July 2017

  • About TRACE
  • Benefits of TRACE
  • Copyright, Licensing, and General Use Guidelines
  • Content Guidelines
  • Withdrawal of Items
  • Author/Researcher Submissions
  • UT Community Submissions
  • Credits


Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange (TRACE) is the University of Tennessee’s public access digital repository. Created and maintained by the University of Tennessee (UT) Libraries, TRACE is a venue and archive for Volunteers’ research and creative works.

TRACE contains scholarly works by UT faculty, staff, and graduate students, as well as documents from the University Archives. Content includes journal articles, technical reports, data sets, theses and dissertations, conference papers and presentations, book chapters, and other scholarly materials. These materials, and materials that are of historical value to the university, are the main focus of the collection. In addition, student work that is sponsored or approved by a faculty member, academic department, or campus unit, may be added.

TRACE helps fulfill the Libraries’ mission to provide “expertise and leadership in accessing, creating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge.”

Benefits of TRACE

UT Volunteers’ research, creativity, and service make a difference in people’s lives. TRACE increases the reach of this scholarly work, broadening the audience and the impact by making Volunteer scholarship accessible to the public. TRACE supports the University’s mission to “move forward the frontiers of human knowledge and enrich and elevate the citizens of the state of Tennessee, the nation, and the world.”

Adding your work to TRACE:

  • Makes your work visible in Google Scholar.
  • Gives the public access to your work.
  • Increases citation counts through greater visibility and availability.
  • Provides an additional metric of number of downloads of your work worldwide, demonstrating a broader audience for audience for your work than you might imagine.
  • Is an option for long-term preservation of your work.
  • Improves the findability of your work, since each item is assigned a permanent URL.

The Libraries strives to provide good metadata in order to enhance the sharing and discoverability of resources. Content in TRACE will be preserved using accepted preservation techniques, with the recognition that changing file formats may lead to loss of functionality. Submitters are strongly encouraged to review the TRACE Submission Guide for assistance with descriptive metadata, linking to versions of record, verifying copyright permissions to submit work, and understanding preferred file formats for preservation.

Copyright, Licensing, and General Use Guidelines

All users are expected to follow University of Tennessee policies, including the Acceptable Use Policy<link>. Note that, in most but not all cases, UT faculty and students own the copyrights to their work; however, they may transfer those rights to another copyright holder, such as a journal publisher.

Unless otherwise noted, copyright of each publication belongs to the author(s) of the work. Reproduction of any work in TRACE requires permission of the author(s) or other specified copyright holder, unless a work is in the public domain, or a use constitutes fair use. In all cases, proper attribution is required.

UT faculty, staff, and students submitting to TRACE will be prompted to review and accept a non-exclusive deposit license as part of the submission process. For more information, go to “Author/Researcher Submissions” below.

UT Libraries agrees to retain and maintain content submitted to TRACE and distribute content according to collection decisions. The Libraries/TRACE will notify users of significant changes to content, e.g., format migration for preservation purposes. If UT Libraries ceases to support TRACE, the Libraries will return collections to existing collection coordinators and transfer to the University Archives collections of communities or units that have ceased to exist.

Content Guidelines

The collections in TRACE are focused on the research, scholarship, creative works of UT faculty and researchers, and in some cases students, as well as materials that document the history of the university and reflect its intellectual environment.

Examples of potential content include but are not limited to:

  • Scholarly articles
  • Books, book chapters, and manuscripts
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Conference papers and presentations
  • University documents such as speeches, departmental bulletins and newsletters, scrapbooks, etc., as determined by the University Archivist
  • Working papers and technical reports
  • Art and creative works
  • Software/code
  • Datasets
  • Journals published at UT or edited by UT researchers
  • Audio and visual materials related to the intellectual endeavors of administrative units on campus or created by faculty in the course of their research and/or scholarly work.
  • Works by undergraduates that are approved by faculty members or academic department or unit, including senior projects or theses and honors theses.

Some content may not currently be accepted for deposit into TRACE either because it does not meet the general guidelines above or due to issues of copyright or technical limitations. For clarification of what can be deposited in TRACE, please contact trace@utk.edu.

Graduate students submitting a thesis or dissertation to the TRACE Graduate Theses and Dissertation collection, which is administered by the Graduate School, are strongly encouraged to review the TRACE Submission Guide for Graduate Students.

Withdrawal of Items

Items may be withdrawn from TRACE at the request of the author, the direction of the Provost or General Counsel, or by legal order. Withdrawn items will be removed from public access but metadata may still be visible and files will be retained in the repository. Withdrawal requests should be directed to trace@utk.edu.

Author/Researcher Submissions

For works submitted by individuals, including researchers and authors:

  • The work should be produced, submitted or sponsored by UT faculty.
  • The work must be scholarly in nature (original research, creative work, or teaching materials). See “Content Guidelines” <link>.
  • The work should be complete and ready for distribution.
  • The author/owner must be willing and able to grant UT the right to preserve and distribute the work via TRACE.
  • If the work is part of a series, other works in the series should also be contributed so that TRACE can offer as full a set as possible.

Submissions may be reviewed by TRACE administrators. Submitters take full responsibility for determining their right to deposit the work. Submitters grant a non-exclusive deposit license to TRACE/The University of Tennessee to distribute the work.

UT Community Submissions

UT administrative units or affiliates may wish to share their work in TRACE. Units that can add materials must:

  • produce research or administrative records,
  • have defined leaders,
  • have long-term stability,
  • assume responsibility for setting collection policies.

Units with a collection in TRACE must assign one or more collection coordinators who can work with TRACE staff. That/Those collection coordinator(s) agree to:

  • Arrange for submission and description of content
  • Make decisions about collection definitions
  • Notify TRACE of organizational changes affecting submissions
  • Reply to annual reconfirmation of community information
  • Understand and observe Institute policies relevant to TRACE, and educate community submitters regarding these policies
  • Clear copyright or obtain permissions for items submitted when copyright owner is other than author(s) or UT
  • Decide upon a submission workflow for each collection*

*Review the TRACE Collection Coordinator Guide for more information.

A collection coordinator may:

  • Decide policy regarding content to be submitted (within TRACE guidelines)
  • Decide who may submit content within the community
  • Receive a copy of submitted content upon request
  • Remove items and collections (as outlined in "Withdrawal of Items")
  • Approve addition of or elimination of collections

Contact trace@utk.edu to learn more about creating a collection or defining a collection submission workflow.


These guidelines were adapted from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Kansas about their respective repositories, DSpace and KU ScholarWorks.