Guidelines for CSU Authors & Creators

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Included works/creations will usually be authored/created, in part or whole, by a CSU academic staff member, student, or entity. Content does not have to be authored by a CSU affiliate. For example, a campus unit may use the repository to post papers from a conference it sponsors, which includes authors from CSU and other institutions or organizations.

All student theses and dissertations will be accepted for deposit, as the University Libraries is the official archive for these documents. Other student works must be award-winners or sponsored by a CSU academic staff member who deems the work suitable for long term preservation and access through the digital repository.

Author/Creator Rights

The author(s)/creator(s) should be prepared to grant to CSU the non-exclusive right to preserve and disseminate the work according to the terms of the CSU Submission Agreement.

The author(s)/creator(s) should be prepared to confirm that any existing agreements related to the work, such as publication agreements previously completed with journal publishers, are not in conflict with preservation and dissemination of the work through Mountain Scholar. For assistance with rights determinations see Copyright – FAQ.

Nature of the Work

The work should be scholarly, educational, and/or research-based and merit long term preservation and dissemination.

The work must be submitted in an approved digital file format (see below).

If the work is part of a series, other works in that series should also be submitted. Alternately, information identifying the series should be submitted in order that the larger context of the work is not lost.

Mountain Scholar does not accept materials which cannot be made openly available due to privacy, copyright, national security, or other concerns. Routine embargoes for current theses and dissertations are permitted by the Graduate School. For more information please see the CSU Libraries Faculty Open Access Statement of Commitment, the University Archive Collection Development Policy, and the Graduate School’s Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Resources.

File Support and Preservation Best Practices

The following tables detail the Mountain Scholar preservation support levels for commonly used file formats and preservation best practices.

Text and Microsoft Office File Formats

Best Practice Guidelines:

  • PDF/A is the preferred version of PDF for archival preservation.
  • Consider converting Microsoft formats with “Limited” support to PDF, PDF/A or CSV for full support.
  • Submissions of HTML files must also include all other referenced files such as CSS files.
  • .txt files should be saved in the UTF-8 (Unicode) character set.
  • Full support of XML and SGML files requires the depositor to include the DTD along with the well-formed XML or SGML file.
FormatExtensionSupport Level
HTML.html, .htmLimited
Microsoft Word.doc, .docxLimited
Microsoft PowerPoint.ppt, .pptxLimited
Microsoft Excel.xls, .xlsxLimited
CSV .csv Full
Rich Text .rtf Limited
Plain Text .txt Full
SGML .sgm, .sgmlFull

Image File Formats

Best Practice Guidelines: For long-term preservation, images saved without compression are best. If compression status is not known, preserve the highest quality version (usually the version with the largest file size).

FormatExtensionSupport Level
JPEG 2000.jp2Limited

Audio File Formats

Best Practice Guidelines: For long-term preservation, save audio files in non-proprietary formats. Wave files (.wav) are currently the recommended standard.

FormatExtensionSupport Level
MPEG audio.mp3Limited
Real Audio.ra, .rm, .ramLimited
Windows Media Audio.wmaLimited

Video File Formats

There are currently no well-defined standards for preserving video files. Mountain Scholar staff will closely monitor developments in this area and update policies accordingly. In general avoid proprietary and compressed file formats.

FormatExtensionSupport Level
MPEG-1.mp1 Limited
MPEG-2.mp2 Limited
MPEG-4.mp4 Limited Limited
Windows Media Video.wmv Limited

(Revised May 2019)



How to Submit

Policies, Guidelines & Forms


For more information, contact:

Helen Baer
Digital Projects Librarian 
(970) 491-5934

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