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Sophia Repository Submission Instructions for Final Graduate Research Projects

Sophia Submission Instruction Guide

Read This First!

How to Use This Guide

In this guide you will find:

  • The step-by-step process for submitting 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) and Sophia submission instructions.
  • Review all of the instructions in this guide before you start the submission process.
  • Before you begin, make sure that you have done the following
    • Have included documentation in your work of your use of another author's intellectual property (this is a new requirement).
    • Saved your research project as a PDF.
    • Made a decision about immediate or delayed access to your project.
  • 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

Before You Submit to Sophia

  1. Review the Sophia permission template form and the instructions in this guide so that you understand the requirements of the submission process.
  2. Save your final project as a PDF (see the General Instructions below).
  3. Make certain your work is copyright-compliant (see the Part A instructions below).
  4.  Decide if you will immediately release or delay access to your work (see the Part C instructions).
  5. If your program/department does not require an abstract in your work, we recommend that you create one for Sophia (see the Part F instructions).
  6. If you have questions or need assistance with the Sophia submission process, contact a librarian at or call the Research Desk at 651-690-6652.

Part A: Your Representations

Your Rights as an Author

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 work is your intellectual property.

It is not necessary to include a copyright notice in your work. As soon as your work is in a fixed form, you own the copyright to your work.

However, understanding your rights as an author in the professional publishing world can be complex. 

You should investigate a publisher's policies before you submit a work for publication.

For more information, see the Open Access and Rights for Authors page.

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

Part B: Non-Exclusive License

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 chose 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.

While some departments require an embargo on all student projects, 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. Typically, embargoes expire in May or December of the one- or two-year embargo period. Embargoes begin on the publication date of the work, not on the date the project is posted in Sophia.


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: Electronic Signatures

Part F: Submitted Work

Details of Your Submitted Work



Provide a permanent email: publication notification emails, periodic usage reports (including download activity

Monthly emails are delivered automatically to authors if the project has been downloaded at least once in the prior month.. These reports detail combined download counts for all of the author’s work published in Sophia. Monthly Author Readership Reports also contain a link to the Author Dashboard, which provides detailed statistics about the author’s published work.



  • Keywords are words, phrases or acronyms that describe your work. They are used as search terms by readers and for database indexing.
  • Keywords may address your research topic, population, methodology or results. 
  • You may include up to 6 keywords in Sophia (separated by commas).
  • If you have questions about selecting keywords, contact your subject librarian.


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