Academic Works: How to Make Your Work Available to the Public…

…and Stay Organized in the Process.

Post updated April 8, 2016

A guest post by Nancy Foasberg, Humanities Librarian, Coordinator of Instructional Services, Assistant Professor

Academic Works is CUNY’s new institutional repository. This Tech Tip explains what Academic Works is, why it is important, and how it can help you.

What is an institutional repository?
Briefly, a repository is a collection of documents made available to the public. It may include scholarly and creative work, institutional documents, or other materials. Colleges, universities, and other educational institutions host institutional repositories collecting the work of those affiliated with them.

Many colleges and universities, large and small, provide institutional repositories. Some well-known repositories include those at SUNY, the University of California, Indiana University, Boise State, and MIT.

What content does Academic Works include?
Although the Queens College instance of Academic Works is still just getting started, faculty and students across CUNY have deposited all sorts of interesting things in Academic Works.

Right now, it includes:

  • Scholarly publications by faculty
  • Open educational resources, including full textbooks
  • Symposium proceedings
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Technical reports
  • Special collections and archival materials
  • Student newspapers

Any scholarly or creative works created at CUNY are eligible to be included in the repository, barring copyright restrictions (we will get back to this later).

What are the benefits of an institutional repository?
Institutional repositories have many benefits, including:

  • Reaching a wider audience. The institutional repository is indexed in web searches, so your work will be easier to find. So far, the works in Academic Works have over 76,000 downloads from all over the world.
  • Collecting your work in one place. Academic Works provides a persistent URL and an author page, so you can link directly to your work.
  • Statistics. You will receive monthly download reports, letting you know how many readers have looked at your work.
  • Freely accessible to the public. Repositories make scholarly work available to all, including researchers outside the academy or those who may otherwise have limited access to scholarly resources.

How do I deposit my work?
You can submit your work yourself.

submit-researchAcademic Works provides a simple form you can use to upload your work. The left-hand side of the page includes a link under Author Corner to submit your research.

You will need to make an account before you submit your work.

If you need help with the submission process, or have any questions, please contact

Is this allowed?
It’s important to know your rights as an author. When you sign an agreement with a publisher, you should think about the rights that they allow you to retain. Your contract should include the details of your agreement.

Publisher agreements vary a lot. Some publishers allow authors to retain copyright. Others require a transfer of copyright but still allow authors to deposit in a repository, with or without an embargo period. Publishers also have various policies as to which versions of a work may be deposited.

SHERPA/RoMEO summarizes journal publisher policies. Each journal is color-coded and the conditions for self-archiving are noted.

Unfortunately, there is no equivalent for book publishers, so please check your contract and the publisher’s policies.

If your work is grant-funded, you may be required to deposit your work in a repository. You can find information about grant requirements in SHERPA/JULIET.

See this guide for more information.

Anything else?
The repository’s FAQ page answers many common, technical questions. Otherwise, please contact Nancy Foasberg ( with any questions.


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