Skip to Main Content

Open Access Publishing

Why Docs@RWU

The Open Access movement is in many ways revolutionizing the way that academic works are disseminated. The goal of anyone producing academic work is for their product to be viewed as widely as possible, and Open Access makes these works far more accessible worldwide, unconstrained by hefty journal subscription fees or society memberships. I have found The Digital Commons at RWU (formerly DOCS@RWU) to be particularly useful in many ways. First and foremost, it allows my own work to be freely viewed by a wide audience, and the periodic updates tell you exactly how many times your work has been accessed. Second, it is an excellent way to disseminate student theses or other works that might not meet the standards or guidelines for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. And finally, the Digital Commons allows me easy access to the work of my colleagues. It is difficult enough to stay current in my own field, let alone reading the literature in other disciplines. But I have often browsed the Digital Commons to see what my colleagues have produced, and have read contributions from RWU faculty and students across a wide range of fields such as history, literature, or political science, that otherwise would not be on my radar. I encourage the RWU community to take advantage of this resource.             

Dr. Paul Webb
Professor of Marine Biology


The RWU Digital Commons

Did you know that the Libraries provide free Open Access Publishing services that showcase and promote the research, scholarship, and creative works of Roger Williams faculty, students, and staff?

Through the RWU Digital Commons you can publish working papers or copies of published articles and conference paper, presentations, theses, and other creative works.  It also serves as an open access journal publishing platform.  The RWU Digital Commons is a digital repository for the intellectual output of the Roger Williams University community.

Why contribute to the RWU Digital Commons:

  • Increase your visibility to the scholarly community. Google and the RWU Digital Commons work together to maximize visibility of archived materials
  • Citation Impact:  Articles published in repositories are more visible, more accessible, and have greater impact, and are cited more frequently.
  • Ensure the long term preservation and access of your scholarly work.
  • Permanent URLs for easier dissemination
  • Copyright remains with the author
  • No maintenance by authors required
  • See the impact of your work with usage statistics delivered to you automatically.

How to contribute to the RWU Digital Commons:

Simply follow the Submission Guidelines below.  If you have any questions, just call or email Mary Wu (x3053).

Digital Commons Submission Guidelines

The RWU Digital Commons is a digital repository of the intellectual product created by the faculty, staff, and students of Roger Williams University.  It is accessible to end users both within and outside of the institution.  It provides professionally managed preservation services to ensure the usability of stored digital objects over time. 

Please refer to the following instructions when submitting works to the Digital Commons, including working papers, journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, PowerPoint presentations, etc.

  • An electronic or hard copy of your paper should be sent to Mary Wu by email at, or by inter-office mail service.
  • Due to copyright law, pre-prints (the document you submitted to the publisher) would be the best version to submit to the Digital Commons.  It will be noted on the website if the paper has been previously published.
  • Post-prints (the version that has been refined for publishing) are alternatives of published version if publisher’s permission can be obtained.
  • If you do not have a pre-print, the Library is happy to solicit the publisher’s permission in order to post the published version if you provide Mary Wu with publisher’s contact information.
  • If a pre-print is not available and the Library is not able to gain the publisher’s permission, an abstract will be posted on the website of the digital repository if the abstract is provided.