Frequently Asked Questions


Answers to these FAQs are taken from the SPARK Repository Policy.

Why should I contribute to SPARK?

Your work will become much more visible, with high Google and other search engine rankings.

Your work will be permanently archived.

Your work will be stable. It will stay in one place with a persistent link.

You will receive monthly download counts, so that you will know how many people are looking at your work.

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What kind of content can be included?

All work that supports and reflects the intellectual, scholarly and creative life of the College can be included.

Examples of content include, but are not limited to:

  • faculty-sponsored student work
  • faculty teaching and learning scholarship
  • conference papers and presentations
  • poetry
  • creative writing
  • musical scores
  • plays
  • books or book chapters
  • journal articles, essays or reviews
  • magazine articles
  • research articles
  • data sets
  • photography
  • digital art
  • working papers
  • sabbatical reports
  • service learning project reports
  • technical reports
  • newsletters
  • important College administrative documents
  • theses and dissertations of faculty, administration, staff and former students

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What formats can you accept?

SPARK can accept a wide range of audio, video, animation, text (including PowerPoint, Word, web page, pdf), and image files.

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Do I need to give up my copyright to my work to publish in SPARK?

No. You will need to sign a Non-Exclusive Licensing Agreement. This document states that you are the copyright holder of the work or you have permission from the copyright holder to publish this work in SPARK. There is no transfer of copyright; if you own the copyright of the work, you will continue to own the copyright of the work. You only give SPARK the right to publish your work in perpetuity in whatever format is necessary to make it accessible and to keep a copy for preservation.

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My journal article has already been published. Can I include it in SPARK?

What happens most often when you publish an article in a journal is that you sign over your copyrights to the publisher. Most publishers will allow an author to self-publish in his/her college’s institutional repository. We will contact the publisher and ask for permission on your behalf.

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What will people be able to do with the work I contribute?

All SPARK content is available to be used responsibly under fair use for personal and educational purposes or with the permission of the authors or copyright holders. Your work will state, “Copyright is owned by the author of this work.”

However, if you would rather allow others to share, remix or use your work commercially, you are welcome to create a Creative Commons license for it, which would then be included with your work.

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What if I make changes to my work and have a new version?

We can either replace your previous version with your new version or post your new version and allow your previous version to continue to be seen. It is up to you.

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I’m ready to submit work to SPARK. What do I do?

Send your Vita, citations, e-mail links, documents or presentations to spark@parkland.edu. You’ll be contacted and asked some questions and sent the Non-Exclusive Licensing Agreement to sign, which you can complete by e-mail.

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Where did this software come from?

Digital Commons, powered by bepress (Berkeley Electronic Press) is the leading hosted repository platform. Many other colleges and universities are using this platform.

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Whom do I contact for more information?

Cheri Cameron (Parkland College Archives) is manager of SPARK. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us at: spark@parkland.edu or call (217) 353-2690. We encourage you to send us your ideas for materials to be contributed.

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