Skip to Main Content

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.

Accepted Material, Format, and Preservation

What kinds of materials/content can I put into IDEALS?

IDEALS accepts all kinds of scholarly research materials and content including preprints, previously published material (if possible), working papers, technical reports, presentations, data sets, as well as other scholarship not usually submitted for peer-reviewed publications. The work submitted must be in a form ready for distribution. See the Collection Policy and the Deposit Guidelines for more information.


What formats can I deposit into IDEALS?

IDEALS will take whatever file format your research is in. However, whenever possible, we prefer to receive files that fit our file format recommendations


Can I upload video and audio files into IDEALS?

IDEALS will accept audio and video files - we have no format restrictions in the repository. However, at this point we cannot offer streaming of the video and audio files; audio and video will be available for download only. Also, depending on where you are uploading material, you may find that the size of the file may prevent you from uploading the material directly into IDEALS. IDEALS staff will upload large files directly into IDEALS. Contact for more information.


How does IDEALS decide the ranking of file formats for preservation?

IDEALS ranks file formats based on how "preservable" we feel they are, and how comfortable we are with maintaining each format. In particular, we are looking for all the following in formats ranked with the Highest Preference:

  • Is openly documented;
  • Is supported by a range of software platforms;
  • Is widely adopted;
  • Uses lossless data compression (or no compression); and
  • Doesn't contain embedded files or embedded programs/scripts.

Many proprietary formats (e.g. Microsoft Office formats) are not openly documented or viewable using third-party or free software. Based on this, most proprietary formats often are limited to Moderate Preference at best. For more information on our ranking criteria, see our Digital Preservation Support Policy