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OpenScholar is an open source web site building and content management tool intended for personal pages for educators, researchers, administrators and fellows.

To request a site, please fill out the form below.

FAQs about OpenScholar at Princeton

What is OpenScholar?

OpenScholar was developed at Harvard University as a platform for personal academic sites and academic project sites. It was built on the open-source content management tool, Drupal. Harvard now offers OpenScholar as an open-source web site building tool. Princeton has installed the latest version of Harvard’s OpenScholar.

What is OpenScholar at Princeton?

The Educational Technologies Center in OIT hosts a version of Harvard’s OpenScholar platform, branded for Princeton.

Is there a charge for an OpenScholar site at Princeton?

No, the service is free, although we many request a project grant number for verification. There are no space quotas, but the platform is not intended to store large file types.

Who can get an OpenScholar site at Princeton?

Faculty, administrative staff, and researchers are eligible for a site hosted on OpenScholar.

What level of technical expertise do you need to make an OpenScholar site?

OpenScholar sites rely upon existing templates to make an easy-to-use platform for personal academic sites and academic project sites. The end user can select a design template, a menu structure, and a list of features to include in his or her personal site. Because there is almost no interaction between the end user and the site infrastructure, only a very basic grasp of filling in web forms is needed for a successful OpenScholar site. You don’t need to know HTML, Drupal, PHP, CSS -- or any other web-development tools-- to use the templates. Layout of site components is controlled by dragging and dropping icons, and features can be enabled or disabled by clicking. Content is entered by uploading or by filling in simple forms.

What tools do I need to edit an OpenScholar site?

The OpenScholar editing tools are browser-based and work well in Chrome and Firefox. The development team at Harvard has this to say about Internet Explorer:

Internet Explorer should display OpenScholar correctly to visitors. The vsite admin pages aren't guaranteed to work in IE, so for managing content Firefox or Chrome is the way to go. We'd love to be able to offer better support for IE users, but we're almost exclusively using Mac and Linux, so testing themes for IE is impossible.

 It is recommended that you use a browser other than IE to edit your OpenScholar site. Visitors to your site will see your site correctly no matter what browser they use.

Is OpenScholar the same as Drupal?

No, not all the features of Drupal are included in the OpenScholar interface. OpenScholar uses some of the Drupal framework to make it easy to build a personal academic website featuring biography, CV, classes, publications, and other items often found in a typical academic profile. OpenScholar is currently built on Drupal 6, and not the latest version of Drupal, currently Drupal 7. Upgrades are expected in future.

If a user requires more flexibility, it is possible to install the full version of Drupal 7 in a personal account at Princeton, and to have complete control over the installation.

Can I get a custom OpenScholar domain?

All OpenScholar sites are hosted in the same installation, and the individual sites are named accordingly. For example:

OpenScholar is not intended to be a vehicle for personal sites, or commerce. The OpenScholar sites at Princeton must comply with the style requirements that govern websites at Princeton. There are restrictions on advertising, endorsements, and selling.

What control do I have within my own OpenScholar site?

You are the sole administrator of your own site, and can control the appearance, content and permissions for your site. It is possible to add other users as members or administrators of your site.

I would like an OpenScholar site for my lab/project/studio/other academic“group”

Your personal academic site on OpenScholar at Princeton is tied to your netid. It is possible to request a non-person account for projects or other group efforts, so that the OpenScholar site reflects that the site belongs to a particular group. If you are interested in setting up a project site, please contact us at ETC. Note that the templates are the same as for personal sites, so it may be that another solution will work better for your project. An OpenScholar site for a project would be named something like:

What is included in an OpenScholar site?

There are modules for the following types of content. Each is a separate page on your site:

  • Bio/ CV
  • Software
  • Calendar
  • Classes
  • Blog
  • Announcements
  • Documents
  • Links
  • Images
  • Feeds
  • Publications
  • Colleagues

The names of these modules can be changed to suit your preference, but the tools used to enter content will expect certain file types. For example, if you change “Publications” to “What I'm Reading,” the upload tool will still expect a recognized bibliographic format. You can't change the fundamental nature of the type of content expected in each module.

Mailing Lists (for Princeton University faculty and staff only)

These lists are only for use by Princeton University faculty and staff.

The OpenScholarNews list contains infrequent system announcements.  Posts are repeated to the OpenScholarSupport list.  To join the OpenScholarNews list, send an email to with "JOIN OpenScholarNews" in the body of the email and leave the subject blank.

The OpenScholarSupport list is verbose and contains questions, suggestions, and support from all members of Princeton's OpenScholar community. To join the OpenScholarSupport list, send an email to  with "JOIN OpenScholarSupport" in the body of the email and leave the subject blank.

Request an OpenScholar website