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Spectrum: Concordia University Research Repository

Research repositories enhance and complement traditional publishing practices by creating an additional conduit for the flow of scholarly information. This barrier-free conduit promotes the sharing of knowledge between a university and the greater world of interested students, scholars, organizations and the public at large.

Spectrum is Concordia University’s open access research repository that preserves and centralizes access to the research created at Concordia. By depositing their work in Spectrum, Concordia scholars provide free and immediate access to their work and thus increase the visibility of both their own research and their university’s intellectual output. Open access leads to the increased research profile and impact of scholars by bringing about greater levels of readership and citation of their publications.

Terms of Access

The items in Spectrum are freely accessible on the Web, for personal research or study only. The full-text version of publications in Spectrum can be downloaded.   In some cases, access to content may be limited to the Concordia community only.

Copyright and Non-Exclusive Licence

Concordia University does not claim copyright over anything deposited in Spectrum. Authors need to ensure they have understood the publisher’s policy on posting a copy of their work on a repository site. They can make use of compact the SHERPA/RoMEO site that explains publisher copyright policies (https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/).  

Authors depositing in Spectrum agree that they have obtained unrestricted permission to deposit research materials.  They give Spectrum permission to make accessible, preserve, and disseminate submissions.  Authors allow Spectrum to migrate formats without changing the content, and to preserve backup copies for security and preservation.   The deposit process for electronic thesis/dissertation requires agreement to a thesis non-exclusive licence, all other document type deposits require agreement to a non-exclusive licence.

File Formats

Spectrum is a digital entity, and works deposited must be in digital form. The Library can provide assistance for authors unsure of the suitability of a file for Spectrum deposit.

All file formats can be deposited to Spectrum. Graduate students are required to deposit their theses in Archival PDF/A format.

The following table summarizes the preferred file formats by document type:

Archival PDF/A (.pdf)
Microsoft Office Open XML Word (.docx)
OpenDocument Text (.odt)
Microsoft Office Open XML Excel (.xlsx)
OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods)
Joint Photographic Experts Group JPEG (.jpg)
Portable Network Graphics (.png)
Tagged Image File Format (.tiff)
Microsoft Office Open XML Powerpoint (.pptx)
OpenDocument Presentation Document (.odp)
MPEG-3 audio (.mp3)
Waveform Audio File (.wav)
Broadcast Waveform Audio File (.bwf)
OGG container Vorbis format (.ogg)
MPEG-4 container H264 codec (.mp4)
Matroska Multimedia Container FFV1/LPCM (.mkv)
OGG container Theora/Vorbis (.ogg)

These formats are preferred because they have qualities that increase their likelihood of being usable over a longer period and/or facilitate easier use, such as:

  • Wide use and support
  • Stable and preferably open specifications
  • Uncompressed or lossless compression
  • Compact file sizes

For additional file format recommendations, please see recommendations by content type.

File Size

Files deposited to Spectrum are intended to be accessible on the Web. Multimedia files deposited to Spectrum should be in a format that allows for a reasonable download time. It is recommended that individual multimedia files not exceed 2 GB in size per file. If the multimedia portion of your deposit requires more space, it is recommended that you create multiple files that do not exceed 2 GB per file. The Spectrum upload interface allows for uploading of multiple files within the same deposit item. Please write to lib-spectrum@concordia.ca if you are unable to deposit files due to these size limitations.


The University is committed to providing ongoing access to and preservation of the digital publications contained in Spectrum. All publications deposited to Spectrum are preserved using Archivematica, an open-source digital preservation application. The library web site has more information about Concordia University Library’s Digital Preservation Program.

Types of Publications

Spectrum reflects the scholarly and creative production of Concordia University. Peer-reviewed research publications are obvious candidates for inclusion, as are the diverse research and creative outputs of the Concordia community. Spectrum is a showcase of the research and scholarship undertaken by members of the Concordia University community. Examples of publications suitable for deposit in Spectrum:

  • Books or book chapters
  • Conference papers or presentations
  • Datasets
  • Journal articles
  • Technical reports
  • Theses
  • Working papers

Authors of other types of work such as audio-visual materials and creative works which have special technical requirements should contact Spectrum’s editors at lib-spectrum@concordia.ca. As for datasets, researchers may alternatively wish to deposit these in a data repository.

Theses and dissertations written by Concordia students are included in Spectrum. Other types of student work output may be considered for inclusion in Spectrum.

For graduate projects (non-thesis), the following procedure should be followed:

  1. In order to receive the approval to include graduate projects (non-thesis) from a particular course or programmes into Spectrum, a department must apply to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Associate Dean, Student Affairs.
  2. The graduate project (non-thesis) must carry at least one third of the credits for the degree in question.
  3. The graduate project (non-thesis) is evaluated by a Supervisory Committee (i.e. not only by the supervisor).
To date, eight programmes can deposit graduate projects (non-thesis) in Spectrum:
  • Art Therapy (MA), Department of Creative Arts Therapies
  • Digital Innovation in Journalism Studies (MA, essay option), Department of Journalism
  • Drama Therapy (MA), Department of Creative Arts Therapies
  • Human Systems Intervention (MA project option), Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Mathematics & statistics (MA, MSc, non-thesis option), Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Media studies (MA, non-thesis option), Department of Communication Studies
  • Philosophy (MA, non-thesis option), Department of Philosophy
  • Studio Arts (MFA graduating exhibition and writing projects), Faculty of Fine Arts


If there are circumstances that require withdrawal of an item, Spectrum editors can be contacted at: lib-spectrum@concordia.ca.

The views contained in the material found in Spectrum are those of the author(s) and are not those of Concordia University. If you consider some content to be problematic, please alert Spectrum editors at: lib-spectrum@concordia.ca.

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