Who is Elements for?


Founded by researchers, for researchers our products are designed to reduce manual effort, improve data quality and expedite the transfer of data between systems. That means researchers can spend their time on what matters most – their research.


Librarians from across an institution, often in the context of Open Access, use our products to guarantee the quality of research data held in institutional repositories and other collections.


Elements has been specifically developed to gather the data institutions need for internal and external assessment. Prepare for government returns, facilitate decision processes and report on the scholarly activity undertaken across an institution.

How does it help?

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Support Open Access Initiatives

  • Provide direct access to over 4 million OA full-texts and 26 million abstracts through integrated data sources such as Europe PMC and arXiV.
  • Extend the intuitive interface of Elements to the institutional repository with out-of-the-box support for all major open repository technologies (DSpace, Fedora and EPrints).
  • Make it simple for researchers to deposit on acceptance or at point of publication.
  • Streamline the deposit process with links to funding sources and full embargo support including archiving advice from Sherpa/RoMEO and DOAJ.
Chat to us about OA

Create rich research profiles

  • Automatically populate VIVO, Profiles RNS or other existing academic web profiles with the most recent research activities.
  • Upload bibliographic data to any upstream or downstream system, allowing for easy management of an external web presence while connecting researchers to collaborators within their community.
  • Use integrated sources such as Altmetric to collect metrics to supplement the activities being carried out at an institution.
Read about our integrations

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VIVO author network

Re-purpose information for other uses

  • By capturing data in a centralised location, Elements can integrate it with upstream and downstream services such as grants management systems, staff systems, institutional repositories and enterprise data warehouses.
  • Elements is the stable heart of all research data information flow at an institution. Our powerful API, composed of multiple endpoints, allows existing system integrations to continue to function seamlessly after an upgrade.
Ask us about our API

Prepare government submissions

  • We work with our clients to develop specific functionality for their needs. Our HERDC module, released in 2013 and improved significantly during 2014, streamlines the collection and verification of publication data for Australian institutions during their submission. You can read more about it in our release.
  • Over 20 UK institutions used Elements to provide their academics with functionality to select and submit their research outputs to the REF2014 and work has already begun on fulfilling the needs of the post-2014 REF (aka REF2020).
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Creating relationships page

Support funding requests

  • Information about funding and facilities can be stored in Elements and used to identify the research outputs generated by them, providing support for future funding applications.
  • Academics can also generate their CV from Elements for use with funding applications, another incentive to keep their information up to date.
Find out more

What are our data sources?

Elements uses a wide range of sources to automatically capture data and save researchers from considerable manual input. Unlike other products, nearly all of our sources are included in regular harvests ensuring publication data is up-to-date.





Google Books
Web of Science*

Subject to license

Tailor an Elements install depending on requirements and adapt it with growth.

Using our rich range of data sources, researchers can be assured that their publication metadata is kept up-to-date. This metadata can be related to other items (such as grants, professional activities and equipment) to create a rich, connected set of data within the system. These can then be exported for use in reporting, public profiles and CV generation.

Import existing data

Elements supports import of publication data in RefMan, Bibtex and Endnote formats making it easy for a researcher to begin using the system. Our industry-leading ORCID integration also allows for an easy migration of publication data. Search settings for the data sources are also under the complete control of the researcher; different name variants, keywords, author IDs and addresses can all be applied separately to each data source to help narrow the results.

Elements can utilise existing institutional grants databases to automatically import data while also allowing custom input. Grants data can also be integrated from our funding discovery tool, Dimensions.

As with all other data in the system, grants can be surfaced via the API, linked to other data items, exported in a CV and reported on. This is particularly useful for reporting to funding agencies, who will often require relationships between funding and research outputs.

Researchers can store a number of different aspects of their professional profile – for example, external collaborations, journal editorships or any fellowships that they might hold. Once captured, this data can be linked to other data items, displayed in a user profile, exported in a CV, reported on and made available to external systems.

Informed fields

The default Professional Activity field types are based on CASRAI’s dictionary standards so there is minimal customisation necessary in order to conform to a wide range of industry standard workflows and reporting requirements.

Like other activities in the system, teaching-related metadata can be stored and linked to other captured data items (such as users, publications, grants or equipment) and then be made available for CV generation, reporting and other downstream or upstream systems.

Informed fields

By default, the field types are again based on CASRAIs dictionary standards making it simple for an institution to capture structured teaching data alongside research outputs. Custom data types can also easily be added to represent fields relevant to the institution or to match an existing database import.

Elements does not come bundled with a discovery portal or CMS. Instead, we provide a REST API to surface the data held within the system so an institution can decide where and how that data should be made available. This is a much more flexible solution than other products and gives institutions a wider choice for their public profiling system.

Integrate with leading portals

There are many, open-source, high quality tools that can be used to build a discovery portal on top of Elements data; such as VIVO and Profiles RNS. We provide and maintain connectors to several open source research discovery platforms including VIVO and Profiles RNS to specifically support institutions looking to add additional functionality and features to their public profile systems.

Our reporting database provides your institution with a fully featured database/data warehouse, representing the bedrock of all your research analytics, reporting, and data-driven systems integrations.

The Elements reporting database is designed to be used as a data source for:

  • Elements’ own in-application analytics, reports and dashboards;
  • Rapid business intelligence report development using any industry standard BI tools;
  • Tight integration with leading academic public profile systems such as Profiles RNS and VIVO;
  • ETL development for downstream enterprise data warehouses;
  • Direct ad-hoc SQL querying by data analysts.
Elements currently supports statutory returns in the UK (REF 2014), New Zealand (PBRF 2012) and Australia (the annual HERDC return, with targeted support for the ERA planned).

We work collaboratively with our clients in these countries to help them meet the requirements of government returns. We keep track of changes in these requirements to aid in our development effort.

The capturing of equipment-related metadata allows existing data items captured in Elements (such as users, publications or grants) to be linked to data relating to the equipment that was used in producing the research. This might be especially useful in tracking the use of shared equipment resources.

We have successfully incorporated data into Elements from leading open source research equipment and facilities catalogue Kit-Catalogue®. Once captured, the data and associated relationships can be made available to external systems and in the reporting database.

Automatic Disambiguation

Elements automatically detects duplicates from sources using a combination of fuzzy matching and unique identifiers.


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The Pubmed ID is a unique identifier assigned to each PubMed record.

arXiv ID

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The arXiv ID provides a unique citation for an arXiv paper.

Researcher ID

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One solution to the author ambiguity problem, developed by Thomson Reuters and part of Web of Science.

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Download our White Paper

Research-based institutions are in the knowledge business. They generate, process and store knowledge. They innovate, apply and disseminate. They produce the people who move across the economy enabling other organisations to exploit knowledge for economic and social benefit. Knowledge is the currency of research: it flows and accumulates, and institutions and individuals gain by displaying their Wealth of Knowledge.

In this paper we review the evolving public environment for knowledge management and we consider how institutions have responded to the pressures and demands that this has brought.

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