Terms of Use for CU Scholar

Mission Statement

CU Scholar is an open access institutional repository supporting the research and teaching mission of the University of Colorado Boulder. It is intended to serve as a platform for preserving the research activities of members of the CU Boulder community and for providing public access to that research. CU Scholar is maintained by the University Libraries.

Access Policy

CU Scholar is intended as a resource for open access research, and material posted will be made available to the public freely and without barrier. Some content may have limited access due to an embargo period.

Content Policy

CU Scholar is an institutional repository. Its content must reflect the intellectual environment of the campus and support the academic mission of the University of Colorado Boulder. Content in CU Scholar is restricted to works that fall within the broad scope of research, scholarship, and creative work being conducted at the University.

Examples include:


Published scholarly research articles

Working papers and technical reports

Completed manuscripts

Conference papers and proceedings

Theses and dissertations

Undergraduate Honors theses

Faculty course-related output primarily of scholarly interest

Data sets

Submission Policy

Current CU Boulder faculty, staff, or students (or their designated agents) may only submit work which they have authored or co-authored. Departments and other administrative units of the campus may also submit qualifying content. Alumni and others closely affiliated with the university may request permission from the University Libraries to submit materials. Eligible depositors must deposit full texts of their publication, although they may delay making the publication publicly visible for a limited embargo period when necessary. Embargo periods longer than two years will not be granted without special permission from the CU Scholar administrator in consultation with appropriate authorities (e.g., University Libraries leadership, Graduate School leadership, Honors Program leadership, etc.) when applicable.


Individuals submitting materials to the repository must have a legal right to submit the material. Any intellectual property rights violations are entirely the responsibility of the authors/depositors. The sole remedy for proven violations will be removal of the relevant item from CU Scholar.


Submissions must not contain any confidential information, proprietary information of others, or export controlled information. If applicable, it is the responsibility of the authors/depositors to obtain appropriate IRB approval before submitting work to CU Scholar.


The administrator only vets items for the eligibility of authors/depositors, relevance to the scope of CU Scholar, valid layout and format, and the exclusion of spam. The validity and authenticity of the content of submissions is the sole responsibility of the depositor.

Metadata Policy

Anyone may access the metadata free of charge. The metadata may be re-used in any medium without prior permission for not-for-profit purposes and re-sold commercially provided the link to the original metadata record is given, and CU Scholar is mentioned.

Rights Policy

By default, single copies of full items can be reproduced, and displayed or performed for personal research or study, educational, or not-for-profit purposes without prior permission or charge provided: the authors, title and full bibliographic details are given, a hyperlink and/or URL are given for the original metadata page, and the content is not changed in any way. Full items must not be sold commercially in any format or medium without formal permission of the copyright holders.

Some full items are individually tagged with different rights permissions and conditions.

This repository is not the publisher; it is merely the online archive.

Preservation Policy

The default preservation policy is for items to be retained indefinitely, and all items are preserved in accordance with international standards for digital preservation. CU Scholar will try to ensure continued readability and accessibility, but it may not be possible to guarantee the readability of some file formats. For non-proprietary, open, and documented file formats, Libraries personnel conduct strategic monitoring of file formats and will migrate files to new formats in the event of a format becoming obsolete. For proprietary and/or undocumented formats, such preservation actions are not possible in most cases. This may result in formats becoming obsolete or unuseable over time, which may further result in removal of the files from CU Scholar or migration to offline storage. CU Scholar uses the Library of Congress Recommended Formats Statement 2022-2023 as a guideline for preferred file formats.

Common material types and preferred formats include:

Text = PDF, TXT
Tabular data = XSLS, CSV
Images = TIFF
Audio = WAV
Video = MOV
GIS data = GeoTIFF, Shapefile

Acceptable reasons for withdrawal include (but are not limited to):

Journal publishers' rules
Proven copyright violation or plagiarism
Legal requirements and proven violations
National Security
Falsified research
Obsolete or unusable file formats

Withdrawn items' identifiers/URLs are retained indefinitely. URLs will continue to point to “tombstone” pages (citation-only records) to avoid broken links and to retain item histories.

Changes to deposited items are not permitted. However, errata and corrigenda lists may be included with the original record if required. If necessary, an updated version of the item may be deposited.

Data sets are evaluated by Libraries personnel in consultation with domain experts and the original depositor (if possible) every 10 years after deposit to determine continued usability and research value. If a determination is made that a data set should no longer be preserved with perpetual access, an attempt will be made to notify the depositor, and data sets will be moved to offline storage.

In the unlikely event of CU Scholar being closed down, attempts will be made for the repository contents to be transferred to another appropriate archive. CU Scholar contents would remain backed up in long-term “dark” storage solutions regardless of whether or not an appropriate archive would be identified to provide perpetual access to that content.

Data Set Policy

Data sets under 10GB can be submitted directly to CU Scholar. Please contact cuscholaradmin@colorado.edu if your data set exceeds 10GB. All data sets will be reviewed for completeness of data and metadata/documentation, and reviewed for adherence to FAIR data principles. CU Scholar staff may suggest changes or request additional information from submitters as a result of these reviews. At a minimum, a descriptive “Abstract” must be included in the CU Scholar metadata, and adequate documentation to allow reuse of the data must be present in whatever form is most appropriate (e.g., a README file). It may be helpful to use or adapt this README template when creating documentation. After any required changes are made, all data sets are registered with a DataCite DOI. Please contact cuscholaradmin@colorado.edu for assistance with preparing data and metadata/documentation for submission.

Takedown Policy

CU Scholar is an open access institutional repository supporting the research and teaching mission of the University of Colorado Boulder. It is intended to serve as a platform for preserving and providing perpetual public access to the research activities of members of the CU Boulder community. Works that are deposited in CU Scholar will only be withdrawn under limited circumstances. Depositors may not independently withdraw or delete anything they have deposited, and instead must make a request that will be reviewed by relevant library or university staff. Valid grounds for removing a work from CU Scholar include: 


All takedown requests will be acknowledged and evaluated by the University Libraries. Typically, works remain available in CU Scholar until a decision is reached, but in rare cases, public access to works will be temporarily restricted during the evaluation period. To request the removal of a work from CU Scholar contact us at cuscholaradmin@colorado.edu with the following information:


Requesters will be notified once a decision has been reached. Possible outcomes include: