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Depositing to the DukeSpace Repository

A guide to sharing scholarly works and student theses and dissertations openly at Duke University.

DukeSpace Policies for Master's Projects


Access, Storage, and Preservation

Duke University Libraries (DUL) and Duke University are committed to the long-term preservation and persistent access to the research and scholarship curated in DukeSpace. Once deposited, your work will be available worldwide with a persistent handle link. To learn more about digital preservation, you may visit the Libraries’ Digital Preservation Policy.


Licensing and Copyright

When you deposit your paper in DukeSpace, you will be required to sign a non-exclusive distribution license, which is an agreement that provides Duke University the right to reproduce, translate, and distribute your work. You retain the copyright to your work, and thus retain the rights to further reproduce and distribute it as you wish. 

Your work will be made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives license (CC BY-NC-ND). Under this license, users of your work are free to share it, provided they abide by certain terms (e.g. appropriate credit must be given to use the work). The full CC BY-NC-ND text can be found here.



An embargo is a period of time to which access to your project is restricted and unavailable to the public. This is generally done when you wish to make commercial use of or publish your work.

Students have the option to place an embargo on their paper during the submission process. This suppresses access to the full text of the document, but a landing page with the work’s title, abstract, and other citation data remains visible. Available embargo periods are 6, 12, and 24 months and can be extended for a maximum of 5 years.

Because DukeSpace is an open access repository, there is no option to permanently restrict access to papers. Embargoes must receive advisor approval prior to initiating a deposit.


Embargo Extensions

Embargoes expire automatically unless an extension is requested. Library staff cannot decide whether to approve or deny an embargo. A student who wishes to extend an embargo must first contact their program administrator with the request. Once approved, the request must be submitted to by the program administrator; requests submitted by students cannot be completed. To provide adequate processing time, extension requests should be made at least 6 weeks in advance of your embargo expiration.


Withdrawing an item

When an item is deposited, it is intended to remain visible and usable long-term by broad audiences. The permanent link, which is often cited and used by other researchers, becomes part of the scholarly record. Duke Libraries staff make every effort to keep these links active, so that if someone in the future tries to follow that link they will be able to see the item that was being referred to, which their research may rely on.

When an item is made public it can only be withdrawn (or hidden) for specific reasons, and a record will be left indicating when and why the item was withdrawn; no items will simply be made to disappear. This should be taken into consideration if deposit is not required by your program. For the Libraries' full policy, visit the Deaccession and DMCA Takedown Policy. Requests to remove an item can be made using the Deaccession Request Form.