How you can use IDEALS and why you should

Updated from the original post 9/24/2014 on the Prairie Research Institute Library’s  blog, “News from the Library”, in honor of  Preservation Week.  

ideals-logo_339x701Illinois 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 75,000 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 5,700 works in our growing community, which is one of the largest departmental communities in IDEALS.  There were more than 25,000 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.

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 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?  When publishers allow it, depositing into an institutional repository is one way authors can legally provide open access to their work without paying additional fees to the publisher.   The IDEALS record can include a link to the final published version of the article, and the manuscript in IDEALS allows any researcher at any institution to read and cite 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.  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.

Further reading and resources:

Note:  The Illinois Data Bank provides curation services specifically for data, including DataCite DOIs.  Launched in May 2016 as a service of the Illinois Research Data Service, the Illinois Data Bank is the University of Illinois’ preservation repository for data.