ScholarWorks Institutional Repository

ScholarWorks is the institutional repository for San Francisco State University as well as the other campuses of the 23-campus California State University system. It is the primary means for collecting, organizing, and sharing theses, dissertations, and creative works authored by SFSU students, in digital format. Other types of student and faculty works are being added such as journal articles, datasets, and open educational resources. The repository contains SFSU theses and dissertations from 2010 to the present as well as some works from previous years, by request of the authors.

Visit ScholarWorks

Using the Print and Microfiche Collections

Printed and bound copies of recent theses and dissertations are available on the 3rd floor, while some older theses can be requested from the Library Retrieval System. Many older works also exist in microfiche format and are located in Special Collections on the 4th floor.

For detailed information on how to find print theses, see our Masters Theses and Ed.D Dissertations Collection page.

Using ScholarWorks

Some works are viewable only to the San Francisco State University community per the author’s request. In these cases, ScholarWorks displays a publicly viewable metadata record for the work. San Francisco State users can log in to download the associated work. Users unaffiliated with San Francisco State who are seeking access to these embargoed works will either need to wait until the embargo period expires, request a copy of the print work through their library’s interlibrary loan service, or contact the author to request a copy.


ScholarWorks allows users to search for items by entering title, author, or keywords into a search box that appears at the top of every screen. 

ScholarWorks search bar

Limiting Search Results

ScholarWorks provides users with the ability to easily limit search results using four predefined filters:

ScholarWorks faceting options

ScholarWorks Scope


In general, the CSU relies on two questions to determine the suitability of scholarship in the ScholarWorks repository: 

  • Has the item/content been produced by the university, or in part by someone affiliated with the university?
  • Was the item/content produced as part of the scholarship and research activities of the institution or those affiliated with it?


In addition to the questions of suitability, it is required that the depositor hold the appropriate permission to share the work, either through: 

  • Copyright 
  • A Creative Commons license 
  • A publisher agreement that allows for sharing in an open access repository


Works submitted to ScholarWorks should also be accessible to people with disabilities. When applicable, documents should contain structural tags, alternative text for graphics and tables, and appropriate color contrast between text and background colors.

For more information on accessibility, see our Accessibility for Theses and Dissertations guide.

Types of Work

The DSC has primarily focused on populating the repository with graduate theses and dissertations but is excited to add any of the following types of work to ScholarWorks:

  • Electronic theses and dissertations
  • Other masters projects such as capstones
  • Data Sets
  • Faculty publications:
    • Preprints
    • Open access published articles
    • Research projects
    • Other scholarly work that an author may wish to share for preservation purposes, maintaining a perpetual record, making work more widely available, or self-archiving to fulfill the requirements of the California Taxpayer Access to Publicly Funded Research Act.
  • Undergraduate work:
    • Poster presentations
    • Conference presentations
    • Articles that are copyright compliant
  • Journals and journal articles*
  • Other types of scholarship affiliated with the university.

*Note that sustainable journals should utilize OJS (Open Journal Systems), a management system designed to facilitate the full publishing lifecycle of a journal.

Submitting Works to ScholarWorks

For more information, see the full CSU Content Scope Policy. If you have any questions or would like a consultation, please email us at

Editing or Withdrawing Works from ScholarWorks

In order to preserve the integrity of the scholarly record, SF State does not generally support the removal of publications after they have been posted to CSU ScholarWorks. However, the university reserves the right to withdraw works due to special circumstances, including the case of submission errors and/or rights violations.

Any withdrawal requests should be made within one semester of graduation and require appeal to the Division of Graduate Studies. Approval by the graduate’s thesis committee may also be required.

Contact the DSC for information on broadening or restricting access to your work.