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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

IDEALS: Depositing Materials

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

General Guidelines

All staff, faculty, and graduate students of the University of Illinois can deposit into IDEALS. The benefits of doing this include increased impact and citation of your research, preservation of your material, and the ability to view statistics. 

Generally, the work that you deposit into IDEALS should be wholly, in-part produced, or sponsored by the University of Illinois faculty, researchers, or staff, as well as scholarly, research oriented, and creative. 

If you would like more information, please visit the IDEALS Deposit Guidelines Wiki page

Prepare Files for Deposit

When preparing files for deposit, the IDEALS team recommends that you consider the following questions: 

1. Is the necessary information for a citation contained in the file?

2. Have you included descriptive information (or metadata) in the file itself? 

3. Does your file follow the File Format Recommendations on the IDEALS Wiki page? 

In order to aid accessibility and discoverability of your material, it's important to consider all of the factors above. If you would like more information about preparing for a deposit, please feel free to visit the Prepare Files for Deposit section on the IDEALS Wiki page. 

Uploading Multiple Files

You may wish to upload multiple files if:

  • the files are all related and make up a single research "item" (e.g. a PowerPoint presentation and the text of a talk given at a conference).
  • the files rely on each other to function properly or be understood (e.g. an XML document may rely on a particular DTD or Schema to validate and understand it)

You should not upload multiple files at once in cases similar to the following:

  • the files you are uploading have different authors, titles, or publication information
  • you want each of the files to have a different persistent link within IDEALS
  • you want to upload all of your research papers

In the latter cases, these files should go through a separate process. If the batch deposit process is something you are interested in, please contact 


If you have a collection of items that you would like to donate to the library and that you would like to be digitized or if you have a collection of library materials that you would like to be digitized, please see the Digitization Services Guide. If metadata does not already exist in the Library Catalog, it is the responsibility of the depositor to provide the metadata necessary, which would then be reviewed by the IDEALS team.

For more information about metadata best practices, please visit the IDEALS Best Practices Wiki. Please contact us for specific metadata requirements and a spreadsheet template.  

Deposit an Item

Before you can submit a file, you must log into IDEALS so that your name appears in the top left corner of the page. Click "Submit an Item" and follow the prompts.

At any point in the deposit process, you can stop and save your work by simply leaving the page, or cancel your submission by clicking "Cancel Submission." The data you have already entered will be stored until you come back to the deposit, and you will be reminded on your "Submissions In Progress" page that you have not finished a submission.

When you are in the process of submitting an item, your work is saved automatically.

To deposit an item:

1. Click "Submit an Item"

2. Review and Agree to the IDEALS Deposit Agreement

3. Select the Unit and Collection You Would Like to Deposit Into

4. Select the Access Level Your Submission Will Have

5. Assign Metadata to Your Submission

6. Attach Files to Your Submission

7. Submission Complete!

For more detailed information on depositing items, please visit the Deposit Guidelines on the IDEALS Wiki page. 

Best Metadata Practices

ISO 8601 Comic

It is important to provide consistent and quality metadata in IDEALS. There are certain conventions to use when entering metadata into IDEALS that will help users find materials and staff manage items (for example, track what series numbers are missing).

The Title, Date of Publication, Type of Resource, and Subject Keyword fields are required; you can refer to the Metadata Policy page or the Metadata Best Practices Guide for more information about which fields are used in IDEALS. Any other information that you enter will depend on your item. The more metadata you provide, the more ways your item can be found through a search. 


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