Frequently Asked Questions

DASH Frequently Asked Questions 

Depositing in DASH

How does DASH use a depositing author's ORCID? 

  • We display the author's ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) next to the author's name, and make it a link to the author's ORCID profile.

  • We support searching by ORCIDs, not just by names and keywords.

  • We add ORCIDs to author records retroactively when authors obtain ORCIDs after they've started making DASH deposits.

These practices help both authors and readers. If you don't yet have an ORCID, sign up for one. It just takes a few seconds.

What is an assistance authorization?

An Assistance Authorization (AA) is a form you sign in order to authorize the Office for Scholarly Communication and its designated liaisons to deposit your works to DASH and make DASH-related licensing choices on your behalf. An AA also reaffirms the open-access policy if you are covered by one.

Students, assistants, or other proxies cannot sign an AA on an author's behalf. Only the author may sign an AA.

You will only need to sign an AA once, not one time per work.

Am I responsible for ensuring the depositing and posting of my material in DASH complies with copyright law?

Yes. Material should only be deposited in DASH if its deposit and posting will not infringe the rights of any publisher or other party. While you are responsible for determining this, the Office for Scholarly Communication and the Copyright First Responders are happy to assist you with any questions you may have.

What if my material incorporates copyrighted material owned by another party?

If you are submitting an article or other work to DASH that includes third-party material (e.g., an image) protected by copyright, we can only distribute it with your text if you have the right to share that material. Under some circumstances, fair use may suffice, in which event you need no further authorization. If not, you need appropriate permission from the third-party rightsholder. For further help with copyright and fair use, contact the Office for Scholarly Communication.

If you cannot obtain the rights to distribute the third-party material from DASH as part of your work, you can (and should) still submit the work for dark deposit in DASH so that your work is not made available publicly. Information about your work (citation, abstract, etc.) will be made open access, however.

Do I have sufficient rights to deposit my article in DASH if my work is covered under the license to Harvard? 

Consider whether one of the following applies to your article. (If neither applies, see more information about your options when your article is not subject to the open-access license to Harvard.)

  • For works subject to a school-level open-access policy: You have sufficient rights to deposit the accepted author manuscript of the work unless you have opted to waive this license for a particular article. These rights apply to works you completed after the open-access policy was adopted.

  • For works subject to the individual open-access license: You have sufficient rights to deposit the accepted author manuscript of the work, unless you have opted to waive this license for a particular article. These rights apply to works you completed after you signed the individual open-access license.

Under some circumstances, the deposit of your article in DASH under the OA Author's Agreement could breach the publishing agreement between you and your publisher, and potentially subject you to a claim by the publisher. This could occur if your publishing agreement required you to transfer the entire copyright in the article to the publisher, or to warrant that no one has a license to make the article available and you did not use an author's addendum to modify the terms to recognize the license to Harvard. Hence, where the terms of the publishing agreement are inconsistent with the open-access license to Harvard, you may either attach an addendum or obtain a waiver of the license for the article. In either case, you should still deposit a copy of the article in DASH. Depending on the situation, there may have to be limitations on the distribution of the work from the repository.

What kinds of works may I deposit to DASH?  

DASH welcomes any kind of scholarly work, even kinds not covered by any Harvard open-access policy or license. However, in those cases, we may not have permission to make the work open access. Consider whether any of the following applies to your work.

All scholarly materials

  • If you are the author of the material and have not transferred the copyright, or any exclusive rights under the copyright, to a publisher or other party:

    • You should be free to deposit your material in DASH for distribution. Some agreements require you to grant a publisher, for example, only nonexclusive rights, and thus leave you free to exercise the copyright yourself and to allow others, such as Harvard, to do so too.

Scholarly articles

  • If your article is subject to a publishing agreement:

    • The agreement between you and your publisher, as modified by any author's addendum you used, is the most reliable source of information about your rights, and will determine whether your work may be distributed from DASH once it is deposited.

  • If your article is subject to the open-access policy or the individual open-access license:

    • Articles covered by the school-level policies or the individual open-access license may be deposited and distributed from DASH due to the permissions the license grants to Harvard in each case. The license to Harvard covers a specific version of your article called the accepted author manuscript, or the version accepted by the journal for publication, including all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

  • If your article was completed before the open-access policy, or before you signed the individual open-access license:

    • You may still have the right to deposit the accepted author manuscript of the work in the repository (under the so-called "standard Author's Agreement") by virtue of the publisher's own terms. SHERPA/RoMEO provides a summary of journal publishers' archiving policies, though Harvard has not verified that information. Many publishers also provide information on their policies on their own websites.

Even if you do not have rights to distribute a scholarly article in DASH, you can (and should) still deposit the article under as a dark deposit, which places a copy in the repository for archival purposes and provides bibliographic information that can be included in an online index of scholarly articles by Harvard members. While the article itself will not be distributed from DASH, the bibliographic information will be made available for broad harvesting and indexing by search engines, in order to increase awareness of your article.

Which version of my article should I deposit?

You may deposit any version of your article that you have the right to include in DASH. Under the open-access policy or the individual open-access license, you should deposit the accepted author manuscript.

Whether you are covered by an open-access policy or not, you may also deposit other versions of your article, depending on the rights associated with them. It is worth distinguishing various versions of an article:

  • Author's Draft or Original Manuscript: the version of the paper initially submitted to a journal publisher for consideration and peer review, or any earlier draft.

  • Accepted Author Manuscript: the version of the paper accepted by the journal for publication, including all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

  • Published Version: the version of the paper distributed by the publisher to readers of the journal, incorporating any copy editing done by the publisher, showing the final page layout and formatting of the published version, and possibly including the publisher's logo. This is often called the version of record.

Some journal publishers allow posting in an institutional repository of only one of these versions; others allow posting of more than one, or all, of these versions. Some publishers do not allow posting of any version.

Generally, you should not submit for distribution a copy of the Published Version unless the publishing agreement affirmatively allows you to do so.

What if my publishing agreement allows posting of my material in an institutional repository, but only if certain conditions are met?

DASH supports a number of conditions sometimes imposed under publishers' archiving policies in the event that your article must remain under dark deposit or can be distributed only after a delay. These include:

  • Citations and Notices:

    • You provide a citation to the journal in the "citation" field during the submission process. This field can also be used to add any disclaimers or notices that, according to applicable publisher requirements, must appear in the repository information about your article. If the publisher requires that the notice be embedded in the article itself, you can do this by including the required notice on the first page of your material before you deposit it in DASH. If you have deposited before publication and later need or want to add a notice citing to the Published Version, you can contact DASH administrators with help in updating the deposited copy.

  • Link to Publisher's Website:
    • You may provide a link to the definitive version of the article at the publisher's website using the "link to published article" field.

  • Digital Object Identifier:

    • Digital Object Identifiers are permanent identifiers for digital objects that some publishers provide. They appear as a sequence of punctuated digits and letters, like "10.1000/182". If the publisher requires you to provide the DOI for the article in the repository entry, it can be provided as part of a URL by preceding the DOI with the prefix "" (for instance, ""). This URL can then be provided using the "link to published article" field.

  • Delayed Distribution:

    • If the publication agreement allows distribution only after a certain date, you can specify the date on which your material will first be made publicly available in DASH on the License screen in the submission process. The open-access policy, however, requires that you provide your material to DASH no later than the date of publication. Some publishers also limit the version of your material that may be posted in an institutional repository. You can choose the version of your material that you will submit to DASH.

How do I correct errors in the text of the DASH version of my deposited work?

Please contact us. Depending on the extent of the revisions, we will either replace the previous version with the corrected version or ask you to deposit the revised version as a separate piece.

What if there are multiple authors of the material?

Co-authored works can be deposited in the repository. Before depositing the material in DASH, you should make sure that the other authors also wish to do so.

Common Concerns

What rights will Harvard receive in the works I submit to DASH?

Harvard will have the nonexclusive right to preserve and make your material publicly available without charge from DASH.

If your material is subject to the open-access policy, or you have signed the individual open-access license, Harvard also will have the additional nonexclusive rights granted under the open-access license to Harvard.

In all cases, however, the copyright in the material will continue to be owned by you (or the publisher or other party to whom you may have transferred it).

Might I lose patent rights on inventions described in my material if it is posted in DASH?

Yes. If your material describes a potentially patentable invention, you should contact the Office of Technology Development so that the patent rights issue can be addressed before submitting your material to DASH.

Does this website provide legal advice to me?

No. This website provides information and resources to help you use DASH, but does not provide legal advice and should not be relied upon for that purpose. If you would like legal advice about your rights, obligations, or individual situation, you should consult your own attorney.

Related Questions

What articles are covered by the open-access policy?

Visit the open-access policies section of the Office for Scholarly Communication site for more information.

What articles are covered by the individual open-access license?

Learn about the individual open-access license.