Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS) is our institutional repository, which “collects, disseminates, and provides persistent and reliable access to the research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.” IDEALS was initiated in 2004, based upon recommendations from from CITES and the University Library. The first file deposits were made in September 2005. There are currently more than 50,000 works in IDEALS. IDEALS is part of the University Library‘s holistic digital preservation program.
The Prairie Research Institute has a community in IDEALS which holds our in-house publications and reports. There are currently more than 3,700 works in our growing community, which is one of the largest departmental communities in IDEALS. There were more than 10,000 downloads of Prairie Research Institute content this month alone. IDEALS is not just for departments, however. IDEALS is available for all students, staff, and faculty to use as an archive of their work. Guidelines for deposit into IDEALS are below, and are presented in detail on the IDEALS website:
- Work to be deposited should be “wholly or in part produced or sponsored by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty, researchers, staff, or students.”
- Work should be “finished;” that is, you should not intend to edit files once deposited.
- Work should comply with the IDEALS copyright and intellectual property policy.
- Files of all types are accepted, but note that certain formats are more amenable to long-term preservation in IDEALS.
Services provided by IDEALS include persistent URLs (handles) for deposited works, long-term preservation of files, high visibility in web searches, full text searching, and download monitoring for deposited works. Although open sharing of deposited content is recommended, it is permissible to restrict access completely, to specific user groups, or for a specified “embargo” period.
Here are some ways you can use IDEALS, and reasons to do so:
- Archive your presentations. You can share your presentation with colleagues immediately and in perpetuity by depositing slides and text into IDEALS.
Why do this? Some conference or workshop proceedings are never published, or are published only partially or temporarily. Archiving and sharing from IDEALS insures a permanent home and persistent link for your presentation files.
- Archive your data. IDEALS is not limited to text documents only. You can archive research data as well. While IDEALS cannot host complex relational databases and user interfaces, it is possible to archive preservation copies of data, along with descriptive and technical metadata to facilitate sharing and re-use.
Why do this? Many funding agencies now require plans for sharing and long-term preservation of data for the projects they fund. Depositing your data into IDEALS can satisfy both of these objectives. Archiving data in IDEALS ensures it will be available to you and other researchers in perpetuity. Even if your data are constantly updated and rely on a complex interface for user access from your website, IDEALS offers a home for preservation copies of your data as insurance against loss or corruption of locally maintained files.
- Archive your manuscripts. Most publishers do not allow authors to post the final published version of their own articles on their websites or networking tools such as ResearchGate (see Can you post your article on your profile?). Many publishers do, however, allow authors to deposit accepted, post-review, corrected manuscripts into institutional or disciplinary repositories. You can check publisher policies on institutional repository deposit and other author rights matters in the SHERPA/RoMEO directory, and by carefully reviewing publisher copyright transfer agreements, preferably before signing your rights away.
Why do this? Depositing is one way authors can legally provide open access to their work without paying additional fees to the publisher, where the publisher allows it. The IDEALS record can include a link to the final published version of the article, but the manuscript in IDEALS allows any researcher at any institution to access your work, even if they do not have access to the journal.
- Link to your work in IDEALS from your online vita or website. Use IDEALS links to provide access to your work from your own web pages rather than storing files locally.
Why do this? The IDEALS record has a persistent URL, so you will never need to update the link. Using the IDEALS infrastructure, which is supported at the campus level, saves local server space and maintenance cost.
- Request an IDEALS community for your research program. Related works can be gathered into communities and collections, and your librarian can help you with organization and deposit strategies. Ask your librarian to create a community to gather the work from your research program into one place in IDEALS.
Why do this? Gathering your program output into one community provides a single place for users to access your research, and it allows you to track downloads of all program work in aggregate.
If you are a Prairie Research Institute researcher who would like assistance with IDEALS deposits and making the most of IDEALS, please contact us.
Further reading and resources: