About Scholars Compass

Scholars Compass is a publishing platform for the intellectual output of VCU’s academic, research, and administrative communities. Its goal is to provide wide and stable access to the exemplary work of VCU’s faculty, researchers, students, and staff. VCU Libraries administers and oversees the Scholars Compass.

Scholars Compass hosts content that is produced, submitted, or sponsored by VCU faculty, researchers, or staff, and demonstrates scholarly, educational, or research value. Presentations at professional conferences and publications in scholarly venues from graduate and professional students are encouraged. Other content produced or submitted by VCU students must be sponsored by VCU faculty, researchers, or staff.

Content housed in VCU Scholars Compass can include but is not limited to:

  • published or unpublished faculty research
  • conference papers and proceedings
  • presentations, technical reports and working papers
  • books and book chapters
  • multimedia
  • administrative and policy documents
  • theses and dissertations
  • data sets
  • peer-reviewed journals and other series
  • instructional material and courseware
  • software


Authors must own the copyright for (or have permission to post) work submitted to Scholars Compass. Authors grant the university a non-exclusive, perpetual right to use the digital assets for non-commercial use. Because authors retain the copyright for all content posted in the repository, they are free to reuse the content elsewhere.

Formats Supported and Preservation

VCU Libraries is committed to providing ongoing access to the contents of Scholars Compass. These recommended formats increase the likelihood of safely migrating files in the future:


Audio: AIFF, MP3 "unprotected" (DRM-free) AAC, WAV

Video: MPEG, QuickTime

Data: XML, Comma-separated values

Text: PDF, TXT (Word and RTF files are converted to PDF upon submission)

Other formats may be included for associated materials, but are less likely to be migrated when technology changes. Contact for special arrangements for streaming video and for files larger than 2GB.

Withdrawal or Suppression of Materials

Scholars Compass is a part of the scholarly record. Once an item is deposited, a citation to it will always remain. Under special circumstances (such as proven copyright violations, national security, or legal proceedings), public access to materials may be withdrawn. Make requests to withdraw materials to . No material will be withdrawn from Scholars Compass without notifying the author(s) and/or submitter. If a contributor leaves the University, the material will remain; upon request, new contact information will be added to the files.

Authors may submit updated versions. Updates need not replace originally-posted papers. Posting updated versions alongside original versions is one way that Scholars Compass can allow authors to show the progress of their research.

Scholars Compass is optimized for open access to content. While embargoes are supported for some collections (e.g. theses and dissertations), the vast majority of submissions are expected to be publicly available. Scholars Compass is not built with extensive dark archiving capabilities, nor is it an appropriate platform for storing sensitive data.

For More Information

To learn more about contributing to Scholars Compass, contact us at or through our library subject liaisons.

The VCU Libraries guide, Open Access @ VCU offers information for faculty and researchers about the open access landscape and related issues. The Association of Research Libraries is a good resource for information about Institutional Repositories. Raym Crow’s paper "The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper" defines Institutional Repositories and argues their merits within an academic institution.