Frequently Asked Questions

Please contact us with any questions not addressed below.


What is The Knowledge Bank?

The Knowledge Bank, Ohio State University’s institutional repository, is a service of The Ohio State University Libraries. The mission of the Knowledge Bank is to collect, preserve, and distribute digitally formatted intellectual output of the Ohio State faculty, staff and students, that is currently or will be of research interest.


What is an institutional repository?

Although institutional repositories are still evolving and taking on differing manifestations in specific institutions, they can be defined in general as systems and services models designed to collect, organize, store, share, and preserve an institution’s digital information or knowledge assets worthy of such investment. Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) describes digital repositories as….” a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management & dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members.” He goes on to say that a repository is “essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution.”


What might be found in an institutional repository?

In an institutional repository like the Knowledge Bank you might find: Articles, preprints, monographs, datasets both statistical and geospatial, technical reports, images both visual and scientific, working papers, teaching materials such as lecture notes or simulations, conference papers and presentations, audio/video files, and undergraduate theses.


How is the repository organized?

The Knowledge Bank is organized by communities. A community is a group with an agreed upon focus, such as a college, an administrative unit, an individual department, a research grant team, or an interdisciplinary research center. There are only two common elements in Knowledge Bank communities. The first is that communities produce knowledge in a digital format that they wish to store, preserve and distribute. The second is that communities have an affiliation with Ohio State. Within communities are “collections” which contain “items”.


What platform does the repository utilize?

The Knowledge Bank uses DSpace, a software platform designed to manage a wide variety of digital content. It captures, stores, indexes and preserves the intellectual output of the university’s research, making it available for others to access.


What are the benefits of placing content I have created in the Knowledge Bank?

An important advantage to submitting material to the Knowledge Bank is immediate distribution of the research to a worldwide audience. Content submitted to the Knowledge Bank is indexed by search engines (e.g. Google, Google Scholar, Bing). In addition, each item in the digital repository is assigned a “persistent identifier” which is a permanent, stable, URL that can be used in a citation. It provides a web presence for your work and makes a commitment to preserve the work, migrating it to another platform if and when it is needed.


How do I start to use the Knowledge Bank?

Once you have identified a community, contact the Knowledge Bank by sending an e-mail to A member of the Knowledge Bank support team will assist you in setting-up a community web page and adding collection pages. The support team will also assist in identifying a workflow process, helping you understand metadata issues, and complete the initial authorization to submit material.


Who can contribute their work in the Knowledge Bank?

Each community identifies who in the community is authorized to contribute material to the Knowledge Bank. The community also works with the Knowledge Bank in determining up to three workflow steps in the submission process. These workflow steps allow the community to accept or reject a submission, to edit the metadata, and to archive the submission.


What are some of the benefits to my research?

The Knowledge Bank solves a problem faculty have struggled with: how best to manage their growing collection of digital material. The Knowledge Bank builds on new standards for storing and preserving digital assets and on new discovery tools for controlling and sharing these assets. Benefits of contributing content include: long-term preservation, a worldwide audience — indexed by search engines such as Google and Google Scholar — with immediate distribution of research, organized access to a body of research, a long-term stable URL that can be used in citation, as well as providing you a web presence.


What are some of the benefits to Ohio State?

The Knowledge Bank offers an opportunity to store, share and preserve important digital content in a professionally managed repository that represents Ohio State’s scholarship and showcases the international prominence of the faculty, both individually and collectively.


What about copyright and intellectual property issues?

The Knowledge Bank assumes that a contributor is the copyright holder. The Knowledge Bank support team, however, understands and appreciates concerns about copyright and intellectual property and will assist communities and/or contributors with individual needs.


Can I restrict access to my work?

While the Knowledge Bank encourages and promotes open access, there are circumstances when it may be necessary to temporarily restrict access to an item in a community’s collection. The Knowledge Bank can embargo items for a period of one, three, or five years.


What are the benefits for the user?

The repository enables easy, quick, and reliable remote access to the university’s research and scholarly materials from the Web, which fosters and encourages collaboration with colleagues, faculty and fellow students.


What is a Knowledge Bank community?

A community is a group with an agreed upon focus, such as a college, an administrative unit, an individual department, a research grant team, or an interdisciplinary research center. There are only two common elements in Knowledge Bank communities. The first is that communities produce knowledge in a digital format that they wish to store, preserve and distribute. The second is that communities have an affiliation with Ohio State. Each community should be able to assign a coordinator who can work with library staff. Groups wishing to establish a Knowledge Bank community that do not fall into this definition will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A Knowledge Bank community agrees to arrange for submission and description of content, make decisions about community and collection definitions, notify the Library of organizational changes affecting submissions, obtain copyright permission for items submitted, and decide upon a submission workflow for each collection.


Can I withdraw material I submitted?

The Knowledge Bank strives to provide persistent access to all deposited items. However, it may be necessary under some circumstances (e.g. discovery of a copyright violation) to withdraw items from the Knowledge Bank. Items are not actually removed, but are removed from view, preventing the loss of the historical record. All such transactions are traced in the form of a note in the <Description.provenance> field of the Dublin Core record.


How private is Knowledge Bank user information?

The Knowledge Bank is committed to preserving the privacy of those submitting material in to the repository. The personal information received is used solely for purposes of the functioning of the system from “users” involved in the submission of content and metadata and “users” who subscribe to the “alerting” service. Information about individual visits to the repository, or personal information that a community submitter provides, such as name, address, email address, telephone number, etc. is not disclosed to any outside parties except when required by law. Any demonstrations, presentations, or research papers, done on the Knowledge Bank will be scrubbed of specific references to real people and personal information.


Can I make changes to material I have put in the Knowledge Bank?

The repository is an archive for finished works. You are not able to edit material once it has been submitted to the archive. Just as in printed material with different editions, you can submit an updated version.


Can I submit my research to the Knowledge Bank and a publisher?

The Knowledge Bank assumes that you are the copyright holder for your research. If you submit research to a publisher, it is important that you understand what your rights are and the rights of the publisher. Some journal publishers, for example, allow you to post a pre-print or a post-print to an institutional repository, others may not. You should understand the policies of the journal or publisher and pay attention to the forms you are asked to sign or the language you are asked to agree to. You may want to modify a contract to ensure your right to use your work as you see fit, including posting it to an institutional repository like the Knowledge Bank. More information about author's rights is available from the Libraries' Copyright Services.