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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Open Access at Illinois: Policy and Resources

Information for UIUC researchers about open access, including about the university policy on Open Access to Research Articles, approved by the UIUC Faculty Senate on October 19, 2015.

Introduction to Open Access

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone, anywhere, can access and use these results.

The rise of Open Access is a response to the mismatch between a) the possibilities for communicating research in the digital age and b) the current print-based model employed to communicate this research. In an era when access and reuse restrictions have become artificial, state, federal, and private research funders are increasingly scrutinizing the practices of the legacy publishers who effectively sequester new research findings from most of the world population.

The University of Illinois is part of the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship (HELIOS), a cohort of colleges and universities committed to collective action to advance open scholarship within and across their campuses. Read more about our involvement and related resources.


IDEALS, the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship, collects, disseminates, and provides persistent and reliable access to the research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students at Illinois and may be used by faculty to disseminate preprints under the faculty open access policy. 

Faculty, staff, and graduate students can deposit their research and scholarship—unpublished and, in many cases, published—directly into IDEALS. Departments can use IDEALS to distribute their working papers, technical reports, or other research material. Doctoral dissertations submitted to the graduate college are also made available through IDEALS.


Scholarly Communication and Publishing offers workshops and consultation services on issues related to copyright. While we cannot offer legal advice, we can help you to identify information and issues you may want to consider in addressing your copyright question. Information provided on the site, unless otherwise noted, is based only on U.S. Copyright law. Copyright law in other countries may vary from that of the United States.