Montclair State University Digital Commons

About Montclair State University Digital Commons

The mission of the Montclair State University Digital Commons is to collect, preserve, and make accessible, scholarly and creative works, research data, and other materials produced by the faculty, staff and students of Montclair State University. A service of Sprague Library, the repository provides free, worldwide access to the scholarly, creative, and cultural works of Montclair State University.

All works in the Montclair State University Digital Commons are publicly available; the only items that may not be available are those under temporary embargo by the publisher. If you have any questions please contact us at .

About Institutional Repositories

Institutional Repositories (IRs) bring together all of a University's research under one umbrella, with an aim to preserve and provide access to that research. IRs are an excellent vehicle for working papers or copies of published articles and conference papers. Presentations, technical reports, and other works not published elsewhere can also be published in the IR. For more information on institutional repositories please visit the bepress resources page at

Who can submit content?

Montclair State University faculty and staff affiliated within a Montclair State University division, department, school or college, institute, center, research team, program, collaborative project, conference, or event may submit content.

Other University-affiliated entities will considered on a case-by-case basis. At the current time, students will not have access to upload their works into the repository but undergraduate works may be added at the discretion of a sponsoring faculty member. Graduate student works will be uploaded at the discretion of The Graduate School. Please contact the repository coordinator if you have any questions regarding student works at .

What types of materials can be contributed to Montclair State University Digital Commons?

Original, creative work that is scholarly in nature, research oriented, or of institutional significance. Montclair State University Digital Commons accepts a wide range of file formats (including text files, datasets, audio files, and video files) and there is no formal limit to size of material. Content/files submitted should be compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA (“Benchmarks for Accessibility”). For more on Montclair State University’s accessibility policies please visit

Current collection efforts focus on building up several core content areas:

  • Theses, dissertations and culminating projects (Montclair State University students)
  • Sprague Library archives
  • Faculty and staff scholarship and creative works
  • University publications and documents
  • Conferences and events
  • Books and media
  • Journals

If something you’re interested in sharing in the repository is not listed above or on the website, please contact so we may discuss the potential for your work to be preserved and shared through Montclair State University Digital Commons.

Note: Some material may be available only to current college faculty, staff, and students.

Please note that the following content is NOT PERMITTED for submission/publication to Montclair State University Digital Commons:

  • FERPA-protected information, including student email addresses.
  • HIPAA-regulated information (protected health information), including any information related to the past, present or future physical or mental health of an individual, except only if the individual has authorized release of his or her information in writing, and such release is in the hands of the publisher.
  • Content barred by law or regulation from publication.
  • Intellectual property for which the submitter does not have permission to submit and distribute.
  • Human subjects data that contains identifiers. Please consult the IRB before posting human subjects data sets on the Digital Commons.
  • Non-public personally identifiable financial or contact information of any kind, including, but not limited to, social security numbers, credit/debit card numbers, account numbers, account balances, and private residential addresses, except only where such records preexist as legitimate publicly accessible records outside the college.
  • Photographic depictions of individuals in areas where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists, except only if all individuals depicted have given written consent to publication of their image.
  • Records protected by state privacy laws. Please note that privacy laws vary by state, and protect their residents even when they are out of state.
  • Data considered Confidential or Private as outlined by the Montclair State University Data Classification and Handling Policy.

Sharing Data Sets

Montclair State University Digital Commons is a repository for research and scholarly data sets generated by funded and unfunded research at the University. These data sets include:

  • Data sets associated with publications
  • Data sets generated by funded research activities
  • Stand-alone data publications

It is expected that data sets posted to the repository will:

  1. contain at least one MSU author or contributor*
  2. be non-restricted data that DO NOT contain any private, confidential, or other legally protected information
  3. be absent of direct and indirect identifiers** that may pose a disclosure risk
  4. contain adequate documentation describing the nature of the data at an appropriate level for purposes of reuse and discovery, and that complies with any relevant policies or oversight authorities. (e.g. IRB, OMB Uniform Guidance, HIPAA etc.) For example, NSF awardees must consider their data management plans in posting data sets in the repository

*Data sets created with external collaborators should consider use of the University Guidance on Data Use Agreements

**Direct identifiers or Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as name, address, email and phone number. Indirect identifiers, such as zip code, birthdate, education, and race/ethnicity, that could be used in combination to uniquely identify an individual.

Take Down Policy

Montclair State University Digital Commons is meant to be a permanent record of the University’s scholarly and creative output. Therefore, removing content from Montclair State University Digital Commons is highly discouraged. There may be times, however, when authors or submitters may request that content be removed. Reasons for removal may include impermissible categories of content as outlined above, copyright infringement, plagiarism, fabricated data or falsified data. No files will be removed by the repository coordinator or administrators without the author being informed.

If a contributor leaves the University, their material will remain in the repository. At their request, new contact information can be added to their files.

Authors or contributors wishing to remove or update their content should contact the repository coordinator at and provide a brief statement explaining the reason for removal.

Take Down Policy of Graduate Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects:

All requests to remove graduate theses, dissertations and culminating projects must be approved by the Graduate School Dean or their designee. Because theses and dissertations are completed as part of a degree program, and because Montclair State University promotes the public sharing of knowledge, the Graduate School will only approve the removal of theses and dissertations in rare, extenuating circumstances. The administrators of the repository will not remove any theses or dissertations without the Graduate School’s approval.

If you do not want your thesis, dissertation or culminating project to be publicly available in Montclair State University Digital Commons, please email us your information at and the reason to request its removal from the repository.

Procedures and FAQs for Digital Commons and SelectedWorks Pages

How to Get Started on Montclair State University Digital Commons:

Montclair State University Digital Commons is easy to use, but since we’re putting content into a permanent archive, we want to make sure it’s done in a professional, accurate and legal manner. Clear, clean metadata not only improves discoverability of research, but also reflects quality for both the author and the institution.

  1. Create an account
    Click on the “My Account” button at the top left of the Montclair State University Digital Commons home page, then enter your campus NetID and password on the Login prompt. Please do not login using your Montclair State University email as that option is for non-Montclair State affiliated persons only.
  2. Entering a paper or creative work
    After you login, navigate to your department’s area and click on the series in which you want to place your paper (e.g., Department of Biology Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works). Open up that collection, click on the "Submit Research" selection in the left column, and start filling in the fields. For copyright questions please refer to our copyright section on the left side link on the repository home page or click here. If you have a question about format please refer to our Author FAQ section on our home page or contact Karen Ramsden, Repository Coordinator at 973-655-5276 or
  3. Set up alerts
    Once you have your items entered in the repository, you can set up periodic reports with information such as full-text downloads. To set these up, log in and select “My Account.” Click on “Author Dashboard” and fill out your preferences.
  4. Set up your Author Profile (optional) through SelectedWorks.
    Sprague Library has subscribed to SelectedWorks an add-on feature of Digital Commons which enables authors to create profiles that features their research. Any member of the Montclair State University faculty or staff may have a SelectedWorks profile.

    SelectedWorks, is part of the Digital Commons network and is administered by bepress. It provides scholars with a means to collect their biographical information, teaching and research in one place to showcase their scholarly work, communicate with others in the field, and attract or maintain research partnerships and funding.

How Do I Create an Author Profile on SelectedWorks?

If you’re new to SelectedWorks: Go to and click "Menu" in the blue bar at the top of the page. Select "Sign up." Fill out the required fields and click "Create account." Note: It is recommended that you use your address when setting up your SelectedWorks account. Follow the instructions or download the SelectedWorks User Guide from there. You may also contact Karen Ramsden at if you need further assistance or have any questions. Please note that you will not be able to login in with your campus NetID for SelectedWorks as of yet. We are hoping to have that capability in the future.

If you already have a SelectedWorks site: You can now affiliate it with Montclair State University. Just log in, select the “About” tab and add your current position at the University. In the "institution" field, type in "Montclair State University." Hit "save," and your page will adopt the Montclair State banner. Revise your site as you wish by clicking on the blue pencil icon next to the field you'd like to edit.

We recommend that you always put your scholarly work in Montclair State University Digital Commons first, rather than uploading new content directly to SelectedWorks. This ensures that downloads of your work from both SelectedWorks and the Repository are recorded in one report.

Adding Content

Click the "Add work" button and select "Import works." This will search the Digital Commons network (including Montclair State University Digital Commons) and identify any papers that might be yours. Click the box next to each title that is yours; choose the appropriate document type; and choose appropriate display categories. Then, click "Import." The paper will then appear on your site.

If you have new scholarly works to add to the Repository, please add them to Montclair State University Digital Commons first, and then you can import them to your SelectedWorks page.

If you have works that do not fit in the scope of Montclair State University Digital Commons, you can upload the content directly to your SelectedWorks page using the “Upload a file” function. Click on "Add work" and select "Upload a file."

You can revise your page at any time. You can also delegate access to an assistant or colleague. To delegate administrative privileges, click on the three-line icon to the right of your name on the page banner and select "Access management." Under the "Delegate" section, enter the name and email of the person you're authorizing to manage your page.

Can SelectedWorks be customized?

Yes! You can customize your SelectedWorks page in several ways. Typical options include: Your photo, an introductory paragraph (brief bio or personal information), your CV, contact information, areas of research/expertise, courses taught, presentations given and links to additional resources.

The library recommends that you have a picture, your CV and a brief biography as a minimum. Please note that layout and design are not customizable, only content.

Any materials that are important to your career can go on a SelectedWorks site, such as:

  • Articles (either full-text or with links to the full-text)
  • Book contributions
  • Conference proceedings
  • Presentations and Workshops
  • Other materials, such as book review, links to media or press releases.

Statistics provided by SelectedWorks

Once there is content available on your site you will receive monthly download reports. In addition, you can customize reports to your individual needs.

Sprague Library would like to thank Pepperdine University Libraries and the University of Dayton for permission to adapt their Content Submission Policies and Guidelines.