UWSpace Policies


UWSpace is an open access institutional repository provided by the University of Waterloo Library for research and scholarship produced at the University of Waterloo. UWSpace provides a free, secure, and long-term home for the presentation, dissemination, and preservation of Waterloo's research and scholarship. By utilizing UWSpace, members of the Waterloo community ensure their work is accessible for discovery, examination, and reuse, and is in compliance with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. UWSpace is also the home for theses and dissertations produced in fulfillment of graduate degree requirements, as well as major research projects from selected academic programs.

Who has access?

Files (the main PDF and all supplementary files) in UWSpace are either publicly accessible or embargoed for a limited period of time not exceeding the publisher's publicly stated embargo period, the time period required to satisfy funders' policy requirements, or the period of time while a patent is pending. All metadata is publicly accessible upon submission. Content accessible in UWSpace is freely available on the public internet. Open access (OA) means unrestricted online access; the articles and theses are copyrighted and can be used under fair dealing and other exceptions in copyright law. Files provided with a Creative Commons license have additional re-use rights.

Depending upon the circumstances under which content is admitted to the repository, usage rights may differ. UWSpace makes all reasonable attempts to communicate and display applicable usage rights to users through the use of rights statements and/or attached licenses. We recommend consultation with the original publisher before using the available material for anything beyond what is permitted by Copyright Act exceptions.

Why should I deposit in UWSpace?

  • You have received a grant from a funding agency that requires you to make the publications resulting from your research open-access

  • You'd like to share your publications with readers who may not have access to journal subscriptions

  • Having your publications searchable and discoverable in multiple locations increases its visibility

  • Your work will have a permanent URL

  • You can make your publications available without having to manage your own website or email articles over and over

  • You would like to share your slides from a conference presentation

  • You published a white paper, but it doesn’t have a permanent home

Eligible Submitters

The following University of Waterloo groups are eligible to submit their scholarly materials to UWSpace:

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Postdoctoral fellows
  • Graduate students
  • Undergraduate students (with sponsorship)
  • Presenters at UW hosted conferences

All works must be authored by an eligible submitter. Co-authored works are eligible for deposit, but must be submitted by a UW author who is eligible to accept the Non-Exclusive Distribution License.

Content Guidelines

Accepted Content

As UWSpace is a home for Waterloo research, our content mandate is limited to the outputs of research and scholarship undertaken by members of the university community. We accept the following research outputs for deposit:

  • Theses and dissertations
  • Peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Pre-prints
  • Conference papers
  • Conference presentation slides
  • Conference presentation audio/video*
  • Conference posters
  • Technical papers
  • White papers
  • Books
  • Book chapters
  • (Is your research format not listed? Please contact us to discuss how best to submit your work.)

*All audiovisual content in UWSpace must have accompanying captions or subtitles in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Please contact us if you are in need of captioning support.

All deposits must be born-digital or digitized. We do not offer digitization services at the Library, but contact us if you are in need of advice for how to embark on a digitization project.

All deposits must be submitted in compliance with the Copyright Act of Canada. The depositing author must either:

  1. hold copyright in the work,

  2. have permission from a rights holder, or

  3. their deposit must meet the requirements of one of the exceptions in the Copyright Act

Works deposited in UWSpace should be final and complete as we generally do not accept changes to the deposits after they have been submitted. UWSpace deposits are intended to be permanent contributions to the repository. Preprints may be supplemented, but not replaced, with the author’s accepted manuscript.

If the work comprises part of a series, we recommend that the entire series be deposited as well.

All of the components of a work must be deposited as a single item with references to external components. For example, you may have stored research data, code, or related works in other repositories; these should be linked to your deposit at the time of submission. For guidance on managing and depositing your data and code, please contact our Research Data Management librarians before depositing your work.

Content Exclusions

  • Data or code (see note above)
  • Course syllabi, class notes, learning objects, and lesson plans
  • University records
    • Institutional records that fall within the scope of established retention and disposition schedules should be managed and/or disposed of in accordance with those schedules.
    • The University of Waterloo Archives (UWA) collects institutional records identified as having long-term historical value and where the total retention period for the records has expired. This includes, but is not limited to, correspondence, reports, minutes, administrative files, photographs, audio-visual recordings and other material created, received or used by the University in pursuance of its functions regardless of format.

Deposit Formats

We prefer that you deposit works using non-proprietary formats that are able to be viewed using different software packages, and your works should be accessible in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. If you are unsure as to what format may be most suitable for deposit, please contact us. The Library reserves the right to migrate formats to allow for the long-term preservation of UWSpace content.


Authors or their designated representatives submitting materials to UWSpace must agree to a license that allows the University of Waterloo to reproduce and distribute the work, as well as migrate it to new formats when necessary and feasible. Granting the license does not involve the transfer of copyright to UWSpace. By granting the non-exclusive distribution license, authors allow the University to distribute their work while retaining the right to pursue other publishing ventures.


UWSpace is organized into communities and collections in a structure that mirrors the arrangement of academic units at the University, according to the University of Waterloo's Faculties and Academics structure.

  • Communities are the faculties and affiliated and federated institutions of the University of Waterloo.
  • Collections are the departments, schools, research centres, and institutes that comprise each faculty.

The University of Waterloo community contains all deposits made to UWSpace, and its collections reflect the different research outputs deposited.

If you are unsure as to where your deposit fits, please contact us.

Library Responsibilities

The University of Waterloo Library maintains responsibility for:

  • Providing assistance to users with the submission and retrieval of items
  • Retaining and maintaining content submitted to UWSpace
  • Making content discoverable and accessible through the library catalogue and other search engines
  • Preserving content using accepted preservation techniques

Library Rights

The University of Waterloo Library retains the right to:

  • Make content and metadata available unless temporary embargo restrictions have been applied
  • Refuse or de-accession items in accordance with UWSpace Content Guidelines and Withdrawal and Modification Policy
  • Migrate items if format is in danger of obsolescence, or if the platform is changing

Submitter Responsibilities

  • All submissions must be in compliance with the Copyright Act, and the submitter must hold copyright or have permission from a rights holder to submit previously published content. We can help you determine the copyright status of your items and deposit eligibility.

  • Submitters must ensure that they are in compliance with any publisher embargoes (temporary restrictions on access) that may apply to their work. All items in UWSpace must become publicly available after a defined period of time.

  • Submitted works should be made accessible in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
  • Submitters must agree to the UWSpace non-exclusive distribution license.

Withdrawal and modification policy

UWSpace is intended to be a permanent repository, however there are times when it may be necessary to update or remove items and/or their metadata. Please note that all requests pertaining to the modification or removal of graduate theses and dissertations must go through Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs. For all modifying and withdrawing all other UWSpace content, the following rules apply.

  • Modifying deposit description: Errors in item metadata will be corrected upon request to UWSpace staff.
  • Modifying deposited files: Please contact UWSpace staff with an explanation of how the deposited file differs from the final version of the work. As works may have already been cited, it may be appropriate to append, instead of replace, the version of the work in the repository.
  • Withdrawing a deposit: Requests are considered by UWSpace staff on a case-by-case basis. In order to avoid loss of the historical publication record, withdrawals will be traced with a provenance note in the item's metadata, and a "tombstone" record will be supplied with a withdrawal statement:
    • Removed from view at request of author
    • Removed from view at the University of Waterloo's discretion
    • Removed from view at the University of Waterloo Library's discretion
    • Removed from view by legal order

The metadata will be visible but not searchable. The item will not be available for harvesting.