The Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS) , a digital repository for research and scholarship developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has surpassed its one-millionth download.
The service, offered through the University Library and Technology Services , is sponsored by the Office of the Provost at Illinois and was launched in 2006. The campus institutional repository includes articles, working papers, preprints, technical reports, conference papers and, data sets in various digital formats provided by University faculty, staff, and graduate students. Although central to the University of Illinois, anyone can access and benefit from IDEALS collections and services.
“Today, over 12,000 items have been uploaded into IDEALS,” said Sarah Shreeves, associate professor and IDEALS coordinator. “The success of this service has surpassed what anyone envisioned two and a half years ago, and we hope that others in the Illinois community will take advantage of its services.”
The mission of IDEALS is to preserve and provide persistent and reliable access to digital research and scholarship in order to give these works the greatest possible recognition and distribution. IDEALS endeavors to ensure that its materials appear in search engines such as Google, Google Scholar, and Bing and that the majority of the research is openly available for anyone to access. As a result of its efforts to disseminate research produced at the University of Illinois, IDEALS was recently ranked in the top 10 of institutional repositories worldwide.
“I am delighted with the exposure that IDEALS has provided us with. Whenever we place a thesis or a report, the downloads start and never stop. We get many comments back from readers and researchers who have seen our work only on IDEALS,” said Amr Elnashai, head, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
IDEALS contains a wealth of diverse information, from a Mid-America Earthquake Center report on the Kashmir Earthquake of 2005 to the Ethnography of the University Initiative’s publications and presentations, including campus folklore and cultural perceptions.
“I appreciate that my thesis is archived in a stable location for reliable long-term access. The document is now freely available to anyone in the world, yet I retain the copyright,” said David P. Hruska, an Illinois graduate. “Furthermore, my thesis is now displayed in search results returned by Google Scholar, improving the dissemination of my research.
“This depository has been exceptionally helpful in preserving in an easily-accessed archive, the extensive field data sets I accumulated over a 25-year period,” said Lowell Getz, professor emeritus, Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution (now Animal Biology) at the University of Illinois. “There are no other such data sets and most likely never will be again.”
For more information about, or to access, the IDEALS digital repository, visit www.ideals.illinois.edu .
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