Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I deposit my work in the Carolina Digital Repository?
The CDR provides a secure home for your research and scholarly work. The University and the Library are committed to providing long-term access to materials placed in the repository, and are vigilant about securing and backing up data.
In addition, the CDR employs standards that allow materials to be discovered and indexed by public search engines such as Google and Google Scholar. This makes your work accessible for your continued research and the work of others. Works can also be restricted from public view.
What happens to my material once I deposit into the CDR?
Materials are accessible via the CDR website (unless embargoed or set for restricted access). Deposited materials will be keyword indexed and searchable through the CDR and public search engines. We strive to permanently maintain materials in the repository, but if there is a need to remove material, please refer to our Withdrawal from the CDR policy. If you see an error in a work, please contact us.
Why is the CDR a better place for my work than my departmental web page?
Once submitted to the CDR, your digital scholarship will become part of a systematic digital preservation program so that years from now, you and others can count on accessing and using your research. You submit the material and the CDR takes care of the rest.
How long does the deposit process take?
Works submitted through the self-submission forms are made available immediately, with the exception of embargoed content, private content or content that is subject to departmental approval.
Otherwise, the timeline depends on the size and complexity of the collection. CDR staff will first meet with you to find out more about your collection and become more familiar with the materials. CDR staff will coordinate preparation of technical data and transfer of the collection.
Can I deposit on someone else's behalf (or have my student deposit on my behalf)?
Yes. You may designate a UNC-affiliated person as a proxy to deposit on your behalf.  After the person is designated as your proxy, they may select your name from the “On behalf of” drop down menu when depositing work.  For more information on proxy deposits, please see the Proxy Deposits page.
Can I submit a publication created in my class that includes student authors?
You can deposit publications created in your class if we have the record that each student author has agreed to the terms of deposit. For help see Depositing Student Work.
Can I create a DOI (digital object identifier) for my work?
The CDR creates DOIs automatically for all public deposits. This process runs overnight and the DOI will be available on your article record the morning after deposit. Please note that DOIs will not be added to works which are embargoed, restricted to UNC-only access or private. If you have questions or would like to add an existing DOI to your work, contact us. In the comments, include a link to the work in the CDR and to the DOI (if it already exists), and we can make these changes for you.
Which rights statement should I choose for my work?

The CDR offers multiple rights statements for you to choose from. Please see the Rights Statements in the CDR page for more details.

Which license should I choose for my work?

The CDR offers multiple Creative Commons licenses for you to choose from. Please see the Licenses in the CDR page for more details.

How do I review and publish student work for my department's digital collection?
If you are the administrator responsible for publishing student work for your department, log in to the Carolina Digital Repository by clicking the “Login” button at the top right of the screen and following the Single Sign-on procedure.  When you return to the CDR home page, click on your Onyen at the top right of the screen and select “Dashboard”.  This will bring up an administrative screen with a sidebar on the left side.  Click on “Review submissions” in the left column.  This will bring up a list of unpublished work that you may review by clicking on each item.  When you are ready to publish, click on the “Review and Approval” banner on the work page, select “Approve” and click the “Submit” button.  If you would like to send the work back to the student to revise, click on the “Review and Approval” banner on the work page, select “Request Changes,” type your comments into the “Review comment” box and click “Submit.”
For more information on reviewing student works in the CDR, please see the Reviewing works in the CDR page.


What materials does the CDR accept?
The CDR accepts scholarly works created and/or maintained by the UNC community. These object types include, but are not limited to: publications, research materials, datasets, and electronic theses and dissertations. For more information, please see the CDR Collection Development Policy. Please note the CDR can not accept data that needs to be encrypted.
What information can I send to grantors about the digital preservation in the CDR?
Often people include the CDR’s digital preservation policies
Can I set access restrictions?
Depositors can make works publicly available or restrict access to their materials. The basic access levels are: public, embargo, private (metadata-only, no files), and institution (authenticated access via Onyen). See Access Restrictions for more information.
Can I make changes to my material after it has been deposited into the CDR?
Yes, you may edit records and upload new versions of works that you have deposited into the CDR. Keep in mind that search engines do index material in the CDR, so we strongly encourage you to deposit completed works instead of in-progress works. 

Masters papers, theses, dissertations and honors theses may not be edited without permission from the department. Contact us or your department to request a change.
What is the Non-Exclusive Deposit Agreement?
This agreement is required for all submissions and grants UNC a non-exclusive right to reproduce, translate, and distribute your materials for the purpose of preservation and public access. For more information, please see the Non-Exclusive Deposit Agreement.
What is Open Access?
Open Access is the free, online availability of scholarly research. The CDR supports Open Access, ensuring long-term preservation and access for materials produced by the UNC community.
For more information on Open Access, please see the Guide to Open Access and Scholarly Communications.
Can I remove my work from the CDR?
Works in the CDR are meant for long term preservation and access and in most cases should not be removed. However, if you find material in the CDR that you believe should be removed, you may notify the CDR staff. The Scholarly Communications Officer and Institutional Repository Librarian will work to resolve the issue and, if deemed necessary, make the material inaccessible.

If you would like to remove work that you have deposited, you may log in to the CDR, navigate to the work and click the “Request Deletion” button.  The Institutional Repository Librarian will review your request and if approved, remove the files associated with the work.  Please note that the metadata associated with your work will remain accessible to the public. For more information, please see Withdrawal from the CDR.

File Formats and Storage

Does the CDR accept only digital files?
Yes. The CDR only accepts material in digital form. We do not digitize materials as part of our current services.
What file formats can I submit to the CDR?
The CDR can accept most file formats, but CDR staff may want to consult with you before depositing materials in rare or obsolete file formats. The CDR makes audio and video files available for download, but does not provide streaming.
Is there a file size limit for CDR submissions?
For files submitted through the self-submission forms there is a total submission limit of 500MB (including supplemental files). If you would like to submit larger files, please contact us.
How much storage space does each person receive in the CDR?
Faculty, and staff receive 2TB of storage per person.  Students receive 20GB of storage per person.
How much storage does each department receive in the CDR?
Each department receives 2TB of storage in addition to the storage allotted to individuals.  Deposits to departmental storage are administered by a central departmental contact.  If you are unsure who your departmental contact is, please ask the CDR staff.
How can I request additional storage space?
Extra storage is granted at the discretion of the CDR staff.  Please contact us to request additional storage space.  In your request, please include:

  • Description of the content
  • Amount of storage space needed
  • Amount of time the extra storage space is needed

Note that your department may have set up a departmental storage allocation that might be available to you.  Deposits to departmental storage are administered by a central departmental contact.


What types of data can be deposited in the CDR?
The CDR accepts all data in any format.  However, the CDR does not recommend that depositors deposit databases due to file preservation concerns.  If you would like to deposit a database, please contact the CDR staff to discuss aappropriate file format.
Can I include the CDR in my data management plan?
Yes, as long as your dataset meets the CDR’s policies. Please contact us before listing the CDR on your grant. Some considerations would be checking the following criteria: 

  • Total size of the dataset is less than 2TB and you have available CDR space. 
  • Funder requirements for the archive 
  • Data is in final publishable form 
  • Dataset is free of personally identifiable information, copyright concerns 

Do you have boilerplate language about the CDR that I could use in my data management plan?
Yes.   Please use the text below.  If you would like help writing or reviewing your data management plan, please contact the UNC Libraries’ Data Management Team. 

The data generated through this project will be hosted on the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR), the institutional repository for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The CDR is designed and operated to ensure the integrity of digital files at a bitstream level. The CDR regularly verifies the integrity of files, maintains a record of preservation-related actions, and employs best practices in the field for persistent storage, including back-up and recovery procedures. Metadata accompanying the data will be submitted by the researcher upon deposit.  The metadata will be made available for indexing in search engines to facilitate reuse of the content.  The dataset will be accessible for at minimum 10 years, or as determined by the grant.

What happens to my deposited data if I leave UNC?
You can take your deposited data with you when you leave UNC. For large datasets, contact us and we will arrange for a data export.  Small datasets may be downloaded directly.   
What repositories other than the CDR will accept data?
If your dataset does not fit the requirements of the CDR, you may be eligible to deposit your data in another repository.  The UNC Libraries’ Data Management Team has created a checklist to help you assess your data needs. 
Examples of alternative repositories include: 

ICPSR: ICPSR is hosted by the University of Michigan and archives many kinds of research data. See the UNC Libraries’ guide to ICPSR for more information

UNC Dataverse: a data repository hosted by UNC’s Odum Institute, is an open source repository for sharing and preserving research data. The Odum Institute Data Archive staff are available to assist researchers with developing plans for data management, implementing data management plans, data curation and data archiving. For more information, please contact

The Dataverse Project was developed by Harvard IQSS and is an open source, web-based platform for sharing, preserving, citing, and exploring research data. The Odum Institute manages and maintains UNC’s Dataverse instance and works closely with Harvard IQSS on continuing development of the Dataverse platform to ensure it meets the needs of the research communities it serves.

Discipline-specific repositories: Many areas of study have their own data repositories and you may be eligible to deposit in them. 


Honors Theses

How do I approve honors theses in the CDR?

You do not need to take any action to approve honors theses in the CDR. Official approval occurs when you submit your list of approved theses to Honors Carolina. For more information, please contact Honors Carolina at


How can I restrict access to my honors thesis?

Honors Carolina allows students to restrict access (embargo) to their thesis for one or two years. To start this process, contact Honors Carolina at

When depositing your honors thesis, choose “Public” as your visibility option. This represents the desired visibility after the restrictions have expired. Honors will apply the embargo after deposit.


When will my honors thesis be available?

Honors Carolina publishes all honors theses after they verify your graduation date with the University Registrar. This process can take time. For updates, please contact Honors Carolina at