Policies and Information for Student Authors

About The Cupola

The Cupola: Scholarship at Gettysburg College is an open access collection of scholarly and creative works produced by faculty, students, and other members of the Gettysburg College community. Works shared in The Cupola will be permanently accessible to the public and fully searchable by search engines like Google, Google Scholar, etc. Open access publication increases the visibility of Gettysburg College scholarship by giving access to readers all over the world. For more information, visit The Cupola "About" page.

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Types of Content

We are interested in sharing a broad range of content related to Gettysburg College. Some examples follow, but please contact us with ideas or questions at . We are open to your suggestions!

  • The work must be produced or sponsored (i.e., in a undergraduate journal) by a Gettysburg College student.
  • The work can be creative or scholarly in nature.
  • Content in The Cupola can be previously published or unpublished, including (but not limited to):
    • Exemplary student work produced for a course or project that is nominated by a faculty member;
    • Formal publications from journals and books;
    • Other products of scholarship, such as data sets, conference presentations, etc.;
    • Class projects with digital components that lend themselves to sharing via The Cupola;
    • Journals published by Gettysburg College;
    • Multimedia presentations, image collections with descriptive metadata, and audio/video content; and
  • If works have been previously published (e.g., journal article, book chapter, book), the Library will seek permission from the copyright holder (not necessarily the author) to post the full-text in The Cupola. When copyright permissions to post any portion of the work cannot be obtained, descriptive metadata entries may be added, which enhance discoverability even when the full-text isn’t posted.
  • If works have not been previously published, it is the author’s responsibility to ensure that the work does not include illegal reuse of intellectual property created by others, including text, images, video, music, or other materials. Authors should be able to document that such materials are covered under the fair use clause of copyright law, that the works are in the public domain, or that the author has obtained permission from the copyright holder to redistribute the material. For more detail about copyright, see our information on copyright considerations. Also feel free to contact us at with questions.
    • The Cupola does not include metadata-only records for unpublished works.

Some material may be made available only to current college faculty, staff, and students, including Faculty Meeting Minutes.

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Submitting to The Cupola

Gettysburg College students are eligible to submit work to The Cupola. Students may self-nominate their own work, or student works can be nominated by faculty.

Faculty members can nominate student work using the Cupola Nomination Form. If a student self-nominates their work, the Library will contact the supervising faculty member for their approval.

Student authors must complete the Cupola Release Form prior to material being uploaded to the repository. Student authors maintain copyright to their work and grant the College a non-exclusive license to distribute it via The Cupola. A non-exclusive license does not transfer copyright from the creator!

Technical requirements:

  • There is no file size limit.
  • Most file formats are acceptable (pdf, Word, image, audio, video, etc.).
  • Digitization of print-only materials will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Human or animal subjects – if your research includes human or animal subjects, please consult the website for the Institutional Review Board for guidelines and procedures. Student research involving human or animal subjects must have been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to conducting research.

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Revising and Withdrawing Work

Digital collections hosted by The Cupola are intended to provide accurate and complete representations of information to advance the private study and research of students, faculty, and the general public. While we are committed to preserving the authenticity and integrity of the scholarly and historical record, we are also aware that student works, in particular, often represent personal and/or evolving identities and worldviews. We will evaluate all requests to remove or edit a work on a case-by-case basis, with special attention to cases where there are legal concerns (for example, the presence of HIPAA or FERPA protected information), significant risks to privacy (for example, exposed Social Security numbers), or a clear and imminent threat to personal safety and well-being. (Some of the language in this policy has been adapted from University of Michigan Library’s takedown policy.)

We are unlikely to agree to remove or edit works that have been:

  • Published in one of our peer-reviewed undergraduate journals, except in cases where content was back-filled into The Cupola.
  • Published professionally on another platform, such as an scholarly journal, newspaper, or College website.

The only party who may request a revision or withdrawal is the author(s), except in the following cases:

  • The work infringes on another author’s copyright. If the work is found to have infringing content, the author will be contacted and the work will be removed either permanently or until the author removes the infringing content.
  • The work violates the privacy of someone who is not the author.

Any copies of content or publicity materials that mention content in The Cupola will not be recalled or destroyed. Please note that Gettysburg College is not able to remove cached copies of content.

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Co-Authored Works

According to United States copyright law, each joint author has the ability to grant a nonexclusive license to use a work without the permission of other joint authors. The copyright policies of any relevant publisher must also be followed. The Cupola policy is as follows:

  1. Only the authors from Gettysburg College will be contacted for permission.
  2. Any co-author can object and request a take-down.
  3. In cases of disagreement, we wait for co-authors to sort it out among themselves.

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The copyright holder retains the rights for all works submitted to The Cupola. In the case of previously unpublished works, the author is the copyright holder. For formally published works (journal articles, books, book chapters), authors may have transferred copyright to another entity, like the publisher.

Musselman Library will not knowingly publish works that violate U.S. copyright law. However, the ultimate responsibility to honor copyright rules and regulations lies with the author. If you use whole materials (images, video, audio, etc.) in your work that are protected by copyright, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder to republish them in your own work. Citing a source is not the same as obtaining copyright permission.

Often, there is a difference between using copyrighted material in a class assignment and republishing copyrighted material on the web. Please speak with us about specific instances—librarians are available to consult with you about your rights and responsibilities.

When is it acceptable merely to cite your source, and when do you need to obtain copyright permission to use a source? It depends! Here are some common examples:

  • Quotations – When quoting from books, articles, websites, or other publications, give a complete citation that will allow the reader to locate your original source in its entirety.
  • Tables, data, sources of statistics, diagrams – If including reproductions of these types of sources, give a complete citation that will allow th reader to locate your source.
  • Websites – Almost every website includes copyright information. Please review the site carefully; just because something is freely available via the web does not mean it can be reused without permission.
  • Media (audio, sound recordings, software, video, etc.) – If sound bites or clips are not original (made by you), you will need to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s), which could include the performer, the composer, and the publisher. Music can be especially tricky, so don't hesitate to ask for clarification.
  • Images (photos, artwork, sculptures, graphics, paintings, etc.) –
    • If the image is in the public domain or if re-use is permitted under a Creative Commons or other license, authors do not need permission for re-use. Of course, you should always provide proper attribution and cite your source.
    • If the image is protected by copyright, authors may potentially invoke fair use to reproduce it within a piece of analytic writing with the following limitations:
      • The writer’s use of the work, whether in part or in whole, should be justified by the analytic objective, and the user should be prepared to articulate that justification.
      • The writer’s analytic objective should predominate over that of merely representing the work or works used.
      • The amount and kind of material used and (where images are concerned) the size and resolution of the published reproduction should not exceed that appropriate to the analytic objective.
      • Justifications for use and the amount used should be considered especially carefully in connection with digital-format reproductions of born-digital works, where there is a heightened risk that reproductions may function as substitutes for the originals.
      • Reproductions of works should represent the original works as accurately as can be achieved under the circumstances.
      • The writing should provide attribution of the original work as is customary in the field, to the extent possible.
      • Library staff are available to help with a fair use analysis. However, as we are not attorneys, nothing we say can or should be construed as legal advice.
    • When in doubt, authors may link to online images without seeking permission.
    • Please note: most images from the Artstor database may not be posted in an open repository like The Cupola (see Artstor's permitted and prohibited uses). Musselman Library’s contractual license with Artstor prohibits such use; this contract overrides the fair use section of the copyright law. Students may use Artstor images in class papers as long as they are not shared on the open web.

Whether or not reuse permission is required, authors should always provide proper attribution and cite sources completely. If you need to obtain permission from a copyright holder, Columbia University Libraries Copyright Advisory Services may be useful.

Information about securing your own copyright and using the copyrighted works of others can be found at the library’s Copyright guide. If you have questions about these procedures, please contact us at or contact the Musselman Library Copyright Committee at .

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Implications for Future Publications

Authors maintain copyright of previously unpublished works shared in The Cupola, so works may be submitted for publication elsewhere. Some journals require that manuscripts not be previously published. Most journal publishers do not consider posting a work in a repository like The Cupola to constitute a previous publication. However, if you have concerns about a specific journal, please contact us at .

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Email Address Policy

When Cupola authors end their affiliation with Gettysburg College due to retirement or departure, we recommend they update the email address associated with their Cupola account so that they continue to receive readership reports and other updates. Gettysburg College staff are unable to make changes to account information. If you are unable to access your account and need to update your account information, please contact Digital Commons customer support directly at .

Student email addresses are not displayed or given out to users. If we receive correspondence for student authors, we will forward it to the official Gettysburg student or alumni email account.

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Name Change Policy

Current faculty, students, and staff of Gettysburg College may request an update to how their name appears in The Cupola. The Cupola seeks to accurately represent the author at the time they were affiliated with Gettysburg College. Please note that your name will not be changed on the content itself.

Authors no longer affiliated with Gettysburg College will not have their names changed in The Cupola in order to preserve the integrity of the work’s time and place, with the exception of authors who would like to request a name change due to gender transition/affirmation. Authors falling into the latter category should email to discuss options.

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Last updated 18 July 2022.