Posting to DalSpace

How to use Dal library’s digital repository

Controlling access

DalSpace administrator can set up restricted access, limiting who views your work by:

  • Specific individuals (people you want to give rights to see your work will need to register and be added to an internal “group” that has access rights to the item you deposited).
  • We prefer most materials going into the repository be available to the world.


Designated DalSpace administrator is in the library, who has administrative access rights to DalSpace. We also try to assign a "Community Administrator" who can provide the names of authorized contributors. Community Administrators can change or remove deposits, and fix typos in records.

Administrators can set up:

  • Communities and collections 
  • Access controls 
  • Change or remove deposits 
  • Correct obvious errors in the metadata record describing each item deposited.


When you deposit an item to DalSpace, you have to confirm you are the rights holder or you have the permission from the rights holder to deposit the item. 

  • Journal articles: if the publisher holds the rights to the article, you will need to confirm the publisher’s policy with regard to depositing an article to an institutional repository. 
  • A growing number of publishers, such as Elsevier and Springer, allow authors to deposit pre-publication or post-publication version of their article into an institutional repository. 
  • A UK higher education consortium called SHERPA provides SHERPA/RoMEO, a searchable database of publisher policies regarding institutional repositories. Write directly to the publisher for permission to contribute your article to DalSpace by: 
  • For conferences, it is best to contact the publisher of the conference proceedings directly. 

Versions and revisions

The repository is meant for finished material, not works in progress. At the same time, we know “revisions happen,” and can make sure the most up-to-date version of your work is available in DalSpace. 

  • You can’t edit a document once deposited. 
  • If you revise a paper you deposited, or want to add an addendum, send the new material to your DalSpace administrator, with a note explaining what you want done.

Removing materials

Administrators are the only people allowed to remove documents from the site.

  • There are 2 levels of making something no longer available in DalSpace: 
    • Removal: the item will be completely expunged from the database and cannot be reinstated without re-submitting it. 
    • Withdrawal: the item will not be visible, and search engines will be blocked from detecting it, but the item will actually continue to exist in the repository. An Administrator would be able to reinstate it.
  • Tombstones. When an item is Withdrawn or Removed, a “tombstone” is left in its place. A scholar who linked to an item in DalSpace will never be faced with a broken link. If someone should enter the item’s URL (or “handle”, in repository parlance), they will get a message that gives a reason why the item is no longer available, and the email for the DalSpace administrators.

Collections policy

Each community establishes its own collection policy. 

  • Collection structures are established with input from the community. Bear in mind that open access collections are available to all scholars and researchers.
  • Collection workflow can be set up, where a person or several people review and accept or reject items submitted to the collection before they become accessible. 
  • Reviewer can send a customized message to the contributor explaining why an item was rejected or suggesting revisions. 
  • DalSpace can include materials that may not make it into a journal: conference presentations, preprints, working papers, learning objects (course notes, etc.), white papers, theses and dissertations, special collections (such as unique musical scores and 19th century photographs).

File Formats 

  • If you can upload it, you can put it in DalSpace.
  • Any kind of digital material in DalSpace, including data files, images and multimedia formats can be uploaded. Almost all types of formats can be submitted.
  • Accessibility, however, is dependent on the software available to the researcher. At this time, the Library does not have the resources to guarantee that file formats will remain accessible. 
  • Using common, popular file formats will help.

Web pages

Web pages with no other linking pages can be submitted as a single file. When submitting a multi-page web site, you will have to indicate which file is the main or home page. Current policy requires all the linked pages of a web site to be part of the DalSpace submission to guarantee continued access to the whole web site. In addition, all links to web pages included in the submission must be "relative links." A "relative link" is the name of the linked file (e.g. test.jpg) as opposed to a full link (e.g. DalSpace software assumes that all web pages are located at the same DalSpace "address". You may have to adjust the links in your web pages before submitting them.