When an agent acting under the direction of an author submits materials, there must be an explicit statement that the author wishes her or his work to be stored in the repository.

Authors retain the copyright for all content posted on UST/RO unless they explicitly give it away to a third party. UST does not seek nor claim copyright on a work submitted to UST/RO unless UST held copyright to that work prior to its submission to UST/RO.

UST reserves the right to withdraw items from UST/RO in accordance with the removal policy (below) if notified by a third party of potential copyright infringement. In such cases, authors and contributors will be notified, if it is possible to do so.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Contributors are responsible for addressing privacy and confidentiality issues in their submissions. Staff of the UST Institutional Review Board are available for consultation on appropriate courses of action for material involving the use of human subjects. Contributors are responsible for proper redaction of confidential content before submission.

If privacy concerns are identified after a submission has been made publicly available, the site administrator is empowered to restrict access to the submission temporarily. This person will then consult with the departmental chair, college dean, or appropriate executive vice president in order to determine a course of action regarding future access.


Research Online permits embargoes of up to five years on access to contributed content. During the embargo period, there will be limited access to the document for the author and for purposes of maintaining the repository.

Situations warranting an embargo include, but are not limited to:

  • patent pending;
  • personal privacy;
  • corporate secrets; and,
  • copyright agreements with potential publishers.

The author must supply an end date for the embargo at which time the content will be made fully available. Disputes will be resolved by the University Librarian in consultation with the executive vice president for academic affairs.

Revision of Items

Research Online is a permanent archive. Before submitting content, depositors must ensure that the works are complete and factually accurate, and that depositors have the right to make them publicly available. If the status of a work is uncertain, it should not be submitted to UST/RO.

If an author discovers after submitting a work that the file(s) contains errors, the UST Libraries will work with the author or editor to replace the earlier file with the corrected version.

In cases where authors or editors have substantially reworked the content and wish to make a newer version available, they may submit the new or revised version as a new item. UST Libraries staff will provide assistance in linking the earlier version with the later version and will, if the author requests it, provide information indicating which version is preferred. However, it is the policy of UST also to retain the original version of works submitted to RO.

Removal from Research Online

UST retains the right to preserve permanently any object posted on Research Online. Once posted, an item will not be permanently deleted, although under some circumstances items will be removed from public view. A public note with one of the following statements will be added to the metadata for the item:

  • removed from view at the request of the author;
  • removed from view at UST’s discretion; or,
  • removed from view by legal order

Since any item posted on UST/RO may have already been cited, the metadata record (“tombstone”) for the item will be retained and available for viewing.

Requests by students for withdrawal of their posted work must be negotiated with the executive vice president for academic affairs.

Preservation Responsibilities

As fiscal resources and technology permit, UST, in conjunction with the software vendor, will ensure that the files posted on Research Online survive uncorrupted and continue to be usable. Because the technological environment is changing rapidly, it may not be possible to preserve indefinitely the usability of every file format that is posted on UST/RO.

Should the Research Online installation ever be terminated, materials will be offered to the contributing college, school, and/or department when possible or moved to the University Archives where appropriate.


Scholarly production at the University of St. Thomas will be posted on Research Online through a sustained partnership involving Academic Affairs, the Libraries, the Grants and Research Office, deans, departments, and administrative units. Because of significant differences in standards, expectations, conventions, and practices from one field to the other, much of the responsibility for determining appropriate content for inclusion in UST/RO will be borne by individual departments, collegiate units, and administrative units.

I.Establishing Policies and Procedures for Posting Material on Research Online

All scholarly and creative work posted on Research Online must be subjected to an internal peer review prior to its posting. The internal peer review process may differ from one collegiate unit to the next, but the process must be clearly articulated by the dean and approved by the executive vice president for academic affairs.

II. Getting Work Approved for Posting on Research Online

The dean of each collegiate unit will establish the architecture of the review process for his or her unit. In some cases, individual departments will conduct an initial review of materials submitted for posting on UST/RO and forward recommended material for a secondary review at the level of the collegiate unit. In other cases, the initial (and only) review will take place in the dean’s office through a process authorized by the dean. Once material has been approved by the dean and posted on Research Online, Libraries staff will complete its quality-control analysis of the metadata.

III.Non-Academic Units

a. Any eligible member of the UST community who is not part of an academic department or collegiate unit and who wishes to post on Research Online should contact the Grants and Research Office. The Grants and Research Office will appoint an ad hoc UST/RO review committee to review the work. All effort will be made to identify individuals within the UST community who will be in a good position to provide critical review of a submitted work.

b. Once a work from a non-academic department is approved for posting on Research Online, libraries staff will post it in Research Online.

IV. Training and Support

Staff at the UST libraries will provide training and, in collaboration with IRT, technical support for all individuals involved in posting materials to UST/RO.

V.Documentation Requirements

Deans will be responsible for assigning a process for maintaining records that document publishers’ permissions.

VI. Student Submissions

a. Graduate Student Submissions

i. Following internal peer review, all approved master’s qualifying projects and doctoral projects will be posted on Research Online unless the student chooses not to do so.

ii. Graduate students wishing to post other research or creative work on UST/RO should submit their work to their collegiate unit’s review process.

b. Undergraduate Student Submissions

i. Following the internal peer review established in their collegiate unit, undergraduate students may have their research and creative work posted to UST/RO.

ii. All students who conduct research with the support of internal UST undergraduate research grants administered by the Grants and Research Office will have their papers posted on Research Online with the written approval of their faculty mentors and the students’ dean.

VII. Note on the Status of Posted Materials

All faculty who post scholarly or creative work on Research Online should be aware that the posting of work in this forum does not constitute an external peer-reviewed publication for purposes of promotion and tenure. All policies and guidelines relating to scholarly production and promotion and tenure as iterated in the Faculty Handbook still pertain in their entirety.

VIII. Research Online Advisory Board

The UST Libraries will, at the call of the UST Libraries director, organize meetings, when necessary, of the appropriate stakeholders, including Deans and staff of the Department of Academic Affairs, to clarify policies and procedures and manage any significant issues related to the use of the UST Research Online.