Library:Circle/Adding faculty publications to cIRcle

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UBC Librarian's Guide to Depositing Faculty Publications in cIRcle

This is a user guide to assist UBC Library subject librarians and staff in identifying and submitting faculty authored journal articles in cIRcle, UBC's open access digital repository. The cIRcle Office offers a mediated deposit service: they create item records, apply metadata, and ensure publisher conditions and license terms are met. Library staff can help contribute to a culture of openness at UBC by supporting their faculty in publishing their work open access and meeting the requirements of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

Although cIRcle provides access to a variety of scholarly materials including journal articles, book chapters, technical reports, conference proceedings, this workflow focuses primarily on journal articles. For help with depositing other types of research and teaching outputs, please contact the cIRcle Office at circle.repository[at] for assistance.

A brief version of this guide aimed at authors themselves is available from the cIRcle Office and the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office: Author's Guide to Self-Archiving.Open Access permissions for books, book chapters or conference proceedings are out of scope for this guide, but there is a community-built resource maintained by UK Council of Open Research Repositories that has tracked policies for nearly 200 publishers.

Librarians may also be interested in reviewing cIRcle's Content Recruitment Toolkit which provides tips for recruiting various types of scholarly content.

How to Use This Wiki Guide

This user guide introduces a 5 step workflow for depositing faculty publications in cIRcle. Steps 1-2 of the process are optional and aimed at Library branches interested in creating content recruitment campaigns in their liaison areas. Steps 3-5 of the process are required to ensure appropriate content is submitted and described correctly. If you already have content and need to check permissions, skip to step 3.

Step 1 : Set Up an Automatic Search Alert

Step 2 : Review & Save Content Results

Step 3 : Check Copyright Permissions

Step 4 : Request Author Permissions

Step 5 : Submit Content to cIRcle

Step 1 : Identify articles of interest

Below are two suggested methods for identifying articles of interest: Create a Search Alert using academic databases and Query Open Alex for UBC Publications. You may create additional methods depending on the scope and focus of your interest.

Create a Search Alert

A search alert is a search string crafted for a specific database that can be used to identify new content suitable for submission to cIRcle. Once saved, an email alert will be sent when new content meeting the search criteria is added to that database. This step will describe how to pick databases, craft a search string, and set up a search alert.

Choose Databases

Select databases relevant to your subject field. We recommend selecting at least two large databases; however, you may choose to include as many that are necessary to cover the desired field. Consider focusing on journals where faculty in your liaison areas publish most frequently as well as those that have favourable Open Access self-archiving policies. For an idea of the popularity of a specific journal, you may wish to consult the Scientific Journal Rankings.

Craft a Search String and Set up Alert

To begin, create a search string using the search box in your selected database. The image below shows an example of how to set up a search alert in a select database. When creating the search string, consider the following:

Search criteria: All content added to cIRcle must have at least one UBC author affiliate. To limit your search to UBC authors, use database-supplied limiters or the search string "University of British Columbia." To further refine your search, apply an affiliation parameter and/or a proximity operator to the string, if possible. Combining an affiliation with subject specific terms where appropriate is also recommended.

Accuracy and Frequency: Best practice is to revisit these search strings every 3 to 6 months. Having an up-to-date search string can help you evaluate their effectiveness and improve search result content. Most databases also have a “frequency” setting for search alerts. This will set up email alerts for any new results on a query at a specific time. Start by setting the frequency alerts to once per week and adjust as needed. The parameters and operators are often database specific so be sure to investigate how to refine results in your selected database.

Creating Search Alert.png


Tip In some cases you may be able to set up a search alert without creating a login. However, creating an account allows you to modify, delete, or view all of your alerts.

Query Open Alex for UBC Publications

OpenAlex is a "fully open catalog of the global research system" developed by the nonprofit creators of Unpaywall known as The open-source tool "describes scholarly entities and how those entities are connected to each other. There are five types of entities: works, authors, venues, institutions, and concepts" (See OpenAlex API documentation). 

Review the OpenAlex Quick Start Tutorial to begin building queries. See below an example of a query for UBC publications:

Query Example: List the Open Access journal articles affiliated with UBC that have been published since January 1, 2020 .,is_oa:true ,is_paratext:false,type:journal-article,from_publication_date:2020-01-01

Breakdown of the query:

  • Query root. This must be entered before any filters can be applied. “works” can be changed to another entity type (ex: authors or venues).


  • This filter retrieves works in OpenAlex that are affiliated with UBC.
  • institutions.ror filters by institution. This is followed by a colon and the ROR (Research Organization Registry) ID URL for UBC: (Institutions’ ROR IDs can be found here:
  • Each filter must be followed by a comma if adding another filter.


  • Retrieves works in OpenAlex that have been identified as Open Access.
    • You can also filter by the type of Open Access (i.e., gold, green, hybrid, bronze) by swapping this with the filter oa_status:”[status type here]”.


  • On the OpenAlex website, it is recommended to include this filter because some of their dataset sources include paratext (i.e., covers, tables of contents, journal issue information). To filter these types of sources out of your query results, use this filter.


  • This filter specifies and retrieves a certain type or genre of work (in this case, journal articles).
  • This field uses Crossref’s “type” controlled vocabulary.
    • All the possible values can be found here:


  • This filter retrieves works from a specific publication date onward.
  • Dates must be formatted as follows: YYYY-MM-DD

Step 2 : Review & Save Content Results

Review content received from searches and search alerts to identify articles to pursue for the repository. This step will describe criteria for evaluating potential articles for submission, as well as how to save article citations.

Review Material Criteria

  • UBC Affiliation: Do all the results have at least one UBC author? Is the author a current UBC faculty member (you can confirm this using the UBC Directory)? Does the author already have content in cIRcle? Returning submitters will already be familiar with cIRcle and, therefore, more inclined to deposit.
  • Scope: Focus on content that isn't already openly available. Start by checking to make sure the material isn't already in cIRcle or available via an open access journal or in a different university affiliated repository (a Google search will often confirm all of these). Consider limiting your search to material that has been published in the last 2-3 years so there is a greater chance the author has kept a version that can be self-archived under a publisher's terms. You may also want to focus your efforts on high-profile research areas see for example, the UBC Research Excellence Clusters.-
  • Author Permissions: Identify at least one UBC author from whom to request permission to archive the item in cIRcle. This may not be the corresponding author but it must be someone credited as an author. It is recommended that the signing author notify co-authors of their intent to make the content available via cIRcle. See Step 4: Requesting Author Permissions for more information.

Save the Citation/Metadata

If you plan to recruit multiple items, it is helpful to track potential submissions using a consistent method like an Excel spreadsheet (see our Sample Project Metadata Template for an example). Once the article versions and permissions are collected, you can send the spreadsheet directly to cIRcle. Elements that we suggest tracking include:

  • Title
  • Author(s)
  • Contact information of author(s)
  • Citation
  • Publisher DOI
  • Published (Y/N)
  • Copyrighted material (Y/N)
  • Article version permitted (pre-print, post-print, etc.)
  • Embargo (Yes/No - If Yes, add date)
  • Status (Already in cIRcle, already open access, action required, etc.)
  • Date author was contacted
  • Communication notes (e.g. waiting for content, waiting for licenses, unsuccessful, etc.)
  • Licenses received (Yes/No)
  • cIRcle URL (the cIRcle Office can populate your spreadsheet with the URL of archived items and send the spreadsheet inventory back to you)

Step 3 : Check Copyright Permissions

In most cases, authors have signed the copyright for their articles over to a publisher as a condition of publication. In recent years, most publishers have established self-archiving policies that allow authors to deposit a copy of their articles in institutional repositories. However, differing terminology and conditions can make it challenging for authors to identify and interpret these policies. Moreover, individual journals under a publisher often have conditions specific to that journal such as a particular embargo period. Helping authors navigate these permissions in order to deposit to cIRcle is a valuable service offered by the Library. This step will explain how to check the copyright permissions for journals to determine whether an article can be added to an institutional repository and under what conditions. If you're new to Open Access principles, consider watching this 3 minute video Open Access 101 from SPARC.

Identifying Permitted Self-Archiving Versions

The version permitted for open access deposit in a repository varies widely across publishers. You will first need to identify which version is permitted, and then work with the author to apply any conditions such as a version statement, citation, or embargo. As these version types can look very different, you will need to become adept at identifying the version types and, if needed, following up with the author to ensure you have the right version. In many cases, authors will need clarification from you to understand the differences between the version types. For more information on article versions refer to our Author's Guide to Self-Archiving.

Popular terms for version types include:

  • Submitted Manuscript (Pre-print): The version of the manuscript first submitted to the publisher before undergoing the peer-review process. See an example here. Most publishers allow the deposit of pre-prints without embargoes though grant-funding agencies require the author's accepted manuscript version (post-print) to be deposited.
  • Author's Accepted Manuscript (Post-print): The peer-reviewed version of the manuscript that has incorporated all revisions made during the peer-review process. This is the author’s final manuscript of the publication prior to being branded with the publisher logo and layout. This is one of two versions accepted by the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. Most publishers allow for this version to be deposited and is often the easiest to obtain from authors. However, it is also the version most often requiring an embargo period and a version statement with a citation and link to the published version. See an example here.
  • Publisher Version (Version of Record): The version of the manuscript as it appears in the journal. This version contains the same content as the post-print but with added journal page layout and style formatting applied by the publisher. This version is seldom acceptable for deposit in an open access repository. Many authors confuse this version for the post-print so it's important to check carefully what an author sends you to ensure you have the correct version. This version is accepted by the Tri-Agency OA Policy on Publications. See an example here.
  • Author's Proof (Galley Proof): This version of the manuscript where information still needs to be reviewed by the publisher or author, between the post-print and published stage. An Author's Uncorrected Proof has the corrections noted by the publisher not yet approved by the author. The Author's Corrected Proof is the article with the corrections reviewed by the author. This version is rarely referenced in publisher permissions. See an example here.
Article Versions Graphic.png

Having trouble telling the difference between version types? This article from the University of Cambridge provides additional tips: Manuscript detectives -- submitted, accepted or published?

Best Practice

Where possible, you can save time and effort by prioritizing journals that allow archiving of the publisher versions which will be available for download from a database or the journal's website. In this case, the author is only required complete the cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License form to have their content submitted to cIRcle.[NB. The cIRcle License was updated to 3.0 in November 2021. Please ensure you are using the correct version of the license]

It is more likely, however, that a journal will only permit the archiving of a pre-print and/or post-print version of the article. If this is the case, the post-print is the preferred self-archive version. It is crucial that the appropriate version be acquired from the author with a completed cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License form.

In some cases, journals have applied a Creative Commons License which allows cIRcle to deposit the content without a cIRcle License. This is the best case scenario as it limits the amount of effort on behalf of the author.

Publisher Conditions

Most publishers include conditions for deposit such embargo period. An embargo is a period during which access to academic journals is limited to users who have paid for access or have access via a library subscription. It is important for authors to know that they can add embargoed articles to cIRcle at any time. An article can be stored within the repository with barred access until an embargo period expires, at which time the article will be released and become publicly available for use.

For preprints or postprints, it is best practice to always include a version statement with a citation for the published article on the document submitted to cIRcle. If the author has not done this, you can edit the document to include it on their behalf. Examples of publisher required statements are included below:

1.Elsevier: © <year>. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

2. Wiley: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [FULL CITE], which has been published in final form at [Link to final article using the DOI]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited."

3. T&F: “This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in [JOURNAL]. [INCLUDE CITATION]. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.”

4. Unspecified statement: If the publisher doesn't include a specific statement template, you can use the following:

This is the [preprint/postprint] version Submitted (or Accepted) for publication to Journal Name (by) on MM/DD/YYYY. The published version of this article is available at [citation].


A good place to start to identify publisher permissions is SHERPA/RoMEO. Although it's a good place to get general information, it is strongly recommended that you also consult the publisher's website. This is particularly the case if information listed on the SHERPA/RoMEO result page is older than two years or broad in scope (e.g. embargo periods of 12-36 months).

To use Sherpa/RoMEO, go to the database and type the journal name or ISSN, and click search. Once the specific journal is located, check the table of copyright permissions information. For an example, review this screenshot with the numbered instructions below. The most important information is numbered and highlighted in yellow.
  1. Publisher: This field tells you the publisher of the journal. You can use this link to go directly to the publisher's website to find out more information about terms and conditions.
  2. Permissions policy: This is the most important section of the record as it describes whether and where an article may be shared and the permitted version. Click on the + symbol to see the full description for a particular pathway. Please note that terminology differs for the versions and for the places where items can be shared (e.g. institutional repository; institutional website; subject repository). For more help with using Sherpa/RoMEO and understanding publisher policies, see the Sherpa/RoMEO user guide.
  3. Copyright: This field only displays where relevant when you click on a specific pathway; it identifies copyright ownership. cIRcle only includes this statement if the publisher conditions require it.
  4. Conditions: This is the second most important field to review when you click on a particular pathway. This area outlines the conditions for deposit; typically these are elements that must be included on the submitted version and/or in the item record metadata. It is crucial, therefore, that these elements are communicated to cIRcle.
  5. Last Modified: This section tells you when the SHERPA/RoMEO journal entry was last updated. If the record hasn't been updated within the last two years, it is crucial that you consult the publisher's website. For many journals/publishers, this information is listed in the “Copyright” section of the website.) Be sure to request to submit an update to this record to help keep this information accurate and up-to-date for everyone.


IMPORTANT! If the journal is not available in SHERPA/RoMEO and the journal does not have a self-archiving policy posted, it is recommended that you contact the journal editor for more information. If you need assistance with this step, please contact the cIRcle Office at circle.repository[at] for more information.

Step 4: Requesting Author Permissions

Once you have identified the article(s) you want to request and the publisher permissions, you can contact the author to outline the steps for deposit. You can review instructions for deposit on the cIRcle Submission page. Linked below are email templates created by the cIRcle Office for requesting content and permissions from authors. Please note that instructions vary depending on the required self-archiving version type: pre-print, post-print, or publisher version. You may also prefer to have authors send you both the copy of the license and article and then forward these as a package to the cIRcle Office. We encourage you to adapt and edit these templates as needed to suit your purposes, just be sure the key elements regarding instructions for deposit are included.

Email Templates

Use the template to draft your request message to the author. If you are requesting an embargoed article you will direct the author to complete the cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License Form and email the article directly to you. If you are requesting a non-embargoed article you will direct the author to fill out the cIRcle Item Submission Form. (The form will allow the author to complete the cIRcle License and attach a copy of the content in a single form.) If an author uses the Item Submission Form for an embargoed article, please notify the cIRcle Office immediately circle.repository[at]

If more than one article is required from the same faculty member, include all requested citations in your email. Recommend that the author copy and paste the article list into a single cIRcle License Form for greater efficiency. If the author sends an unaccepted self-archiving version, you will need to follow up and provide clearer instruction on version types.

cIRcle License Requirements

A single author can complete the form on behalf of all co-authors to permit the article to be made available in the repository. For this reason, we recommend that the signing author notify co-authors that a copy of the paper has been added to the repository by cc'ing a copy of the license and notification email. We also recommend that you ask authors to cc you on the license and notification email to ensure the submission process is properly completed. Please note that an author must complete the form--research assistants or other support staff who are not co-authors do not have signing authority.

Step 5: Submitting Content to cIRcle

Final Review

This step will briefly explain the submission process. Be sure to contact the cIRcle Office at circle.repository[at] to discuss the best workflow for you and authors in your liaison areas. When working with authors, it is recommended that they cc you on any forms or correspondence they submit to cIRcle to ensure you are informed of any requests or resolutions.

Item Submission Form: A copy of the cIRcle license and article is received by the cIRcle Office. If there are no follow-up questions, the article is deposited and a URL is sent to the author and cc'd to you. Use this option when the author prefers to complete the license and attach the article file(s) themselves.

cIRcle License Form and Email article: Copies of the cIRcle License web form are received by the cIRcle Office. Please ensure you or the author forward a copy of the article version to circle.repository[at] ASAP. Please note that for articles under embargo, the web form will direct you to email or upload the files to OneDrive.

cIRcle License PDF and Email article: Some content recruiters find it simpler to pre-populate the licenses on behalf of the authors who then only need to sign the PDF. The recruiter then collect permissions and articles and send it all as a package to cIRcle for deposit. [NB: The cIRcle License was updated to 3.0 in November 2021. Please ensure you are using the correct version of the cIRcle License].

Creative Commons Licensed: If the material is already openly licensed via Creative Commons you do not need to request a separate cIRcle License. All that is required is that the license terms are included on the front page of the material. cIRcle Submitters will then include these license terms when creating the item record.

Submission Checklist:

Whichever permissions and deposit method you choose, be sure to review the checklist below to ensure you have all the necessary elements:

The article meets repository Material Criteria (e.g. UBC affiliation, scope, author permissions)
You've received the correct version of the article permitted in the publisher's self-archiving policies
All self-archiving conditions such as embargo period or copyright statements have been identified to create the cIRcle record
You've received a completed cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License Form submitted by at least one of the authors or ensured the Creative Commons License terms are included on the item


Once the cIRcle Office receives the license and content, the article is submitted to the repository and reviewed by designated Technical Services Staff (Reviewers). These Reviewers check for metadata accuracy and completeness. If all is correct, they will approve your submission to be added to cIRcle. If elements are missing or incorrect, they will reject the submission and ask for additional information.

If the item is successfully archived, you (or whomever submitting the license forms( will receive an email notification with a persistent link to the item(s). You may choose to forward this message to the author as is, or to draft your own notification template that includes the persistent link.

Contact Us

Thank you for helping your faculty to make their research more visible to the world via cIRcle. Did you find this guide helpful? Do you have suggestions for improvement? Your feedback on this guide and any elements of cIRcle's services are greatly appreciated. Please do not hesitate to contact us at circle.repository[at] Library employees with access to Confluence may also benefit from reviewing cIRcle's Content Recruitment Toolkit which includes many tips and tools for recruitment including