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Institutional Repository Policies

Last updated: 2021-04-29

This page overviews policies guiding the University of Northern British Columbia's institutional repository.


The Institutional Repository at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is an open access digital repository for published and unpublished material created by members of the UNBC community.

Its aim is the showcase and preserve UNBC’s unique intellectual output by hosting it and making content freely available to anyone, anywhere, via the Internet

As a service of the UNBC Library, the Institutional Repository provides researchers with a free, secure, and long-term home for the presentation, dissemination, and preservation of their research and scholarship. By utilizing the Institutional Repository, researchers ensure their work achieves compliance with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

The content of the Institutional Repository may be distributed across one or more platforms, to accommodate the particular needs for hosting and publishing specific types of materials and file formats (for example theses, maps, journal articles, or images).

Contributors to the Repository

Contributors must be affiliated with UNBC, and may include:

  • UNBC faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and staff with academic appointments
    • Work created elsewhere by a current member of the of the UNBC community will be considered if it relates to the member’s work being conducted at UNBC and is unavailable elsewhere
    • Work created elsewhere by a current sessional faculty member will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
  • UNBC graduate students
  • UNBC undergraduate students depositing:
    • Work that has been accepted elsewhere through a peer-review process (such as a conference poster or paper)
    • Undergraduate theses
    • Research or creative projects guided by a UNBC faculty member
  • Alumni submitting scholarly work completed at UNBC
  • Writers and artists-in-residence
  • Elders-in-residence
  • Work created by persons outside of the UNBC community, and within Northern British Columbia, will be considered if it pertains to the UNBC community and is not available elsewhere
  • If you would like to deposit your work and are unsure if you fit these requirements, please contact [email protected]

Scope of Deposited Content

  • Deposited content should be in a completed state, rather than in-progress and regularly updated.
    • An exception to this requirement are pre-print papers.
  • Contributors must be willing and able to grant UNBC the non-exclusive rights to both preserve and make their work available through the Institutional Repository.
  • Deposited content must be in a digital format.
  • If the deposited content is part of a series, other works in that series should also be deposited when possible so that we can offer a full and complete collection.
  • Dissertations, theses, and graduate research projects are published in the Repository only after the appropriate unit (such as the Office of Graduate Programs or the respective Faculty) have verified that the document meets all applicable requirements.
  • All submissions must be made by, or with the express consent of, all the creator(s) of the materials, or the person(s) holding copyright in the materials and any part thereof.
  • If a submission is suspected of violating any of the guidelines laid out in the Withdrawal section of this document, then the submission may be denied. You can appeal this decision with the library.

Supported Content Types

The following content types are among those that will be accepted:

  • Publications (including pre-prints)
  • Dissertations
  • Masters and undergraduate theses
  • Working papers and technical reports
  • White papers
  • Conference presentations and posters
  • Campus-based publications
  • Course-based publications
  • Other Northern British Columbia publications will be considered on a case-by-case basis

Data sets should be deposited into Scholars Portal Dataverse. If you have data related to a project in the Institutional Repository deposited in Dataverse, let the Repository know so that the necessary linkages can be made. For more information, please contact the Data Librarian.

This is a non-exhaustive list. Contributors are welcome to deposit content that can be characterized as “scholarly, creative, research-related, or teaching resources” and to contact us with any questions about materials.

Access to Deposited Content

All deposited content will be made available to the public, except when forbidden by contracts, rights, or when embargoed for a limited time.

UNBC recognizes that the Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous peoples are not always well served by current copyright, trademark, or Creative Commons laws and practices. To that end the Library will work with those looking to deposit materials that contain Traditional Knowledge as to how best to provide access to those materials.

All materials deposited into the Institutional Repository will be assigned a stable URL for access to the materials as well as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), if there isn’t already one.


A contributor can request an embargo to be placed on materials submitted to the Institutional Repository. The embargo must be:

  • Agreed upon by the contributor and Library at the time of deposit
  • Time limited.

Possible reasons for an embargo:

  • Pending publication
  • Publisher enforced embargo
  • Materials contain confidential or commercially sensitive information

File formats

The UNBC Library team will work to recognize and support as many file formats as possible. All formats can be deposited, but contributors should consider depositing their items in formats that are open, sustainable, and well-used in their fields. The following formats are preferred for preservation reasons:

  • Textual: PDF/A, TXT, HTML, XML, CSV
  • Images: TIFF, JPEG 2000
  • Database/Spreadsheet: CSV, XML


All deposits are considered permanent, except for when materials violate one or more of the following reasons:

  • Violation of distribution license
  • Claimed or suspected copyright infringement or plagiarism
  • Concerns related to the health, safety, and privacy of the public or individuals
  • Claimed or suspected ethical or scholarly misconduct
  • Claimed or suspected infringement on Indigenous rights
  • Or other exceptional circumstances

In which case only the record will remain with the following message: “Item withdrawn by authority of the University of Northern British Columbia. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].”

Metadata Policy

Detailed policy and practice workflows exist to ensure that Institutional Repository metadata (the terminology we use to describe individual records in the Repository) is of the highest possible quality. Metadata within the Institutional Repository may undergo enhancement on an ad-hoc or project basis. This allows for optimal collation, dissemination, and preservation of content within the Institutional Repository. Any concerns with the metadata present in the Institutional Repository should be directed to [email protected]

Statement on Library of Congress Subject Headings

In order to increase discoverability, the Institutional Repository utilizes Library of Congress Subject Headings, a system used across the library world, to describe submitted materials. This system though was developed in the 1800s and reflects the thoughts and values of the time, and while the library is actively working to update these terms, they still remain. Problematic terminology such as Indians of North America may appear associated with materials in the Institutional Repository. The UNBC Library is exploring ways to update these terms in the most culturally-sensitive way possible, while also preserving the discoverability provided by the subject headings.


Depositing content

The contributor must either hold the copyright, or the right to deposit, for all contributed content. If the deposited content is unpublished, the Library recommends using a Creative Commons license, either CC-BY or CC-BY-NC.

By depositing their work, the contributor agrees to give the University only the non-exclusive right to disseminate and preserve the content. Preservation may require reproducing the content in different formats to ensure future accessibility.

Those concerned about the copyright status of a journal article or other research document are encouraged to consult our Copyright Specialist at [email protected].



The University is not responsible for the content of the items contained within the Institutional Repository.

At this time, we are not running a digital preservation service through the Institutional Repository

The University is not responsible for the maintenance and/or performance of external web links within documents and records in the Institutional Repository.