CSL Technical Reports Transitioned to E-Distribution
Coordinated Science Laboratory technical reports have transitioned from hardcopy publication to electronic distribution on IDEALS (ideals.illinois.edu), which is UIUC’s digital archive of research results and other scholarly work. The process of uploading past reports to IDEALS is not complete, but by default, all future tech reports will be published only on IDEALS. Upon request, hardcopy tech reports can still be made as well, with production costs borne by the requester.
CSL personnel who are considering publishing tech reports should be aware of two new tech report policies.
First, in most cases, theses and dissertations can no longer be republished as CSL technical reports. IDEALS set that policy in part because of copyright considerations (as past students are not readily available to give permission), and in part to avoid needless duplication (as UIUC theses and dissertations from recent years should already be on IDEALS). Upon request, it may be possible to upload old CSL reports that are theses or dissertations on a case by case basis, especially if the author’s permission can be obtained and the document is not otherwise available on IDEALS.
Second, if a report is deemed obsolete, or for some other reason the authors no longer want it to be distributed, it is not feasible to remove the report completely from IDEALS. IDEALS is intended to serve as a permanent contribution to the scholarly record, and posted files can be deleted only following a successful petition to the administration of IDEALS; they will approve such requests only very rarely, under exceptional circumstances. While there are multiple options for restricting access to a posted PDF so that others cannot view it, a permanent “tombstone” page for the tech report would remain on IDEALS, documenting the existence of the hidden file. Therefore, CSL tech reports are not a suitable venue for temporary distribution of material.
As in the past, updated versions of CSL tech reports will be published as separate, new reports with new bibliographic information; indeed, it is not possible to overwrite older versions in IDEALS.
The loading of past CSL technical reports into IDEALS is an ongoing project that may not be completed for several months. Some reports have not yet been uploaded, and many that have been still have incomplete or inaccurate metadata. Anyone who would like for specific missing reports to be uploaded immediately, or who has other questions or concerns, should contact the CSL technical report coordinator, Jenny Applequist (japplequillinois [dot] edu).
Jenny is also the person to contact in order to publish a new technical report. A request to publish should be accompanied by a completely finalized PDF that is ready for irreversible publication. The request should include (either within the PDF or in a covering email) the report title, list of authors, funding agency name(s) and street address(es), grant numbers (from the funding agencies, not FOPs), an abstract (preferably under 200 words), and key words. While same-business-day upload will be typical, it is advisable to send Jenny advance warning if a need for quick turnaround is anticipated.