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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


This guide has information on how to deposit and access IDEALS materials for individuals and collection administrators.

General Questions

To create an account, any student, staff, or faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign need only to log in with their NetID and password. If you are not affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, you can register with your email address. Some items have a restricted or closed access designations, for more information on what this means, please visit the Access Restriction Policy on the IDEALS Wiki. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to email the IDEALS team or visit the IDEALS FAQ Wiki page


1. Can I access a dissertation/thesis or other work that has been embargoed or restricted by the author until a certain date? 

Some items have been completely embargoed by its author for a period of two years - you may want to try to contact the author directly until then.

2. I am not affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Can I still deposit something into IDEALS?

Unfortunately, no. However, if you happen to be:

- affiliated with a program here (such as the Ethnography of the University Initiative)

- published in a journal (or other publication) through the University of Illinois (such as Library Trends)

- co-author a publication with a University of Illinois researcher

- involved in inter-university research with the University of Illinois

- affiliated with a conference held or hosted through the University of Illinois,

then the material may be deposited into IDEALS. If you meet one of these criteria, please send us an email ( with contact information both for yourself and your University of Illinois colleague.


Alternatively, you might check to see if your own institution has a digital repository, or you can deposit your materials in


Electronic Theses and Dissertations FAQs

1. I graduated a long time ago and lost my thesis/dissertation. I found it in IDEALS, but I don’t have a netID to access it. Can you send me a copy?

Since you own the copyright to your work, we would be glad to send you a PDF. Please send an email to to make the request and consider whether or not you would like to make it publicly accessible as well so that other people may read it. 

2. I came across this dissertation/thesis and would like to use it. Can I access it and use the download with my company/research etc.?  

You are welcome to download an article and make use of it as you would like under the fair use doctrine.

4. Can I request access to a thesis/dissertation my deceased relative (mother/father/uncle/grandfather/etc.) wrote?

Normally our legacy dissertations and theses (those that have been scanned and digitized) are restricted to the University of Illinois community.  However, in situations where you are the copyright inheritor, we can send you a PDF of your relative's thesis/dissertation. The copyright of most dissertations pass down to surviving family members (unless otherwise indicated by legal documents).  As a result, your family now has the option of making this dissertation openly available to anyone - we encourage open access whenever possible! To make this request, please email 

5. I graduated from University of Illinois and would like to extend the restriction/embargo on my dissertation/thesis. Can you keep it locked for a longer period of time?

This depends on when you graduated and what the current status of your thesis is. Different actions are needed depending on whether you are more or less than 2 years past graduation and whether your thesis is University of Illinois restricted or totally closed. For more details about access, please visit the Graduate College's Release Options page

To request restricted access for your dissertation, please fill out this PDF Request Form and email it to When approved, we will restrict your dissertation for two years. 

6. As a thesis advisor, can I request access to my student's closed access thesis? 

Because your student selected to make their thesis closed access during the deposit process, the thesis will not be available to anyone for a period of two years, as mentioned in the Graduate College’s Release Options page.

If you would like access to the student’s thesis, please contact the student directly and ask them for a copy. If the student does not have a copy of their thesis, they can email us ( to request a PDF. Alternatively, you can contact the Thesis Office, who might be able to provide you with a direct link to the item. 

Contact Information

The best way to contact the IDEALS team is by email (