Vanderbilt University
Jean & Alexander Heard LibraryVanderbilt University

What is DiscoverArchive?



About DiscoverArchive

About DiscoverArchive

DiscoverArchive is a digital repository providing open access to scholarly research at Vanderbilt University. Those connected with Vanderbilt University including faculty, students and staff are able to contribute materials This service, provided by the library, supports the university in scholarly communications and the dissemination of knowledge.


Services provided by the repository manager and library specialists:

  • Create communities and collections
  • Train and facilitate community members to add materials
  • Review and add additional descriptive information (metadata) to each record
  • Provide depositing services
  • Maintain open access and ensure preservation of materials
  • Maintain the software and hardware required for continuous service
  • Research copyright and seek permissions

Contact the repository manager:, (615) 322-2807, Special Collections and University Archives 419 21st Ave. South, GLB room 201.

Register and obtain permission to submit

To register go to and click on "Register" under My Account.

In order to contribute content to an existing collection, first register and then contact the repository manager to be added as a submitter to a collection.

Information on the submission procedure can be found here - Procedure for Submitting Items.

Procedure for submitting WMV HTM Print

Once permission has been obtained to submit to a collection, digital material may be deposited. The basic fields required to make a deposit are published date, title and author name. For more detailed instructions download the Procedure for submitting items to DiscoverArchive.

Communities and collections

DiscoverArchive is organized hierarchically into communities and collections to represent the interests of faculty, staff, and students. Any individual (including non-tenure track and visiting faculty), and any representative of any administrative or other academic organizational unit on campus is allowed to propose a DiscoverArchive community. Groups wishing to establish a community that does not conform to this definition will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


A DiscoverArchive community:

  • Is a self-constituting group at Vanderbilt
  • Can designate a coordinator to work with Vanderbilt Libraries staff
  • Produces materials likely to be of some general interest to users in the future
  • Has a defined scope
  • Has long-term stability
  • Produces materials that serve some University mission (research, teaching, administration, historical)
  • Can assume responsibility for setting community policies

A DiscoverArchive collection is a sub-unit of a community designed to contain materials with some characteristic in common, such as departmental working papers, issues of a newsletter, preprints, committee minutes, etc. Individuals may submit items to collections through an established community in DiscoverArchive. An individual may belong to more than one community.

DiscoverArchive communities will take responsibility for defining their membership and submitting content. Once a community has been established within the policy guidelines, the library will provide assistance as needed, however the library will not directly supervise communities' use of DiscoverArchive.

Vanderbilt University non-exclusive distribution license Print

When depositing in DiscoverArchive you will be prompted to agree to a non-exclusive distribution license giving Vanderbilt the right to reproduce, convert and/or distribute submissions.

Note to those who want to contribute papers or digital content on behalf of others:

To contribute, or publish, digital content on behalf of another author, please obtain an agreement to the non-exclusive distribution license in advance to publishing in DiscoverArchive. This can be done by printing out the license and having the author sign. The alternative is to email the wording of the license to the author and receive back an acknowledgement of agreement. In either case the agreement must be retained on file, in either digital or paper format, in the center or department.

Copyright - can I deposit my paper in DiscoverArchive?

If you retain copyright to your work you can publish this work in DiscoverArchive. By publishing your work in DiscoverArchive you will significantly increase access while at the same time allowing for the library to ensure preservation. In the case of multiple authors sharing copyright, please check with them and obtain permission before publishing content. Contact the repository manager to gain permission to deposit in an established collection or to create a new one.

Retain copyright to your research by using the SPARC Print (Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition) Author Addendum to a publication agreement. For more information go to

Creative Commons Print: While making a deposit all users are given the option to assign a Creative Commons license allowing for increased access while retaining copyright. This option is available during each deposit and only applies to those who have or have retained copyright to their works. To learn more about the different type of licenses available go to

If you do not retain copyright or are unsure if copyright has, over time, reverted back to you, please contact the publisher. Many publishers post policies online concerning what is allowed to be published in digital repositories. This can be referred to as "self-archiving" policies. SHERPA is a useful resource to check publisher policies and includes databases of publisher copyright and archiving policies (RoMEO) and research funders archiving mandates and guidelines (JULIET).

If you would like to publish in DiscoverArchive and need help determining copyright please contact the repository manager for assistance.

Types of materials

The goal is for DiscoverArchive to be both a scholarly and an archival resource. A balance between scholarly and archival materials is desirable; however, the aim is to build DiscoverArchive to meet faculty, student, and staff needs for broad access and long-term preservation of their digital materials. Research material, datasets, working papers, books, pre- and post-prints, supporting materials, and learning objects are highly sought. Minutes, newsletters, publicity documents, and other archival materials that showcase the university, its centers, departments, or committees, or its history and development are also desirable. Each community may include either or both types of materials within its various collections.

The following are examples of collections. To browse the entire collection, go to the DiscoverArchive home page.

Formats and preservation

All digital formats are accepted in DiscoverArchive. While DiscoverArchive accepts all formats, there are three levels of preservation. "Supported formats" are those that will be preserved either through migration or emulation. Examples of supported format extensions are Microsoft Word DOC and DOCX, HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language), Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel, JPEG, TIFF, RTX (rich text), and PS (PostScript)."Known formats" are not currently identified for migration emulation, however, due to the wide use of these formats it is likely a tool will emerge in the future. Examples include WordPerfect, XML (Extensible Markup Language), GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) and WAV (Audio for Windows). "Unsuppported formats" are those not in wide use or come from little used software.

For more information please consult:

Removing or updating work

DiscoverArchive is a permanent location for digital materials and each item is assigned a permanent URI. The author and copyright holder of digital content published in DiscoverArchive can request that repository managers remove their paper completely or replace it with an updated version. It is also possible to publish the updated version along with the original material to serve as a record of research.

Contact information Print

  • To create a community or collection
  • To become a submitter to a collection
  • To request depositing or permission seeking services
  • To schedule a presentation or information meeting
  • To report and problem

Contact a library representative by email at


DiscoverArchive on Facebook

DSpace is a trademark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Search DiscoverArchive


My Account