Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works

Learn more about Cornerstone, the institutional repository for Minnesota State University, Mankato

How to Submit Works to Cornerstone

To include your works in Cornerstone, please contact Heidi Southworth, Digital Initiatives Librarian at or 507-389-5066 for details on how to get started. 

Please note:

  1. Items submitted to Cornerstone must have a designated, existing collection created first before items can be submitted.  Contact Heidi Southworth to discuss the creation of a community and/or collection.  You can also complete the New Cornerstone Community and Collection Request Forms below and return them to Heidi Southworth. 
  2. Current students, faculty and staff cannot directly submit items to Cornerstone.  You must contact Heidi Southworth to discuss the submission process.
  3. If a work involves research with human participants/subject and/or animals, the authors of the work are responsible for seeking Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval before a work is submitted to Cornerstone.  For more information, visit: or

New Cornerstone Community and Collection Request Forms

General Submission Guidelines

General Cornerstone Guidelines

  1. Cornerstone is the digital home for the scholarly and creative achievements, research, and history of Minnesota State University, Mankato.   Cornerstone is a collection of various works and resources brought together in one centralized place that ensures the long-term access and preservation of the intellectual output of our academic community.
  2. Works produced by current students, staff, faculty, and staff/faculty emeriti of Minnesota State University, Mankato can be voluntarily, self-submitted to Cornerstone following these general guidelines and the specific guidelines for Faculty/Staff or Student as found at the top of this page.  Submissions must be research-based-scholarly or creative works, or works of institutional significance.  Works outside this focus require special consideration on a case by case basis.  Contact Heidi Southworth, Digital Initiatives Librarian at or 507-389-5066 for more details or questions.
  3. Copyright
    • Intellectual property rights in scholarly works belong to faculty, staff and students as defined by the MinnState policy 3.26 on Intellectual Property found at:
    • Therefore faculty, staff and students are considered copyright owners and will retain exclusive rights to their works as defined by MinnState policy 3.27 found at:
    • When submitting a work to Cornerstone, copyright owners will grant certain non-exclusive rights to Minnesota State University, Mankato to copy, display, perform, distribute, and publish their submitted work within copyright law or any applicable license agreement as part of Cornerstone.
    • Non-exclusive rights are defined as not limiting a person’s copyright. The copyright owner retains all rights to share and publish the work.  Please be aware that some publishers require exclusive rights to research they publish. If you plan to submit the work to a journal or book publisher at a later date or if you have already submitted a work to a publisher, it is important to be aware if the publisher’s policy requires exclusivity before submitting an item to Cornerstone.  Ask Heidi Southworth, Digital Initiatives Librarian for assistance in working with publishers’ agreements.
    • Copyright owners will grant Minnesota State University, Mankato the non-exclusive right to migrate their work to various formats as needed in perpetuity for preservation and usability. 
    • The Minnesota State University, Mankato Library Services’ department will manage these non-exclusive rights granted.
    • When submitting a work to Cornerstone, submitters will be asked to affirm that:
      • They are the copyright owner of the work. 
      • Copyrighted works (such as photographs, artwork or any other image) included in this work are used under fair use or with permission of the copyright holder.  For assistance with determining fair use or with using copyrighted images, see the following:
      • The work does not infringe any copyright, patent, or trade secrets of any third party, and does not contain any libelous matter, nor invade the privacy of any person or third party.
      • The work is free from all exclusive claims, EXCEPT for in the case with pending exclusive publishing agreement or pending patent(s).  If a work has an exclusive publication contract or patent pending, the author has the option to request an embargo on display and distribution rights through Cornerstone.
  4. A Creative Commons license is automatically added to all works in Cornerstone.  This Creative Commons license only allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they cannot use them commercially (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)).  Creative Commons licenses may be amended to any work added to Cornerstone to direct users to an author’s/creator’s copyright wishes.  Creative Commons licenses are available at:  
  5. Once a work has been added into Cornerstone, it will not be withdrawn unless removal is required by law, by written request of the copyright holder for a specific reason, or due to a violation of University or MnSCU policies.   In the event of a removal of a work, the corresponding descriptive information (metadata) will be retained for historical/record keeping purposes along with a statement describing the reason for removal.  Works will not be removed due to spelling or grammatical errors.    
  6. Cornerstone is a permanent archive.  Before adding works, submitters should ensure that the works are complete and factually accurate and that they have the right to make them publically available.  If the status of a work is uncertain, it should not be submitted.  Library Services will not correct works for spelling or grammatical errors. 
  7. In cases where the content of a work has been substantially revised and the author/creator wants to make a newer version available, they may submit the new or revised version as a new item.  Library Services will provide assistance in linking the earlier version with the later and will, if requested, provide information to users indicating which version is preferred.  However, it is the policy of Library Services to retain the original version and any subsequent versions in Cornerstone.
  8. If a work includes proprietary or confidential information or the work has been submitted for publication by a third party, the work can be excluded from Cornerstone or embargoed for a specified period of time.  Works can be embargoed for 6 months up to 5 years after the date of creation or can be outright excluded.  Works that have been excluded or embargoed can have descriptive metadata added to Cornerstone for historical/record keeping purposes. 
  9. Most file formats are accepted, but the following is a list of preferred file formats.  For unusual or nonstandard file formats, please contact us before submitting a work.
    Textual formats*  Adobe PDF/A = .pdf
    Image/Graphic formats TIFF = .tif
    Audio formats WAVE = .wav
    Video formats MPEG-2 = .mpg
    *Textual documents submitted as Word files (.doc, .docx) are accepted, but will be automatically converted to Adobe PDF/A when the work is approved in Cornerstone.
  10. There is no specific limit to file sizes.  Large files exceeding 30MB may cause users to experience errors or timeouts.  File types most likely to exceed that size are audio, video or image files in additional to large data sets.  
  11. Supplementary materials, such as a sound recording with an accompanying score or a transcript to an audio recording, can be submitted at the same time you upload the main work.  The system refers to these supplementary materials as Associated Files.  You will be prompted to submit Associated Files when you upload your submissions.  The names of the files you upload will appear in Cornerstone along with a short description of the file.  Viewers must have the necessary software to open your files.  Please be sure to follow all copyright rules when adding supplementary materials.  Additionally, items such as charts, tables or appendices that are referred to in the main work should be included directly in the work and not posted as a supplementary file.
  12. For names of files, use the following guidelines:
    • Create unique file names.  Duplicate file names will cause problems.  Include your full name (last, first, middle) and educational program/department along with a short word describing the work and the date.  For example:
      • Smith_Jane_Anne_History_Thesis_2014.pdf 
      • Smith_John_Henry_Physical_Education_APP__2012.pdf
      • Smith_John_David_Honors_Seminar_Paper_2013.pdf
      • Smith_James_Richard_Art_History_Senior_Thesis_2014.pdf
      • Smith_Rebecca_Lynn_URS_Poster_2011.pdf
    • Avoid using special characters.  Special characters are often reserved for use by the operating system.  
    • Use underscores (_) or dashes (-) to represent spaces.  Spaces are often reserved for operating system functions and might be misread. 
    • Use leading zeros with the numbers 0-9 to facilitate proper sorting and file management.  Use leading zeros if the file name includes numbers that use zeros as placeholders.  For example, if there is a collection with 897 images submitted, start with 001, 002, 003, etc.
      • Smith_LeAnn_Joyce_Research_Germany_Photograph_001.tif
      • Smith_LeAnn_Joyce_Research_Germany_Photograph_002.tif
      • Smith_LeAnn_Joyce_Research_Germany_Photograph_003.tif
      • Smith_LeAnn_Joyce_Research_Germany_Photograph_897.tif
    • Dates should follow the ISO 8601 standard of YYYY-MM-DD or YYYYMMDD.  Variations include YYYY, YYYY-MM, YYYY-YYYY.  This maintains chronological order.  For example:
      • Smith_Steven_Robert_Education_Dataset_2002-03-20.csv
      • Smith_Steven_Robert_Education_Dataset_2002-04-12.csv
      • Smith_Steven_Robert_Education_Dataset_2012-05-30.csv
    • Always include the three character file extension preceded with a period (Example: .pdf or .tif). 
  13. Cornerstone User Responsibilities
    • All users must respect the intellectual property rights of the creator.
    • Works included in Cornerstone may be downloaded for limited educational and research purposes provided due attribution is given to the author/creator. 
    • Works may not be copied, distributed, altered, displayed, or used for commercial purposes, unless specified by an author’s/creator’s Creative Commons license. 

(created: Library Services’ Digitization Taskforce, 2014/01/09, revised: 2014/01/15, 2014/02/10)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License