What is Unbound?
Unbound is a digital publishing platform and repository. It stores, organizes, presents and disseminates the products of the intellectual life of the College, and documents the history of the institution.

Who decides what information is included in Unbound?
Williams faculty, staff and students can submit or sponsor a project, collection, or item. The Unbound Management Team will review submissions and address any questions regarding objects or collections.

Why should I submit my materials?
You should submit to Unbound if you would like:

  • your publications to be preserved and easily found by other scholars
  • your datasets, field notes, recordings and other source material, which support your publications, to be accessible to readers of your publications
  • to provide more, or more varied, material than can fit in a paper or traditional electronic publication
  • to satisfy the mandate of a granting agency for access to your data
  • to integrate disparate media such as data, audio, video, spatial coordinates and text into a unified teaching, research or presentation tool
  • your collections to be accessed by students in your classes or by others around the world


What types of materials can be submitted?
You can submit digital material—born digital or digitized—regardless of type: text, audio, still and moving images, or datasets.

Who can submit material to Unbound?
Williams College faculty, staff, students, or alumni can submit or sponsor a project, collection, or item.

How do I submit materials?
If you would like to add an item to a current collection—such as adding a PDF article to the faculty publications collection—your library liaison or ITech liaison can show you how. If you are interested in starting a new collection, please complete the Start a Project form. Your library and ITech liaisons will then contact you to learn more about your proposal.

Who can help me? What services are provided?
Your library liaisons or ITech liaisons are happy to speak with you regarding your material or a project that you would like to undertake. The Unbound Management Team is also available to work with you on workflows or funding proposals if a project needs support that is beyond the resources of OIT and the Libraries.

Can I restrict access?
Access to resources in Unbound can be limited to the Williams community, or can be restricted for a defined period of time.


What rights do I retain to my work when submitting to Unbound?
You, or your copyright assignees, retain all the intellectual property rights you own in the material. The limited rights you grant to Unbound are non-exclusive, so your rights do not change as a result of your submission. In addition, copyright information becomes part of the description (metadata) that accompanies each of your items.

Do I have to own the copyright of materials that I want to submit?
Not necessarily. If you own the copyright of materials, you can always submit. If you’re not sure, or often even if you know that you don’t own the copyright, Unbound may still be able to accept the material. Please contact us for more information, and see below for some specific scenarios.

What about articles or material already published elsewhere?
Most publishers allow some version of a previously-published article to be made freely accessible online. The Sherpa list of Publisher Copyright Policies and Self-Archiving is the most definitive list of publisher policies at this current time. You may also ask your publisher whether you can submit your previously-published work to Unbound.

What about material of which I am a joint author?
If you and your co-authors retained your copyright, you should contact your co-authors to make sure they are also amenable to posting to Unbound.

May I post someone else’s material in Unbound?
You are free to post public domain material and content that has been licensed with Creative Commons agreements. If the material is still under copyright, please contact the copyright holder for permission to post. The Libraries’ Finding Copyright Holders page can help.

Can I publish material elsewhere if I've already submitted it to Unbound?
Some publishers will not accept material that has been made available elsewhere, even if it has not been formally published. We recommend, then, that you check with potential publishers to ensure that you can safely submit a preprint, for example, into Unbound.

How do I secure permission to add someone else's work to Unbound?
Use the Unbound release form.

I found some interesting work by someone else in Unbound and want to download it. What can I do with it once I have it?
Unless otherwise noted in Unbound or the work itself, you should treat the work like any other copyrighted material and may make “Fair use” of it.