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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.

Collection Policy

Permanent link to current and past versions of the IDEALS Collection Policy

The Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship is the institutional repository for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. IDEALS is a set of collections and related services that centralizes, preserves, and provides persistent and reliable access to the research output, scholarship, and creative works of UIUC’s faculty, academic staff, and students. IDEALS is a joint initiative of the University Library and Technology Services, under sponsorship of the Office of the Provost. In common with all institutional repositories, it holds digital content, is unit-driven and focused, is supported by the university, and is both durable and permanent. IDEALS serves to complement traditional scholarly publications such as refereed articles and conference papers, as well as provide the opportunity to capture emerging research and the intellectual environment of the campus.

This collection policy document provides a general framework against which current and future collection decisions can be made. It is intended to be a dynamic and flexible document, responsive to changes in the academic environment and attentive to the work of other campus units and programs such as the University Archives, the Research Data Service, Illinois Experts, and university-supported learning management systems.


The collection will focus on deposits of electronic research, scholarship, and creative works, as well as materials that primarily reflect the intellectual environment of the campus, by academic staff and students of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Contributors may include non-affiliated scholars if they are co-authoring with Illinois authors or are affiliated closely with the University, e.g., are emeritus professors, or hold honorary appointments.

Examples of possible content to be deposited are:

  • Working papers and technical reports

  • Published articles where copyright allows

  • Manuscripts of works-in-progress

  • Digital art

  • Doctoral dissertations and graduate theses 1

  • Undergraduate theses

  • Best paper awards from students

  • Conference papers

  • Journals published on the Illinois campus

  • Faculty course-related output primarily of scholarly interest

  • Learning objects that represent substantive scholarly work

  • Organizational annual reports and newsletters that represent the intellectual work happening within a unit

  • Research datasets 2

  • Audio and visual materials

  • Any other form of research output that can be technically loaded to the repository.

Some items may not currently be accepted for deposit into IDEALS. Reasons for not accepting include:

  • The item does not match the general parameters of research and scholarship produced at the Illinois campus.

  • The item is in a file format that cannot be deposited for technical reasons.

  • The item (or set of items) is of a prohibitive size (as in terabytes). For example, some audiovisual collections may not be accepted due to their size.

  • The item is not able to be deposited because of copyright issues. For example, it may violate a publisher's copyright agreement with an author to deposit a journal article as published (i.e. as a pdf from the publisher's site).

Once content has been deposited into the repository, it will not be removed unless for a compelling reason such as personal safety, research compliance, or copyright violations. See the Digital Content Takedown Request Procedure for the University of Illinois Library for more detail.

Quality Control

In most cases quality control will be handled at the unit or collection level. A unit can be administered by an organizational unit, such as a department or research center, that can determine its own workflows and collection policies so long as they fit within the general collection policy of IDEALS. In the case where a unit/collection is not administered by a specific organizational unit, the Repository Services team will take responsibility for vetting the submissions. This is currently the case for the Illinois Research and Scholarship unit.


IDEALS provides ongoing support for as many file formats as possible with the institutional resources that are available. Works deposited in the institutional repository will be preserved using best practices for data management and digital preservation. The proprietary or executable nature of some file formats, however, may make it impossible to guarantee persistent access to all deposited works as digital technologies evolve. See the IDEALS Preservation Policy for more specific information on preservation policies and categories of support for file formats.


Metadata is information that describes an object, such as a record for a book in the library catalog. A baseline set of metadata fields is defined for all works deposited in IDEALS. Use of the required metadata elements will facilitate user access to archived works and provide the information needed to support ongoing access rights management and preservation activities. See the IDEALS Metadata Policy for requirements and recommendations for metadata.

All U of I theses and dissertations deposited via the Electronic Thesis & Dissertation Submission System have additional metadata requirements that are also described in the Metadata Policy.

Copyright, Intellectual Property, and Digital Rights Issues

IDEALS relies on the directives regarding copyright found in Article III: Intellectual Property of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees General Rules and the Illinois Copyright Policy. The management of digital rights associated with the repository will develop in tandem with University policy and legal requirements. See the IDEALS Copyright and Intellectual Property Policies for current guidelines.

By default, all material in IDEALS is available worldwide. However, material can be restricted if necessary. See the Access Restriction policy for the current policy.

  1. These must be deposited directly to the Graduate College via the ETD submission system. Please do not submit your thesis directly to IDEALS. 
  2. We recommend that research datasets be deposited into our sibling repository, the Illinois Data Bank