VTechWorks Help

General Help

For help with any and all questions with depositing or accessing VTechWorks content, write VTechWorks Support at VTechWorks support staff will help you deposit content yourself or will deposit it for you and will help you access existing work.

What to Deposit

VTechWorks accepts complete, finished scholarly works created by Virginia Tech faculty, students, and staff: journal articles, conference presentations, dissertations, theses, technical reports, and more. VTechWorks accepts only items that the depositor has the right to deposit, usually because s/he is the creator of the work and has not relinquished to a third party (such as a publisher) the right to post a full copy of the work online. VTechWorks requires that at least one file with the full content of the work be attached to every submission: as a general rule we do not accept metadata-only records, since our purpose is to preserve and provide access to the full text of scholarly works. See the Policies page for the full VTechWorks Content Policy.

Who Can Deposit

Faculty, students, and staff of Virginia Tech will be given permission to deposit their own work -- that is, work they have created and for which they or Virginia Tech own the copyrights. Authorized representatives of particular Virginia Tech units will also be given permission to deposit work on behalf of their unit, and Virginia Tech Libraries faculty, staff, and students are also often given permission to create and add to collections on behalf of various Virginia Tech units (for instance, the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension). In some cases, people who do not work or study at Virginia Tech may also be given permission to add content: VTechWorks staff will consider such requests on a case by case basis.

Right to Deposit

If you would like to deposit an item you authored that has been previously published, such as a journal article, you should check your publishing contract to see if you have retained the right to deposit (or “self-archive”) the work in an institutional repository. You can also visit the Sherpa/RoMEO database to find out the deposit policies of your journal or publisher.

Some Definitions of Versions

  • Draft Version = A work in preparation that has not yet been submitted to a scholarly publisher

  • Submitted Version = A work submitted to a scholarly publisher that has not yet been refereed or peer-reviewed: a "pre-print"

  • Accepted Version = A work accepted for publication by a scholarly publisher that has been refereed or peer-reviewed: a "post-print"

  • Publisher's Version = A work that has been refereed or peer-reviewed, copy-edited, typeset, and formatted by a scholarly publisher: an "offprint," "reprint," or "proof"

Some Definitions of SHERPA/RoMEO Journal and Publisher Policies

  • "Green" journals and publishers allow you to deposit a draft version, submitted version (pre peer review), or accepted version (post peer review) of your work; you might also be allowed or required to deposit the publisher's version (final typeset PDF)

  • "Blue" journals and publishers allow you to deposit an accepted version (post peer review) of your work; you might also be allowed or required to deposit the publisher's version (final typeset PDF)

  • "Yellow" journals and publishers allow you to deposit a draft version or submitted version (pre peer review) of your work

  • "White" journals and publishers do not allow you to deposit any version of your work

  • "Gray" journals and publishers are those whose policies concerning deposit are unknown

If you are in doubt as to whether you may deposit a work, write for a consultation.

Depositing via the Electronic Faculty Activity Reporting System (EFARS)

Faculty can deposit items to VTechWorks from the Electronic Faculty Activity Reporting System (EFARS). Visit the Provost's EFARS page to learn more and to log in to EFARS.

Registering for a VTechWorks Account

Currently, you must register for a VTechWorks account in order to deposit content, and after you have registered, you must also write to obtain permission to deposit materials to a particular collection.

Requesting Permission to Deposit / Upload

After you have registered a VTechWorks Account, you must also write to obtain permission to deposit materials to a particular collection. Please state in your request which collection you would like permission to add materials to, and VTechWorks staff will grant you permission. If no appropriate collection exists, we will create one for you.

Choosing a Collection

VTechWorks is organized around Communities, Sub-Communities, and Collections. Communities in VTechWorks are usually Virginia Tech colleges, institutes, and large organizational units (e.g., the College of Science, the Biocomplexity Institute, and the University Libraries). Sub-Communities are usually Virginia Tech departments (e.g., Computer Science, Religion and Culture, and Entomology). Collections are sets of related content within Communities or Sub-Communities (e.g., Research Articles, Technical Reports, Conference Proceedings). Generally, you will want to ask for permission to upload material to one or more existing collections in your own department. You may also ask VTechWorks Support to create a new collection for a particular conference, course, lab, or project. Write for permission to add content to a particular collection or to have a new collection created.

Faculty may also choose to have a collection under their own name in the Faculty Research community (e.g., Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, George Washington Carver). VTechWorks staff can assist in cross-listing this content in departmental or institute collections.

File Names, Sizes, and Formats

File Names

Filenames for documents you deposit must be 50 characters or less, including the file extension (.pdf, .docx, .xlsx, .csv). Filenames may not include spaces or special characters.

File Sizes

VTechWorks has no restrictions on file sizes. However, we do recommend that files over 60Mb (megabytes) be compressed if possible in order to save space and increase ease access for content viewers: PDFs and images in particular can often be optimized for size in a desktop application (such as Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Photoshop) before upload. Files over 2GB (gigabytes) may also be difficult to upload through the web interface: large files can be given to VTechWorks staff on flash drives or hard drives for command-line upload. Write for help.

File Formats

VTechWorks accepts more than 75 common file formats. For text documents, the archival PDF/A format is preferred: in Acrobat Pro, for instance, you can choose File --> Save As Other --> Archival PDF (PDF/A) to save your text in the approved format for long-term preservation.

Describing Your Work (Metadata)

We strongly recommend that you add as much accurate and specific information about your submission as you can, since this will enable others to find it. Different collections and item types may have different fields available in the web submission form. Some tips for the most important fields for all item types:


Enter the title or name of the item. If a title is not provided, create one that appropriately describes the item. Examples: Extended Boolean Information Retrieval, Ossian and the Genres of Culture, Chemistry of Arsenic Removal During Coagulation and Fe-Mn Oxidation


Enter the name of each author or creator. Examples: Faulkner, William; Einstein, Albert; Lovelace, Ada


Enter the date of previous publication or public distribution. A year is required, but month and day are optional. If the item has not been previously published, enter today's date. Examples: 2010, 1969 July 01, 1995 August


If the item has any identification numbers or codes associated with it, please enter them. Examples: DOI 10.1056/NEJMoa1510991, URL, ISSN 0272-3638


Enter a brief summary of the item. Preferred length is a single paragraph or about 300 words, although you may enter an abstract of any length.


Any information that you feel could improve users’ ability to discover, understand, and use the publication that doesn’t fit into an existing field in the submission form can go in the “Notes” field.

More thorough information for metadata professionals can be found in the VTechWorks Metadata Guidelines.

Allowing Others to Read and Reuse Your Work


We strongly recommend that you choose a Creative Commons license or mark that will let others know under what conditions they may use your work. Available options in the submission process include:

    • No Creative Commons license

      • You need not specify a Creative Commons license or mark for the work you are uploading, but in that case, people who find the content online will not know whether or how they are permitted to use, share, redistribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work.

    • Creative Commons - some rights reserved

    • Creative Commons licenses allow you to retain some rights: this option will let you decide and declare whether to allow or refuse permission for commercial uses of your work, whether to allow or refuse permission to modify your work, or whether to allow modifications of your work only on the condition that modifiers also allow others to modify the new work ("ShareAlike"). "Choose a license" is a simple form to generate a Creative Commons license.

    • CC0 - no rights reserved

      • CC0 ("Creative Commons Zero") enables you to waive your rights in your works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance, and reuse your works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.

    • Public Domain - no known copyright (CC 1.0)

      • The Public Domain mark by Creative Commons indicates that neither you nor anyone else currently has rights to the work. Common reasons for a work to be in the public domain include because its copyright has expired, because it was created by a government body, or because it is factual and therefore does not meet the copyright standard for original creative expression. The Public Domain mark is most often appropriate for texts and images published before the early 20th century, government documents, datasets, graphs, and charts.

Linking to Work

One of the key benefits of VTechWorks is that it provides stable, permanent links (“handles”) to research. Here’s how to share stable links to your work.

  • Be sure to share the link in the item record that appears in this format: This link is guaranteed to be permanent and stable, even if VTechWorks moves or changes its domain name in the future.

  • Direct links to files (such as are relatively stable but are not guaranteed to persist, since the depositor might choose to delete the file or change its name, which will change the URL. We discourage depositors from deleting files or changing file names, but it has been known to happen.

  • Do not copy and share the link from your browser’s address bar; these links (which might include “”) are relatively stable but are not guaranteed to resolve if VTechWorks moves or makes changes to its domain name.

  • Be especially sure not to copy and share the link from your browser’s address bar if you have signed in from off-campus; such links contain the word “ezproxy,” which indicates that you have signed in as a Virginia Tech user in order to access restricted resources. Non-Virginia Tech users will not be able to see these items.

  • If you want to include a link to your item in the file that is attached to that same item, an item record with no attached file will first need to be created in order to generate the item record link. In general, only collection administrators can create an item record with no file attached; most users cannot finish creating an item until they have attached a file. Write with the name of the collection you want to put your item in (e.g., "Research Articles, University Libraries") and staff will either give you administrator access to that collection or will create a file-less item record for you to which the file with the item record link in it can later be attached.