Digital Repositories Policy

Today's Hours: 8am - 10pm - All service hours

Effective: April 1, 2022

Next Review: 2024

I. Purpose

The McLaughlin Library supports open access digital repositories dedicated to the long-term stewardship of scholarly and creative works created at or in cooperation with the University of Guelph (the “Repositories”).  Providing access to the content of these Repositories supports the principles of open science and open scholarship which recognize scholarship as a public good and seek to advance knowledge through open dissemination via standardized metadata and protocols (“Purpose”). 
Content which is accepted for inclusion in the Repositories (a “Submission”) is subject to all applicable University policies including but not limited to the McLaughlin Library’s Collection Policies, academic and research integrity policies and Intellectual Property policies, and AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) regulations. 

A user who submits content to the Repositories (the “Depositor”) will be either the creator of the submission, a researcher collaborating with the creator(s), an individual designated by the creator, or an institutional curator.

The University may reject any content submitted for review, withdraw a Submission from the Repositories or from public access either temporarily or permanently, if in its sole discretion, it decides the content or Submission fails to satisfy the requirements of this Policy.

Any questions regarding Submissions, the Repositories or this Policy should be directed to:

II. The Repositories 

A. The Atrium Institutional Repository (the “Atrium”) 

The Atrium primarily hosts research publications and open access versions of scholarly and creative work such as:  

  •  Graduate theses and dissertations
  • Journal articles and preprints
  • Books / Book Chapters
  • Conference Presentations / Papers
  • Grey literature (including policy briefings, plain language summaries, trade publications, community outreach materials)
  • Other research outputs such as protocols, images, reports, infographics, papers, audio files, etc. 

B. Research Data Repositories 

The University of Guelph Research Data Repositories (Data Repositories) accept open access research data and datasets in accordance with the Purpose identified above. 

There are currently two main collections in the Data Repositories: 

  1. Cross-disciplinary Research Data collection – for research data for all disciplines except those covered in 2) below; and  
  2. Agri-environmental Research Data collection – for agricultural and environmental research data.   

The Data Repositories are guided by the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship which aim to improve the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reuse of research data. Thus, all Submissions in the Data Repositories are required to have: 

  • data structured in accordance with directions provided for the Data Repositories;  
  • rich metadata that describes the data; and 
  • all supplemental documentation necessary for the data to be found, understood and reused, such as ‘read me’ files, user guides, codebooks, and where applicable code/script files. 

III. Content

The Library will review any content received for possible inclusion in the Repositories. To begin a submission, contact us at

In accordance with the Purpose, deposited content and associated metadata should be open by default and by design to the greatest extent possible. 

Content must be in digital form and must not include: 

  • unfinished works, drafts, works in progress 
  • ephemeral works 
  • unaltered secondary and third-party data 
  • collections of data to be shared for teaching purposes  
  • content that is confidential/sensitive as described in the U of G’s Research Data Classification (RDC) guidelines

Undergraduate students who are authors and who wishing to deposit non-thesis materials must have the approval of a departmental faculty member. 

IV. Representations, Warranties, License 

Responsibility for the content of submissions to the Repositories is the sole responsibility of the authors. In submitting content to the Repositories, authors acknowledge and agree to the following:

A. Representations and Warranties 

  1. They are either the sole author of the submission, or if there is more than one author, all co-authors have agreed to the submission to the Repositories under the terms of this Policy;
  2. The submission is original, except for any copyrighted material of others incorporated in the submission, for which written permission to use has been obtained, or unless otherwise permitted by law;
  3. The submission does not infringe or violate any intellectual or industrial property rights or contractual right of any person including but not limited to patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or right of publicity;
  4. If the submission is produced in whole or in part with funding from an external agency or organization, any right or review or other contractual obligation required by the external agency or organization has been fulfilled;
  5. If subject to Research Ethics Board (REB) review, the submission has received such approval; and 
  6. The submission complies with all applicable Canadian and provincial legislation including but not limited to those related to libel, obscenity, defamation or privacy.

B. License and indemnification

  1. They grant the University of Guelph a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to publish, reproduce and distribute this Submission in whole or in part, in all languages, in print, electronic or any other form and in any media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the world, for the full term of copyright available to the Submission, for the purpose of preserving your submission in the Repositories in perpetuity (“Preservation Rights”). This includes but is not limited to:
    1. mediation and curation of the submission process including cataloguing and editing of metadata for the purpose of improving discoverability (and reuse, where permitted) of the Submission;
    2. uploading and storing the submission in the Repositories;
    3. publishing the submission on the public internet via the Repositories as outlined in the Terms of Public Access section of this Policy;
    4. migration of the submission to any medium or format for the purpose of preservation; and
    5. retention of more than one copy of the submission for purposes of security, back-up and preservation.
  2. They grant to the University, the right to sub-license these Preservation Rights regarding any graduate thesis or dissertation, to Library and Archives Canada for the Purpose.
  3. They acknowledge and agree that they have the right and authority to grant these license rights and have not previously assigned or relinquished these rights in such a manner that would conflict with this license.   

V. Indemnification

The author agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the University, its employees and assigns, from any claim that may arise out of any act or omission by the author with respect to their obligations, rights or warranties under this Policy. 

VI. Submission Guidelines 

Submission guidelines provide an outline of specific requirements including preferred file formats, file naming conventions, required descriptive information (or metadata) and copyright considerations. 

The University reserves the right to decline any Submission which the University determines its sole discretion, fails to meet the criteria in this Policy.  

VII. Open Access 

Access to the Repositories will be managed in accordance with guidance from the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance, the First Nations Information Governance Centre’s principles of ownership, control, access, and possession (OCAP Principles) and the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

Normally Submissions will be made available publicly as soon as possible. The University may decide to delay public access in its sole discretion because of circumstances including but not limited to legal rights, ethical principles or private, public, or community interests. 

VIII. Correction or Withdrawal of Submission 

Once accepted, Submissions are part of the Library’s collections and will not normally be withdrawn from the Repositories. If necessary, corrections through the addition of errata or corrigenda for the original Submission may be used as appropriate. 

If the University determines in its sole discretion to withdraw a Submission from public access, the Submission will retain its persistent identifiers and URLs. Where possible, the citation will include the reason for withdrawal and a link to another version of the content (if applicable).  

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: