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This guide will help you to become more familiar with Penn's institutional repository, ScholarlyCommons, and the various services provided by the ScholarlyCommons team.

Wharton Project FAQ

This page contains FAQs for the ScholarlyCommons Wharton Departmental Papers permissions review project. ScholarlyCommons is Penn’s open access institutional repository, which makes the scholarly work of faculty, staff, and students openly available and discoverable to a global audience. The Wharton Scholarly Commons project is backed by the Deputy Dean and the Wharton Faculty IT Steering committee.

The first phase of the project was completed in November 2017 and culminated in the initial deposit of more than 2,000 papers from Wharton faculty members. The ScholarlyCommons team continues to review copyright, contact publishers, and post papers to the repository and will work with Wharton to continue to update our repository with future publications. To view the collections in the repository, visit

If you have any questions which are not covered in this guide, please email libraryrepository[at] or fill out the “Ask a Question or Request a Consultation” form on this page.

What happened as part of this project?

The ScholarlyCommons team conducted permissions checks on all Wharton faculty papers and deposited whatever the publishers allowed into ScholarlyCommons.

Why did you spearhead this project?

We wanted to create a space to showcase the breadth and depth of new business knowledge created at Wharton. By gathering the bulk of research papers into a single, searchable repository, we’ve made it easier for people for discover, link to and cite relevant materials.

What are the benefits of having my papers in ScholarlyCommons?

The benefits of making your works available through ScholarlyCommons include:

  • Increased visibility: All materials in ScholarlyCommons are fully indexed in search engines like Google and Google Scholar and are additionally available through the Digital Commons Network (a discipline-specific repository search engine). This means that your materials are more easily discoverable online and appear higher in search results. ScholarlyCommons currently receives around 2.5 million downloads per year (and counting).

  • Statistics reports: Individual authors will receive access to an Author Dashboard, a personalized reporting tool where you can view real-time download information for every work you publish as well as global insights into the sources of your readership. You'll also receive a monthly readership report delivered directly to your inbox.

  • Permanent URLs: The Penn Libraries takes stewardship over all materials in ScholarlyCommons and is committed to ensuring their longevity as best it can. ScholarlyCommons provides permanent URLs for each work in the repository, which means you can link to your works on your departmental website, CV, personal website, and academic social media sites without having to worry about dead links or 404s.

  • Penn branding:  Each item in the repository is stamped with a customized cover page containing recommended citations and other information that ensures authors get credit for their work.

  • Endurance of your work: Websites are impermanent, but ScholarlyCommons is more than a typical website. The Penn Libraries takes stewardship over all materials in ScholarlyCommons and is committed to ensuring their longevity as best it can.

I already have my papers up on my personal website/ Why would I want them up in ScholarlyCommons, too?

The more your works are available, the more people can find them, link to them, and cite them. ScholarlyCommons isn’t in competition with these other websites; on the contrary, it works in tandem to connect more people to your work who may not find it otherwise. ScholarlyCommons is maintained by the University of Pennsylvania, so unlike academic networking sites (, ResearchGate, etc.) or SSRN (which is now owned by Elsevier), ScholarlyCommons is not a commercial venture and has academic values at its core.

How did we know what we could post to ScholarlyCommons?

Whether or not you can share your works and/or post them online depends on what decisions you made when you published (Did you keep your copyright or sign it away to the publisher? Did you publish open access or subscription only?). Unless you published open access, there are likely publisher restrictions to what you can share online and where, as detailed in your publishing contracts. Because we cannot access all of your publishing contracts, we look at general policies each publisher may put up online related to resharing your work as the author.

This process involved importing all Wharton faculty publication information into a series of spreadsheets, determining the publisher for each of these works, and then figuring out whether or not those publishers generally allow us to legally deposit your work into a non-profit institutional repository like ScholarlyCommons (unless you published open access, in which case we could make it available right away). Based on that research, we then uploaded what we could to ScholarlyCommons.

Why did you have to check each publication? Can’t you just put up anything I wrote?

Unfortunately, we can’t just put everything up. Most publishers ask authors to sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) or other publishing agreement before their article is officially published. These agreements ask authors to surrender all of their copyrights to the publisher, which means that you, the author, likely no longer own any rights to your work - the publisher owns it. The exception to this is if you published open access, included a SPARC author addendum, or negotiated for better rights in your contract.

Depending on what the publication agreement says and what rights (if any) the publisher gives back to the author(s), authors may find themselves unable to re-use portions of their articles in other publications, print their writings for their own classes, or share their work online in an institutional repository like ScholarlyCommons or on another platform like SSRN. We needed to review each of your works in order to determine the details of those agreements you likely signed and determine what your publisher’s sharing policies are. If we do not check permissions, we could be infringing on the publisher’s copyright (since they likely own your work).

What can I do in the future to ensure I can share more of my works?

While you may not be able to do much about your previous publications, there are certain tactics you can employ when you publish in the future in order to retain more of your rights. This may include choosing open access, Creative Commons licensing, including a SPARC author addendum, and/or negotiating for your rights in your contract. Contact our Scholarly Communications librarian, Sarah Wipperman ( for an individual consultation or to request a workshop on how to employ these strategies.

Do all publishers have policies on posting my work?

Not all publishers have information on what they allow to be posted or where, so for some of these works, we are still researching permissions writing to the publishers for clarification or written permission. We have done our best to ensure that whatever works are up on ScholarlyCommons are legally posted. These permissions may not extend to other websites, so if you wish to re-share your works, post a link to the paper in Scholarly Commons rather than re-uploading the paper. If you kept any of your publishing agreements, please contact us.

Why aren’t all of my papers in the repository?

While posting all of your papers was our goal, we were limited by publisher policies and the contracts you signed with the publisher. Some publishers allow repositories to deposit the final published version, but others only allow them to deposit a pre-final version, such as a preprint or postprint. Book publishers are generally less willing than journal publishers to have works deposited in repositories. Broadly speaking, we are able to automatically upload approximately 25% of a faculty member’s CV, but if we have access to preprints/postprints, we can deposit upwards of 85% or more of a CV. The more preprints/postprints that we were able to find, the more works we are able to deposit to the repository. We encourage all authors to retain their preprints and postprints when they publish. To learn more about the different versions of a scholarly paper, check out our FAQs.  

Can I send you preprints/postprints if I have them so that more of my work will be available on ScholarlyCommons?

Yes! If you have alternate versions of your work (not the final version), we may be able to put them up. Please contact us for more information.

How can I learn more about retaining my author rights in the future?

If you would like a consultation to learn how you can retain more rights over your work in the future, please contact us for an individual consultation. We also are also happy to provide workshops on reading and negotiating publishing contracts, understanding copyrights and author rights, sharing your work more broadly, and related topics if a group of you would like to participate.

What can I do with my uploaded papers? Can I share them on other sites?

In addition to having your works posted to ScholarlyCommons, you may use the repository URLs to populate your profile on social media sites like, ResearchGate, Twitter, Facebook, and other online platforms, as well as your departmental website. We strongly recommend linking to your works on ScholarlyCommons, as opposed to uploading duplicate copies (ScholarlyCommons URLs are permanent and will never go dead). As a result of having your works deposited in ScholarlyCommons, you will also receive access to an author dashboard which will provide analytics information for all of your works, as well as a monthly download report delivered directly to your inbox. By driving traffic to a single source, you can keep better tabs on your readership.

I noticed a typo or other error in the record for one of my papers. How should I correct it?

To revise a submission that has been posted to the repository, contact us with a link to the paper and a short description of the issue/revision, and we will take care of it for you.

How can I receive download and other usage statistics for my papers?

Analytics and usage reports can be found in your Author Dashboard. You can access your Author Dashboard from your ScholarlyCommons profile:

  • Log in to ScholarlyCommons or create a new account (please use your Wharton email address).

  • Under "Dashboard Tools", select "Author Dashboard".

You will also receive a monthly statistics email that will provide a single download count for all of your papers (and a link to view your dashboard).Should you have any issues logging in or viewing your statistics, or if you notice that a paper published to the repository isn’t showing up in your dashboard, please contact us for assistance.

I have other types of scholarship I want to share (beyond journal articles or books). How can I get them on ScholarlyCommons?

ScholarlyCommons is more than just a repository of previously published work. It can also be used to disseminate and showcase working papers, issue briefs, conference proceedings, audiovisual materials, 3D models, and much more. ScholarlyCommons can also host your open access journal, complete with a custom design and built in peer review system. For more information about the services the ScholarlyCommons team offers, visit our services page.

What platform does ScholarlyCommons use?

The University of Pennsylvania hosts ScholarlyCommons on Digital Commons, a bepress platform. In August 2017, bepress was acquired by Elsevier, a major publishing/information analytics company. Given this development, Penn Libraries has announced that it will explore alternatives to Digital Commons. To learn more about this process, visit our FAQs. We invite you to talk with us about your needs as we explore options for a new platform or platforms.

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Submit to ScholarlyCommons

Make your works discoverable through ScholarlyCommons, Penn's openly accessible institutional repository. Take advantage of Faculty Assisted Submission by sending us your CV or list of publications (faculty only), submit materials yourself, or set up a consultation to discuss your digital project. 

Image courtesy Niklas Wikström via CC BY-NC 2.0 license.