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TRACE User Guide

Information for authors and campus units adding research and creative work to TRACE, UT's open repository of scholarship.

TRACE Collection Manager Guide

A collection is a series of works in TRACE managed by a department or program. This guide explains how Collection Managers access TRACE and perform their most important responsibilities.

This page provides direction for Collection Managers of existing collections. If you would like to propose a new collection, please contact

To view or download this guide as a printable PDF, click here.


Logging in to TRACE

  1. Go to
  2. Click My Account from the left-side navigation bar.
  3. Log in using your TRACE username and password (while your TRACE account is separate from your UTK Net ID, for consistency it is recommended you use your UTK-affiliated email to set up your TRACE account as well).
  4. Navigate to your collection. The collections you manage will be listed on your My Account page. You can also access your manager tools on the individual collection pages by clicking Configuration in the dark gray bar at the top of the screen (see screenshot below)

Gray "Configuration" toolbar within TRACE







A Note on File Types

The TRACE system creates a PDF of all uploaded primary files. For example, Word files will be transformed to PDF. Any other file types should be added as supplementary files to a primary file. Please review the "Preparing Files for Upload" page of this guide.


How to Perform 5 Primary Tasks


1. Activate or deactivate submission forms

Collections receive submissions from outside authors in one of two ways: 1) via the Submit Your Work link on the TRACE home page (where they select the right collection from a list of all collections), or 2) via the Submit Your Work link directly on the collection page, which links to a form specific to that collection. As a collection manager you can control the ability for others to submit to your collection through the Submit Your Work link. Some collection managers choose to always keep the window for submissions open. However, if you wish to only have the submission form active during certain times, follow these steps to activate/deactivate the form.

  1. Log in to TRACE, navigate to your collection, and access your Manager tools via the Configuration screen (see above).
  2. Scroll down to the Publishing subheading and check the box next to "Show link to submit form" to activate the submission form for your collection. Uncheck the box to deactivate the submission form.
  3. Click Update ir_series on the left-side navigation to update your collection and ensure all changes display publicly.
  4. Notify to run an overall site update. Your submission form will not be live until the TRACE Administrator runs this site update.


2. Approve and post submissions

Author submissions must be approved by a collection manager before they are published to a TRACE collection. Managers can view all pending submissions from the Manage Submissions link on the My Account page OR from the Manage Submissions tab from your collection’s Configuration page.

  1. Log in to TRACE, navigate to your collection, and access your Manager tools via the Configuration screen (see above).
  2. Click Manage Submissions on the top navigation bar and scroll down to view all submissions waiting for review. Any submission Not yet published will show by default. You can also filter by status using the dropdowns at the top of this screen (All submissions, Published submissions, Withdrawn submissions, etc.).









  1. Click a submission's Title to view the Submission Details page. This page shows additional information and actions you can take.
  2. Use the Post option in the Submission Details sidebar when you are ready to post a submission publicly. Prior to posting you may wish to revise the submission and/or review the submission by clicking the blue hyperlinked PDF at the top of the page.
  3. Click Update ir_series on the left-side navigation to update your collection and ensure all updates display publicly.
  4. Helpful Tip: If your permissions have been set up to receive email alerts, you will automatically receive an email when a submission is ready for viewing. Click the link in the bottom of this email to be taken directly to the submission page within the Configuration screen. If you are not receiving new submission emails, connect with your department administrator or email to have this permission added.


3. Create a submission on behalf of others

  1. Log in to TRACE, navigate to your collection, and access your Manager tools via the Configuration screen (see above).
  2. Click the Upload Submission tab from your collection’s Configuration page.
  3. Complete the Submission form. You can provide as much info as you like (the more, the better), but the fields below are required:
  • Title. Use capitalization appropriate to your field; when in doubt, follow Title Case (i.e., capitalize the first word of the title; the first word of a subtitle; the first word after a colon, dash, or end punctuation; all major words; and words of four letters or more).
  • Author Names. Authors can be either individual names or corporations/institutions. When you begin to type, the name may autopopulate if this author has works in TRACE already. If not, you can manually enter first and last name or corporation/institution. Click the green + to add another author.  Click the people icons on the right to edit or remove an author. Make sure authors are listed in the order on the manuscript; you can reorder authors using the numbers on the left.








  • File Upload. To complete your submission, Use the Browse button to locate and upload the file(s). The most common file formats in TRACE are PDFs, PowerPoints, and videos. See our page on "Preparing Files for Upload: Best Practices" for considerations on file formats.
    • If you provide a Word or RTF file, the system will convert it to PDF. With a PDF, you will receive metrics on the document, and PDFs are the only file type that will activate the blue Download button on an entry (see screenshot below).








  • PowerPoints can be uploaded in one of two ways: 1) save the slides as a PDF and upload the PDF as your primary file. THEN 2) check the Additional Files box toward the bottom of the form and upload your PPT file on the screen that appears after you click Submit.
  • Video files may also be uploaded. If your priority is to preserve a video, either 1) upload it as a primary file, or 2) as a supplementary file if you have an accompanying PDF transcript or caption file. Video files in TRACE should be closed-captioned/accessible. YouTube and Canvas Studio provide auto-caption options. For help with closed captioning your video, contact the OIT HelpDesk.
  • To redirect to a web resource, select Links to Remote Sites and paste the URL in the text box that appears. When you link to a remote site, a Link to Full Text button will appear on the article page instead of a Download button.
  • If you wish to include a file that is publicly accessible, select this option, and paste the URL of the file in the text box that appears.
  1. After completing the submission form, click the Submit button. This will take you to a confirmation screen that summarizes your metadata and lists additional options:
  • Revise Submission: Returns to the submission form so you can make changes.
  • Make Another Submission: Begins a new submission.
  • Manage All Submissions: View and manage all submissions uploaded to the series (choose this if you are not yet ready to publish item(s) live).
  • Publish & Update Selected: If no revisions are necessary, you can publish the item to the repository and make it visible to the public immediately. The “Publish & Update Selected” method combines the post and update steps into one.
  1. When you select the Publish and Update Selected option in Step 4, all items with marked checkboxes will be posted, and a series update will automatically be queued. You will receive an email when the update is complete. To see the changes, you may need to refresh your screen.
  2. From the Configuration screen, click Update ir_series on the left navigation bar to update your site and ensure that all updates display publicly.


4. Revise an existing submission

Community managers occasionally revise existing submissions, either to add information to the entry and/or upload a revised version of the submission. When uploading a revised version, consider the effects on the historical and/or scholarly record, and notice how many downloads have occurred. Uploading a new version may alter the scholarly record and invalidate existing citations. For this reason, you may wish to make the primary file the current file, while also providing access to an earlier version of the current document as a supplementary file. (If you are updating a pre-print with a later version of a manuscript, this is not a revision situation. Each version should be a separate entry in TRACE.)

There are two ways to approach uploading revisions; see the View Revisions section of this Digital Commons help page for more. If you have questions about whether or not to upload a revision, reach out to for guidance.

  1. Log in to TRACE, navigate to your collection, and access your Manager tools via the Configuration screen (see above).
  2. Go to the page of the submission you wish to revise.
  3. Select the Edit Submission option on the gray bar at the top of the screen. This will take you to the Submission Details page.
  4. From the Submission Details page, click Revise Submission on the left-hand sidebar. This will bring you to the editing form.
  5. Edit the elements you need to on the form, and enter a summary of changes made in the Reason for Update field at the bottom. Click Submit.
  6. Update the collection. If the document is already posted to the site, click Update ir_series on the left sidebar to ensure that changes display publicly.
  7. FYI, you can also view a record of previous revisions to a submission by clicking the View Revisions button on the sidebar.


5. Remove or withdraw a submission

Follow these steps to remove a posted submission and/or to withdraw an unposted submission (that needs additional work, was submitted to the wrong collection, etc.).

  1. Log in to TRACE, navigate to your collection, and access your Manager tools via the Configuration screen (see above).
  2. For submissions that have already been posted to your collection, from the Submissions Details page, click Remove Submission on the sidebar.
  • Choose the Do not notify authors button to remove the submission without sending the suggested email. Choose Notify authors to send the suggested email to the email address(es) provided with the submission.
  • Click Remove Submission to complete the removal/withdrawal process.
  1. If you are withdrawing a submission that has been posted, click Update ir_series on the left-side navigation to update your site and ensure all changes display publicly. If the submission had not yet been posted, there is no need to update the site.
  2. Once the series has been updated, the submission’s metadata will remain present at its current URL, but the link to download the file will be replaced with a notice to visitors that this document has been withdrawn. Items yet to be posted will move from the Not yet posted state to the Withdrawn state.


Optional Collection Manager Tasks


Edit your collection page's introductory content

Adding introductory text to the top of your collection landing page is optional (only about 20% of TRACE collections have introductory text). If you decide to include Introductory text, you can edit this text under the Configurations menu.

  1. Log in to TRACE, navigate to your collection, and access your Manager tools via the Configuration screen (see above).
  2. Under the headings Series Configuration and Basic Settings, find the box labeled Introductory Text. Type your message underneath the line of code sitting in the box by default. HTML formatting should be used in all fields on the Configuration menu. HTML formatting allows you to create bold, italic, and underlined text, as well as include links in the body of your introductory text. If you are unfamiliar with HTML, see the HTML and Coding Tips document located at for help.
  3. The Introductory Text field is likely the only one you need to edit, but below are other Configurations fields you may wish to utilize:
  • Extra sidebar link URL: Use this field to add a link to your department or program homepage. This link will appear on the left-hand navigation list on your collection homepage.
  • Extra sidebar link display label: This is the text that displays for the extra sidebar link URL.
  1. Once you have made your changes, click Submit Changes at the bottom or top of the Configuration screen. Your submitted updates will be confirmed and detailed at the top of the screen.
  2. Click Update ir_series on the left-hand navigation bar to push the updates through. You’ll receive an email once the site has updated (you may need to refresh your screen for your updates to appear).


Troubleshooting / FAQ


I don’t see the gray bar with the Configuration button at the top of my screen.

  1. Double check that you are logging in to TRACE with the same email under which you were given Collection Manager privileges.
  2. Make sure you are on the correct collection page.
  3. Refresh your screen.
  4. If you still do not see the gray Configuration bar, email with the URL of your collection and your TRACE login email. The TRACE administrator will doublecheck your permissions and provide further assistance.


Why can’t I see my collection updates?

There are a few reasons you might not see changes made to your collections:

  1. You have not performed a site update. Any changes require TWO updates. You must “Submit Changes” and then “Update ir_series” on the left-hand menu of the Configuration screen.
  2. The site is still updating. Updates can take several minutes.
  3. The update is complete, but you have not refreshed your screen. Refresh your screen to view your changes.


I’m looking for guidance on more advanced functions. Are other resources available?

Our TRACE User Support page has a host of documents for each type of TRACE contributor, including Collection Managers. 

The Community Manager FAQ on the TRACE User Support page may answer more of your questions about being an administrator/collection manager. For assistance with additional functions, feel free to email


I don’t get it! Who can I contact for help?

You have two key contacts for technical assistance with TRACE:

  1. TRACE Administrator (in UT Libraries): The TRACE Administrator can add/edit managers, assign permissions, and help with basic navigation and troubleshooting.
  2. TRACE/Digital Commons Consultant: can provide scheduled TRACE orientations/training, offer technical assistance, help with more advanced tasks, and perform more complex functions within TRACE.