Research Exchange Frequently Asked Questions

What is Research Exchange?

Research Exchange is a digital repository that WSU researchers can use to preserve and share their research and educational materials.

Who can contribute to Research Exchange?

Researchers at Washington State University, including faculty, students, administrators, staff and affiliates

Is there a cost to use Research Exchange?

No, WSU researchers can deposit items at no charge. Research Exchange is a service WSU Libraries provides.

What does Research Exchange contain?

Research Exchange contains a variety of materials from journal articles to grey literature, technical reports, theses, dissertations, conference presentations, media, images, datasets, and other types of research outputs produced by the WSU community.

Are there size limits to what I can deposit?

We prefer that individual deposits not surpass 200 GB. However, for files larger than 1 GB, please contact us for assistance.

Can I feature the research I’ve deposited in Research Exchange?

Yes, WSU researchers can feature their work in a profile like Dr. Trevor Bond’s. We can assist in pre-populating the profile for you and can set you up to add additional materials. Please contact for further assistance.

If I’m a student and would like to contribute my work to Research Exchange, how does that work?

Research Exchange accepts student submissions but we ask that you consult with a faculty mentor or advisor before choosing to share your work. Placing your research online can be advantageous if you want to document your academic successes and reach a wider audience with your ideas. However, in some cases, as a beginning researcher you may want to temporarily or permanently restrict access to your scholarship. For instance, if you wish to publish or patent your work in the near future or if your research contains sensitive information, you might want to embargo your work in the repository or you may choose to wait before sharing. A faculty member in your discipline can help you make these decisions. Note also that dissertations and theses are handled via a separate process described on this WSU Dissertations and Theses page.

What file types can I contribute to Research Exchange?

Any file type can be contributed to the repository, but do consider that less common or proprietary file types may be more difficult for users to access, depending on available software.

How is copyright handled in Research Exchange?

In order to post your work to Research Exchange—or any website—you will first need to determine that you are the copyright holder or that you have permission from the copyright holder.

Generally, if you have not yet published a work, then you and any co-authors are the copyright holder(s) and can choose to post online. As copyright holders, you have certain inherent rights that include the right to reproduce the work, the right to distribute it, prepare derivatives, perform the work, display it, or license those rights to others.

However, if you have published in a book or journal, your publisher may ask you to sign over some or all of the rights described above (the right to display your work, etc.). If you have transferred your copyright to a publisher, you will need to ensure that your publisher allows you to post your work. Here are a few ways to make this determination:

  • Consult your publishing agreement.
  • Check the Sherpa-RoMEO database to determine the publisher’s policy on “self-archiving” or use of institutional repositories like Research Exchange.
  • Consult the publisher’s website—especially any policies on self-archiving.
  • Contact the publisher directly.
  • Contact us for assistance.

What if my publisher says I can only post a pre-print or accepted manuscript? What does that mean?

As you check your publisher’s policies, you may find that they allow you to post a version of an article or chapter called a pre-print, post-print, or accepted manuscript.

  • Pre-print: The is the version of the article before it goes through peer review.
  • Post-print or accepted manuscript: This is the version of the article after it goes through peer review but before final layout and copy-editing. The content in the post-print is nearly the same as in the final version but sans branding.

If I share an accepted manuscript/post-print, how will people know how to find the final, published version? 

When posting accepted manuscripts, we include links to the final version of the article (often via a DOI or Digital Object Identifier). We also encourage you to place the final citation on the item itself with a link to the final version. Note this example from Michael Kessler, et al.

Can I negotiate with my publisher to post to Research Exchange?

Yes, if you aren’t certain about your publisher’s policy, you can always contact them directly to ask about posting to an institutional repository. Alternatively, when you sign your next publishing agreement, you can negotiate to keep certain rights, such as the right to display your work publicly on a website or in an institutional repository. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition has provided an author addendum that you can submit along with your publishing agreement. Contact us with any questions or for assistance.

Do I retain copyright when I publish in Research Exchange?

Yes, we ask that you agree to a non-exclusive license permitting us to distribute your work online. This agreement allows you to retain copyright.

Can I protect the use of my work by others who find it in Research Exchange?

Yes, you can choose to apply a Creative Commons license to your work. Creative Commons licenses indicate to users how they can and cannot use your work. For instance, you could allow others to adapt and remix your work while giving original credit to you. Alternatively, you can indicate that you do not want your work adapted, sold, or used for commercial purposes. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Should my work be accessible to screen readers if I choose to share it?

Yes, we ask that you observe guidelines for making your materials accessible to people using assistive devices. Note the guidelines provided by WSU for creating accessible Word documents and accessible PDFs. Good practices include making use of the headers in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, identifying images with descriptive alt text, and supplying descriptive information in the document’s metadata. Media materials should also be captioned and accompanied by transcripts. Reach out to us with questions or to request additional guidance.

Can I get a DOI for my dataset/research?

Yes. A DOI or Digital Object Identifier is a unique string of letters and numbers that provides a persistent link to an item posted online. Whether you share materials to Research Exchange or merely want a DOI for material posted elsewhere, We can assist you. Contact us at

Can I use Research Exchange to satisfy funder requirements for making the outputs of a grant-funded project publicly accessible?

Yes, Research Exchange’s priority is to make research permanently accessible. Depending on your funder’s specific requirements, we can provide preservation and access assistance.

How do I deposit work in Research Exchange? What do I need to do?

Contact us at We will ensure that you can log in to Research Exchange and submit materials via a webform. Alternatively, we will ask you to send us digital copies of your materials along with descriptive information such as the title, creators, date of creation, and abstract. If you have questions about copyright, send us a CV or publication list and we can assist in determining which materials can be shared.

Why should I deposit my work in Research Exchange?

Faculty members often mention these reasons for posting their work to repositories like Research Exchange:

  • The student maintaining my website is about to graduate; I need help keeping my list of publications up to date.
  • When I leave the university, someone could take down my website; nobody will be able to find my work.
  • I’m published in a book that’s really expensive; nobody will read my work if I don’t make it freely available.
  • Collaborators/students in other countries may not be able to read my articles or books because they can’t afford to buy them.
  • People are always requesting my papers and it’s a pain to keep emailing them one at a time.
  • My article won’t be published for some time and I want people to read it now.

We like these reasons but here are a few other ways that we hope to add value to the WSU research community. We believe Research Exchange can be useful in:

  • decreasing publishing costs.
  • rapidly communicating WSU research to scholars around the world.
  • preserving institutional memory.
  • improving discovery of university scholarship through quality metadata.
  • creating a record of the university’s collective expertise.
  • providing information about the use of institutional scholarship.

How do I find out how people are using my work on Research Exchange?

We can provide information about downloads and page views for the items you have deposited. These statistics are available on each deposited item but we can assist with usage information for collections of items. Contact us at