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SUNY Open Access Repository (SOAR): What is SOAR?

About SOAR

In 2018, the SUNY Chancellor issued a memorandum charging all SUNY campuses with the development of two items:

  • An Open Access(OA) policy.
  • A scholarly repository to store any works created under open access.

The combination of the OA policy and supporting repository looks to improve access to SUNY produced works.This increased access to SUNY-produced work serves to:

  • Increase visibility and discoverability.
  • Increase citation rates.
  • Provide a persistent access point for works.
  • Remove paywall barriers for users who want to reference SUNY works in their own research.

Downstate adopted its open access policy in 2020.

SOAR, the SUNY Open Access Repository, was created in response to the Chancellor's charge of 2018. It is a SUNY-wide, centrally-managed resource. Its purpose is to allow the self-archiving of creative works by SUNY faculty, staff, and students.

Items deposited in the repository adhere to any embargo periods or licensing limitations from publishers. The repository contents are discoverable via internet search engines and Google Scholar. In the future, the contents of SOAR will also be discoverable through searches in the Library's discovery system/online catalog.

The Downstate Library is facilitating the archiving process for the campus.

Content Guidelines

Materials deposited in SOAR must adhere to the content guidelines established.

  • Original creative and research-based scholarly works by faculty, staff, or students of SUNY Downstate will be accepted.
  • Outside of embargo periods, all content will be publicly available.
  • SUNY Downstate authors must own copyright to the materials submitted or have documented permission to deposit materials.

  • If a work is co-authored, each co-author can grant a non-exclusive license by accepting the deposit agreement without permission of the other co-authors. However, it is recommended that the depositing SUNY Downstate author talk with their co-author colleagues prior to submitting the work to the SUNY Open Access Repository to avoid potential disagreements.

  • A wide variety of content types can be deposited including published articles, post-prints, preprints, monographs, conference papers, dissertations, theses, honors projects, and creative works.

  • Most file formats are accepted.

  • Works produced by SUNY-affiliated students solely to fulfill course requirements are outside the scope of this repository.

  • Open Educational Resources (OER) content will be outside the scope of this repository. 

  • SUNY Open Access Repository administrators reserve the right to reject submissions that do not represent intellectual output from the SUNY community or cannot be accommodated due to size or format considerations.

For the full description of the content guidelines, see the SOAR site.


Some helpful terms and definitions used in regards to SOAR.

  • Creative Commons License - One of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted "work". A CC license is used when an author wants to give other people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created. See the Creative Commons site for more information on types of licenses and what they mean.
    The default license for SOAR submissions, unless otherwise specified, is "CC BY-ND-NC". 

  • DOI - Digital Object Identifier is a unique digital identifier used to permanently identify and link to articles and documents on the web. The DOI is persistent which means it is not subject to change or deletion. Additional information is available at

  • Embargo - Restricts access to full text content for a designated period of time. This is generally done at the request of an author or publisher to limit full text access until a defined future date.

  • Repository - Is an online database with a set of services to capture, store, index, preserve, and make available digital materials created by institutions, in this case with a focus on scholarly output of SUNY faculty, students, and staff.

  • Open Access - Refers to the ability to make available scholarly research output that is distributed online and free of cost or other access barriers. Users are permitted to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles for any lawful purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet (Budapest Open Access Initiative).

  • ORCID - Researcher and Contributor ID is a unique digital identifier that distinguishes a researcher from all other researchers with the same or similar names. Additional information is available at


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