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Open Access: For Students

Exemplars & Open Access

Who can see your I.S.? 

That depends! The majority of I.S.'s in Open Works can only be downloaded with a Wooster name and password, but some I.S.'s, called "Exemplars," are Open Access, which means that they can be accessed and downloaded anywhere in the world! This can be incredibly useful for your professional identity after Wooster. 

So how does one's I.S. become an exemplar? Every year, Wooster professors from all of the departments review the list of students who received Honors on their I.S.'s and select those few I.S.'s that are truly exemplary and that they feel represent some of the best work done here at the college. If your work is selected, Open Works administrators will contact you after you graduate and seek your permission to make your I.S. Open Access, so make sure to update your email address with the college after you graduate!

A map of some of the places people download and use Wooster students' work: 


Embargoing your I.S.

What if I don't want anyone to see my I.S.?

While we always recommend that you allow the College of Wooster community access to your work, you, as the copyright holder, have the right to embargo your work. When you request an embargo, your I.S. will be completely hidden from view, even to the College of Wooster community. Generally, embargoes last 1-5 years, though they may last longer.

Why might you choose to embargo your work?

1. If you are considering publishing your work and you want to ensure that no one else is able to capitalize on your idea or build on your research. 

2. If you co-authored a work with a professor who is considering publishing their work

3. If you did research that contributed to the work of a professor, who might consider publishing on the topic in the future

4. If you are absolutely positive that you don't want anyone to see your work

In rare cases, departments on campus will choose to embargo all of their I.S.'s. If you would like more information about this or if you would like to learn more about this option, please contact Catie Newton, the Digital Curation Librarian and manager of Open Works at 


Copyright & Your I.S.


Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S.Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.  -US Copyright Office                                     

Did you know that you own the copyright to your I.S. for your life plus 70 years? What that means is that you have the exclusive right to : 

1. Reproduce your I.S. 

2. Prepare derivative works (like plays based on your I.S. or translations of your I.S.)

3. Distribute copies of your work

4. Display or perform the work publicly

5. License your I.S.

6. Transfer your copyright to someone else

When you turn in your I.S. to the college, you will be prompted to sign something that looks like this:

By agreeing to this, you grant the college a non-exclusive license to present your work on Open Works, our institutional repository. 

Non-Exclusive vs. Exclusive License:

A non-exclusive license means that you, as the author, still hold the right to distribute your work however you see fit and to license it to other parties. You can still publish your work elsewhere. You can grant as many non-exclusive licenses as you wish. An exclusive license, however, means that NO person or company other than the licensee can make use of the work in any way. If you give a publisher an exclusive license to your I.S., you yourself will no longer hold the right to license your work, nor will you be able to distribute it. You wouldn't even be able to post it on social media. It's very important to understand this distinction, in case you are approached by a publisher who wishes to publish your I.S. 

How to learn more!!!

This is a lot of information and there's even more to know. We are here to help!

Come to an "All Things I.S." workshop or email Catie Heil ( with questions!