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Cougar ROAR: Research Open Access Repositories

This guide contains information pertaining to the University of Houston Institutional Repository and Data Repository.

About the UH Institutional Repository (UHIR)

The University of Houston Institutional Repository (UHIR) provides open online access to the research and scholarship produced at the University of Houston. By aggregating content reflecting the scholarly, educational, and administrative output of UH from faculty, students, staff, and campus units, the repository preserves and provides global access to the legacy of UH research and scholarly communication.

 

Why should I submit works to the UHIR?

 

  • Visibility — Publishing works in the UHIR provides free, worldwide access to your scholarly work and course material.

  • Discoverability — The UHIR is indexed by major search engines, such as Google and Google Scholar, so your works are promoted to a much broader audience.

  • Persistent links — By depositing your works in the UHIR, you give them a permanent persistent digital link, making it easy for others to cite reliably and increasing your scholarly impact.

  • Preservation — The UHIR ensures long-term storage, preservation, and retrieval of your scholarly work and course material through our participation in the Texas Digital Library.

  • Compliance with grant requirements — The UHIR can help you comply with funding agency requirements to publish and archive your research outputs.

  • Increased collaboration — Depositing your works in the UHIR allows others, locally and globally, to identify your research areas for independent study and interdisciplinary collaboration.

  • Comprehensiveness — The UHIR accepts unpublished works, teaching materials, administrative records, and student organization documents, providing access to work that may not be traditionally published elsewhere.

 

Who can submit works to the UHIR?

 

  • Any current UH faculty, staff, or student may deposit works in UHIR.

  • Multi-institutional collaborations including at least one participant actively employed by University of Houston

 

What types of works are accepted?

 

The repository accepts digital content reflecting the scholarly, educational, and administrative output of the university from faculty, students, staff, and campus units, including:

  • Pre-/post-prints, and/or previously published materials (e.g., books, journal articles, music scores, poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, art, music and dance recordings).

  • Unpublished works (e.g., technical reports, white papers, research posters, symposia proceedings, capstone projects, or other creative work).

  • Learning objects, including syllabi, instructional materials, and primary sources organized for teaching purposes.

  • Electronic administrative records produced by university units to document actions and/or decisions.

  • Student organization digital objects, including rosters, meeting minutes, and event publicity materials.

 

The UHIR cannot accept:

  • Works to which the author does not own the copyright.

  • Works that infringe upon the copyright of others.

  • Works that contain confidential or sensitive information.

 

Does submitting my work to the UHIR affect my copyright/my ownership?

 

No. Faculty, staff, and students retain full copyright to their work while granting non-exclusive rights to UH and Texas Digital Library to copy, display, perform, distribute, and publish their work within copyright law or any applicable license agreement. UH Libraries will manage these non-exclusive rights.

 

Other frequently asked questions about making work available Open Access:

Q: I already post my research papers to ResearchGate or academia.edu. Isn’t that enough?

A: When scholars use ResearchGate or academia.edu, they are providing their data to a for-profit venture capital backed company who reserves the right to create derivatives of their intellectual property and leaves the researcher vulnerable to copyright violations and publisher takedown notices. Both sites need to turn a profit for their investors, and they’re doing it by selling information about you and leveraging your intellectual outputs. Further, these sites are not search engine optimized, nor do they comply with funder open access mandates; your work will be more visible and secure when it is deposited in ROAR. In short, if you care about discoverability and retaining control over your research, social networking sites are not open access solutions.

Q: I don’t know what copyright I have to my works. Can I still deposit them in ROAR?

A: Probably. Over 80% of all journals allow their authors to deposit a version of their published work to a repository, even if the author has given the copyright to their work to the publisher. To determine your journal or publisher’s policy towards submitting to an institutional repository, we recommend consulting SHERPA/RoMEO (http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo), a public database of publisher copyright policies. For help determining your rights as an author or for clarification around copyright issues, please contact the UH Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Coordinator Taylor Davis-Van Atta (tgdavisv@central.uh.edu).

Q: If I make my work available Open Access, what control do I have over it? Isn’t it more vulnerable to theft, plagiarism, or unauthorized reuse?

A: Open Access ensures as well as any other method of distribution that you will receive credit whenever your work is cited or used. ROAR gives you the option to assign a legally binding Creative Commons license to every work you deposit, allowing you to control how that work may be used by others. UH Dataverse gives you full control over who can view your data sets and how that data can be reused.

Q: Doesn’t Open Access endanger publishers?

A: Publishers are quickly adapting and in many cases embracing the Open Access movement. Over 80% of traditional journals allow some form of Open Access, and roughly 25% of all scholarly journals are now Open Access journals. That number is growing in nearly every discipline, and in many fields of study, Open Access journals stand near or at the top of impact factor rankings.

 

Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact Digital Scholarship Coordinator Taylor Davis-Van Atta (tgdavisv@central.uh.edu) if you have any questions or would like more information.