ResearchWorks Collection Policy

ResarchWorks Archive at the University of Washington is a set of collections and related services that centralizes, preserves and provides persistent and reliable access to the research output, scholarship, and creative works of faculty, academic staff and students at the University of Washington. In common with all institutional repositories, it holds accessible digital content, is community-driven and focused, is supported by the institution, and is both durable and permanent. ResearchWorks Archive serves to complement traditional publishing outlets such as refereed articles and conference papers, as well as provide the opportunity to capture emerging research and the intellectual environment of the campus.

This collection policy document provides a general framework against which current and future collection decisions can be made. It is intended to be a dynamic and flexible document, responsive to changes in the academic environment and attentive to the work of other UW units and programs such as the University Archives. The Libraries expects to stage the growth of the collections in ResearchWorks Archive in a planned and scalable manner, but remain open to opportunities to add content as they present themselves.

Content Guidelines

The work must be produced, submitted or sponsored by University of Washington faculty, staff or students.

The work must be scholarly or research oriented.

The work must be submitted with the intent that it be made available on a permanent basis. (i.e. it should be complete and ready for "publication").

The author/owner should have and be willing and able to grant the University of Washington the right to preserve and distribute the work via ResearchWorks Archive.

If the work is part of a series, other works in that series should also be contributed so that ResearchWorks Archive can offer as full a set as possible.

Examples of content acceptable for deposit are:

  • Working papers and technical reports
  • Published articles where copyright allows
  • Manuscripts
  • Digital art
  • Master's theses
  • Dissertations
  • Undergraduate student honors papers and capstone projects
  • Conference papers
  • Journals published at the University of Washington
  • Faculty course-related output primarily of scholarly interest
  • Learning objects that represent substantive scholarly work
  • Data sets
  • Audio and visual materials
  • Any other form of research output that can be technically loaded to the repository.

Some items that are otherwise acceptable may not be accepted for deposit into ResearchWorks Archive if:

  • The item does not match the general parameters of research and scholarship produced at the University of Washington or does not reflect its intellectual environment.
  • The item is in a file format that cannot be deposited for technical reasons.
  • The size of the submission (in terabytes, for example) is prohibitive. For example, some sets of research data may not be accepted because of their size.
  • The item may not be deposited because of copyright issues. For example, it may violate a publisher's copyright agreement with an author to deposit a journal article as published (i.e. as a pdf from the publisher's site).

Examples of materials that would normally not be acceptable for ResearchWorks Archive are:

  • Organizational annual reports and newsletters that represent the intellectual work happening within a unit.

Once content has been deposited into ResearchWorks Archive, it will not be removed unless for a compelling reason such as a copyright violation. [See the ResearchWorks Archive Withdrawal Policy.]

Quality Control

In most cases quality control will be handled at the community or collection level. In most cases, a community will be administered by an organizational unit, such as a department or research center, that can determine its own workflows and collection policies so long as they fit within the general collection policy of ResearchWorks Archive. If a community/collection is not administered by a specific organizational unit, a small group of staff within the Libraries will take responsibility for vetting the submissions.


ResearchWorks Archive provides ongoing support for as many file formats as possible within the constraints of available institutional resources. Works deposited in ResearchWorks Archive will be preserved using best practices for data management and digital preservation. The proprietary or executable nature of some file formats, however, may make it impossible to guarantee persistent access to all deposited works as digital technologies evolve. [See the Digital Preservation Policy]


Deposit of materials to ResearchWorks Archive requires a minimum set of descriptive information (metadata) to be provided at the point of deposit. Some of this metadata will be automatically generated by the software used by ResearchWorks Archive; other pieces including author, title, and date, will be provided by the depositor.

Copyright and Access

Placement of an article or other work in ResearchWorks Archive is equivalent to publication, so authors must exercise due diligence in clearing any needed rights (including any third party copyrights).  For additional information, consult the ResearchWorks [Copyright and Author Rights Information page]

By default, all material in ResearchWorks Archive is accessible worldwide. However, material can be restricted if necessary; please see the ResearchWorks Archive Access Restriction Policy for more information.