University Digital Conservancy

The University Digital Conservancy (UDC) available from conservancy.umn.edu provides free, worldwide open access to scholarly and administrative works produced by or about the University of Minnesota.

The UDC is:

  • a venue for faculty to deposit copies of their works (articles, research data, conference proceedings) for long-term preservation and open access,
  • a showcase for certain categories of student works, such as dissertations, Master's Plan A (see Plan B FAQ) and professional papers, honors theses, capstone papers, and UROP projects (see UROP FAQ), and
  • centralized, searchable access to institutional digital resources that would have traditionally gone to the University Archives.

Benefits of Submitting to the UDC

There are some big benefits that come with including your works in the Digital Conservancy.

  • Free/open access - your digital works will be made available to the widest possible audience, free via the web
  • Increased visibility - content in institutional repositories like the Digital Conservancy receive higher ranking in Google and Google Scholar search results increasing your works' exposure and potential for higher impact (works are cited more frequently)
  • Meets sharing requirements - satisfy requirements for open access to publicly-funded research (NIH) and sharing your data through the UDC can satisfy data management planning required by NSF or other funding agencies
  • Full text searching - search across the full text of your works using Google, Google Scholar, or a Digital Conservancy search box embedded on your own website
  • Long-term access/preservation - a permanent url for each of your works guarantee no more broken links and the Digital Conservancy strategies ensure that your works will remain accessible and usable over time.

Issues to Consider

However, there are some important issues you may need to consider before sharing your work. Not all materials are appropriate for long-term, open access, such as:

  • Sensitive data - Works in the Digital Conservancy are accessible to anyone with an internet connection, worldwide - but some sensitive or private information (such as social security, health, or education records) must be anonymized or not shared.
  • Potentially patentable inventions - If information about a patentable invention is shared publicly before the inventor applies for a patent, the patent may be denied.
  • Unpublished work - Some commercial publishers prefer not to publish works that are already available in full online.
  • Copyright ownership - If your work was authored jointly with other collaborators, or you have signed a copyright transferral form, it is good practice to make sure that you own the rights to share publicly via the Digital Conservancy.

Please contact udc@umn.edu if you have further questions or would like to contribute to the UDC.