Skip to Main Content

University Library



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

Access and Use Policy

Permanent link to current and past versions of the IDEALS Access and Use Policy

This document outlines the access and use policies of the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS), the institutional repository of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

IDEALS contains research and scholarship produced by faculty, researchers, graduate students, and, in selected cases, undergraduates at the University of Illinois, as well as material that reflects the intellectual environment of the campus. It also accepts scholarly publications produced on campus (such as the School of Information Science’s Library Trends). Only UIUC faculty, staff, graduate students, and affiliates have access to deposit material into IDEALS. The IDEALS Collection Policy contains more detailed information about who can deposit and what types of material are eligible.

The IDEALS Service Level Definition contains more information about when the service is available for use and what hours are reserved for maintenance.

Dissemination of Content

A primary mission of IDEALS is to provide access to the research and scholarship produced at the University of Illinois in order to give it the widest possible recognition. In order to meet this mission, IDEALS disseminates its contents through as many means possible including:

  • Facilitating the indexing of both metadata and items by search engines;

  • Maintaining a data provider in compliance with the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting;

  • Providing RSS feeds for new items added to the collections;

  • Providing persistent Handle identifiers for reliable citing and discovery of the content.

IDEALS is committed to investigation and implementation of new methods for further dissemination of its contents.

Access to Content

By default, all items deposited in IDEALS are available openly to anyone with access to the Internet. It is possible for depositors to place access restrictions on items (see the Access Restriction Policy), but depositors are encouraged to put as few access restrictions as possible on items.

Items are provided via the Internet in at least the original format deposited. When possible and easily automated, items in proprietary formats (such as Microsoft Word) will be converted to formats that can be opened and read using freely available software. IDEALS staff are not currently reviewing automatic conversions for errors or corruptions.

Some items may also be converted to more preservable formats or may be only available in the original format deposited. See the IDEALS Digital Preservation Policy for more specific information about preservation support for items deposited into IDEALS.

If you encounter a problem with a file, notify IDEALS staff at IDEALS staff will try to resolve the problem.

There may be specific cases when an IDEALS Unit (a group responsible for a set of collections in IDEALS) needs more specialized actions taken to ensure the accessibility and reuse potential for deposited items, such as items that represent official student records like dissertations and theses. These cases will be determined and documented on a case by case basis.


Where possible, IDEALS strives to provide a web environment that meets the most recent version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). However, because items are deposited by users, IDEALS is not able to control whether all deposited items are in formats that conform to these guidelines.


All items deposited in IDEALS are under copyright unless otherwise stated. The copyright owner is frequently indicated in the full metadata for the item. If the copyright owner is not stated and if the item is not in the public domain, it should be assumed that the item is protected by copyright, and that the author(s) or publisher is likely to be the copyright owner. If an item is under copyright, a user may reuse the item under normal fair use doctrine. However, it is the user’s responsibility to complete a fair use assessment or obtain any permissions which may be required for subsequent publication or distribution. For more information on making a fair use assessment, see the Copyright Reference Guide.

Some items in IDEALS may be in the public domain or in copyright but made available under a Creative Commons license that explicitly allows specific uses of the content. This information should be in the full metadata for the item and/or stated on the item itself.

For further information please see the Copyright and Intellectual Property policy.

Tracking Use of Content

While IDEALS does track the number of times an item in IDEALS is downloaded as well as search queries (from both search engines as well as those entered into IDEALS itself), we do this in the aggregate and do not release the individual IP address of the machines that visit IDEALS as specified in the University of Illinois Library’s Privacy Policy. Any IP addresses collected are purged after three months.