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Trace User Support

Contributor FAQs

Contents

I. General

a. Who can submit material to Trace?

b. Why should I contribute my work?

c. Where can I submit my work?

d. What materials can be submitted?

e. If I want to submit a manuscript/article, do I have to create an account?

f. How do I create an account?

II. Uploading Content

a. What file formats are acceptable?

b. I don’t have electronic versions of old working papers that I’d like to include in my repository. Is it okay to scan the printed pages to a PDF file?

c. How can I make a scanned item full-text searchable in Trace?

d. When I copy and paste abstracts into the submit form, some text is missing, quotes look odd, or strange characters appear in the abstract. What’s going on?

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

f. I want to provide a citation that is different from the automatically generated one provided by Trace. How can I do so?

g. Can I post related files (sound clips, data sets, etc.) alongside the published article?

h. I have extra files I need to upload. How can I do this?

i. How can I submit a multi-part file, such as multiple chapters from a book?

j. Is there a recommended video file format that works to preserve the video’s integrity while also providing ease of use for the end user?

k. How do I revise a submission?

I. General

a. Who can submit material to Trace?

Individuals affiliated with any University of Tennessee, Knoxville college, department, lab, center, institute or other campus unit can contribute content.

b. Why should I contribute my work?

Trace makes faculty scholarship available in one central place online, enabling greater access to colleagues, students, and new audiences. Because every item is assigned a unique, persistent URL, users can cite faculty work freely without the worry or inconvenience of broken links. Studies have shown that articles are cited earlier and more often if they are made available in an open-access repository.

c. Where can I submit my work?

On the left-hand menu, under the Contributors heading, select Submit items to Trace. From this page, select the collection in which you would like your work to appear. This will open a form you will fill out and upload your work.

d. What materials can be submitted?

The work should be scholarly in nature. Because deposits are intended to be permanent contributions to the repository, works that are in progress or ephemeral in nature are not recommended for contribution. Some examples of eligible materials include: journal articles and essays, manuscripts, monographs, book chapters, conference proceedings and abstracts, newsletters, datasets, sound files, working (white) papers, videos, photographs, technical reports, and more.

e. If I want to submit a manuscript/article, do I have to create an account?

Yes. To submit anything to Trace, you must create an account. Otherwise, you would not be able to access the status of your submission or make revisions to your submissions.

f. How do I create an account?

To create an account, select My Account from the left navigation column and then select the New User option. After you provide your name, email address, and initial password (and, optionally, an institutional affiliation), the system will confirm registration via email.

II. Uploading Content

a. What file formats are acceptable?

Although most digital formats can be uploaded to Trace, to assure long-term operability and improved search engine results, files in PDF format are encouraged. If a PDF is not available or your work exists only in print format, Trace will assist you. Trace will make its best effort to maintain the content, structure and functionality of work you deposit. However, not all formats can receive the same level of preservation commitment, particularly with proprietary or uncommon file formats.

b. I don’t have electronic versions of old working papers that I’d like to include in my repository. Is it okay to scan the printed pages 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, however, cannot be searched. The best solution is to take advantage of both of these methods. Many software applications allow for the OCR capture of image scans. When documents are scanned this way, users can see the image scan but search the full-text of the document. This is the preferred method for scanning documents for the repository.

See Trace’s PDF Scanning Quick Guide for questions about creating PDF scans and OCR.

c. How can I make a scanned item full-text searchable in Trace?

By scanning the document to a PDF format and then performing OCR and uploading this version to Trace will create a full-text searchable item in both the Digital Commons search engine and Google.

See Trace’s PDF Scanning Quick Guide for questions about creating PDF scans and OCR.

d. When I copy and paste abstracts into the Submit form, some text is missing, quotes look odd, or strange characters appear in the abstract. What’s going on?

When copying abstracts from a word processing or PDF file and pasting into the submission form, you are taking text from an environment that may support fonts and special characters (like symbols or “smart quotes”). Because the abstract is intended to be presented on the web, the format of the abstract needs to be reduced to plain text with not fonts or special characters. We recommend the following changes to keep your titles and abstracts legible on the web:

  • Change “smart” single and double quotes to straight quotes.
  • Change an ellipsis to three periods (…).
  • Change em- and en- dashes to hyphens.

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

The repository software supports the ISO 8859-1 character set (this includes the numbers 0-9, upper- and lower-case letters A-Z, and standard English punctuation). Although you may take advantage of the complete character set, we recommend you consider not using special characters as these as these may inhibit user searches, both on the web and on the site.

f. I want to provide a citation that is different from the automatically generated one provided by Trace. How can I do so?

When uploading a submission, use the Recommended Citation box toward the bottom of the submission form to customize the citation.

g. Can I post related files (sound clips, data sets, etc.) alongside the published article?

Yes. Trace 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 the 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.

h. I have extra files that I need to upload. How can I do this?

At the end of the submission form, check the Additional Files to add files after the initial upload. Each additional file added will have a separate link and unique URL in Trace.

i. How can I submit a multi-part file, such as multiple chapters for a book?

Combine all the sections together as one Microsoft Word file or PDF file and submit your work this way. To make one PDF file from multiple files, open the first PDF file, then choose Document>Insert Pages from Acrobat’s menu to insert the second file (indicate that is 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 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 above.

j. Is there a recommended video file format that works to preserve the video’s integrity while also providing ease of use for the end user?

There is no “ideal” video format, but the recommended formats for Trace include: .avi, .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, or .qt. However, .mp4 is a good option because it will run on a number of different media players, making it much more accessible for the end user.

k. How do I revise a submission?

To revise a submission:

  1. From the My Account page click Submission Management.
  2. In the list of pending submissions, click the title of the article you want to change. (If you are revising a published submission, click on the Published Submissions link the top left and select the title of the article from the resulting list).
  3. Click Revise Submission from the list in the top left.
  4. 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).
  5. If you are revising a pending submission, you may continue with the publication steps if appropriate. If you are revising a published submission, be sure to click the option to Update the site to incorporate your changes to the web pages.

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Contacts

Trace – trace@nullutk.edu

Trace Administrator – Seth Jordan, sjordan@nullutk.edu

Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication & Research Services – Holly Mercer, hollymercer@nullutk.edu

For further information on a particular topic, you may contact the appropriate librarian liaison from the following page: Subject Liaison Librarian
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