Frequently Asked Questions


Submission Guidelines

Directly submitting your work to Iowa Research Online

Who can submit material?
  • Any University of Iowa department, research unit, or center
  • University of Iowa faculty and staff
  • University of Iowa students with authorization from a sponsoring department or faculty member.
  • Other individuals affiliated with University of Iowa (e.g. contributors to University of Iowa sponsored conferences, journals, or special events)

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What kind of material can be submitted?

The type of content housed in Iowa Research Online includes but is not limited to:

  • journal publications (both pre- and post-print)
  • conference papers and proceedings
  • presentations
  • working papers
  • books
  • book chapters
  • multimedia
  • administrative and policy documents
  • theses and dissertations

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Can deposited material be removed?

The repository is intended to be a permanent scholarly record; therefore removing content from public viewing is strongly discouraged. There may be times, however, when it is necessary for authors or repository administrators to remove or update content in the repository. Under most circumstances a citation to the removed content will remain. Authors will be notified by the repository administrator before removal of any content. Authors wishing to remove or update their content should contact the repository administrator at

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I believe my copyright has been violated.

Every effort is made to ensure that items in the repository are in full compliance with U.S. copyright law. If you believe Iowa Research Online includes material which violates your copyright, see The University of Iowa Libraries Notice and Take-Down Procedure.

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What rights and permissions are necessary to deposit material in Iowa Research Online?

Before submitting a paper to the repository, please be sure that all necessary permissions have been cleared. Authors are responsible for ensuring that your submitted content does not infringe any copyright, violate any proprietary rights, contain any libelous matter, or invade the privacy of any person or third party. The following resources may be helpful in determining what rights authors have for self-archiving their work:

  • The University of Iowa Libraries' Transforming Scholarly Communication is an online guide to understanding issues in scholarly publishing. The section on Authors Rights offers helpful information on communicating and negotiating with publishers to obtain permissions for self-archiving.
  • SHERPA/RoMEO is a searchable database of journal publishers' self-archiving policies.

Authors must complete an Article Agreement for each submission before uploading is allowed. Authors submitting content directly may complete this on the online content submission form. You retain the copyright to your paper and grant us the nonexclusive right to publish this material, meaning that you may also publish it elsewhere.

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What is the submission agreement?

You will be asked to agree to text like the following when you submit to series in IRO. The journals and conferences may have different policies.

Submission Agreement for Series

By checking the box below, I grant Series on behalf of University of Iowa the non-exclusive right to distribute my submission ("the Work") over the Internet and make it part of the Iowa Research Online.

I hold the copyright to this article or have been authorized by the copyright holder to upload this article for distribution to an institutional repository, and agree to permit this document to be posted in University of Iowa Libraries Staff Publications. I have obtained the necessary permissions from the publisher to reproduce this article in the format being submitted.

I warrant that the posting of the work does not infringe any copyright, violate any proprietary rights, contain any libelous matter, invade the privacy of any person or third party, or otherwise violate Repository policies.

I understand that accepted papers may be posted immediately as submitted, unless the submitting author requests otherwise or submits a revision.

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How can I submit my research?

To submit your research to Iowa Research Online, click the Submit Research link in the right-hand navigation bar. If you have any questions about contributing to Iowa Research Online, you may contact the site administrator directly at or contact your library subject specialist.

For some publications, you may submit content directly to Iowa Research Online. In those cases, you will be prompted to enter information about your submission and attach one or more files. In the future, the direct submission option will be more widely available.

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Which versions of my published research are eligible for inclusion in Iowa Research Online?

Most publishers do not allow authors to deposit the official publisher’s version of a published work. You may have permission to upload the pre-print versions (pre-refereed drafts) and/or post-print versions (post-refereed drafts) but the publisher may request a link be included to the publisher’s version. Search the SHERPA/RoMEO database to find out what versions of published work a publisher typically permits authors to deposit. For more information about rights and permissions, see above.

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I don't have electronic versions of old working papers that I'd like to include in the repository. Is it okay to scan the printed page to a PDF file?

Yes--scanning printed pages is a great way to create PDF files for inclusion in the repository. There are two ways to scan a page: using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or scanning the page as an image. Making OCR scans requires careful proofreading and loses the original formatting of the documents. Image scans cannot be searched. The best solution takes advantage of both of these methods. Many software applications allow for the OCR capture of image scans. When documents are scanned this way, users see the image scan but search the full-text of the document. This is the preferred method for scanning documents for the repository.

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If I am directly submitting material to to Iowa Research Online, how do I submit a multi-part file, such as multiple chapters for a book?

Combine all the sections together as one Microsoft Word file or PDF file and submit that.

To make one PDF file from multiple files, open the first PDF file, then choose Document>Insert Pages from Acrobat's menus to insert the second file (indicate it should go after the last page of the first file), and repeat for all documents. The result will be one compound PDF file which may then be submitted.

If you feel that the one large PDF file might be too large for some people to download, we suggest that you submit the consolidated file as the full text of the article, and then upload the separate chapters or sections of the document as Associated Files. These files will appear on the web page alongside the complete document. For more information about uploading associated files, see below.

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Can I post related files (sound clips, data sets, etc.) alongside the published article when I am directly submitting material to Iowa Research Online?

Yes. The bepress system refers to these supplementary items as Associated Files. You will be prompted to submit Associated Files when you upload your submissions. The name of the files you upload will appear on the web site along with your short description of it. Viewers must have the necessary software to open your files; that is not provided by the bepress system.

Please be sure that there are no permissions issues related to use of the associated material. Sometimes, especially with images, you must write a letter seeking permission to use the material before it can be posted. For more information about rights and permissions, see above.

Also note that where possible, items such as images, charts and tables that are referenced in the document (or otherwise an integral part of the document) should be included directly in the article itself and not posted just as associated files.

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When I copy and paste abstracts into the Direct Submit form, some text is missing, quotes look odd, or strange characters appear in the abstract. What's going on?

When copying abstracts from a word processing file or a PDF file, and pasting the text into the submission form, you are taking text from an environment that may support fonts and special characters (like symbols or "smart quotes"). Because the abstract is intended to be presented on the web, the format of the abstract needs to be reduced to plain text with no fonts or special characters. We recommend the following changes to keep your titles and abstracts legible on the web:

  • Change "smart" single and double quotes to straight quotes.
  • Change an ellipsis to three periods (...)
  • Change em- and en-dashes to hypens.

If you would like to use bold and italic in your abstracts, you may do so using the corresponding HTML codes. If submitting an abstract in HTML format, please be sure to select the corresponding option on the submission form.

The following HTML tags are recognized by the system and may be used to format an abstract (use lowercase tags):

How to include HTML tags

HTML tags
<p> - paragraph
<p>This is the first paragraph.</p>
<p>This is the second paragraph.</p>

This is the first paragraph.

This is the second paragraph.

<br /> - line break
<p>This is a line of text with a linebreak here. <br /> This is text after</p>

This is a line of text with a linebreak here.
This is text after

<strong> - strong/bold
<strong>bold text</strong>

bold text

<em> - italics/emphasis
<em>italicized text</em>

italicized text

<sub> - subscript
Text with <sub>subscript</sub>

Text with subscript

<sup> - superscript
Text with <sup>superscript</sup>

Text with superscript

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How do I include accents and special characters in the abstracts and titles of the Direct Submission form?

The repository software supports the ISO 8859-1 character set (this includes the numbers 0-9, upper- and lower-case letters A-Z, and standard English punctuation). Although you may take advantage of the complete character set, we recommend you consider not using special characters as these may inhibit user searches, both on the web and on the site.

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Is there an opportunity to review my submission if I am directly submitting material to Iowa Research Online?
Authors are given the opportunity to review the PDF after the paper has been uploaded to the system but before it is posted. Since the system can automatically create a PDF from a Word or RTF document, in some cases it's especially important that the author check the PDF one more time to make sure the style and layout of the original document was successfully converted. Authors are asked to review the PDFs created from their papers within 5 days of upload.

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How do I revise a submission I have directly submitted to Iowa Research Online?

To revise a submission:

  1. From the My Account page click Submission Management.
  2. In the list of pending submissions, click the title of the article you want to change. (If you are revising a published submission, click on the Published Submissions link in the top left and select the title of the article from the resulting list.)
  3. Click Revise Submission from the list in the top left.
  4. Enter your changes in the Revise Submission form, and click Submit at the bottom of the page to submit your changes. (You only need to modify the portion of the form that corresponds to the changes you wish to make.)
  5. If you are revising a pending submission, you may continue with the publication steps if appropriate. If you are revising a publised submission, be sure to click the option to Update the site to incorporate your changes to the web pages.

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A working paper in our repository site has been published in a slightly revised form in a journal. What should I do?

Many journals do not have any restrictions on working papers that preceded an article, especially if substantial revisions were made. The faculty member should check his/her author agreement with the journal to confirm that there is no problem with leaving the working paper on the site. The repository would constitute noncommercial use.

It is a good idea to include the citation to the published article on the cover page for the repository working paper. To add the citation:

  1. From your My Account page, click Submission Management.
  2. Choose the option at the top of the screen to view the Posted Submissions.
  3. Locate the paper in the list at the bottom of the screen, and click the title.
  4. Click Revise Submission, scroll to the bottom of the revision form to the Comments section, and enter your comment there. Click the button at the bottom of the page to submit the revision.
  5. Click the Update link to update the article so that the new comment is visible to readers.
  6. If you need to remove the full text from the site, click the Remove Submission link in the sidebar, and click the confirmation button to remove the submission and notify the author.

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