DRS User Guide/Uploading

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Uploading Files


Who Can Upload

By default, only Northeastern University faculty are allowed to deposit material in the DRS. Northeastern staff and graduate students may request deposit access.

Certain DRS and Library staff members are authorized to act as a proxy uploaders for Northeastern faculty. This workflow is in place to allow DRS and other Library staff to submit content on the behalf of faculty who may not otherwise be able to deposit.

What to Upload

You should not upload materials that you did not create, or for which you have not obtained the necessary rights and permissions. DRS and Library staff respect copyright and expect users to follow all copyright and fair use guidelines. Depositors must affirm that they have the copyright or other intellectual property right or permission to grant these rights, and that the submission is in compliance with the Terms of Participation and other DRS policies, with all University policies including but not limited to the Appropriate Use Policy, and with all applicable local, state, and federal laws. The DRS will clearly identify the name(s) of all the author(s) or owner(s) of these files.
File Types
The DRS is designed to accept all files, but many common file types are specifically supported by the DRS, such as .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, and .tiff. When a file with an unsupported or unrecognized file type is uploaded to the DRS, the file is compressed into a .zip file, which is made available for future downloads. Northeastern University Libraries will endeavor to protect and preserved managed material deposited in certain file formats. Please review our Policy on Format Support and Preservation and, when possible, please deposit material in a supported format.

Where to Upload


Where to upload a file is as important as what to upload.To deposit a file:

  1. Navigate to (or create) a collection
  2. Click the “Add” button (located in the breadcrumb navigation and the bottom right corner of the page)
  3. Click “Upload File”
  4. Read and agree to the Terms of Service
  5. Select the file you would like to upload
  6. Click “Upload”

Descriptive Metadata

Metadata is information about your file. A lot of information about your file is extracted when your file is uploaded, like the file type, file size, and the date the file was created. Not all information about the file can be discovered automatically, therefore most of the descriptive information about a file needs to be recorded by the uploader. The primary reason we record descriptive metadata is to make the file discoverable. Without proper descriptive information, your file will be difficult, or impossible, to discover using keyword searching. We only require two pieces of information from you: title and a keyword. The remaining fields are optional, but an easily discoverable file will also have an accurate date, at least one creator name (personal or organizational), a full description or abstract, and a handful of keywords:

By default this field will be populated with the filename stripped of the file extension. If the file name is not a useful title, please supply a title that is either taken directly from the work, or create an original title that is brief but descriptive.
Date of Issuance
Enter here the date the file or work was created or issued.
Creator’s First name/Creator’s last name
Enter the first and last name of the person primarily responsible for creating the file or work, and add more creators, if needed.
Use this field to enter the name of an organization, institution, group, or corporation responsible for creating the file or work.
Enter a full description of the file or an abstract of the work.
Choose some keywords to describe your file (preferably 2 to 6 keywords).

For more information about creating and adding metadata, visit our guide to creating metadata for discovery. If you would like to provide more information about your file than can be communicated through the upload form, please contact DRS staff.

Special Files and Formats

A few special file types will trigger unique fields or customization options on the upload form:

The option to create small, medium, and large versions of your image is presented when a photograph is uploaded to the DRS. This will give users the option to download a small, medium, or large version of your photograph, in addition to the file in its original size. This customization is not required.
Future development

Access permissions

All files stored in the DRS are assigned access permissions, which dictate who can discover, view, and download the file. Most files are “public” and are therefore discoverable through searching and browsing, and can be viewed any downloaded by anyone. Some files are “private” and are viewable only by the individual who uploaded the file to the DRS. Others are “private”, but specific people and groups have been granted access to discover, view, and download the file.

Deposited files are set to "public" by default, but the uploader has the ability to change file permissions on the upload form. If you would like to make your file private, use the Permissions menus at the bottom of the upload form to restrict access to just yourself, or to certain individuals or groups:


Start by setting the general permission for your file in the Mass Permissions menu. If you set your file to private, you may then use the Permissions menu to allow a group or a few individuals to view your file. Select the type of permission you would like to set (“person” or “group”), enter the individual’s NUID or the group name, then select “read” or “edit” permissions:

Two conditions must be met before granting access permission for an individual: the individual must already have an account in the DRS, and the person granting access must know the NUID of the individual.
Groups are defined using an authentication tool called Grouper. To learn more about creating and managing groups, see the Group Management section of this user guide.
Read privileges will allow the group or individual to discover, view, and download the file.
Edit privileges will allow the group or individual to discover, view, download, and edit the metadata for the file.

To add another individual or group, click “Add Permission”.

These settings can be changed or updated using the metadata editing form (to learn more about editing metadata, see the Managing Your Files section of this user guide).

Proxy Uploading (In development)

Certain DRS and Library staff members are authorized to act as a proxy uploaders for other members of the Northeastern community. This workflow is in place to allow DRS and Library staff to submit content on the behalf of users who may not otherwise be able to deposit material.

Two conditions must be met before DRS users who are authorized as proxy staff can upload files on behalf of another individual:

  • The individual being proxied for must already have an account in the DRS.
  • The proxy user must know the NUID of the individual for whom they wish to proxy.

Once these conditions have been met, proxy staff can follow the regular procedure for uploading files. On the file selection page of the upload process, enter the NUID of the individual you are proxying for in the third field:

Once the upload process is complete, the file will live and behave as if it was uploaded by the proxied individual, and not the proxy staff. Both proxy staff and the proxied individual will retain access permissions for the file, including the ability to edit the file’s metadata.

To request that your files be uploaded by a proxy uploader, please contact DRS staff and we will work with you to deposit your materials.

Bulk Uploads

It is often prohibitive to upload many files one at a time, so the DRS has alternative workflows to accommodate bulk uploads:

One-Time Bulk Uploads

Communities that would like to deposit many different file types, with varying metadata, into various collections may do so by submitting their files, along with the metadata for those files, to DRS staff. If metadata is not readily available for the files, DRS staff can design a spreadsheet or form to gather the necessary information needed to deposit the files. If the files already have metadata, which could be stored in a spreadsheet or a document, DRS staff can manipulate that data to create metadata appropriate for the DRS.

Recurring Bulk Uploads

Communities that would like to deposit similar files on a regular basis can upload multiples files at a time using a custom upload tool. The upload tool is designed to extract metadata directly from the uploaded files (including title, creator, date created, description, etc…) and deposit those files in a specific collection. Once the upload tool is developed for a project or a community, authorized users can compress the desired files into a single .zip file and upload them in one step.

Please contact DRS staff for more information about bulk uploads. We will be happy to work with you to discuss the best method for your project.

DRS     https://repository.library.northeastern.edu
Resources     http://dsg.neu.edu/resources/drs
Contact     Library-Repository-Team[@]neu.edu