Research Showcase FAQ

Research Showcase is Carnegie Mellon University’s open access institutional repository.  The Provost funded Research Showcase in response to the 2008 Faculty Senate Central Repository Resolution urging the university to create a central open access repository.  Content in Research Showcase is indexed by Google and other Internet search engines.  The full text is accessible free of charge (open access) via the search results. 

Research Showcase provides:

  • Long-term preservation and free online (open) access to work produced by the campus community.
  • Embargoes to delay open access at the author's request.
  • Tools for authors to develop and maintain a personal web page to highlight work and research interests.
  • Monthly reports for authors of downloads of their work from the repository.
  • A platform for managing open access journals, including article submission, peer review, publication, and long‐term access and preservation.
  • A platform for managing conferences, including paper submission, peer review, publication of open access conference proceedings, and long‐term access and preservation.



Research Showcase contains faculty and graduate student work, including journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, technical reports, presentations, theses and dissertations, and undergraduate student work that has been peer reviewed or otherwise certified, such as H&SS honors theses.  Research Showcase hosts the Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality and was used to organize and publish the Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on the Universal Digital Library.

As of July 19, 2013, 11,455 documents have been deposited in Research Showcase.  The documents have been downloaded 974,796 times in the past year, and 1,740,801 times since the repository was implemented in 2009.

All work by Carnegie Mellon faculty, post-doctoral and graduate students may be deposited in Research Showcase, including journal articles, books, book chapters, conference papers and presentations, technical reports, theses and dissertations.  Carnegie Mellon undergraduate student work that has been peer reviewed or otherwise certified may be deposited in Research Showcase, including H&SS honors theses, capstone projects, and selected materials from the Meeting of the Minds.

Open access – Carnegie Mellon strongly encourages authors to deposit their work in Research Showcase because open access broadens dissemination and increases use, citation, and impact, which can have a positive impact on promotion, tenure, and funding.  Providing open access to your work makes it accessible to scholars who would otherwise not have access because the cost of a subscription or document delivery is too expensive. 

CMU’s Guidelines on Author Rights and Preservation recommend open access, i.e., depositing work in an open access repository such as Research Showcase or publishing it in an open access journal, as a strategy for effective copyright management.  Research Showcase is particularly important for faculty and graduate students in disciplines that do not have an open access disciplinary repository or suitable open access journals.  For more information about open access, see the FAQ on Open Access.

Discovery – Work deposited in Research Showcase is easily discoverable in an Internet search and accessible via the search results, unlike much of the research literature, which is accessible only in subscription databases.

Usage reports – Research Showcase provides authors with monthly reports on downloads of their work deposited in the repository.  A notification is sent to you in email, along with a link to a dashboard that enables you to peruse the report.  If you deposit work in Research Showcase and later leave the university but want to continue to receive the monthly reports, send your new email address to Katie Behrman, Research Showcase Outreach Coordinator,

Preservation – Depositing your work in Research Showcase will keep it safe and accessible over time.  Deposits are assigned permanent URLs so links to them will not break.  The University Libraries is committed to preserving and providing long-term access to work deposited in Research Showcase.  The Libraries will migrate your work to new formats and open access platforms as these evolve over time.  Work posted to websites will likely disappear when you leave Carnegie Mellon or be rendered inaccessible when the format becomes obsolete.

Reputation management – Providing open access to your work helps create an online presence and identity for the author.  Having an online presence and identity is critical in the digital era, particularly for graduate students. Prospective employers will search the names of recent graduates and make decisions based on the search results.  Faculty should model and impress upon graduate students the importance of creating and managing an online presence and identity.

Reciprocity – Depositing your work in Research Showcase is also a way to reciprocate with researchers whose open access work you use.  Surveys of CMU faculty and graduate students conducted by the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis in 2010 indicate that they use open access resources and that these resources are important to their research and teaching.  (See Troll Covey, D., and Sutkus, J. (2011). Open Access and Library Resources Compete in Importance.) 

Yes.  Authors depositing work in Research Showcase control when their work becomes freely available on the Internet.  Carnegie Mellon strongly encourages authors to make their work available open access immediately, but recognizes that there are legitimate reasons to delay open access, for example, if the work contains patentable information, if you plan to publish it, or if it has already been published and the publisher requires delaying open access for a specified time after publication.  To support these delays, authors depositing work in Research Showcase can specify an embargo of six months, one year, two years, or five years between deposit and open access. 

If you own the copyright to your work, then yes, you can deposit your work in Research Showcase under an open license.  Open licenses encourage use by removing one or more copyright restrictions while retaining other copyright protections, for example, allowing copying and distribution, but prohibiting commercial use or the making of derivative works.  Carnegie Mellon strongly encourages authors to license their work under an open license, granting users as broad a set of rights as possible.  See Guidelines on Author Rights and Preservation

The Creative Commons provides a suite of open licenses, each of which enables the copyright owner to designate what users can do with the work without contacting the owner and requesting permission. For more information about open licenses, see the Guide to Open Licensing and list of Conformant Licenses.

If you own the copyright to the work, you have the right to deposit it in Research Showcase.  However, if you do not own the copyright, for example, if you transferred copyright to a publisher, you need the publisher’s permission. 

Many publishers of traditional journals allow authors to deposit a copy of their work in an open access disciplinary or institutional repository, such as arXiv or Research Showcase.  Many publishers impose an embargo, meaning that open access must be delayed (typically) for six to twelve months after publication.  Research Showcase can accommodate publisher embargoes.  The SHERPA RoMEO database provides easy access to publisher policies on open access.

Deposits of Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses, and undergraduate student work are mediated by the University Libraries.  Other than these exceptions, you have two options for depositing your work in Research Showcase:

  • Mediated deposit – The University Libraries will deposit your work for you.  Contact the Research Showcase Coordinator, Katie Behrman, 412‐268‐2536,
  • Direct deposit – Faculty and graduate students are authorized to deposit their work directly into Research Showcase.  See Direct Deposit for instructions.

Combine all the sections together as one Microsoft Word file or PDF file and submit that.

To make one PDF file from multiple files, open the first PDF file, then choose Document >Insert Pages from Acrobat's menu to insert the second file.  Indicate it should go after the last page of the first file.  Repeat for all documents. The result will be one compound PDF file which you can then deposit in the repository.

If you think one PDF file might be too big for some people to download, we suggest that you submit the consolidated file as the full text of the work, and then upload the separate chapters or sections of the document as Associated Files. These files will appear on the web page alongside the complete document. (See the FAQ on Associated Files.)

When you upload your submission, Research Showcase will prompt you to submit Associated FIles.  The name of the files you upload will appear on the website along with a short description your provide.  Viewers must have the necessary software to open your associated files; that is not provided by the bepress system.

Be sure there are no copyright permissions issues related to use of the associated material.  If you do not own the copyright and your use is not allowed by license or by an exception or limitation in copyright law, you need written permission from the copyright owner to use the material.  See Copyright and Plagiarism for more information.

Whenever possible, images, graphs, and tables referenced in a document (or otherwise an integral part of the document) should be included directly in the work itself rather than posted just as associated files.

  1. From the My Account page, click Submission Management.
  2. Select the title you want to revise.  To revise a pending submission, click the title in the list of pending submissions.  To revise a published submission, click Published Submissions at the top left, then click the title in the resulting list.
  3. Click Revise Submission from the list at the top left.
  4. Enter your changes in the Revise Submission form.  You only need to modify the portion of the form that corresponds to the changes you wish to make.
  5. Click Submit at the bottom of the page to submit your changes.

If you are revising a pending submission, continue with the publication steps if appropriate. If you are revising a publised submission, be sure to click the option to Update the Site to incorporate your changes to the web pages.

Yes.  Scanning printed pages is a great way to create PDF files to deposit in Research Showcase.

There are two ways to scan a page: using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or scanning the page as an image.  OCR scans can be searched, but the files lose the original formatting of the documents.  Image scans keep the original formatting, but cannot be searched.  The best solution takes advantage of both of these methods.  Many software applications create an image and underlying OCR text.  When documents are scanned this way, users see the image but can search the full text of the document.  This is the preferred method for scanning documents for the repository.

Check your publisher's policy on repository deposits.  If depositing a reprint would not violate the policy, we encourage you to deposit the work.  The SHERPA RoMEO database provides easy access to many publisher policies.

Many journals do not have any restrictions on working papers that preceded an article, especially if substantial revisions were made.  Check your agreement with the publisher or journal to confirm that leaving the working paper in the repository is OK.  The repository would constitute non-commercial use.

We suggest you include the citation to the published article as a Comment on the cover page of the working paper. To add the citation, follow the instructions in the FAQ on revising a submission.

When you copy an abstract from a word processing file or a PDF file and paste the text into the submission form, you are taking text from an environment that probably supports fonts and special characters that require different handling on the web.  The format of your abstract needs to be reduced to plain text, free of fonts and special characters.

We recommend the following changes to keep your titles and abstracts legible on the web:

  •         Change "smart" single and double quotes to straight quotes
  •         Change an ellipsis to three periods (...)
  •         Change em- and en-dashes to hypens

If you want to use bold and italic in your abstracts, use the corresponding HTML codes. Be sure to choose the HTML format option on the submission form.

The following HTML tags are recognized by the system and may be used to format an abstract (use lowercase tags):
    <p> Paragraph </p>
    <br> - line break
    <strong>bold text</strong>    
    <em>italicized text</em>    

The repository software supports the ISO 8859-1 character set.  This includes the numbers 0-9, upper- and lower-case letters A-Z, and standard English punctuation.  You can use the complete character set, but we recommend you avoid special characters as these may inhibit user searches, both on the web and on the site.