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  • Access is controlled using the University’s Shibboleth authentication system.
  • The submitter has the ability to control basic access levels (Public, Brown University only, Private) through web-based tools.
  • More flexible permissions (e.g., groups of people, departments, collaborators, etc.) can be set up as needed. Contact the Library ( for more information.
  • Personal information of depositors will not be sold, lent, or otherwise distributed.
  • Persistent access is guaranteed only to documents in the repository, not links within them to outside sources.

Preservation Standards/Responsibilities

The Brown Digital Repository (BDR) is intended to make accessible and preserve digital objects of enduring value to the scholarly mission of Brown University.


  • Each object that is submitted to the BDR will be made accessible to the submitter via a permanent link.
  • The submitter has the ability to control basic access levels (Public, Brown University only, Private).
  • The bitstreams that make up an object will be maintained intact, with mechanisms available for checking their integrity.
  • Changes to bitstreams will create new archived versions and an audit trail to monitor changes over time.
  • The Library offers support for storing, retrieving, and curating:
    • Publications
    • Research data
    • Digital objects that inform scholarly work

File formats:

The following file formats will be recognized by the BDR and made accessible via the web in their native format:

  • pdf
  • MSWord (doc, docx, etc.)
  • ppt
  • Excel (xls, xlsx, etc.)
  • txt
  • jp2
  • jpg, jpeg
  • tiff
  • zip, jar, gz
  • flv, mov, mp4
  • mp3
  • xml
  • xslt

Any other file types will be recognized as generic data and will be stored as a raw bitstream. They will still be subject to data integrity checks, access controls, and most other data curation services.

Please contact Library staff ( to request adding support for new file types.

Long-term data curation:

Over time, some file formats may need to be migrated to more modern formats to remain viable, while others may have no modern equivalent. Likewise, changes to database technology, storage standards, and other future technological developments may require different approaches to repository services.

In the event that Library staff need to modify, migrate, or otherwise change the state of deposited items, the Library will notify the depositor prior to any changes. Every effort will be made to retain pre-migration data unless the depositor chooses to withdraw the items from the repository.



Objects added to the digital repository will be subject to review by Library staff to ensure data integrity, metadata standards compliance, and system security. Changes to objects uploaded to personal collections will be made in consultation with the depositor.

Content Guidelines /Criteria:

The BDR is intended to support research and scholarship at Brown. It is not intended to provide storage for personal materials unless they have a bearing on work being done at the University. Examples of appropriate materials include:

  • Publications (see below)
  • Data sets
  • Audio, video, or images derived from research or creative works
  • Research documentation
  • Computer programs developed through research
  • Art work
  • Digital surrogates of primary sources

For help digitizing materials, contact Digital Production Services.

Whose work is collected:

As of May 2012, the BDR is open to submissions by all faculty. Student work may be included in the BDR as part of faculty or administrative projects.

Depositing publications:

Please refer to the following Guidelines for Manuscripts/Publications

Storage quotas:

Individuals have a 4GB limit when uploading personal collections. Users requiring more space should contact the Library ( to discuss support for larger data sets.


  • Authors/creators retain copyright. Authors/creators grant the Library non-exclusive license to preserve all items, and to distribute items based on their access levels. Author may still reuse content elsewhere.
  • In the event that a deposited object is later published, it is the responsibility of the Author/Creator to determine the disposition of the object in the repository, and to contact the Library ( for assistance as needed.
  • Copies of published journal articles are allowed if allowed by author’s contract with the publisher.
  • Materials found to be posted in violation of the University Copyright Infringement Policies will be removed immediately. The Library will contact the depositor to determine alternative options for using/sharing copyrighted materials for legitimate research purposes.

Metadata Policies


  • In the event that a third party challenges Brown’s right to make materials accessible through the BDR, the Library will work with the depositor and, if necessary, University Counsel to reach a solution.
  • As stated above (under “Copyright”), materials found to be posted in violation of the University's Copyright Infringement Policies will be removed immediately. The Library will contact the depositor to determine alternative options for using/sharing copyrighted
  • New versions of existing objects will use the same permanent links unless an entirely new object is created.
  • When individual leaves Brown, the Library will remove items upon request unless they fall under existing policies that grant the University ongoing copyright or are required for compliance purposes. Examples of these cases include data produced through funded research, patent-related materials, etc. See for more information.