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WPI Student Projects: Submission Process: Policies

Submission policy

WPI requires that all undergraduate students submit their Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) and Major Qualifying Project (MQP) electronically. The final report must be converted to a PDF format for submission. The final PDF is required, and students have the option of submitting additional related files such as simulations, computer programs, multimedia, and data sets as a component of the project. (Reference: resolution of the WPI faculty in February, 2007).

Copyright policy

According to WPI’s copyright policy, student authors retain copyrights to their project reports. "As a condition of study or a degree award, each student is required to grant WPI a non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-commercial license to reproduce and publicly distribute, including by electronic means, copies of the student’s work in which the student retains copyright." (Reference: WPI Intellectual Property policy).


Embargo policy

WPI has made a commitment to share student projects as openly as possible. There are rare circumstances that allow for temporary or permanent exceptions. The decision to restrict access to a project will be made at the discretion of the project advisor(s) in consultation with the project student(s) involved, but access to primary project reports shall only be restricted when:

  • The project report contains information that has the potential to support a successful patent application; or
  • The project report contains information deemed by the project’s sponsoring organization to be of a confidential nature.

At the time of submission, primary reports for IQPs and MQPs may be restricted to WPI access or withheld from all access for up to three years with a possible extension for up to two more years, with a total maximum embargo of five years. The advisor will be notified by Digital WPI administrators several times prior to the expiration of an embargo period, to allow them to request a renewal if appropriate.

For any supplementary files, a restriction can be for 1, 2, or 3 years, or access may be restricted for an indefinite period of time.

Redaction policy (removal of confidential information)

An alternative to a full embargo of a project is to place a temporary hold of up to 180 days on the publication of the report, in order to give the sponsor time to work with the advisor to redact (remove) confidential information from the report.  The redacted report can then be published without requiring an embargo. The redaction option is appropriate when a relatively small amount of confidential content (names, tables, graphs, photographs) should be withheld.

If the sponsor identifies confidential material in the report, the advisor is responsible for ensuring that a new copy of the report is prepared for submission to the Registrar with the appropriate material removed. A note should appear in the revised report to indicate where redacted material was removed and that the material was confidential in nature. No other changes (additions/deletions) shall be made to the report.

The sponsor must provide requested redactions within a limited period of time, with a preference for 30, 60 or 90 days but a maximum of 180. If they do not respond to requests for redactions, the project will be published without redactions, unless an extension of the 180-day maximum is approved by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. (WPI Faculty resolution, January 2008)

Correction and revision policy

Once the submitted project has been approved by the advisor and released to Digital WPi by the Registrar’s Office, it is considered an academic record and cannot be edited, with the exceptions of changes outlined below, made to support privacy and confidentiality, including name changes.

Any other corrections to submitted works should be submitted in the form of a correcting addendum, to be approved by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. (Reference: resolution of the WPI faculty in February, 2007).

Privacy, confidentiality, and name change policy

Removing sensitive information before publication

Sensitive information, which may include names or addresses of interviewees, or other private or confidential information that should not be made accessible worldwide, should NOT be included in the final project PDF submission. Some students choose to separate appendixes and restrict portions of the project report; others decide not to upload personal/private information at all.

Removing sensitive information after publication: undergraduate works

WPI is committed to protecting the personal privacy and confidentiality of its student authors, former students, and members of the extended WPI community, including sponsors, interviewees, or collaborators. For example, a student author or alumnus may wish to change their displayed name on the title page of their project; or an interviewee may wish to withhold their name from being associated with a private address.

When a need for changes in submitted undergraduate works to address privacy or confidentiality is brought to our attention, WPI will make reasonable and timely efforts to address that need by replacing submitted undergraduate student works with redacted or revised works.

In the case of name change requests, the change does not need to reflect the requestor’s past or current legal name(s).

All changes that result in replacing an original file with a redacted or revised version will be reviewed confidentially by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or their designee, for their approval.

To request a privacy- or confidentiality-related change in an undergraduate student work published on Digital WPI

Please contact the administrators at to describe your request. The library will work confidentially with the requestor to document the changes needed, seek confidential approval from the office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and agree on a process for creating a revised replacement document.

The author is responsible for contacting coauthors, advisors, or others if they want them to know about the change(s) requested.

Digital WPI administrators will keep a private record of the change(s) made, as part of our archival responsibility, but we will not share this information with others without your permission. To uphold the library’s commitment to archival integrity, original submissions will be retained in a non-public administrative archive, and the file replacement will be documented in confidential administrative records.

NOTE: This policy for undergraduate works was approved by WPI faculty in April 2023. The policy was developed with the advocacy and support of WPI faculty members, senior WPI administrators for their support and advocacy; and students. The policy was informed by the pathbreaking work of Dartmouth University’s digital repository staff in creating and sharing their policies for making changes to support author privacy and confidentiality in the case of name changes; and the leadership of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in researching, advocating, and supporting name change policies and practices among academic publishers.

Changing names or other descriptions of submitted works (metadata)

The WPI Library routinely corrects, amends, adds, or otherwise revises metadata describing works in Digital WPI, including student works, to enhance accuracy and improve retrievability of the works. All users of Digital WPI including authors are welcome to suggest such changes by contacting Digital WPI at

We recognize that personal names used in Digital WPI descriptive information may not reflect preferred, lived, or corrected names. We welcome requests for changes in displayed names in the descriptions of works, from all authors, advisors, or contributors to materials in Digital WPI. No justification is required for a requestor’s name change to be implemented. The change does not need to reflect the requestor’s past or current legal name(s).

To request that your name be changed in the description of materials in Digital WPI, email the Digital WPI administrators at ) with the following information:

  1. Name(s) currently listed on your works in Digital WPI, and role (ie author, advisor, contributor)
  2. Complete list of materials with the previously used name on them, with a link to each item
  3. The new name that you would like to be used in describing the materials
  4. Whether you want us to retain the previous name in addition to the new name

Once we receive a request, we will change the name as requested on the item record(s). This can usually be done quickly (within a few days or weeks at the most).

It is also possible for us to add a preferred, new, or lived name but also to retain a previously used name in the metadata for your work.

You are responsible for contacting your coauthors, advisors, or others, if you want them to know about the change(s) you’ve requested.

Digital WPI administrators will keep a private record of the change(s) made, as part of our archival responsibility, but we will not share this information with others without permission from the requestor.