Sophia Policies

Sophia, an e-community of scholarship and creativity, is an online repository provided by the Libraries of St. Catherine University. Its purpose is to collect and make accessible new knowledge created by the students, faculty and staff of the University, encourage collaboration and innovation, and increase the visibility of our research and scholarship. Members of the academic community are invited to contribute their completed scholarship and creative works.

What is Sophia (Digital Commons)?

Sophia is a hosted institutional repository that provides the foundation for a new model of scholarly publishing. It is a digital collection of the university’s intellectual output that centralizes, makes accessible, and preserves knowledge produced by the institution. It can include pre-prints and/or final copies of working papers, journal articles, theses and doctoral projects/dissertations, conference proceedings, and a wide variety of other content types.


  1. Contributions are deposited permanently in the repository.
  2. Contributions are accessible to campus and external communities.
  3. The work must be produced, submitted or sponsored by SCU faculty or staff member.
  4. The work must be in digital form (e.g. word document, pdf).
  5. The work must be complete and ready for public viewing.
  6. The copyright owner must be willing to give SCU permission to retain and make available through the repository with the right to change format in the future as needed. (see Permission Forms)
  7. The copyright owner retains copyright for all works submitted.
  8. Schools, Colleges, Departments and Programs will decide which student works are appropriate for inclusion in the repository
  9. Authors are responsible for copyright and privacy/confidentiality issues in their submissions. Any redaction of confidential content should be completed before submission.
  10. Some departments may choose to protect the work of their students because of continuing research. In these cases, the project is still posted on the repository, but content can only accessed by individuals who are located on campus.
  11. Embargos on access of up to (2) years are possible. No permanent embargos. Situations warranting an embargo – patent pending, personal privacy, corporate secrets, copyright agreements with potential publisher.


  1. Materials submitted must be the intellectual property of the author, department or SCU and not under copyright restrictions from a third party.
  2. Authors retain copyright.

Author Rights

In most cases, as the author of this thesis or doctoral research project, you retain all rights to the work, granting the university a non-exclusive license upon deposit in The license confirms that you, as the creator and contributor of your work, grant the university permission to share your work in an open-access digital environment, which is intended for educational purposes. (For exceptions, see……)

You and any co-authors retain all intellectual property rights to your work. If you submit material for which you do not own copyright, you certify that you have obtained permission from the copyright owner to make your materials available online.

You are giving the university permission to make your work available to all users and to migrate it to accessible formats as necessary. Requests for use of your work for purposes other than education will be referred back to you as copyright holder.

Authors who wish to share their work for specific purposes while retaining their copyrights may do so by using an appropriate Creative Commons License.

(Adapted with Permission from Robert E. Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University, San Louis Obispo)

Avoiding Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism

The best way to avoid copyright infringement is to cite properly. For citation help, please see our web page. In general, please follow these simple guidelines:

  • Quotations – when quoting from, or referring to, books, articles, web sites, or other publications, give a complete citation that will allow the reader to locate your original source. Be sure to cite all sources within your text or in footnotes, and in your bibliography.
  • Copyright information – always look for copyright information to determine if you need to seek permission.
  • Tables, data, sources of statistics, diagrams – if including reproductions of these types of sources, give a complete citation that will allow the reader to locate the source.
  • Human Subjects – if your research includes human subjects please consult the web site for the Institutional Review Board for guidelines and procedures; see
  • Translations- if your project is a translation of material written in a foreign language, you must have the copyright holder’s permission to upload the document in Sophia.
  • Media (audio, sound recordings, software, video, etc.) – if sound bites are not original (made by you), you will need to obtain permission from the copyright owner, which could include the performer, the composer, and the publisher.
  • Images (photos, artwork, sculptures, graphics, paintings, etc. ) – Images and video may be included, but for the permanent electronic version in Sophia, you must include permission from the copyright holder (if images are not original (made by you)), or you can include a URL, but not the image itself.

If you have questions about obtaining copyright permissions, copyright infringement or avoiding plagiarism, please contact the library reference desk at 651.690.6652.

(Adapted with permission from Macalester College)

Submitting Master’s and Doctoral Research

  1. Secure final approval of your thesis, research paper or doctoral project from your advisor.
  2. Provide the Department or Program with a final approved version of your thesis, research paper or doctoral project, including the abstract, in a Word document or PDF file.
  3. Provide the Department or Program with a completed Submission Form.
  4. In cases where research will be ongoing, the thesis or doctoral project may be accessible only on campus.
  5. There are circumstances in which the work can be withheld from public view for up to two years. This is called an embargo. Situations warranting an embargo include copyright agreements with a potential publisher. There are no permanent embargoes.
  6. Your department’s Administrative Assistant or Program Coordinator will forward the approved thesis or doctoral project and your completed permission form to Emily Asch in the St. Catherine University Libraries for inclusion in Sophia.
  7. The Library does not host web sites or retain three-dimensional theses in its collections.
  8. Changes to theses or doctoral projects are not permitted after the materials have been submitted to the SCU Library.

Questions: Call Emily Asch (, 651-690-6653)