About Libra

Libra is the University of Virginia’s online institutional repository. It provides a central, stable location for the scholarly output of the University community, which includes journal articles, datasets, and other completed works to be preserved and accessed by the public.  Libra is an open access repository, meaning that anyone can search, view and download content. Users are subject to the Terms of Use stated on the Libra site. Only non-commercial educational uses are permitted. Unless otherwise stated on the work itself, the copyright holder for each work retains all rights associated with the works deposited in Libra. As with other copyrighted works, people may use works as allowed by the “fair use” provisions in U.S. copyright law.  Items that have been deposited with a U.Va. Only Deposit License are available in full text only to students, faculty, staff, and walk-in users of the U.Va. Library.

Benefits of Submitting Your Work to Libra

By submitting your work to Libra, you make your scholarship available for reading and download by other scholars worldwide. Other benefits include:

  • Your work is available immediately, without the delays necessary for binding and cataloging paper copies.
  • Using Libra ensures preservation of your work as part of the record of U.Va. scholarship.
  • A stable URL that allows you to provide a simple link to include in your CV, on your personal web site, and other places where you share your scholarship.

The U.Va. Library and Information Technology Services are committed to the durability and sustainability of scholarship deposited in Libra.  Libra uses standard data management practices, including security and backup procedures, to provide a reasonable assurance that files will remain retrievable over time. In addition, U.Va. Library is a founder and participant in the Academic Preservation Trust consortium, which aims to ensure preservation of digital library content including Libra files.  However since permanent access is not a guarantee with any technology, we urge scholars to keep personal copies of their files in both print and digital formats.

The Libra Collections Policy describes the types of works accepted to Libra.

Considerations When Submitting Your Work to Libra

When you submit your work to Libra, you grant to the University of Virginia the right to:

  • Reproduce and/or distribute your submission (including the metadata and abstract) worldwide, in any format or medium for non-commercial, academic purposes only. You may choose to limit worldwide access for a period of time using an embargo.
  • Authorize Libra users to reproduce and/or distribute your submission (including the metadata and abstract) worldwide, in any format or medium for non-commercial, academic purposes only.
  • Migrate your submission, without changing the content, to any medium or format, and keep more than one copy of your work for purposes of security, back up and preservation.

Deposit Licenses

In order to deliver written works and other copyrighted materials to the public, Libra must have consent from the copyright holder. The Deposit Licenses ask you, the author, to confirm that you are the copyright holder and that you have obtained necessary permissions for third-party material included in the work.  In addition, if portions of your work were previously published, the agreement confirms that you have retained the rights to place this material online for viewing by the University community and/or the public. The agreement does not ask you to transfer your copyright to the University, or to give up any rights you have regarding the material to the University. You must choose from one of three deposit licenses to submit your scholarship to Libra:

  1. Libra Public Deposit License: Confirms that you wish to make products of your scholarship available through Libra to the public, to allow certain educational, non-commercial, public uses of the material, and to allow for preservation by the University. It is a limited-non-exclusive agreement, meaning you retain all the rights you had before the item was deposited.
  2. Libra U.Va.-only Deposit License: Confirms you allow the University of Virginia (U.Va.) a more limited set of rights than those afforded under the Libra Public Deposit License option. Your deposit will not be accessible to colleagues or students at other universities. If you want your work to be accessible to the broader scholarly community, you should consider the Libra Public Deposit License instead.
  3. Libra Deposit License for Student Theses and Dissertations: Confirms that you grant to U.Va. only the non-exclusive right to preserve, reproduce and/or distribute your thesis or dissertation (including the metadata and abstract) worldwide, in any format or medium for non-commercial, research, educational, or related academic purposes, subject to any temporary embargo or access restrictions you have selected through the deposit process.


An embargo is a period of time during which your work is saved in Libra but not available for worldwide distribution. While under embargo, the metadata (title, abstract, etc.) for your work is available to the world, but the full text is not.  You set the embargo period, which may be 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or 5 years. You should consider your embargo options well before you submit works to Libra.

Getting Help

Please contact libra@virginia.edu if you have questions or need additional information.