Arch is supported by Research Services of Northwestern University Libraries. If you need to report a problem or request assistance, please email and a librarian will get back to you.  

How To Deposit Your Research 

Step One: Sign into Your Account 

Use Your Northwestern University NetID to sign into your account

Step Two: Describe Your Research 

Click on “Deposit Your Work”

Fill in the required fields

You are required to select a rights statement associated with your research. The standard selection is “In Copyright”.

To make your research easier to find, click on the Additional Fields button to further describe your research 

Step Three: Upload Your Research

Click on the Files tab above the metadata fields

Add the file or files you would like to deposit. Each work can contain up to 100 files.

Step Four: Save to the Repository 

On the right side of the screen, choose the level of online visibility for your work:

Open Access: Your work is publicly available online

Northwestern: Your work is only available to Northwestern University affiliates

Embargo: Your work will be restricted for a limited amount of time, usually 1 or 2 years

Lease: Your work will be available for a limited amount of time

Private: Your work will be preserved, but available only to you, Arch administrators, and any individuals with whom you choose to share the work

Read and accept the Deposit Agreement

Click “Save”

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use Arch?

Anyone can search and download files from Arch. In order to deposit files, you must be a Northwestern University faculty, student, researcher or staff member with a current Northwestern University network account (NetID) and password. 

Does it cost anything? 

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

Does Arch provide DOIs?

Arch automatically creates Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for all works that are deposited. If you need assistance with any DOI, please email

How do I create a collection in Arch?

Arch administrators can create collections in Arch for you. Collections can be managed by multiple users, who can have the ability to update, edit, and add works to the collection. To request a collection, please fill out this form


What is Open Access?

Arch is an open access repository designed to make scholarly research freely accessible on the public internet and preserved using digital preservation standards and technologies. According to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (to which Northwestern University is a member), “Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment” (SPARC). For more information about the open access movement, PHD Comics created this “Open Access Explained” video.

I’m interested in depositing my research publications to make them open access. How do I know what I can upload?

This depends on the copyright and permissions policies of the publisher, as well as your publishing agreement with them. Most journal publishers post their open access policies on their websites or include them in their publishing agreements. Book publishers may need to be contacted directly about this. SHERPA/RoMEO offers summaries of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement, though the terms of your particular agreement may differ.

Typically, scholarly publishers allow researchers to upload the version before it was published, i.e., the pre-print, or the version of it after it was submitted and peer-reviewed, i.e., the post-print. Open access publishers generally allow final PDF versions to be uploaded to institutional repositories.

If you have given the publisher exclusive rights to all versions of the publication, they may indeed prohibit your ability to post it elsewhere. However, publishers do sometimes change their policies due to public demand, so it may be worthwhile to contact them and make a case for open access. We may be able to help you find the right people to contact about this issue. If you need help determining whether or not you have the rights to upload your research to Arch, please Contact Us.

Does all my research on Arch need to be open access?

No. While all work deposited to Arch will be preserved, you have the option to limit the visibility of each item you deposit.

What happens to my files after I leave Northwestern?

Content uploaded to Arch are subject to the Libraries’ Digital Preservation Policy. After you leave Northwestern University, the files remain in Arch and continue to be discoverable, accessible, and citable. If you have any questions or concerns about your files after you have left the University, you may submit them via our Contact Form.

How large can a file be to be uploaded to Arch? 

Arch can accommodate single file sizes up to 2 GB. The larger the file, the more likely a server timeout will occur. We recommend you compress CSV or TSV files before uploading. If you are experiencing problems, please email and we will help you.

What if I would like to upload a file larger than 2 GB?

Email and we will help you.

Are there limits to the number of works I can upload?

At present, no. You may upload as many works you have the rights to.

How do I set an embargo or lease for my work?

Setting an embargo on your work will restrict access for set amount of time before making your work available to Northwestern University or the public. Setting a lease on your work does the opposite; leases allow your work to be available to Northwestern or the public for a set amount of time before restricting the work entirely.

Setting an embargo or lease is a two-step process. First, you must deposit your work by adding descriptions and files to the repository. When you are ready to save, you must select "Embargo" or "Lease" as the Visibility option then click on the "Save" button. Once the work has been save and the repository record has been created, you must click on the "Edit" button to set the date. The "Edit" screen will allow you to set the date for your work's embargo or lease following this date format: YYYY-MM-DD[Time][Hour]:[Minute]:[Second]. You can change the year, month, and day to whenever you want the embargo or lease to expire. If you need assistance, please contact

Can I use Arch for managing my data, to comply with data management plan (DMP) requirements?

Yes. Unless a funder requires you to deposit your data in a specific repository, Arch can accommodate data sharing and preservation requirements. We also offer consultations for data management and preservation. Email:

What is Creative Commons Licensing?

Creative Commons licenses allow the public to use and share copyrighted works with proper attribution to the copyright holder. While the Fair Use doctrine offers users a defense against charges of copyright infringement, Creative Commons licenses are standard permission statements by the copyright holder to allow different levels of use, such as downloading, sharing publicly, and adapting. Arch provides several options for assigning your research materials a Creative Commons license. You can read more about the differences between these licenses on the Creative Commons website, or you can email for assistance. 

Does Arch support OAI-PMH?

CArch provides an Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) BaseURL through our DOI provider, DataCite: