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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.

What is an IDEALS Unit?

A ”Unit” in IDEALS is a scholarly entity (e.g. a department, institute, or research center) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that produces research and scholarly work (as defined in the IDEALS Collection Policy) and has made the commitment to meet all Unit responsibilities documented below. Each Unit must have at least one person who can act as a liaison with the IDEALS staff. Units that do not fall into this definition will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To request a Unit be created, please contact IDEALS staff at

What are the responsibilities of a Unit administrator?

The IDEALS staff reserves the right to review Unit decisions to ensure consistency with IDEALS policies and guidelines. A Unit administrator agrees to:

  • Make decisions about their own Unit and Collection definitions, including:

    • Defining Unit, Sub-Unit and Collection names and descriptions;

    • Defining Unit, Sub-Unit and Collection access policies;

    • Defining who may submit content within the Unit;

    • Categorizing items into Collections; and

    • Defining each Collection's item submission workflow.

  • Understand and observe all IDEALS policies;

  • Educate Community depositors regarding IDEALS policies, as well as Unit policies and procedures; and

  • Designate at least one representative who will act as a Unit Liaison between the IDEALS staff and the Unit administrator.

What responsibilities does a Unit Liaison take on?

A Unit Liaison agrees to:

  • Act as the main contact for their Unit

  • Act as a liaison between Unit members and the IDEALS staff;

  • Join a low-volume "IDEALS-Announce" listserv which will allow the IDEALS Staff to notify them of upcoming changes to IDEALS;

  • Reply to annual reconfirmation of Unit information; and

  • Understand and observe all IDEALS policies.

What responsibilities does IDEALS take on for a Unit?

IDEALS agrees to:

  • Ensure items in the Unit are preserved according to the IDEALS Preservation Policy;

  • Provide permanent and reliable access to Unit items;

  • Distribute content according to IDEALS and Unit policies;

  • Educate Unit Liaisons and Administrators on using IDEALS and IDEALS policies and guidelines;

  • Provide support and guidance to Unit Liaisons and Administrators for any Unit related questions;

  • As necessary, work with Unit representatives to deposit large numbers of items at once; and

  • Notify Unit administrators of significant changes to content management, software, and policies and procedures.

What rights does a Unit retain?

A Unit retains the right to:

  • Withdraw items from their collections (This is not permanent deletion which can only be done by IDEALS administrators);

  • Request that a Collection be deleted (these will be decided on a case-by-case basis) ;

  • Request items or Collections be shared with another Unit (if the Collection or items cross Unit "boundaries");

  • Receive an exported list of metadata for all items in a Unit’s collections;

  • Customize Unit and Collection interfaces, based on available IDEALS functionality;

  • Define their own Collection policies within the scope of IDEALS policies;
  • Define their own item submission workflow for each Collection.

What rights does IDEALS retain regarding Units?

IDEALS retains the right to:

  • Ensure any Unit's organizational structure, Collection policies and workflows are consistent with IDEALS policies and guidelines;

  • Review, amend, and redistribute metadata for any items in IDEALS;

  • Refuse or withdraw any items that do not comply with the IDEALS Collection Policy;

  • Reassign control of a Unit which has been abandoned, in order to ensure its collections continue to be managed;

  • Perform any necessary format changes to items to ensure the preservation of content, based on the IDEALS Preservation Policy;

  • Charge a fee for activities requiring extensive centralized support by the IDEALS staff (decided on a case-by-case basis); and

  • Renegotiate terms of any agreements between IDEALS and Units.