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About OPUS: Open ULeth Scholarship

Information on OPUS - Open ULeth Scholarship, the U of L's open access research repository

About OPUS

What is OPUS?

OPUS - Open ULeth Scholarship - is the University of Lethbridge's open access research repository. OPUS provides an open access environment for self-archiving and sharing materials related to research and teaching. It is a centralized, publicly accessible, digital collection that preserves and showcases the scholarly and creative output of University of Lethbridge faculty and students.

What are the benefits of OPUS?

  • Provides a long-term, stable, online home for your scholarship.
  • Maximizes dissemination and impact of your work by providing free and open online access to researchers worldwide.
  • Increases discoverability, as materials in OPUS will be found through Google, Google Scholar, Summon, and other indexes.
  • Self-archiving in OPUS is one way to meet the Open Access policies of granting agencies, such as the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.
  • Collects usage statistics so you can see how often and from where your materials are accessed.
  • Authors retain copyright.
  • Archiving in OPUS is mediated through the University Library, which takes care of uploading, metadata, and preservation.

What content belongs in OPUS?

Material belongs in OPUS if it is the end product of your research, or the product of a completed portion of your research, and can be made openly accessible worldwide. Submissions must be in digital format. Submissions must be scholarly, research, or pedagogical materials.  Typical materials include:

  • Journal articles (Final, accepted, peer-reviewed manuscript)
    • - Also known as post-prints, these are the versions that publishers most frequently allow to be archived in OPUS
  • Journal articles (Publisher's PDF)
    • - Few publishers allow self-archiving of the final, published version, unless it is an open access journal
  • Journal articles (Accepted manuscript before peer review)
    • - Also known as pre-prints, these versions will be accepted if the publisher does not allow archiving of the peer-reviewed or the published version. This version will not satisfy the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.
  • Book chapters
  • Conference proceedings
  • Conference or workshop presentations
  • Conference or workshop posters
  • Research reports, documentation, and manuals
  • Other non-peer-reviewed articles
  • Open access e-books
  • Documentation of creative work, such as images of artwork
  • Smaller data sets associated with research outputs
  • Open Educational Resources - OERs can include learning objects, presentations, syllabi, open textbooks; as all versions will be archived, only versions with substantive changes should be submitted
  • U of L Theses and Dissertations - through the School of Graduate Studies
  • U of L Graduate Projects - through the School of Graduate Studies
  • U of L undergraduate honours theses - included upon recommendation of the supervising faculty member

What is not included in OPUS?

  • Materials that are not associated with a U of L researcher or program.
  • Administrative documents.
  • Ephemera or incomplete drafts - OPUS is intended for permanent contributions of completed work.
  • Large data sets - OPUS cannot provide adequate preservation and access to large data sets.
  • Video - until the U of L is able to support a Digital Asset Manager in order to archive and stream video, OPUS is not able to accommodate any but the smallest files of video content.
  • Links to external websites can only be included in addition to files.  Links cannot be the only source of content, as we cannot guarantee long-term access to external links. OPUS administrators are not responsible for maintaining or preserving external links to materials.
  • Please consult with a librarian to investigate other repository or streaming options for materials not accepted in OPUS.

What formats are supported?

Although OPUS can store materials in most common file types, in general materials should be in a non-proprietary format appropriate for preservation, such as PDF, TXT, JPEG, or TIFF. The maximum file size is 2GB.

Who may contribute to OPUS?

Materials authored, co-authored, or sponsored by at least one U of L faculty, post-doctoral, or graduate researcher are accepted. Materials submitted to OPUS should have a close affiliation with the U of L's research or teaching programs. Undergraduate honours theses will be included upon recommendation of the supervising faculty member.

How to submit materials to OPUS?

If you are a U of L faculty member, post-doctoral fellow, or graduate student and would like to make your publications available through OPUS, please visit and fill out the applicable form. Before you do so, you will need:

  • Full citations of recent research-related publications; you may also upload your CV. 
  • Be prepared to provide a copy of your submitted materials; in many cases this will be an accepted, peer-reviewed final draft of a journal article (post-print), not the publisher's PDF.
  • OPUS administrators will create a community in OPUS for your work, check that there are no licensing or copyright barriers to making your work open access, catalogue and post your materials in your OPUS community.
  • In general, the most recent 6 years worth of publications will be given priority.
  • Submission of U of L graduate theses, dissertations, and projects will be mediated through the School of Graduate Studies.

What is a post-print, pre-print, or publisher version?

Most scholarly publishers allow self-archiving of a published article in OPUS (although often after an embargo period), but they rarely allow the publisher's PDF final version of the article to be archived.  It is important to retain your final, post-peer-reviewed drafts for submission to OPUS.

  • Post-print: Final, accepted, peer-reviewed manuscripts of articles. This is your final draft, not the publisher's final PDF version. It will lack the publisher's formatting and page numbers, but the content will be nearly identical to the published version. These are the versions that publishers most frequently allow to be archived in OPUS. This version will satisfy the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.
  • Pre-print: Final draft that has not yet been peer reviewed. Publishers often allow this version to be archived in OPUS, but it is less desirable as it is not the final draft and has not gone through peer review. This version will not satisfy the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.
  • Version of Record/Published PDF: The publisher's PDF of the final, published article with publisher's formatting, layout, and page numbers. Few commercial publishers allow this version to be archived in a repository, unless the article has been published as an open access article. This version will satisfy the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.
  • Open Access: Open access articles can be archived in OPUS.  This includes both articles that are published in fully open access journals, and single articles that have been made open access by paying an article processing charge. This version will satisfy the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.

You may check SHERPA/RoMEO to determine which publishers and journals allow archiving in a repository, which version they allow, and their embargo periods.

What about copyright & licensing?

The Library will strive to ensure materials archived in OPUS can be self-archived in research repositories in compliance with licensing requirements and copyright law. The majority of publishers support the right of academic authors to self-archive their own work, although applicable terms and conditions often disallow using the final formatted version and sometimes impose an embargo period. However, some publishers prohibit authors from using their work in this way as a condition of the copyright transfer agreement.

What about preservation & metadata?

The Library is responsible for maintaining the technical and administrative infrastructure of OPUS, which is run on DSpace software. OPUS is part of a larger global system of institutional repositories. The Library ensures that best practices and technical standards for metadata, archiving, and preserving materials in the collection are followed. Items in OPUS will be retained indefinitely.

What about withdrawal/take-down?

All deposits in OPUS are considered permanent. However, the University Library recognizes that there may be exceptional circumstances that require items to be removed from view, including illegal activity, copyright or licensing restrictions, or publisher embargos. In the case of Open Educational Resources, all versions will be maintained in order to avoid broken links.

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