Frequently Asked Questions

What is DigitalCommons@CalPoly?

DigitalCommons@CalPoly, a free service of the Robert E. Kennedy Library, preserves and provides access to research, scholarship and creative works produced by Cal Poly students and faculty. As an online, open access repository, DigitalCommons@CalPoly makes these contributions available to view and download from anywhere in the world.

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Who can archive their work with DigitalCommons@CalPoly?

Undergraduate students can submit their senior project and occasionally other class content that is already being collected by DC@CP. Ask your professor to find out if your class work is being archived in DC@CP. For more information on submitting your senior project, go to

Graduate students are required to submit their master's theses to graduate. For more information on submitting your master’s thesis, go to

Faculty can archive their scholarly work in DigitalCommons@CalPoly (see a list of materials below). To contribute, please sign the DigitalCommons Contributor Agreement. Then send your list of publications (CV heavily preferred) to:

Digital Repository Coordinator

The Academic Senate bylaws define faculty as full-time academic employees holding faculty rank whose principal duty is within an academic department, unit, or program; lecturers holding full-time appointments of at least one year in one or more academic departments, units, or programs; or lecturers with a content assignment of 15 WTUs for at least three consecutive quarters.

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I already signed up to archive my work in DigitalCommons@CalPoly. How do I submit my new works?

To add new works to DigitalCommons@CalPoly, just contact the with your new citation and a digital copy of your work, if available.

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What materials can be contributed?

The work should be scholarly in nature. Because deposits are intended to be permanent contributions to the repository, faculty works that are in progress or ephemeral in nature are not recommended for contribution.

Examples of scholarly work:

  • Journal articles and essays
  • Conference proceedings, papers and/or presentations
  • White papers and technical reports
  • Research reports from grant-funded projects with Open Access requirements
  • Research data sets
  • Patents
  • Audio/visual presentations, tutorials and screencasts
  • Multipart content, e.g. research paper and datasets

If your work is not mentioned in the list above, please contact the directly.

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What kinds of file formats are accepted?

DigitalCommons@CalPoly can archive and make available any file format including text (examples .pdf, .txt), audio (examples .wav, .mp3), video (examples .avi, .mp4, .mov) and other file formats (examples .cad, .png, .xpt, .por). Other file formats can be stored in the repository, however, to ensure the preservation and long-term access of your work, we encourage you to consult the list of preferred and acceptable file formats listed in the Library of Congress’s Recommended Formats Statement.

Size for a single file is limited to 2 gigabytes. If your work is larger than 2 gigabytes, please contact the directly.

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Why should I contribute my work to DigitalCommons@CalPoly?

By contributing your work to the repository, you’ll be able to:

  • Store your work: Your work is digitally preserved with unique, persistent URLs to ensure stability
  • Share your ideas: Full-text indexing and discoverability via Google and other search engines means more views and more citations for your work
  • Measure your impact: Usage statistics for your work are delivered automatically so you know how frequently your work is being accessed and by whom (IP address, geography, and institution)
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      I want an item withdrawn from DC@CP, who do I contact?

      If you would like an item withdrawn from DC@CP, please contact the with a request in writing, including the URL of your item and reason for request.

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      I am Cal Poly alumni. How may I archive my senior project or master's thesis in the DigitalCommons?

      Contact the with your request in writing, including your full name, the title of your project, your graduation year, and attach a Word or PDF file of your project (if available). In the body of your email, include the following phrase formally granting the university permission to make your work available online:

      I hereby grant California Polytechnic State University and its agents the non-exclusive license to deposit and make accessible my senior project now or hereafter known. I certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third-party copyrighted matter to be included in my senior project, allowing open access and distribution.

      I certify that the version I am submitting is the same as that approved by my advisor.

      I agree to waive any privacy rights granted by FERPA or any other law, policy or regulation, with respect to this work, for the purpose of publication.

      I retain all ownership rights to the copyright of this work. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as in articles or books) all or part if this work.

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      Who owns copyright to the works in DC@CP?

      DC@CP does not own copyright to any of the material in the repository. Students own the copyright to their works, per Cal Poly Intellectual Property Policy. Copyright to faculty works may belong to the authors or the publisher and is specified in the record. If you would like to request permission to duplicate a work, you will need to contact the author directly.

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      Problems downloading?

      If you are unable to download by clicking the “Download” button in a record, try right-clicking on the “Download” button link and saving the item to your desktop. For other technical problems, contact Bepress,

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