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Research Exchange Frequently Asked Questions

What is Research Exchange?

Research Exchange is the institutional repository for Washington State University—a space designed to preserve and share scholarship produced at this institution.

What does Research Exchange contain?

Research Exchange contains articles, grey literature, technical reports, theses, dissertations, conference presentations, media, images, data, and other types of research outputs produced by the WSU community.

Who can contribute to Research Exchange?

Researchers at Washington State University, including faculty, students, administrators, staff and affiliates

If I’m a student and would like to contribute my work to Research Exchange, how does that work?

Research Exchange accepts student submissions but we ask that you consult with a faculty mentor or advisor before choosing to share your work. Placing your research online can be advantageous if you want to document your academic successes and reach a wider audience with your ideas. However, in some cases, as a young researcher you may want to temporarily or permanently restrict access to your scholarship. For instance, if you wish to publish or patent your work in the near future or if your research contains sensitive information, you might want to embargo your work in the repository or you may choose not to use it at all. A faculty member in your discipline can help you make these decisions. Note also that dissertations and theses are handled via a separate process described on this WSU Dissertations and Theses page.

What file types can be contributed to Research Exchange?

Any file type can be contributed to the repository, but do consider that less common or proprietary file types may be more difficult for users to access, depending on available software. You may also encounter difficulties uploading extremely large files. Please contact for assistance in these cases.

How is copyright handled in Research Exchange?

In order to post your work to Research Exchange—or any website—you will first need to determine the copyright holder for that work. Only the copyright holder can grant the right to display the full text of works online. Generally, you can determine the copyright holder by considering whether the work is unpublished or published.

Unpublished work:

If you have not yet published, then you and any co-authors are probably the copyright holders for the work. You have certain inherent rights, including the right to reproduce the work, the right to distribute it, prepare derivatives, perform the work, display it, or license those rights to others. If you hold these rights, you can decide for yourself to share your work in Research Exchange.

In order to publish your work online, we ask that you sign a non-exclusive license granting the WSU Libraries permission to distribute your work. The license specifies that authors will continue to hold the copyright for their own work and can, thus, choose to exercise rights including the ones listed above.

Published work:

Determining copyright can be trickier for previously published work but still manageable. Please note that the WSU Libraries are more than happy to assist with these steps. We recognize that this is a complicated process and would like to simplify it for you as much as possible. Contact us with questions or requests for assistance at

Typically, when you publish, your publisher will ask you to sign over some or all of the rights described above (the right to display your work, etc.). If you have transferred your copyright to a publisher, we will first need to ensure that your publisher allows us to post your work in Research Exchange.

To determine whether your publisher permits posting online, we can do the following:

  • Consult your publishing agreement, if you have it. Your rights should be spelled out in the agreement.
  • Check the Sherpa-RoMEO database to determine the publisher’s policy on circulating work online.
  • Consult the publisher’s website. Often publishers will specify their policy on open access or self-archiving, which describes the process of posting to Research Exchange.
  • Contact the publisher directly.

As you check your publisher’s policies, you may find that they allow posting to Research Exchange but make specific requests. For instance:

  • The publisher may allow you to post, but only a particular version of your work. Some publishers only allow posting of pre-prints (the version prior to peer review). Others allow post-prints (the version after peer review but prior to final copy-editing and layout). Finally, some allow posting of the final publication copy.
  • Some publishers may allow you to post your work but only after an embargo period of x months, during which time your work cannot be made freely available online.

After consulting the sources above, we may ask you to supply a specific version of your article in order to comply with the publisher’s requirements.

To visualize this decision-making process more clearly, you may find this flowchart helpful.

Do I retain copyright when I publish in Research Exchange?

Yes, we ask that you sign this non-exclusive license permitting us to distribute your work online but allowing you to retain copyright.

Can I protect the use of my work by others who find it in Research Exchange?

Yes, you can choose to apply a Creative Commons license to your work. Creative Commons licenses indicate to users how they can use your work. For instance, you could allow others to adapt and remix your work or, being more conservative, you could prohibit adaptations, require attribution, or restrict use to non-commercial purposes. Please contact if you would like more information.

How do I deposit work in Research Exchange?

You can share your work by one of three ways:

  1. Contact the WSU Libraries at Send us digital copies of your work and this non-exclusive license agreement and we can post on your behalf. If you have questions about copyright, send us a CV or publication list and we can let you know how many previously published works we are able to deposit, per each publisher’s policy on open access.
  2. Deposit your work using this submission form. The WSU Libraries will review your submission and add it to an appropriate collection. If questions arise about copyright or organization of your works in the repository, we will contact you directly.
  3. For large or ongoing collections, you may wish to post directly to the repository yourself. Contact us at for assistance with this type of project.
Why should I deposit my work in Research Exchange?

We’ve seen faculty members provide the following reasons for posting their work to repositories like Research Exchange:

  • The student maintaining my website is about to graduate.
  • When I leave the university, someone could take down my website.
  • I’m published in a book that’s really expensive. Nobody will read my work if I don’t make it freely available.
  • Collaborators/students in other countries may not be able to read my articles or books because they can’t afford to buy them.
  • People are always requesting my papers and it’s a pain to keep emailing them one at a time.
  • My article won’t be published for some time and I want people to read it now.

We like these reasons but here are a few other ways that we hope to add value to the WSU research community. We believe Research Exchange can be useful in:

  • decreasing publishing costs.
  • rapidly communicating WSU research to scholars around the world.
  • preserving institutional memory.
  • improving discovery of university scholarship through quality metadata.
  • creating a record of the university’s collective expertise.
  • providing information about the use of institutional scholarship.
How do I find out how people are using my work on Research Exchange?

Navigate to and log into the site using your WSU Network ID and password. You can find the login link on the top right of the Research Exchange home page. Once you’re signed in, navigate to the item or collection that you’d like to know more about. Whether you’d like to know about an entire collection or a single item, navigate to the desired page and click on View Usage Report in the left sidebar. For instance, if you wanted to know about use of all the papers and materials in the Cereal Leaf Beetle Research Community, you’d navigate to that page and find the usage report in the sidebar. Or if you wanted to know about a specific paper – such as Final report for the 2009 cereal leaf beetle (CLB) survey – you’d check the usage report on that page. On the usage report you will find download and page view statistics. Note that these have been corrected as much as possible to exclude traffic from spam bots and crawlers.

Should you need help pulling usage information, please don’t hesitate to contact

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671
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