eScholarship Policy


McGill University Library supports the principles of the scholarly open access movement and is committed to maximizing the research impact of the McGill community.

eScholarship@McGill is a digital repository which collects, maintains, and showcases the publications, scholarly works, and theses of McGill University faculty and students. The repository exists in an online, open-access environment, making it easy for researchers all over the world to find and access the University’s published research output.

All scholarly works authored by faculty and students can be deposited in the digital repository. eScholarship includes full text documents of research articles, electronic theses, working papers, conference papers, books, and research reports and more.

eScholarship is maintained by McGill Library who is responsible for depositing digital research in the repository and managing the archiving of content over time.


Who can request a deposit?

  1. Any faculty, student, or staff member affiliated with McGill University may request deposit of materials. This includes retired faculty members.
  2. Materials created cooperatively with co-authors who are not affiliated with McGill University are also accepted as long as at least one of the authors is affiliated with McGill University.
  3. Graduate students may request deposit of materials.
  4. Theses submitted electronically to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) will, with permission from the student, be available via eScholarship@McGill following approved release from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
  5. Undergraduate student scholarship must be sponsored by a faculty member or department.
  6. While content need not be authored by McGill faculty, staff, or students for inclusion in the IR, its creation must have some McGill affiliation. Examples might be a paper from a conference organized by a participating McGill unit or member of the McGill academic staff which included both McGill-affiliated and other authors; or a report collaboratively produced by McGill-affiliated and other authors.
  7. Eligible McGill authors wishing to deposit items produced while affiliated with another institution in a previous post may do so (with the exception of theses).
  8. Authors without an institutional repository may also request deposit as part of CARL’s adoptive repository initiative.

Selection and retention

  1. Every effort is made to retain items. Digital items will be accepted and retained in eScholarship@McGill unless the item:
    • Infringes copyright or other rights.
    • Is in a format which cannot be stored or displayed satisfactorily.
    • Has a virus or other technical problem.
    • Has concerns related to national security, public safety, or danger to individuals
    • Has claims or concerns of scholarly misconduct
  2. eScholarschip@McGill staff will endeavor to include eligible (i.e. those that meet the criteria of the content policy) items wherever possible. If a depositor leaves the employment of McGill University, their items will be retained in eScholarship@McGill.


  1. The Scholarly Communications Librarian assists in determining the eligibility of authors/depositors, relevance to the scope of the repository, and publisher permissions.
  2. However, the validity and authenticity of the content of submissions is the responsibility of the depositor.
  3. Items can be deposited at any time but will not be made publicly visible until any publishers' or funders' embargo period has expired.


  1. Ensure when possible that the details of where the paper was published (e.g. journal name/issue or conference name/location) are included in the document.
  2. The repository will accept:
    1. Published research papers (preprints, accepted manuscripts, published versions);
      • Preprints should be deposited with the intention of later updating with the accepted manuscript.
    2. Conference and workshop items (e.g. proceedings, papers, posters);
    3. Theses and dissertations;
    4. Working papers;
    5. Books;
    6. Chapters and sections;
    7. Department or research centre reports;
    8. Technical reports.
    9. Supplemental research objects (e.g., survey instruments. protocols etc.)
      • provided they are accompanied by a publication
      • provided they are not part of a dataset
  3. The repository does not typically accept:
    • Course materials (e.g. syllabi, slides, assignments, sample exams etc.)
    • Data
    • Code
  4. Papers may include unpublished pre-prints (version before peer-review), final peer-reviewed drafts (post-prints), or published versions, in ascending order of preference.
    • The version allowed for deposit will depend upon the publisher permissions as described in SHERPA RoMEO or through direct contact with the publisher.
  5. It is recommended that authors include the peer-review and publication status of their submissions.
  6. The repository accepts a variety of formats, however we advise depositors to familiarize themselves with Digital Preservation File Format Recommendations.
    • eTheses must be submitted in PDF/A (pdf) format;
    • Discoverability
      • McGill Library, to the best of its ability, will ensure items deposited in eScholarship are easily discoverable via search engines such as Google, and Google Scholar. McGill Library follows metadata standards in this regard.


  1. McGill Library provides download and usage statistics via the eScholarship web site.


  1. eScholarship@McGill metadata can be harvested by third parties for purposes related to the discovery of the archive's contents. However, harvesting the full text documents is not permitted except when explicitly granted by the: Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (for dissertations and theses) and the Scholarly Communications Librarian (for all remaining content).
  2. For items deposited by McGill Library, the Library will ensure that the metadata is accurate and complete as per what is provided by the depositor. For items deposited via the GPS, students are accountable for the metadata they provide.

Information Permanence

Depositors are responsible for following preservation guidelines and best practices in the creation of their documents, however:

  1. The Library will make every effort to migrate file formats when necessary but will not proactively adjust existing file type properties
  2. The repository regularly backs up its files according to current best practice.
  3. Items may not normally be removed from the repository. Acceptable reasons for withdrawal are listed in the Withdrawal section of this policy.
  4. Typically withdrawn items are not deleted per se but are removed from public view with the creation of a tombstone record (see Withdrawal: 3) This may vary by scenario.
  5. Errata and corrigenda lists may be included with the original record if required.
  6. In the event of the repository ceasing operations, the Library will make every effort to transfer the database to another appropriate archive.


  1. Depositors may only submit items for which they hold the rights or where the rights holder has granted them the permission to deposit the items. Depositors are responsible for ensuring is compliant with the Canadian Copyright Act and any appropriate copyright permissions have been obtained for any 3rd party material contained in their deposited work. McGill Library will provide consultative services to assist depositors if they have questions.
  2. The author/copyright owner should be willing and able to grant McGill University the non-exclusive right to preserve and distribute the work via eScholarship@McGill, although the author/copyright owner retains copyright for all works submitted. It is recommended, although not required, that authors notify any co-authors of their intention to deposit.
  3. The Library assists in determining the rights of authors to deposit works in eScholarship@McGill. In cases of published research articles, McGill Library will confirm publisher policies on behalf of the depositor before uploading any items. This will include checking the self-archiving policy in the SHERPA/ROMEO database and on the publisher’s website as needed. In cases where the publisher’s policy is unclear or unknown, McGill Library will contact the publisher directly to confirm their self-archiving policies.
  4. If the repository receives evidence of copyright violation, the relevant item will be removed immediately.


  1. Dissertations and theses
    • For theses submitted to eScholarship from the GPS, the Library requires written communication from the GPS confirming that the thesis may be withdrawn either temporarily or permanently.
    • For theses digitized and made available as part of the Retro-Thesis project, authors may request withdrawal by emailing escholarship.library [at]
  2. Materials other than dissertations and theses
    • All other publications (e.g., articles, book chapters etc.), may be withdrawn by the depositor by emailing escholarship.library [at] Library will consider all circumstances and inform the applicant of the decision. Some of the reasons for approving such requests are listed in the Selection and Retention section of this document.
  3. In order to avoid loss of the historical publication record, withdrawals will be traced with a provenance note in the item's metadata. As part of this process, metadata of the record may also be adjusted and the file will be deleted or removed from public view. A "tombstone" record will be supplied with a withdrawal statement:
    • Removed from view at request of author
    • Removed from view at the McGill University's discretion
    • Removed from view at the McGill University Library's discretion
    • Removed from view by legal order

Exceptions to creating a “tombstone” record may be applied at the discretion of the Library under certain circumstances.

Change in Service

McGill Library retains the right to change its collection and deposit policy for the repository at any time. In the event of a change in service, items already deposited with eScholarship will be maintained.

Credits: We thank University of Waterloo for permission to adapt their Withdrawal and modification policy.

Approved by Library Cabinet, September 26, 2023



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