IDEALS: Making the shift to a service focus at the University of Illinois

Sarah Shreeves

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


IDEALS (Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship, online at is the set of scholarly communication services and collections that use the institutional repository (IR) as infrastructure at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. IDEALS is a joint initiative of the University Library and the Campus Information Technology and Education Services (CITES), the central information technology (IT) unit on the Illinois campus. Since opening its doors in 2006, IDEALS has grown to include over 8,000 items (including published material, gray literature, presentations, data sets, student research, and blog posts) with representation from 60 percent of the colleges and schools on campus. IDEALS now sees approximately 1,400 downloads per day. While IDEALS was originally initiated as a traditional IR, that is, as a repository-centric infrastructure to collect, manage, provide access to, and preserve research produced on campus, the program is slowly and steadily shifting to provide a range of services to support scholarly communication activities in close collaboration with faculty, academic units, and students. This case study provides a brief history of IDEALS and an overview of IDEALS services, infrastructure, policies, and scope, and it discusses some of the services and projects under the scope of IDEALS and reflects on lessons learned.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStarting, Strengthening, and Managing an Institutional Repository
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherNeal-Schumann Publishers
ISBN (Print)978-1-55570-689-0
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • institutional repository
  • academic libraries
  • scholarly communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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