Access Restrictions

By default, all content in CommonKnowledge will be visible and fully accessible to public users—this includes both the metadata record and the full-text (i.e. complete digital content) for individual items. However, in certain circumstances, it may be necessary or appropriate to place access restrictions on individual items or content collections. For example, a publisher may require an embargo of six to twelve months before making a journal article publicly accessible.

Access restrictions in CommonKnowledge may be requested during the submission process by an individual contributor or by the academic unit, office, or external entity from which a content collection was produced. Access restrictions requested by student contributors must be approved by their school, program, or department, as appropriate. The University Libraries may also impose access restrictions on content in response to concerns about unlawful or unethical content (see Content Policies). Access may be restricted either at the individual item level or at the collection level.

There are currently three levels of access restrictions available for content in CommonKnowledge:

  • On-campus access: The full-text of content may be downloaded only from a computer within the IP range of a Pacific University campus. This can include off-campus access via a proxy server. 
  • Closed access: The full-text of content is embargoed (i.e. accessible to no one) for a specific period of time (either 6, 12, or 24 months), but the metadata record is publicly visible.
  • Dark access: Content is submitted to CommonKnowledge, but is not publicly posted (i.e. public metadata record is created). This option is available only in cases where legal or personal safety issues are present. Dark access may be temporary or maintained indefinitely.

On-campus access and closed access are available both for individual items and for entire content collections; dark access is available only for individual items. It is important to note that the on-campus access option must be configured at the collection level, which means that no content in that collection will be visible in the Digital Commons Network (though it will still be indexed by search engines)—even individual items within the collection that have been set to open access.

Changing Access Levels

If an individual contributor or academic unit, office, or external entity for which a content collection was produced wishes to change the access level for an item or collection, such a request must be made in writing to the Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian.

Renewing Access Restrictions

If an access restriction on an item or collection has been set for a specific period of time, the access level will automatically revert to open access at the expiration of the restricted period, unless the Scholarly Communications and Research Services Librarian is notified in writing at least 48 hours in advance by the individual or group who contributed the content in question. The contributing individual or group is responsible for renewing a temporary restriction; no reminders will be sent by the University Libraries prior to the time period lapsing.