FAQ


What is Health Sciences Research Commons?

Health Sciences Research Commons (HSRC) is an online repository for gathering, archiving, and disseminating the research output of the Milken Institute School of Public Health, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, at the George Washington University. HSRC is maintained by the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library.

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Who may submit research to HSRC?

All faculty, researchers, students (sponsored by a faculty member), and staff affiliated with the Milken Institute School of Public Health, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, at the George Washington University are eligible to submit their scholarly works to HSRC.

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What material and file formats are acceptable to submit to HSRC?

Material submitted must be scholarly/educational/research-oriented. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Articles (pre-prints and post-prints)
  • Audio files
  • Book chapters
  • Datasets
  • Conference papers and proceedings
  • Departmental publications (e.g., newsletters)
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Images
  • Lectures
  • Links to streaming audio or video hosted elsewhere
  • Open access material
  • Posters
  • Presentations
  • Student products (sponsored by a faculty member)
  • Teaching materials
  • Technical reports
  • University publications
  • Video files
  • Working papers

HSRC has the capacity to accept most file formats.

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Why should I archive my work in HSRC?

HSRC provides free, permanent storage for your scholarly works. Here are some of the benefits of archiving in an institutional repository:

  • Share your work with a global community of scholars
  • Easily link your work on CVs and job applications, without worrying about broken or invalid links
  • Place your work in context with the scholarship of your GW academic colleagues
  • Make your work discoverable via Google Scholar and other search engines
  • Store your work in one consistent location.

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How do I submit research to HSRC?

Himmelfarb Library cataloging staff handles the processing and maintenance of material submitted to HSRC. Eligible authors may contribute material by visiting the Submit Research page. For assistance, please contact hsrc@gwu.edu.

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Who can access HSRC content?

Anyone may access content in HSRC; you do not have to be a member of the GW Community to view and download full-text HSRC works, with the exception of certain collections that have been restricted upon request.


Some entries contain a link out to the resource in place of full-text. Users with a GW NetID and password may be able to access these resources via Himmelfarb Library.

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Do I retain copyright to material submitted to HSRC?

Yes. By submitting material, authors are not transferring copyright for their works but they must grant a non-exclusive distribution license to Health Sciences Research Commons through the Submit Research page.

Access to material in Health Sciences Research Commons is free but use of material is subject to the terms of copyright set forth by individual publishers (for published works) or authors (for unpublished works). Some publishers allow authors to self-archive pre-publication or publication copies of works in institutional repositories. Those publishers that prohibit self-archiving may grant exceptions on request. Authors may consult the SHERPA/RoMEO websiteto learn more about the copyright policies of various publishers. For assistance in determining the copyright status of your work, please contact hsrc@gwu.edu.

Authors who own the copyright to their submissions may optionally apply a Creative Commons license to their material.

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Where can I find copyright and self-archiving policies for a particular journal?

The Author Agreement that you probably signed with the publisher prior to publication usually contains the publisher’s policies on self-archiving in repositories.


Some publishers allow authors to self-archive pre-publication or publication copies of works in institutional repositories. Those publishers that prohibit self-archiving may grant exceptions on request. SHERPA/RoMEO is a database that contains the copyright and self-archiving policies of many academic journals and publishers. You may also find publishers’ policies in the Submission Guidelines or Guidelines for Authors sections on publishers’ websites. You may also contact hsrc@gwu.edu for assistance in determining the copyright status of your work.

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What is meant by “pre-print,” “post-print,” and the “version of record” of an article? Can I submit that to HSRC?

The publisher’s version, also known as the Version of Record, is the final version of an article after it has gone through typesetting and final copyediting by the publisher. This version is usually not permitted to be archived in an institutional repository.


“Pre-print” refers to an original version of a manuscript that is submitted to a journal for publication, before it has gone through the peer review process. “Post-print” or “Accepted Manuscript” drafts have gone through peer review and have incorporated all revisions.


Many publishers permit authors to deposit a pre-print and/or post-print version of an article in an institutional repository. To find out a specific publisher’s policies, see “Where can I find copyright and self-archiving policies for a particular journal?” Whenever we upload a draft of an author’s work, we make every effort to link out to the publisher’s Version of Record as well.

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Why do you link to the publisher’s final version of the article if there’s a version of my article already in HSRC?

The Version of Record is considered the authoritative and final version of the article. We link to this version to provide the reader a path to find the final published version, if they so choose.

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Does submitting unpublished material to HSRC constitute publication?

Submission of material does not constitute publication; HSRC does not provide peer review or other formal publication processing.

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How can I ensure that I retain the right to archive my future publications in HSRC?

Consider attaching the SPARC Author Addendum or the George Washington University Addendum to the publisher’s contract. This addendum modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows authors to retain key rights regarding use of their works, including archiving in institutional repositories, re-using all or part of an article for classroom distribution, or sharing among colleagues.

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May I submit updated versions of my research?

New versions (clearly marked as such) of submissions should be sent to Himmelfarb Library cataloging staff at hsrc@gwu.edu along with an explanation of the revision. Additionally, you may contribute material by visiting the Submit research Page. Updated versions will be posted along with original versions rather than as replacements.

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I am a student, and would like to archive my capstone project/conference poster/class project/etc. Can I do so?

We welcome submissions from SMHS, SON, and MISPH students, as long as the work is sponsored by a GW health sciences faculty member. Check with your instructor, principal investigator, or faculty mentor before you send us your work to be uploaded.

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I’m thinking of eventually publishing, and don’t want to make my work freely available right away. Do you offer any options for restricting access to works?

Access to material submitted to HSRC can be restricted to the George Washington University health sciences community and/or embargoed for 6 months-3 years upon request. We automatically apply any embargo periods specified by individual publishers.

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Can my submissions be withdrawn from HSRC?

Deposits are intended to be permanent contributions to HSRC. Requests for removal of submissions are considered on a case-by-case basis. Works by contributors who are no longer affiliated with GW will remain in HSRC unless a request for removal is made. Contributors requesting a removal should contact Himmelfarb Library cataloging staff by email at hsrc@gwu.edu.

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What services does the repository staff offer to assist authors or creators who wish to submit to HSRC?

Repository staff can:

  • Check copyright permissions associated with journals or publishers
  • Assist submitters in securing permission from publishers to archive copies of their works
  • Upload the author’s work and provide accurate metadata for optimum discoverability
  • Convert incompatible files and update submissions (see “What types of material and file formats are acceptable to submit to HSRC?”)
  • Embargo or restrict certain works upon request

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