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Niner Commons

A guide to sharing and preserving your research through UNC Charlotte's institutional repository, Niner Commons.

Determining if you can deposit your work into Niner Commons

Before you publish

In order to deposit your work in Niner Commons, you need to retain your right to deposit your work in an institutional repository. As the author of a work, you are the copyright holder unless and until you transfer the copyright to someone else in a signed agreement—you decide which rights you want to keep, and which you want to give away.

It may be useful to consult an author addendum, such as the author addendum from SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. An author addendum can be appended to your publisher's agreement, and helps you retain key rights to your work.

You can also alter your author agreement by crossing out clauses you don’t like, and suggesting alternatives that better meet your needs. Some rights you may want to ask for are the rights to:

  • use your work in your classes
  • post your work on your own website
  • archive your work in an institutional repository
  • post earlier versions of your work (e.g. pre-peer review)

After you publish

If you’ve already published your work and you want to determine if you can deposit your work in Niner Commons, there are a few resources to help you:

  • For journal articles, consult your author contract. If you do not have that on hand, you can refer to Sherpa Romeo, a searchable online resource that collects publisher open access policies, or check with your editor.
  • For book chapters, consult your author contract, check with your editor, or reach out to the publisher to check their policies for book chapters.
  • For conference proceedings, consult your author’s agreement. If you did not have to sign an author’s agreement, check the conference website or search for the related journal in Sherpa Romeo and review their policies related to archiving and sharing materials from the conference. 
  • For presentation slides used at conferences or teaching, presentation slides often contain third-party images that may have copyright concerns. Consider finding free, openly-licensed, or public domain images, or creating your own. You can also seek permission to use copyrighted images from the rights holder.

See our Niner Commons Copyright Guide for more information on how to evaluate the rights situation for your work:


An embargo is an optional restriction that allows only the title, abstract, and citation information about your work to be released to the public, while the full text of your work is kept hidden for a specified period of time. Embargoes are useful when there is a patent pending on the work or an ethical need to prevent disclosure of sensitive or classified information about persons, institutions, and so forth. You can talk with someone on staff to learn more about embargoes at

Copyright consultations

For more information on copyright at UNC Charlotte, please see our copyright page or our research guide on copyright.