DigitalCommons Overview

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DigitalCommons Overview

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In this guide, you will be introduced to UNL's institutional repository, called the DigitalCommons.

What you will learn

This guide provides a brief introduction to:

  • searching
  • creating an account
  • submitting documents 
  • the Author Dashboard

Interested in a more in-depth introduction?


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DigitalCommons Overview

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What is the DigitalCommons?

The DigitalCommons is UNL's institutional repository (IR). Since 2005, we have been leaders in the deployment of repositories as agents of change in scholarly publishing. We are one of the country’s and the world’s most successful repositories—based on work produced by this campus and its associated programs. It currently holds over 84,000 documents that have been downloaded nearly 35 million times.

Why submit to the DigitalCommons?

  • Increased discoverability
  • Increased access
  • Free storage
  • Usage statistics

Searching the DigitalCommons

You can browse the DigitalCommons by collection or discipline, or you can use the search box to find materials by keyword, title, author, and more.

Creating an Account

Who can submit to the DigitalCommons?

What about co-authored materials?

Create an Account

To submit documents to the DigitalCommons, you first need to create an account.

1. click My Account at the top of the screen (or use this link)

2. click the Sign up button under Create new account

3. fill out all required fields. Use your official UNL email account

4. click the Sign up button

An email will be sent to you confirming your account creation. You can do this another time.

Document Types Accepted for Submission

Once you've created an account, you're ready to submit to the DigitalCommons.

Document Types

The DigitalCommons is an ideal place for UNL faculty, staff, researchers, and students to submit their scholarly and research materials. These include:

  • journal articles
  • conference proceedings
  • posters
  • presentations/slides
  • editorials 
  • working papers
  • theses and dissertations

Open Access and Copyright

Open Access

By contributing your works to the DigitalCommons, you are participating in "green" open access and helping to free scholarly communications from distribution limits formerly imposed by many publishers. More about this.


copyrightBefore you submit materials to the DigitalCommons, make sure you own the copyright or have permission to post from the copyright holder.

If your material has not been published, then you are free to post it. If your material was published, the publishers probably had you transfer the rights to them via an agreement or contract, so your power over it is limited by the language in the legal document you signed.

Copyright resources:

Submitting Your Research

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The easiest way to submit an item to the DigitalCommons is to let us help you! 

If you prefer to do this yourself, you should follow these steps:

1. return to the homepage of the DigitalCommons

2. click Submit your paper or article from the left hand column

3. select your department or program from the alphabetized list (Special instructions for UCARE Students)

4. if you accept the Submission Instructions, check the box and click Continue

Submitting Your Research

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5. complete the information describing your document (click each for guidance):

  • Title
  • Authors
  • Date of this Version
  • Document Type
  • Keywords
  • Disciplines
  • Citation
  • Comments
  • Abstract

Submitting Your Research

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6. upload your document file by selecting Upload file from your local computer, clicking the Choose File button that appears, and opening your file in the file browser. What is "Link out to a file on remote site?"
7. under Publication Status, select No
8. If you have supplemental files, click the Additional Files box. What is this?
9.  click Submit
You will be taken to the Submission Confirmation Page, where you can review the information, or metadata, you entered about your poster. If you notice errors, you can click the Revise Submission button to make corrections.
The work will not go online immediately. One of our staff will review it first.

The Author Dashboard

The Author Dashboard allows you to monitor how many times your documents have been downloaded, and includes information about what country your readers are located in.

Digital Commons map

To access the Author Dashboard:

1. click on My Account in the top menu

2. under DASHBOARD TOOLS, select Author Dashboard

Author dashboard

Once your document has been reviewed, you will be able to track usage statistics and your readership distribution here. You will also receive usage statistics via the email address you provided.

Getting Help

If you have any questions related to using the UNL Digital Commons, you can contact, Paul Royster, Coordinator for Scholarly Communications. 

There is also an FAQ page that may be able to answer your questions.

We appreciate your participation in the UNL DigitalCommons. We are making scholarship vastly more available and are providing new metrics for its reception that are advantageous for scholars at all junctures of their careers.