What should I submit to OpenBU?

OpenBU aims to collect, preserve and make permanently accessible the intellectual output of Boston University. Materials submitted to OpenBU receive rich metadata, making them more easily discovered.  The Libraries assume curatorial responsibility for the material submitted to insure preservation and enduring access to the content. Below are common examples of the type of materials currently being added.

  • Journal articles
  • Books
  • Unpublished reports and white papers
  • Materials not commercially published and/or not readily accessible
  • Electronic Theses and Dissertations
  • Lectures
  • Learning objects
  • Presentation slides
  • Images
  • Recordings
  • Field notes
  • Data sets (For large data sets, contact the open-help@bu.edu first)

Several major projects are or will be submitting content to OpenBU. The American Schools of Oriental Research has an NEH grant to to digitize, arrange, describe, and make accessible ASOR’s geographically dispersed archives. The BU Libraries are developing a project to digitize Boston University theses and dissertations. These too will be added to OpenBU.

Getting Started

If you wish to consult with a librarian before submitting materials to OpenBU for the first time, please send email to open-help@bu.edu and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have, as well as give you access to existing collections and/or set up new ones as warranted.

The process of submitting materials to OpenBU is easy to learn and will seem familiar if you have ever uploaded an image to Flickr or submitted a journal article online. A step by step guide is provided to assist you in the submission process.

What should not be added to OpenBU

It may be easier to identify what should not be submitted to OpenBU. Items that are of a personal or family nature should not be submitted. A primary purpose of OpenBU is to preserve digital content. Consequently, some file formats should be avoided if possible. Preferred file formats are identified in the Digital Preservation Policy.

Materials that violate University policy should not be submitted to OpenBU.

University policies can be easily accessed at the two sites below:

University Policies


Information Services & Technology Policies


Materials that are protected by Copyright should not be submitted to OpenBU without permission of the copyright owner.

In addition to the policy statements at the two links above, tools and resources for determining copyright status is available on the Author Resources menu.