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About AUSpace

Athabasca University Library Institutional Repository

AUSpace Policies and Guidelines [Draft]

AUSpace is an institutional digital repository administrated by AU Library. All AUSpace stakeholders must agree to the following policies and guidelines:

Content Guidelines

  • The work must be produced, contributed by or sponsored by an AU employee.
  • The work must be scholarly, artistic or research oriented.
  • The work must not be ephemeral.
  • The work should be complete and ready for viewing at the time of submission.
  • The work must be submitted in digital format. AUSpace recommends submission of electronic document in doc, pdf, rft html, and txt format.
  • The author/owner should be willing and able to grant AU library the right to preserve and distribute the work via AUSpace. The author/owner may decide closed or opened access to the work.
  • Established communities should strive for completeness in their collections. If the work is part of a series or set of related works, the other works in that series should also be contributed so that AUSpace can offer as full a set as possible. And
  • The work uploaded to AUSpace must be checked by the author and the owner to ensure the content is appropriate and virus free.

Community & Collection Policies

An AUSpace "community" is an administrative unit that produces or sponsors the creation of digital materials resulting from research, teaching and academic support activities, has a defined leader, has long-term stability, and can assume responsibility for setting community policies. Each community must be able to assign a coordinator who can work with the AUSpace project team. Groups wishing to establish an AUSpace community that do not fall into this definition will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Individuals may not submit items without belonging to an established community in AUSpace.

Responsibilities of the AUSpace Community

An AUSpace Community agrees to

  • arrange for submission and provide metadata for the content;
  • make decisions about community and collection definitions and policies;
  • notify the AUSpace project team of organizational changes affecting submissions ;
  • observe AU policies relevant to AUSpace, and educate community submitters regarding these policies;
  • clear copyright for items submitted when the copyright owner is other than the author(s) or submitters; and
  • decide upon a submission workflow for each collection.

Rights of the Community

An AUSpace Community retains the right to

  • decide collection policy within content guidelines;
  • decide who may submit content within their community;
  • limit access to content at the item level either to AU only or to specific individuals or groups;
  • receive a copy of submitted content upon request;
  • remove items and collections (as outlined in "Withdrawal Policy");
  • approve addition of or elimination of sub-communities; and
  • customize the interface to community content.

Responsibilities of AU Library

AU Library agrees to

  • maintain content submitted to AUSpace;
  • distribute content according to community decisions;
  • apply accepted preservation techniques to content;
  • provide access to AUSpace research, where required;
  • notify communities of significant changes to content, e.g. format migration; and
  • return collections to existing communities if AU Library ceases to support AUSpace.

Rights of AU Library

AU library retains the right to

  • redistribute or amend metadata for items in AUSpace;
  • refuse or “de-accession” items or Collections under certain circumstances – as outlined in "Withdrawal Policy";
  • renegotiate terms of original agreement with Communities;
  • perform appraisal for long-term archiving when Communities cease to exist or within thirty years of the creation of a Collection;
  • move collections to reflect current understanding between AUSpace and Communities;
  • migrate items if format is in danger of obsolescence;
  • set quotas (size of files, number of items) to determine what constitutes free service and after which point to charge a fee; and
  • charge a fee for activities requiring extensive centralized support from AUSpace (e.g. large amount of de-accessioning or batch-loading).

Withdrawal Policies

AUSpace items may be removed from the repository upon request. In most circumstance it will be desirable to remove items from view, but to avoid loss of the historical record, such transactions will be traced in the form of a note in the <Description.provenance> field of the Dublin Core record.

The content of the note should be one of the following:

  • removed from view at request of the author;
  • removed from view at the discretion of AU;
  • removed from view at the discretion of AU Library; or
  • removed from view by legal order.

Since any item in the AUSpace that has existed at some time may have been cited we will always supply a "tombstone" when the item is requested, which will include the original metadata (for verification) plus one of the above withdrawal statements in place of the link to the object. The metadata should be visible, but not searchable. These items will also be made unavailable for metadata harvesting.

Policies and Guidelines Adapted From:,, and


Athabasca University
Athabasca University Library
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