General Help

Email for help with depositing or accessing VTechWorks content.

What to Deposit

Scholarly works

VTechWorks accepts scholarly works (journal articles, conference presentations, technical reports, etc.) and creative works by Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, VTechWorks hosts items created by the university, such as college magazines and annual reports. VTechWorks requires a file with the full content of the work (abstracts, citations or metadata-only records are not accepted). See the Policies page for the full VTechWorks Content Policy.

Who Can Deposit

Faculty, students, and staff of Virginia Tech can deposit their own work. Authorized representatives of Virginia Tech units can also deposit work on behalf of their unit.

Right to Deposit

Scholarly articles

  • Articles accepted after March 22, 2021, fall under Virginia Tech's open access policy, and the accepted version can be deposited with no embargo. If you consider a book chapter to fall in this category, you may deposit it as well.
  • For articles accepted before March 22, 2021, you must have permission of the journal or publisher. You can find article archiving policies in your contract, on the publisher's website, or by searching the Sherpa/RoMEO database.

Article Versions

  • Submitted Version: A work submitted to a scholarly publisher or posted online that has not been peer-reviewed: also known as a preprint. Check with your target journals first to make sure they accept preprints. Also, ensure that you are not unintentionally disclosing an invention or patentable process.
  • Accepted Version: A work accepted for publication by a scholarly publisher that has been peer-reviewed: also known as a postprint. This is the version needed for the open access policy when you are publishing in a subscription-based journal.
  • Published Version: A work that has been peer-reviewed, copy-edited, typeset, and formatted by a scholarly publisher. This version cannot be deposited in VTechWorks unless it was issued with a Creative Commons license or is in the public domain.

Books and Other Works

If you have transferred copyright in your work, or signed a publishing agreement, you will need permission to deposit, which may stipulate which version and/or an embargo.

If you are in doubt as to whether you may deposit a work, email for assistance.

Ways to Deposit

  • Faculty and graduate students can deposit items to VTechWorks from Elements (EFARs). Visit the Provost's Elements page to learn more and to log in. Elements already contains publication metadata, so it's easy to select the item and upload the file. After staff check for copyright issues, the item goes live in VTechWorks.
  • Everyone at Virginia Tech can use the OA Policy Deposit Form if you are depositing the accepted version of a scholarly article.
  • Everyone at Virginia Tech can email with the required metadata and file if you are depositing the accepted version of a scholarly article.
  • Everyone at Virginia Tech can submit directly to VTechWorks if you register for a VTechWorks account and then email to request access to particular collection. If no appropriate collection exists, we will create one for you.

File Names, Sizes, and Formats

File Names

Filenames for documents you deposit must be 50 characters or less, including the file extension (.pdf, .docx, .xlsx, .csv). Filenames may not include spaces or special characters (such as %, &, *, +, etc.).

File Sizes

VTechWorks has no restrictions on file sizes. However, we do recommend that files over 60Mb (megabytes) be compressed if possible in order to save space and increase ease access for content viewers. PDFs and images in particular can often be optimized for size in a desktop application (such as Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Photoshop) before upload. Files over 2GB (gigabytes) may also be difficult to upload through the web interface. Large files can be given to VTechWorks staff on flash drives or hard drives for command-line upload. Email for help.

File Formats

VTechWorks accepts more than 75 common file formats. For text documents, the archival PDF /A format is preferred. In Acrobat Pro, for instance, you can choose File --> Save As Other --> Archival PDF (PDF/A) to save your text in the approved format for long-term preservation. For scanned or older PDFs, optical character recognition (OCR) is necessary for accessibility and full text indexing. Note that Google Scholar indexes PDFs, but not Word documents or other formats.

Describing Your Work (Metadata)

Add as much information about your submission as you can, since this will enable others to find it. Different collections and item types may have different fields available in the web submission form. Some tips for the most important fields for all item types:


Enter the title or name of the item using title case or sentence case. If a title is not provided, create one that appropriately describes the item. Examples: Extended Boolean Information Retrieval, Ossian and the Genres of Culture, Chemistry of Arsenic Removal During Coagulation and Fe-Mn Oxidation


Enter the name of each author or creator. Examples: Faulkner, William; Einstein, Albert; Lovelace, Ada


Enter the date of previous publication or public distribution. A year is required, but month and day are optional. If the item has not been previously published, enter today's date. Examples: 2010, 1969 July 01, 1995 August


If the item has any identification numbers or codes associated with it, please enter them. Examples: DOI, URL , ISSN 0272-3638


Enter a brief summary of the item. Preferred length is a single paragraph or about 300 words, although you may enter an abstract of any length.


Any information that you feel could improve users’ ability to discover, understand, and use the publication that doesn’t fit into an existing field in the submission form can go in the “Notes” field. More thorough information for metadata professionals can be found in the VTechWorks Metadata Guidelines.

Allowing Others to Read and Reuse Your Work


Depositors must agree to the VTechWorks Non-exclusive Distribution License, which allows the repository to distribute, reproduce, or translate their submission. In addition, we encourage use of a Creative Commons license or mark that will let others know under what conditions they may use your work. In addition to specifying a license in the item metadata, we strongly recommend that the license appear on the file itself (for example, on the title page of a PDF). Available options in the submission process include:

Creative Commons (Some rights reserved)

  • Creative Commons licenses grant users some permissions in advance and allow you to retain some rights: you can allow or restrict commercial uses of your work, the ability to modify your work, or to allow modifications only on the condition that the resulting work be shared under the same license ("ShareAlike"). Choose a license" is a simple form to generate a Creative Commons license.

CC0 Public Domain Dedication (No rights reserved)

  • CC0 ("Creative Commons Zero") enables you to waive your rights in your works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance, and reuse your works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.

Public Domain Mark (No known copyright)

  • The Public Domain mark indicates that copyright has expired, or the work was created by a government body, or because it is factual and therefore does not meet the copyright standard for original creative expression. The Public Domain mark is most often appropriate for texts and images published before the early 20th century, government documents, datasets, graphs, and charts.

No Creative Commons license (All rights reserved)

  • You need not specify a Creative Commons license or mark for the work you are uploading, which means that all rights are reserved to you as copyright holder. While users will have access to your work, they will need your permission to use, share, redistribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, or they must rely on fair use.

Linking to Work

  • One of the key benefits of VTechWorks is that it provides stable, permanent links (“handles”) to research. Here’s how to share stable links to your work.
  • Be sure to share the link in the item record that appears in the handle format: This link is guaranteed to be permanent and stable, even if VTechWorks moves or changes its domain name in the future.
  • Direct links to files (such as are relatively stable but are not guaranteed to persist, since staff on rare occasions delete a file or change its name, which changes the URL.
  • Links from your browser’s address bar (which include “”) are relatively stable but are not guaranteed to resolve if VTechWorks moves or makes changes to its domain name.
  • Be especially sure not to copy and share the link from your browser’s address bar if you have signed in from off-campus; such links contain the word “ezproxy,” which indicates that you have signed in as a Virginia Tech user in order to access restricted resources. Non-Virginia Tech users will not be able to see these items.
  • If you want to include the item's handle in the file that is attached to that same item, an item record with no attached file will first need to be created in order to generate the item record link. In general, only collection administrators can create an item record with no file attached; most users cannot finish creating an item until they have attached a file. Write with the name of the collection you want to put your item in (e.g., "Scholarly Works, University Libraries") and staff will either give you administrator access to that collection or will create a file-less item record for you to which the file with the item record link in it can later be attached.

Requesting Access to Restricted Content

If you encounter a restricted item that you would like to access, begin by clicking on the item, an example of which is shown below:

Help Image

Clicking on the restricted item will take you to a request form: please fill out the information in this form, specifically your email address. Your response will be sent to VTechWorks staff and we will attempt to contact the item’s creator and ask that he or she release the item.

If you would like the item quickly, or if VTechWorks staff cannot locate the item’s author, or if the item’s author does not grant permission to release the digital version of the item, you may also be able to obtain the item through ProQuest's database of theses and dissertations or by requesting it through your own university or public library's Interlibrary Loan program. United States copyright law grants an exception to copyright holder's right to withhold an item for Interlibrary Loan, but Interlibrary Loan is defined as "transactions between two libraries" and users must make a request "from ... another library or archives" (see and Therefore, we are sometimes able to give copies of restricted items in VTechWorks to fulfill another library's request even though we cannot give a copy to fulfill an individual's request. If you have questions about the form or about the process of requesting restricted content, please contact