What is Arch? 

Arch is an institutional repository service for Northwestern University. Arch is intended to collect, preserve, and provide access to the wide variety of scholarly contributions, artistic creativity, and research outputs of the Northwestern community. Arch is supported by the libraries' Digital Scholarship Services team who are available to assist you with depositing data, sharing research, and archiving scholarship. 

Why Use Arch? 

Preservation: All deposited files and associated metadata will be preserved by Northwestern University Libraries.

Access: Arch is an open access platform and is built for sharing content with global audiences on the web. 

Compliance: Data underlying research findings can be made publicly accessible as required by data management plans, grant funding agencies, and journal publishers.

Persistent Identification: Arch automatically creates Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for all publicly accessible works in Arch.

Researchers at Northwestern University with a current NetID and password may deposit digital files of their finalized research or scholarly works. Arch is built on an open source framework using the Fedora and Samvera stack solution for institutional repositories. Arch provides stable and ongoing maintenance for content contained within the repository. 

What are the guidelines for depositing content? 

The content must be:


Scholarly, educational, or related to the university's mission

Copyrighted by the depositor or the depositor's proxy

Examples of the types of items that are appropriate for the repository include:

research papers (pre-prints, author's accepted manuscripts, unpublished works)

conference papers, presentations, and lectures

technical reports, lab documentation, white papers

data sets supporting publication

supplemental images and figures

open access books and journal articles

audio or video recordings of presentations, lectures, or performances 

Deposit of Data Sets

Arch accepts data sets that are associated with publications. Deposit in the repository can help NU researchers meet funding and journal requirements to make these data sets publically available.  For more information about Data Management Plans, funding agency requirements, data deposit guidelines, or metadata for data sets, please visit our Data Management Guide or email Digital Scholarship Services for a consultation.

Can access to the data sets be restricted?

Data must be deposited for open access.  This means that others may discover, download, and reuse your data. You have the option during the submission process to Embargo or Lease your data for limited periods of time (e.g. 1-2 years). Data that is not suitable for open access and reuse should not be shared in Arch.


The libraries may find it necessary to remove content from Arch, due to circumstances such as:

Proven copyright violation or plagiarism

Legal requirements and proven violations

National Security

Falsified research

Withdrawn items are removed from public view, but will remain in Arch. When a withdrawn item is requested, the original metadata along with a withdrawal statement explaining the reasons for the withdrawal will appear in place of the object. Items may not be withdrawn because the depositor or author is moving to another institution.

A request for removal should be directed to Arch administrators and include the reasons for withdrawal. Arch staff may contact the requestor for additional information.  If you need to withdraw your content, please email Digital Scholarship Services


Depositors have the option to embargo their content for future availability. At the end of this embargo period, the content will be made visible either to the Northwestern University community or to the public, depending on the selection.

The library receives Northwestern dissertations from ProQuest. As part of the ProQuest submission process, Dissertations may be initially embargoed for up to two years. The library honors all embargo terms. To extend the embargo with ProQuest, students should contact ProQuest Support directly. To extend the embargo with the University Library, students must contact The Graduate School at least thirty days prior to the point of expiration. The student may request a one-time extension of the embargo for up to six years and must provide a sufficient intellectual and/or professional rationale in seeking approval from TGS Academic Affairs. For more information about dissertation embargos, see the Dissertation Embargo policy page at The Graduate School. 

Preservation of Arch Content

The Libraries’ are committed to supporting sustainable access to selected digital collection content for the foreseeable future. Our specific plans for doing this are subject to change as new and emerging technologies affect the ability to preserve digital content. For more details, see the libraries’ Digital Preservation Policy. 


Copyright and Licensing of Content in Arch 

Copyright owners retain copyright over their content once it has been deposited in Arch. By putting content into Arch, copyright owners grant Northwestern University certain rights as outlined in the copyright release form, reproduced below: 


I, _________________, grant to Northwestern University the non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free right to digitize the work identified below (the “work”) and to archive, reproduce, distribute, display, disseminate, perform, and transmit the work, in whole or in part, without restriction or limitation, and to authorize others to do so, for educational and promotional purposes, in all formats now or hereafter known. I represent and warrant that I am the sole owner of the copyright in the work, that the work does not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I have the authority to grant the rights requested in this agreement. I acknowledge that I retain the copyright of the work. I have obtained any necessary third-party rights and will provide copies of these permissions upon request by Northwestern University. I expressly release Northwestern University, its trustees, officers, agents, employees, licensees, and assignees, from any and all claims, including without limitation copyright, privacy, and defamation claims, arising out of any use, broadcast, exhibition, publication, or promotion of this work. 


As part of deposit you have the option to select a license. This license is your opportunity to explain to the end user exactly what they can or cannot do with your work. Arch prefers but does not require that materials be made available with a Creative Commons (CC) license. Before applying a CC license to your material, please be sure that you hold all the necessary rights to the work (i.e., that they have not been given to a publisher). For more information about Creative Commons licenses, see “About the Licenses.” In addition to using CC licenses, you may choose to mark your item "All rights reserved." If you need assistance, please email Digital Scholarship Services.


Terms of Use

Users of data sets deposited in Arch are expected to abide by Northwestern University policies, where applicable. However, by using or downloading the data, users agree to give appropriate attribution to the author(s) of the data in any publication that employs resources provided by the Data Repository. For more information, please read our Terms of Use.


Metadata Requirements

Required metadata fields are: 

1. title: a descriptive title for the work

2. author(s): those responsible for creating the work

3. keyword(s): author assigned descriptive keyword(s) for the work

4. rights statement: copyright status of the work 

Termination Plan

Should the funding or organizational imperatives of the Northwestern University Libraries change, the Libraries will strive to provide at least one year notice, and devote resources to support the transition to another host institution and/or returning the data to the data producers.  


Arch is a service provided by the Northwestern University Libraries to the Northwestern community free of charge, and funded by Northwestern University.  

Privacy policy

See Privacy within the Northwestern Network