F&M College Library

F&M Digital Collections

This guide provides information on using collections in Scholars Square and other digital content created at F&M

Authors' Rights and Copyright

Unless otherwise stated, authors retain the copyright for all content posted to Scholars Square. All materials in Scholars Square are subject to Title 17 of the U.S. Code

For a list of publishers' policies regarding authors' rights to publish pre-prints and post-prints in a repository such as Scholars Square, search the Sherpa Romeo Database. If you do not already have permission to deposit your work in a digital repository, you may need to write directly to the publisher to request this permission. To make this process easier, Scholars Square has provided a template (RTF) to use when contacting publishers. You can modify the template as needed, or just fill in the blanks with the appropriate information. Some publishers can also be contacted about permissions via an online web form on their site. 

Contributors are strongly encouraged to assign Creative Commons licenses to submissions in order to increase access while retaining certain rights. Descriptions of licenses, as well as instructions on attaching these to files, can be accessed at Creative Commons

For still more information on digital preservation, public domain, and copyright, please visit the Digital Preservation site at the Library of Congress, Peter Hirtle's Copyright Term and the Public Domain, and the U.S. Copyright Office

Frequently Asked Questions

I recently had an article accepted for publication in a scholarly journal. Can I include an electronic pre-print of my article in Scholars Square?

More and more commercial publishers are recognizing author's rights to post pre-prints of their work online. This is true even of some of the largest commercial publishers. If you would like to know where your publisher stands on this issue, search the Sherpa Romeo Database.


What is a Creative Commons license?

If you have original works that you have created, including photos you have taken, you can overcome traditional copyright restrictions by selecting a "license" that tells other scholars what they are (or are not) allowed to do with these works. US Copyright restricts the use of materials by others unless the user explicitly asks for permission. Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that has defined alternative licenses whereby the creator retains copyright, but attaches a "use" license to the content. The creator can select different "use" options when assigning a Creative Commons license. Learn more at Creative Commons.


Is there a preferred file type for submission to Scholars Square?

Yes, PDF is the preferred file type. Please contact the Digital Initiatives Librarian if your submission includes other file formats.


What sort of persistent identifiers does Scholars Square use?

Scholars Square uses the Handle System from CNRI to assign and resolve persistent identifiers for each digital item. Handles are UN-compliant identifiers. The Handle resolver is an open-source system used in conjunction with DSpace. The developers chose to use handles instead of persistent URLs to support citations to items in DSpace over very long time spans - longer than the HTTP protocol will last.


How do researchers access files stored in Scholars Square?

Access to materials in Scholars Square occurs through a front end interface in the repository itself. Materials also are searchable through standard web search engines such as Google or Yahoo. In addition, indexing is mapped to international standards so that materials in Scholars Square can be harvested by OAI (Open Archives Initiative) compliant harvesters such as OAIster.