OAKTrust Policies

Getting Started

OAKTrust (Digital Repository) is an open access digital repository for collecting, preserving, and distributing the scholarly output of the Texas A&M University and its partners. It provides increased access to the products of the University's research and scholarship endeavors, fosters the preservation of these digital works for future generations, promotes increasingly rapid advances in scholarly communication, and helps deepen community understanding of the value of higher education.

Information for Colleges / Departments / Units

OAKTrust supports an hierarchy structure composed of Communities and their Collections. Communities in OAKTrust may be colleges, departments, research centers, or other partner groups. Communities contain Collections, and Collections hold digital works.

Information for Individuals

All Texas A&M faculty are automatically authorized to deposit their works in the Faculty Publications collection and the Open Teaching Materials collection. Log in to the OAKTrust Repository using your NetID.

Please contact Digital Collection Services at digital@library.tamu.edu to establish a Collection in your department’s Community or create a Community if one does not yet exist.

Submission and Withdrawal

OAKTrust: oaktrust.library.tamu.edu


OAKTrust offers faculty a flexible, easy-to-use submission process. A faculty member or designee simply completes a brief submission form and grants permission for Texas A&M to distribute and preserve the work. For submission instructions, see the Submitting Items to OAKTrust page.

An authorized submitter can do the following:
  • Deposit a submission into a specified Collection
  • Enter descriptive information for a submission, using standard forms with Community or Collection-specific default values
  • Upload a file(s)
  • Assign a Creative Commons copyright license to the submitted files
  • Grant a non-exclusive license to Texas A&M and the Texas Digital Library to distribute a submission in accordance with the specified distribution policy.
  • Receive email updates on the progress of an item through the submission workflow process

Criteria for Submitted Works:
  • Works must be produced or sponsored by the Texas A&M University faculty, research staff, or students. Submission of works produced by students must be sponsored by a faculty member.
  • Works are intended to be kept permanently.
  • Works must be submitted to a Collection in which the submitter has gained authorization to submit works.
  • Works must reflect the nature of the Collection to which they are submitted. Submitted works may be reviewed by the Collection or Repository Administrator. See the Collection Policy below for more information.
  • Works must be in digital form. Although any digital format will be accepted, submission in a recommended file format is strongly encouraged in order to facilitate long-term preservation. See File Formats section below for more detail.
  • Works may be comprised of individual or multiple files. Any single file larger than 512 MB in size may require assistance. For assistance with these files, contact OAKTrust Administrators at digital@library.tamu.edu.
  • Works should be ready for dissemination and copyright owners must be able to grant non-exclusive rights to distribute and preserve the works. Please note that copyright owners retain copyright; see the Copyright and Licensing Policy below for more information.
  • Batch loading is possible for very large numbers of items, or very large file sizes. Contact OAKTrust Administrators at digital@library.tamu.edu for assistance.


  • OAKTrust reserves the right to withdraw a work that is libelous, an invasion of privacy, or that does not reflect the nature of the Collection to which the work was submitted.
  • Requests for withdrawal must be directed to the Collection and OAKTrust Administrators. After review of the request, the Collection Administrator(s) will contact the requester to let them know a work has been withdrawn, or, if withdrawal is not appropriate, to let the requester know the reason(s) withdrawal was not completed.
  • If withdrawal is requested due to a copyright violation, the Collection and OAKTrust Administrators will temporarily restrict access to the work and will notify the submitter. If it is found that copyright was violated, the work will be withdrawn.
  • The non-exclusive submission agreement preserves the creator’s right to submit additional copies elsewhere. Works will not be withdrawn as a matter of course because the submitter and/or creator leave the university.
  • Works submitted to OAKTrust are assigned persistent URLs. If withdrawal is approved, OAKTrust will display a message alerting users that the content associated with the persistent URL has been withdrawn.
  • Metadata for withdrawn works, including information about the reason for withdrawal, will remain in OAKTrust and will be accessible only by OAKTrust Administrators.

Collections Policy

OAKTrust Structure and Organization

OAKTrust supports a hierarchical structure composed of Communities and their Collections. Communities in OAKTrust may be colleges, departments, research centers, or other partner groups. Communities contain Collections, and Collections hold digital works.

Community & Collection Information

Each Sponsored Collection is part of a Community, and the Collection Administrator and Community Administrator will determine what constitutes appropriate works for submission. A Collection Administrator may require that submissions be reviewed and approved. In these cases, notification will be sent to the Collection Administrator when an item is submitted. Once the review process is complete, the item will be publicly available. Communities and Sponsored Collections can use a customized workflow process to control how new submissions are reviewed and approved. When desired, Community and Collection Administrators can work with OAKTrust Administrators to establish these submission workflows.

Through the submission workflow process, it is possible to:
  • Augment and approve submissions
  • Review the content of the submission for appropriateness to the Collection and make the decision to route a submission back to the submitter or give approval
  • Check the submission's metadata for completeness and obvious errors, edit errors, and make the decision to route a submission back to the submitter or give approval
  • Enhance the submission's metadata
  • View, select, and perform workflow tasks from the "Pending Workflow Tasks" section of the My Account page

Digital Collection Services can provide assistance in developing Community's or Collection's workflow process, metadata requirements, and access/distribution policies, as well as launching a custom Community or Collection homepage.

The Communities in OAKTrust page contains all Communities and Collections.

Community and Collection Administration

An OAKTrust Community or Collection agrees to:

  • Arrange for submission and description of content
  • Make decisions about Community and Collection definitions
  • Notify Digital Collections of organization changes affecting submissions or Community/Collection administration
  • Reply to periodic reconfirmation of Community information
  • Understand and observe Texas A&M University and System policies relevant to the Repository, and educate Community submitters regarding these policies
  • Clear copyright or obtain permissions for items submitted when copyright owner is other than author(s) or Texas A&M University
  • Decide upon a submission workflow for each Collection

An OAKTrust Community or Collection retains the right to:

  • Decide policy regarding content to be submitted (adhering to OAKTrust policies)
  • Decide who may submit content within the Community/Collection
  • Limit access to content (adhering to OAKTrust policies)
  • Receive a copy of submitted content upon request
  • Remove items and Collections (as outlined in the Withdrawal section of the OAKTrust Policies)
  • Approve addition or elimination of sub-communities and Collections
  • Customize interfaces for Community content

Texas A&M University Libraries agrees to:

  • Retain and maintain content submitted to OAKTrust
  • Distribute content according to Community decisions (however, metadata will always be accessible, unless items are withdrawn in accordance with OAKTrust Policies)
  • Preserve content using accepted digital preservation techniques
  • Notify Communities of significant changes to content, e.g., format migration for preservation purposes
  • If Texas A&M University Libraries ceases to support OAKTrust, return Collections to existing communities and transfer to University Archives collections if the Community no longer exists

Distribution and Access

Items in a Collection are by default viewable by everyone. In cases where limited access is required, individual works or an entire collection of works may be restricted to those affiliated with Texas A&M*. Even when access to a work is restricted, all users can view the information about the work (the metadata). Access restriction options must be defined when a Collection is created.

The types of access to works supported by OAKTrust are:
  • All users have access (default)
  • All users have access after a designated embargo period
  • Access is limited to a group or subset of the Texas A&M Community with a NetID.
  • Access is limited to everyone with an active Texas A&M NetID account.

Should it become necessary to amend access restrictions for a work already in OAKTrust, contact Digital Collection Services at digital@library.tamu.edu.

*Note: Electronic Theses and Dissertations are only accessible by members of the Texas A&M Community unless they are embargoed.

Open Access

To request something be made open access, the requester must also be the author of the work.

Contact Digital Collection Services to make an open access request. For Theses and Dissertations contact Thesis and Dissertation Services at the Graduate and Professional School.

Faculty, researchers, and students own copyright in their scholarly or educational work at Texas A&M University, as stated in the Texas A&M University System Policy for Intellectual Property Management and Commercialization. Copyright owners retain their copyright while granting a non-exclusive distribution license to Texas A&M University and the Texas Digital Library (TDL) when submitting their work to OAKTrust.

During the submission process, the submitter has the option to set an embargo period during which the content of the item will not be publicly viewable. Submitters may also elect to license their work via Creative Commons. This option is available as part of the submission process.

All submitters must agree to the non-exclusive distribution license before an item is archived in OAKTrust. The click-through license is part of the submission process.

Non-Exclusive Distribution License

I grant Texas A&M University ("Institution"), my academic department ("Department"), and the Texas Digital Library ("TDL") the non-exclusive rights to copy, display, perform, distribute, and publish the content I submit to this repository ("Work") and make the Work available in any format in perpetuity as part of an Institution, Department or TDL repository communication or distribution effort.

I understand that once the Work is submitted, a bibliographic citation to the Work will remain visible in perpetuity, even if the Work is updated or moved.

I understand that the Work's copyright owner(s) will continue to own copyright outside these non-exclusive granted rights.

I warrant that:
  • I am the copyright owner of the Work, or
  • I am one of the copyright owners and have permission from the other owners to submit the Work, or
  • My Institution or Department is the copyright owner and I have permission to submit the Work, or
  • Another party is the copyright owner and I have permission to submit the Work.

Based on this, I further warrant that to my knowledge:

  • The Work does not infringe any copyright, patent, or trade secrets of any third party, and
  • The Work does not contain and libelous matter, nor invade the privacy of any person or third party, and
  • That no right in the Work has been sold, mortgaged, or otherwise disposed of, and is free from all exclusive claims.

I agree to hold Institution, Department, TDL, and their agents harmless for any liability arising from any breach of the above warranties or any claim of intellectual property infringement arising from the exercise of these non-exclusive granted rights.


Digital preservation is an evolving field; therefore, OAKTrust's long-term access strategies are shaped by the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model (ISO 14721:2003) and informed by relevant international standards and emerging best practices.

  • OAKTrust provides storage and long-term access to submitted works, the metadata, and the deposit license agreement. The Libraries will retain the data on disk with a tape backup.
  • Prudent efforts will be employed to preserve work in any digital format submitted to OAKTrust. See Recommended File Formats below for a list of preferred formats. For files in formats other than those listed in Recommended File Formats, a derivative file in a more stable format should be created by the submitter. In such cases, the original file as well as the derivative will be preserved, along with associated descriptive and administrative metadata for both files.
  • The Repository provides basic preservation of the files (bitstreams) and associated metadata as-is with no active effort made to monitor the format and associated risks or to normalize, transform or migrate the file to another format. Further practical measures to preserve as much functionality (“look and feel”) of the original as possible will be employed as resources permit.
  • The Libraries will provide periodic data refreshment to new storage media, and will provide fixity checks using proven checksum methods.
  • For long-term, preservation storage, the Texas Digital Library (TDL) PresNet system is available. PresNet is designed to provide long-term storage of digital information at geographically distributed storage nodes..
  • All works submitted to OAKTrust are assigned a web-addressable persistent identifier.

Preferred File Formats

OAKTrust accepts work in any digital format; however, submission in a file format listed below is strongly encouraged. The formats listed below are considered relatively stable and therefore facilitate long-term preservation efforts. These formats exhibit all or many of the following characteristics: open documentation; support across a range of software platforms; wide adoption; no compression (or lossless compression); no embedded files or embedded programs/scripts; and non-proprietary format. For additional information on the Repository’s preservation strategy, please see the Preservation Policy below.

Formats Preferable File Extensions Acceptable File Extensions
Textual PDF/A TXT, XML-based formats, PDF (highest quality available)
Images TIF, JP2 (lossless) JPG (if best copy)
Raster TIF JP2 (lossless), JPG (if best copy), DNG
Vector SVG DXF
Audio WAV (24-bit, 96 kHz), BWF AIFF, FLAC, AAC
Video AVI MP4, MOV
Geospatial Shapefile, KML/KMZ No other formats accepted
Websites WARC No other formats accepted