I was recently asked this question by an academic colleague and realised I didn't know the answer.

Academic X is about to retire from a computer science department and has a set of undergraduate lecture slides he is very proud of. He would like to put them online so they are available to the world. Where can he put them?

The arXiv is not suited to hosting lecture slides. There is wikibooks which is a possibility but the quality isn't great and it is in Wiki markup I believe.

The university he works at has no permanent location to host retired academics' work sadly.

  • 6
    He should first check whether he owns his slides. Many universities take ownership. Assuming he does (or the university waives their rights), he could build a personal website or use slideshare.net
    – user2768
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 11:14
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    @user2768 I should have said, the university are happy to waive their rights apparently.
    – Simd
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 11:15
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    Maybe it is time his/your university did provide permanent web space for faculty as well as emeritus faculty. Some of the stuff produced is very valuable to others and advances the reputation of the university as well as its faculty. Maybe you can explore that option. People already know how to find the person there, I suspect. Why move it to a less visible space if you can avoid it?
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 14:19
  • 3
    @Buffy That would certainly be good but mindless bureaucracy seems to be the obstacle.
    – Simd
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 14:31
  • Does Academic X's institution have a course materials repository (e.g., MIT's OpenCourseWare)? Such a repository would likely be maintained longer than a personal faculty page. Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 22:48

6 Answers 6


Archive.org (not to be confused with arxiv.org) aims to be the world's library. According to its FAQ,

The Internet Archive focuses on preservation and providing access to digital cultural artifacts

It cites the destruction of the Library at Alexandria as the kind of loss of cultural heritage which it aims to avoid, so preserving an academic's teaching material should be perfectly aligned with their goals.

The FAQ also has a large section on uploading content. I suggest you pass that URL along to your colleague.


I would recommend that you put your slides somewhere widely indexed (so, very findable! things that are captured by google scholar, for instance) and run by a non-profit on top of open source software. You ideally also want things that give you a DOI -- a permanent link to your work. This helps us in academia combat the corporate capture of scholarship and can help your work be more widely used/circulated amongst your colleagues!

Here are a few of my suggestions that meet the above criteria:

You could also use DataCite's repository finder to help you search more fruitfully: https://repositoryfinder.datacite.org/

I would also advise you to choose a good license for your work, like CC-By or CC-By-NC. You can read more about creative commons licenses here: https://creativecommons.org/


The lectures could also be collected to be posted on sites such as these.




I might also recommend to compile them in PDF format and find a self-publishing source.





As a wildcard approach, and depends on the content.

But how about somewhere that they can be maintained and developed further, such as Github?

For Comp Sci, this is a well known resource.

Alterantively, if the view is that they are fixed in content, it might be possible to format as a e-Book and publish via Amazon or elsewhere.


It is also possible that your department's Student Association has a website with study material.
The collection at my association includes mostly past-year's exams, but if the slides are actually high quality on their own (without Academic X talking), it could likely be made space for them.


I would suggest creating a personal web page using one of the freely available alternatives such as github/gitlab/bitbucket pages or maybe google sites. This is a free solution which is easy to implement, is indexed by search engines, and allows virtually perpetual storage of the course information.

Having a page dedicated to the course with all the materials gathered together and properly annotated seems to be a better solution compared to keeping a pile of pdfs (or even worse, ppts) at e.g. Slideshare.

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