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Sophia Repository Submission Instructions for Final Graduate Research Projects

Sophia Submission Instruction Guide

Read This First!

Submitting Your Work to Sophia Repository

In this guide you will find:

  • The step-by-step process for preparing your work for deposit in Sophia. Each page of this guide provides guidance for completing each section of the permission form (General instructions through Part F).
  • Review all of the instructions in this guide before you complete the permission form and submit your materials.
  • Make sure that you do the following:
    • Submit documentation of any permission to use third-party material in your work. This is a new requirement - see Part A page for more information.
    • Make a decision about immediate or delayed access to your project. See Part C page for more information.
    • If your program/department does not require an abstract in your work, please create one for your Sophia submission (see the Part F page).
    • Save your final research project and permission form as a PDF (see General Instructions for file-naming protocols).
  • Also included in this guide is information about the implications of depositing your work in Sophia, including your rights and responsibilities as an author.

What is Sophia

Sophia is the digital institutional repository for St. Catherine University. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide permanent access to the scholarly, professional, and creative work produced by St. Catherine University faculty, students, and staff. Sophia is administered by the St. Catherine University Library and Archives, in collaboration with academic programs and departments.

Sophia is an open access repository, meaning that deposited material is freely accessible through the Library's discovery tool, LibSearch, and discoverable through any search engine.

Graduate theses, action research projects, and doctoral research projects that have been approved by St. Kate's departments will be made available online through Sophiia.

Have Questions or Need Assistance?

St. Kate's Librarians are happy to assist you with any aspect of the Sophia submission process, including:

  • Providing technical support with Sophia
  • Assisting with copyright and intellectual property questions
  • Discussing the availability of your work, from embargoes to open access.

Questions? Email or contact your subject librarian.

General Instructions

How to Save and Name Your Files

Please save your final research project, submission agreement, and supplemental files as individual PDFs, and name the files as follows:

Year of Work_DepartmentName_Your Last NameFirstInitial_Paper

     Example: 2022_MAHS_GrayS_Paper

Year of Work_DepartmentName_Your Last NameFirstInitial_Permission

     Example: 2022_MAHS_GrayS_Permission

If you have supplemental files to submit, use the same file-naming conventions but substitute a descriptive word for paper or permission at the end. Supplemental files may include presentations, spreadsheets, audio/video clips or copyright permission documentation. If your supplemental file is saved in a format other than PDF, see the box below.

Note: We recommend that you save or print your submission agreement for your records.

My Research Project Includes Video

If your project includes media, such as an MP4 file or alternative formats, please contact Sue Gray at She can upload these materials to Sophia for you.

Submission Agreements for Group Work

Any work that is produced by the collaborative efforts of two or more students is considered to be the joint work of each student. Each student in a group project must submit their own submission agreement form. Each co-author owns the copyright for the work.

Part A: Your Representations

Your Rights as an Author

As the author of your work, you are the copyright holder. By depositing your work in Sophia, you are only giving the University the right to access and archive your work in Sophia. You retain all ownership of your work, and the right to use all or part of the work in future works (such as conference presentations, articles, or books).

Your Responsibilities as an Author (Documenting Permission to Use Other Authors' Work)

Part B: Non-Exclusive License

What is a Non-Exclusive License?

By signing and submission agreement, you grant to St. Catherine University the nonexclusive right to reproduce and distribute your submission in electronic format via the World Wide Web, as well as the right to migrate or convert your submission, without alteration of the content, to any medium or format for the purpose of preservation and/or continued distribution.

St. Catherine University acknowledges that this is a non-exclusive license; any copyrights in the submission remain with you as the author.

You also agree that St. Catherine University may keep more than one copy of this submission for purposes of security, back-up and preservation.

Part C: Access to Your Work

Choosing Access to Your Work

The Access Conditions section of the submission agreement requires that you select one of two conditions:

Immediate Access - or - Delayed Access 

If you select delayed access, you must also choose:

  • either a one-year or two-year embargo period
  • and a clear rationale that explains why the embargo is necessary.

What is an embargo?

An embargo withholds the content of your work from being available for a specified amount of time (one or two years). This means that the citation and abstract for your work is available and discoverable through LibSearch and any search engine, the work itself is not available for viewing or download.

There are no permanent embargoes for work submitted to Sophia.

If I chose to embargo my work, when will it be made available for viewing and download?

The work in its entirety will be made available for worldwide access after the end of the embargo period. While your work is under embargo, a message will appear on your project's information page informing users that the document will be available for download after the embargo expiration date. Embargoes begin on the publication date of the work, and end on the anniversary of the 1 or 2-year embargo period (usually May 1 or December 1).

To Embargo or Not to Embargo...

The decision to delay publication is a personal one, depending on your plans for publication and/or employment.

However, in most situations, publishing in a journal does not prevent you from making your thesis, dissertation or action research project available in an institutional repository like Sophia.

Considerations for choosing not to embargo:

  • Greater visibility through fast worldwide dissemination of your work
  • Open access for communities of practice who may not have access to journal subscriptions
  • Permanent archiving of your work
  • Access to statistics on how many times your work has been downloaded.

Considerations for choosing an embargo:

  • Submitting a work to a publisher that prohibits content that has been deposited in an institutional repository or considers work published in an institutional repository as "prior publication"
  • The need to protect sensitive information or participants
  • Authors who are seeking patents for their work.

What you need to do:

  • Discuss with your advisor if an embargo is appropriate for your work. Don't assume that if you want to publish your work, you have to choose an embargo.
  • Check publishers' policies by reviewing their submission guidelines and/or author rights on their websites. Also check the SHERPA./RoMEO website (in the box below) for publisher policies.
  • We also strongly encourage you to contact your publisher, or potential publishers, to inquire about their policies regarding institutional repositories. Some publishers allow authors to self-archive pre-print (original version of a manuscript before it has gone through the peer review process) in institutional repositories, or they may make an exception if you request it.

Publishing Your Work

The Library has a guide of resources and information for those who are interesting in publishing their work.

Parts D & E: Signatures

Author Signature

By signing the submission form, you attest that you have reviewed the terms of the submission and agree to its terms. Please type or print your name legibly. Sign and date the form.

Advisor or Program Director Signature

By signing the form, the advisor or program director is verifying that they have reviewed the final version of the work to be submitted, and that it is the work approved by the department.


Part F: Submitted Work

Details of Your Submitted Work

The information submitted on the submission agreement must match the final approved version of your thesis or research project. You will be asked to provide the following:

  • Your name
  • The name(s) of additional authors (if applicable)
  • Your department or program
  • Your St. Kate's email
  • Your permanent email (so other researchers have a way to contact you)
  • Title of your work


  • You may include up to 6 keywords in Sophia (separated by commas).
  • Keywords are words or short phrases that describe your work. They are used as search terms by readers and for database indexing.
  • Keywords should represent the content of your research project, and be specific to your discipline.
  • To increase your work's discoverability, avoid using terms already present in your work's title.
  • If you have questions about selecting keywords, contact your subject librarian.


If you work does not contain an abstract or summary, please create one for your Sophia submission. The abstract will be included in the public record of your research project, and it helps other researchers find your work. We recommend an abstract length of about 250 words.

Your Rights as an Author

©2014 St. Catherine University Library, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA