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ScholarlyCommons Guide: Instructions for Submitting

Instructions for Submitting

Note: Many series in ScholarlyCommons contain different fields in the submission form. The following instructions are for the most basic submission forms and do not account for all possible fields. Please contact the repository manager for more detailed/specific instructions.

Click on the tabs below for instructions on how to submit materials to ScholarlyCommons (blue tabs are general information; grey tabs are for filling in fields on the submission form). Download these instructions using the box on the left-hand side of this page.

Before You Begin...

Evaluate Copyright Permissions :  If you would like to add a paper which was previously published, there may be restrictions as to which version of the paper you may submit, an embargo period, or a publisher’s statement which must be included. Check with your publisher or the journal’s site to determine their repository policy.

Visit the Copyright Resources Guide for more information on copyright.

Have all of your materials ready to deposit :  Materials may be submitted in the following formats:

  • PDF
  • Microsoft Word
  • RTF

The final document posted in ScholarlyCommons will be in PDF format.

 Ready? Let's submit!

Submitting Materials...

Go to the ScholarlyCommons home page.  In the toolbar on the left side of the page, find Submit Research, located under Contribute to ScholarlyCommons. When you click on this button, you will be taken to a page which lists all of the current collections to which you may submit. Find your department, school, or center (bolded), and choose the series in which you would like to deposit. (ex. Population Studies Center --> PSC Working Paper Series).

Once you click on the series, you will be prompted to login.

If you have a ScholarlyCommons account, login.  If not, create a new account.


After logging in, you should see the school, department, or center to which you are submitting (Annenberg, in the example below) and the series name [Departmental Papers (ASC), in the example].  Check to make sure these are correct. 

The next sections will explain how to enter your information into the metadata fields. It may be helpful to have your paper or other material open while you fill in these fields.

Enter the full title of your paper with HEADLINE STYLE CAPITALIZATION. Here are some guidelines for how this should be done:

  • Capitalize the first word of the title (and subtitle), as well as every “major” word (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns) in the title/subtitle, including the second part of hyphenated major words (e.g., Self-Report not Self-report); and
  • All words of four letters or more are capitalized.

If you do not have any special formatting or special characters in your title, that’s it! You can move on to the next step. If you do have words in bold, italics, Superscript, Subscript, or special characters (e.g., ä, é, β, ñ, etc.), see our HTML Help page.

Book Reviews

Please use the following format for your title, inputting your own data in the bracketed areas:

 Review of [Author Firstname and Lastname], <em>[Title of book being reviewed]</em>

Example:  Review of Richard Marius, <em>After the War</em>

A few notes about this field:

1. Searching for an author: If you or another author of your work has previously published in ScholarlyCommons, your/their author information should be available. Search by last name or email (these seem to work best). Select the name (if it appears), and all of the fields will be automatically filled in. If not, the data will have to be entered in separately (described in the next section).

2. This button allows you to edit the entry.  Clicking it will bring up all of the fields for that record (Email, First, Middle, Last, Suffix, Institution).

3. This button deletes the record.

4. Add a new line using this field. There should be one line for every person who helped author the work you are adding.

5. The authors should be entered in the order they appear on the title page of the work you are submitting. If you enter all of the authors and realize that one or more of them are out of order, you can change the number in this box to reflect their order in the title page, and the system will automatically readjust the rest of the authors.


Adding Authors to the Author field

1. If there are multiple authors, they should be entered in the order they appear on the title page of the work.

2. Add authors using the search bar; if the author does not appear, follow the steps to manually enter the author.

3. Manually entering authors:

      a. Email field:

            i. For Penn faculty, include their email address. If you do not know the email address, you may search for faculty email addresses in the online directory.

            ii. For Penn students and non-Penn authors, do not include an email address.

      b. First:

            i. Enter the author’s first name or initial (with a period after the initial)

      c. Middle:

            i. Enter the author’s middle initial (if applicable) with no period – the period will be automatically inserted by the system after submission

      d. Last:

            i. Enter the author’s last name.

      e. Institution:

            i. Enter University of Pennsylvania for all Penn authors;

            ii. for non-Penn authors, you may choose to enter their institute, research center, etc. at the time the paper was published.

4. Continue to add authors as appropriate.


Note on Accents:

If the author’s name has accented characters, you may be able to generate these accented characters by replacing them with and HTML code (see for a list of codes). 

                Ex. Andrés --> Andr&eacute;s

IF THE PUBLICATION WAS ISSUED BEFORE THE AUTHOR WAS AFFILIATED WITH PENN, use “University of Pennsylvania” as the institutional affiliation for the author and include an explanatory paragraph in the Comments box (see the Comments Box instructions).

Select the appropriate format. Working Paper is the current default, so be sure to check the other categories to see if they should be used instead. NOTE: If you select NONE, the paper will default to a Journal Article when submitted.

As noted in the instructions, you must enter a year at the very least. If you are submitting a work which may have a more specific date, use the following guidelines:

Journal Article

If the:  Journal has a month/day/year, use that.

            Journal has month, use the first day of month.

            Journal has year, use Jan. 1.

            Journal has a season (i.e., Spring), use your best guess for the month or just use the year.


Conference Paper

Use day month year of first day of conference, if available.


CIS Tech Reports
The year appears in the tech report number as the first 2 digits i.e. MS-CIS-03-02 is from 2003, so you would enter the date as January 1, 2003.


Where no other date info is available

Check if there is a date on the document itself somewhere.

If uploading a Word document, use file creation date.

If nothing else available, use today’s date.

If you are submitting a journal article which was peer-reviewed, check this box; if not, leave the box as is.  NOTE: If your article was peer-reviewed in the final version but you are submitting a version of the paper BEFORE it was peer-reviewed, leave this box blank.

There are 3 major components would could or should be entered into the comments box (unless there are other, specific fields for this information):

      1. Citation / Tech Report Number (for Technical Reports (CIS))

      2. Journal permission/copyright statement (if applicable)

      3. Author affiliation statement (if applicable)

See below for more information on how to enter these fields.

NOTE: If you are copying and pasting any information into this box, click on the HTML button (circled in the picture above), which will bring up a new window for the HTML Source Editor.

Paste your information into this box and click Update. Review the updated Comments box to make sure all of the information is correct and properly formatted (you will likely have to reapply formatting such as italics and bold).


Citation/CIS Tech Reports

Journal Permission/Copyright Statement

Author Affiliation Statement

If you have an abstract, please enter it into this box as it appears in your work.


NOTE: If you enter an abstract into this box via copy/paste, be sure to paste into the HTML Source Editor, not the box on the submission page:

  • Open the HTML Source Editor by clicking on the “HTML” button in the editing pane of the abstract box, then paste in the empty window.  Select “Update” in the bottom right hand corner of the window when finished. 
  • Continuing editing using the tools in the editing pane of the abstract box, or in the HTML window using HTML tags. 


Please read thoroughly and completely through every abstract that you copy and paste and compare the entered version to the original word for word. In particular, look out for these issues:

  • How single and double quotes appear
  • Usage of special symbols, including Greek, mathematical, logical, or other special characters (see this site for HTML codes for these characters:
  • Incorrect conversion of the letters f or ff. For example, "ff", "fl", or "fi" might disappear causing a word like "difficult" to change to "di cult". This is a problem with the conversion from the PDF to the text format when you copy. 
  • End-of-line hyphens which are no longer necessary.
  • Unnecessary line breaks
  • Italicized or bolded words as well as subscripts and superscripts

The Disciplines box will determine the “Commons” in which your paper will appear in the Digital Commons network. The Digital Commons network is a larger repository populated by works from all the institutions using bepress, the platform we use for ScholarlyCommons. The disciplines you may choose from when submitting your paper are the same disciplines which appear in the Discipline Wheel on the ScholarlyCommons main page – choose as many as apply to your work. Adding more specific areas will increase the visibility of your paper in the Digital Commons network and in ScholarlyCommons.

Some disciplines should already appear in the “Selected” box. You may remove these disciplines using the “<< Remove” button in between the two boxes.

To add disciplines:

  • Expand and contract the discipline areas in the “Available” box using the + and – buttons.
  • The discipline areas become more specific as you expand the areas.
  • Choose the discipline area(s) which relate to your topic.  You may add a discipline by selecting it in the “Available” box and then clicking the   “Select >>” button in between the two boxes.  Your selection should now appear in the “Selected” box.
  • Choose the most specific discipline area(s) which relate to your paper.


If, for example, you add the discipline “American Film Studies” (as highlighted above), your paper will appear in the “American Film Studies,” “American Studies,” and “Arts and Humanities” Commons.

If you are uploading a file from your computer (recommended) and have it open, make sure you close the paper before you upload it.

Select your preferred mode of upload, and upload the paper either by using the “Browse…” button or by entering a link into the provided box.

If your submission was published in a journal, check the “Yes” button. This will create a link to the library’s Penn Text on the final web page.  If not, click “No.”

If you have any additional files you would like to add (charts, graphs, other supplemental materials, etc.), check this box. Once you click the “Submit” button, you will be directed to another page where you can upload or link to the additional files.


Check to make sure you have entered all of the necessary information into the metadata fields and…CLICK SUBMIT!

It may take a few minutes to upload your materials if you are uploading a large file. ONLY CLICK THE SUBMIT BUTTON ONCE.

After submitting your materials, a preview screen will appear. Read through all of the information carefully, checking for errors and correct formatting. If you have uploaded a PDF, right click on the “Download” link and choose “Open Link in New Tab.” Make sure that the PDF is displayed correctly and has generated a cover page based on the metadata you entered.

Congratulations! You have submitted your paper! You should receive an email confirming your submission.  This email will also give you a link to check the status of your paper.  NOTE: Your work is NOT PUBLICLY AVAILABLE   until an administrator of the series has approved it. If you are an admin, contact the repository manager for final approval.

If you need help troubleshooting, please check the Author Help tab under Contribute to ScholarlyCommons in the menu bar. If your question is not answered there, please contact the repository manager.

If you need to revise your submission, click the “Revise submission” button, make the necessary changes, and enter an explanation in the “Reason for Update” field:

Click submit and check to make sure that the information has revised properly.

Once you have submitted your paper, you can click the “Make another submission” button to add another paper. Please note that by doing so, you will be submitting to the same department and series. If you need to submit a paper to a different series, click on the “Submit Research” link in the menu bar and choose the appropriate series.