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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee Libraries announces the launch of Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange (, a digital repository which will expand access to the university’s intellectual capital and help preserve the creative work of its scholars and researchers.

Open access services like Trace provide free online access to scholarly work and apply tags that make that work more discoverable by Internet search engines. UT faculty are invited to enhance the research impact of their work by depositing it with Trace.

Trace lets any UT faculty, staff or student save their work in the database regardless of genre or format — pre-prints, datasets, multimedia, conference presentations, technical reports, image collections, public performances, theses and dissertations — through an easy-to-use Web interface. UT-affiliated persons can deposit their work in the database, and anyone with Internet access can view the content. Trace depositors keep their copyright ownership and may, at the same time, extend nonexclusive rights for noncommercial use.

Trace operates through the Digital Commons service developed by Berkeley Electronic Press, which was founded in 1999 by academics to address specific needs and concerns of researchers. In addition to its user-friendly Web interface, Trace enables faculty to create individual Web pages highlighting their scholarship. Trace reports to authors how often their individual works are accessed. Other features facilitate the publishing of electronic journals and the hosting of conferences.

“University publishing services enhance our international collaboration and global academic networks,” said UT Knoxville Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Martin.

Brad Fenwick, UT Knoxville vice chancellor for research and engagement, added, “This program offers a collaborative digital space to explore new forms of scholarship and make work more discoverable.” Both the UT Office of the Provost and the Office of Research are sponsors of the institutional repository, along with the University Libraries and the UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Science Alliance.

Agencies that fund research are requiring broader public access to the research they support, including the datasets upon which findings are based.

“Electronic publishing has profoundly affected research and teaching. Trace makes UT scholarly and creative work highly visible and easily accessible to current and future scholars,” said University Libraries Dean Barbara Dewey. “The service showcases UT’s academic quality.”

Linda Phillips, head of scholarly communication at the UT Libraries, chairs a Trace advisory group that has created a set of preliminary policies.

“Campus digital publishing and preservation services are still evolving,” Phillips said. Phillips and Roger Weaver, the Trace administrator, are offering several orientation and training sessions during the academic year. Questions from individuals or departments about Trace should be directed to Learn more about Trace by visiting

C O N T A C T :

Linda Phillips, (865-974-4702,