Who can contribute to FIRST?


Current faculty, staff, administration and students of Fanshawe College are encouraged to contribute content that is scholarly in nature.

Faculty can sponsor student work that showcases exemplary learning and quality in teaching.

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What content can I contribute to FIRST?


  • Student work assessed and sponsored by the original faculty.
  • Working papers, technical reports and research papers.
  • Conference proceedings (e.g., papers, presentation slides, programs and posters).
  • Journal articles and essays.
  • Creative works (e.g., artwork, photography, music, recorded performances and videos).
  • Primary research.
  • Books, book chapters, magazines and articles.

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What are the benefits to contributing and sharing my work on FIRST?


  • As an open access repository, FIRST increases the visibility and accessibility of your work through search engines like Google, Google Scholar and Bing. The increased discoverability of your work means a greater number of views and citations, and encourages collaboration between researchers.
  • Digital preservation.
  • Searchability by topic, author, keyword or institution.

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What do I need to know about copyright?


The work that you create will be protected by copyright and the ownership of the rights that copyright law extends to the creators of works will vary based on the circumstances under which the work was created. If you are a faculty member, the rights to a work created as part of your employment duties will be owned by Fanshawe College while the rights to a work created as part of a research endeavor that is external to Fanshawe College may be jointly owned by you, your research partner(s), and/or your publisher. If you are a student, the rights to a work created as the result of an assignment or project will be owned by you while the rights to a work created as part of a co-op or apprenticeship may be jointly owned by you and your employer.

While submitting/contributing a work to FIRST, you will be required to grant Fanshawe College permission to publish your contributed work via FIRST. Before granting such permission, it is recommended that you confirm who owns the rights to the work to be contributed and whether you are authorized to grant Fanshawe College permission to publish the contributed work via FIRST.

It is possible that the work you are contributing, as a faculty member or as a student, contains copyright-protected content, such as images, text, media, etc., the rights to which may belong to another individual or entity. Prior to submitting/contributing your work that includes the work of others, it is recommended that you confirm that the use of the included work adheres to the Copyright Act or that permission from the appropriate copyright owner(s) has been obtained.

If you have any copyright-related questions, please contact the Copyright Services Officer.

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How do I submit content to FIRST?


All work is submitted electronically by individual Faculty and Staff members.

Faculty/Staff Submissions:

  • Create a user account using your @fanshawec.ca email
  • Click Submit your work here on either the home page, or the page of the School in which you would like to submit
  • Click Faculty/Staff Publications
  • Read and agree to the license agreement
  • Complete the submission form and upload your document

Faculty Submission for Student Work:

  • Create a user account using your @fanshawec.ca email
  • Navigate to the School you wish to submit the Student Work to
  • Download the Student License Agreement, print and fill out the form, and have the student read, sign and date the form
  • Email the signed and dated form to FIRST@fanshawec.ca
  • Click Submit your work here on either the home page, or the page of the School in which you would like to submit
  • Click Student Work
  • Read and agree to the license agreement
  • Complete the submission form and upload your document

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What formats and file sizes does FIRST accommodate?


FIRST is able to support all file types and formats. PDF is most common.

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I don’t have electronic copies of the content that I would like to submit, can I scan a printed page to a PDF file?


Yes, scanning printed pages is a great way to create PDF files for inclusion in the repository. There are two ways to scan a page: using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or scanning the page as an image. Making OCR scans requires careful proofreading and loses the original formatting of the documents. Image scans cannot be searched. The best solution takes advantage of both of these methods. Many software applications allow for the OCR capture of image scans. When documents are scanned this way, users see the image scan but search the full-text of the document. This is the preferred method for scanning documents for the repository.

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How do I include accents and special characters in the abstracts and titles?


The repository software supports the worldwide character set (Unicode, utf-8). Accents, symbols, and other special characters may be copied and pasted into the abstract or title field from a word processing file or typed in directly. Windows users may also use the Character Map to insert these characters. Macintosh users may use the Character Palette (available via Edit > Special Characters in the Finder).

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When I copy and paste abstracts into the Submit form, some formatted text reverts to plain text, what’s going on?


When copying abstracts from a word processing file or a PDF file, and pasting the text into the submission form, you are taking text from an environment that supports fonts and text style changes. Because the abstract is intended to be presented on the web, text styles must be specified using HTML codes.

If submitting an abstract in HTML format, please be sure to select the corresponding option on the submission form.

The following HTML tags are recognized by the system and may be used to format an abstract (use lowercase tags):

How to include HTML tags

HTML tags
<p> - paragraph
<p>This is the first paragraph.</p>
<p>This is the second paragraph.</p>

This is the first paragraph.

This is the second paragraph.

<br /> - line break
<p>This is a line of text with a linebreak here. <br /> This is text after</p>

This is a line of text with a linebreak here.
This is text after

<strong> - strong/bold
<strong>bold text</strong>

bold text

<em> - italics/emphasis
<em>italicized text</em>

italicized text

<sub> - subscript
Text with <sub>subscript</sub>

Text with subscript

<sup> - superscript
Text with <sup>superscript</sup>

Text with superscript

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How do I submit a multi-part file such as multiple chapters from a book?


Combine all the sections together as one Microsoft Word file or PDF file and submit that.

To make one PDF file from multiple files, open the first PDF file, then choose Document>Insert Pages from Acrobat's menus to insert the second file (indicate it should go after the last page of the first file), and repeat for all documents. The result will be one compound PDF file which may then be submitted.

If you feel that the one large PDF file might be too large for some people to download, we suggest that you submit the consolidated file as the full text of the article, and then upload the separate chapters or sections of the document as Associated Files. These files will appear on the web page alongside the complete document. For more information about uploading associated files, see below.

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Can I submit related files such as sound clips, data sets, etc. alongside my work?


Yes. The bepress system refers to these supplementary items as Associated Files. You will be prompted to submit Associated Files when you upload your submissions. The name of the files you upload will appear on the web site along with your short description of it. Viewers must have the necessary software to open your files; that is not provided by the bepress system.

Please be sure that there are no permissions issues related to use of the associated material. Sometimes, especially with images, you must write a letter seeking permission to use the material before it can be posted.

Also note that where possible, items such as images, charts and tables that are referenced in the document (or otherwise an integral part of the document) should be included directly in the article itself and not posted just as associated files.

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Can I post a re-print from a journal?


It depends on what the journal allows, which is usually specified in their agreement with the author. If it would not violate copyright to post the reprint on your repository site, you're welcome to do so. Permissions for many publishers can be found at SHERPA RoMEO .

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A working paper submitted/contributed to FIRST has been published in a journal in a slightly revised form, what should I do?


Many journals do not have any restrictions on working papers that preceded an article, especially if substantial revisions were made. You should check your author agreement with the journal to confirm that there is no problem with leaving the working paper on the site. The repository would constitute noncommercial use.

Assuming the working paper does remain on posted in the repository, it is a good idea to include the citation to the published article on the cover page of the repository working paper. Please contact the repository administrator to request this change.

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Can I revise my work after I have made a submission?


To revise a submission that has been posted to the repository, contact the repository administrator with the new version.

If the submission has been submitted, but not yet posted, you may revise it via your My Account page:

  1. Locate the article on your My Account page, and click the title.
  2. Click Revise Submission from the list of options in the left sidebar.
  3. Enter your changes in the Revise Submission form, and click Submit at the bottom of the page to submit your changes. (You only need to modify the portion of the form that corresponds to the changes you wish to make.)

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Can I withdraw my work after I have submitted it to FIRST?


Withdrawing content from FIRST is discouraged. FIRST is meant to be a permanent repository providing consistent access to Fanshawe College’s scholarly output.

However, certain circumstances may require removal of an item. Please contact the FIRST administrators at FIRST@fanshawec.ca to inquire about content removal.

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Who do I contact if i need help?


If you need help with the submission process, or have any other questions about FIRST, please email FIRST@fanshawec.ca, and we will be happy to assist you.

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What is Digital Commons?


Digital Commons is an institutional repository and publishing platform that provides a publicly accessible online space for work produced at Fanshawe College to be showcased and recognized. Fanshawe College’s Digital Commons is called FIRST which stands for Fanshawe Innovation Research Scholarship Teaching and it is supported by bepress.

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Personal information and FIRST.


Creating a FIRST profile will require the submission of a limited amount of personal information in order to connect you as a contributor to the work(s) you’ve contributed. Please note that bepress is an American-based company and its servers that host and support FIRST are located within the United States and are therefore subject to American data collection and privacy laws.

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What is meant by pre-print and post-print versions of my work and why should I save them?


The pre-print version of your work has been neither peer reviewed nor formatted for publication while the post-print version of your work has been peer reviewed but has not been formatted for publication. It is recommended that you save both the pre-print and post-print versions of your work as your publisher will likely permit one of these versions to be contributed to an institutional repository like FIRST.

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What are my publishing options if I contribute work to FIRST?


Contributing work to FIRST will not prevent you from pursuing the publication of your work. If you’re considering publishing a work that you contributed to FIRST, it is recommended that you disclose to your publisher that the work has been contributed to an institutional repository. Some publishers may consider the contribution of a work to an institutional repository like FIRST as prior publication of that work while other publishers may not. If your contributed work is considered prior publication, your publisher may require that you submit a revised version of your contributed work to them.

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