Our team is always hard at work making Elements the best system for an institution’s needs. We release new updates throughout the year, so make sure to check back regularly.
December 2016 Release (v5.3)
Our last release of the year is a feature-packed festive edition – with a focus on repository integration and Open Access functionality, there’s almost too much to mention. Read on for the details!
Repository Tools 2 for DSpace
With Repository Tools 2, we offer institutions using DSpace a new type of repository integration that supports harvest, deposit and monitoring functionality. A DSpace RT2 integration provides increased oversight of actions occurring within an integrated repository and makes significantly more repository information available within Elements for data reuse. Click the release notes link below to see all the new features.
Multi-Repository integration and Repository Tools 2
We now support the connection of multiple institutional repositories to a single instance of Elements. This could be either multiple RT2 integrations, or an RT1 integration and one or more RT2 integrations.
This release also includes improvements to the Open Access Monitor, Reporting Database, User Interface, journal modelling, deposit advice functions, and more!
You can read about these improvements in more detail in the release notes.
In this release we’ve greatly improved the usability of the Assessment Module. We have added the ability for researchers to upload supporting files, and to provide more prominent feedback about what remains to be done before the submission is marked as complete.
The Assessment Module already allows the capture of supporting information that is entered directly into Elements. This release adds the capability to upload attachments. As a result, files with evidence and supporting information can be collected to support the assessment process, and provide comprehensive information to reviewers.
We have improved the visual signposts that show the user the required and recommended actions they need to undertake before their exercise would be considered complete, through colour coding and signposting.
We have also added the ability to Save & Continue while editing supporting information (in addition to the Save & Exit option), improved metadata display shown for each item within the assessment, and added a template assessment activity for New Zealand’s PBRF.
You can read about these improvements in more detail in the release notes.
Institutions have requested the ability to select from a wider list of relationship types to more closely reflect local terminology, and to widen or restrict the list of role types available to users providing a more granular match to their role. System Administrators can now control which link types are shown in the user interface, enabling the selection of the most appropriate values.
MLA as a data source
The Modern Languages Association has now been added to Elements as a data source. This has been requested by a number of institutions, and further extends Elements’ harvest capability outside STEM subjects.
Easily associate people with their organisation
When manually adding researchers to a record within Elements, their organisation can now be quickly and easily included using the new Person List with Organisation based on GRID (Global Research Identifier Database) data.
As well as these new features, Elements v5.1.2 also includes the ability to add links to institutional public-facing profile pages from Elements profile pages, as well as other improvements and resolved issues. You can read about these in more detail in the release notes.
As requested by various members of our community, this feature allows users of the Open Access Monitor to generate a formatted letter granting a named author a waiver from their institution’s OA policy for a particular article. Read more in the release notes.
Encouraging adding of acceptance dates
There is now increased visibility in Elements of missing acceptance dates for all articles and conference proceedings published after 1 April 2016 – in support of HEFCE’s Open Access policy – as part of the My Actions section of the homepage.
Add labels via the API
Users can now add, update and remove labels through the Elements API.
We have made a number of subtle but significant changes to the way in which Elements uses user search settings to retrieve and disambiguate publication metadata from external data sources. Most significantly, Elements will additionally start analysing the data harvested from external sources to create new pending and/or claimed links to Elements user accounts if it thinks there is a good match to the search settings associated with a user’s account. Read more in the release notes.
New data sources: DSpace and Digital Commons
With the release of v4.16 in December 2015, we delivered the first component of what we’ve internally referred to as “Repository Tools 2” by adding figshare for institutions as a data source. In v5.1, we are releasing two more repositories as data sources: DSpace, and Digital Commons by bepress.
Library Status added to OA Monitor
To help those clients using the OA Monitor to manage library-mediated deposits, we have added the capability to track and record library statuses using the Publications in OA Policy screen within the OA Monitor.
The totally redesigned homepage focuses clearly on the tasks that researchers (or their delegates) need to complete, providing direct links to carry them out. Improvements include direct access to a researcher’s profile (for editing data, generating reports, CVs and biosketches), a customisable carousel showing My Actions, and a new navigation layout. Read more in the release notes.
This brand new module repurposes data already native within Elements to streamline institutions’ faculty activity and performance reviews. Otherwise time-consuming and paper-based, this gives reviewers the ability to instead link directly to Elements data, add ratings and commentary, and share reviews from others – eliminating a great deal of manual entry.
New approach to Merge via the workspace
This allows a choice of which full-text publications are used as the primary version in a repository, including its related statistics.
This process and user interface has been re-worked to allow the user to select specifically which publication is retained.
Capture and store evidence of research impact with Elements
In light of the impact-focused nature of current & future funding exercises and government assessments, the Impact module has been introduced to help researchers capture and manage evidence of research impact.
The module enables researchers (or their authorised proxies) to capture evidence of impact at the individual level (per researcher or per work of research). It provides an easy framework for not only capturing evidence of the impact, be that a document or web link, but also write a supporting statement or narrative that explains the relevance and context of this evidence. Read more in the release notes.
Improved automatic claiming of publications
In our continued efforts to minimise the administrative burden placed on researchers, we have improved the Search Settings to allow for the automatic claiming of publications using Web of Science’s ResearcherID and/or SSRN’s Author ID, exactly like our Scopus ID functionality.
Other improvements and fixes
Elements v4.17 also contains improvements related to performance, stability and user options, including the capture of additional metadata from Crossref, and improved UI on the HERDC Assessment screen. Please see the release notes for more information.
Elements v4.16.1 is a point release and our penultimate update of 2015. This release is notably smaller than recent releases as we remain focused on delivering some major functionality before the end of the year.
Addition of Social Science Research Network (SSRN) as a data source for Elements
The SSRN is a network of over 1.7 million users and 266,000 authors, devoted to the rapid global dissemination of social science research. With this release, the much-anticipated addition of the SSRN as a data source to Elements means that researchers in the social sciences and humanities can benefit from a greater level of bibliographic harvesting. Read more in the release notes.
Other improvements and fixes
Elements v4.16.1 also contains improvements related to performance, stability and user options. Please see the release notes for more information.
Elements v4.16 includes our second new module of the year, Analytics. The module allows institutions to create, edit and share analytic dashboards via an intuitive drag and drop interface, with no technical skills required.
Dashboards are a great way of visually analysing large sets of related data in a consumable format. Helping institutions gain a better understanding of the data already captured by Elements, Analytics helps identify data gaps and reveal trends in scholarly activity that may not have been known to administrators and analysts. Read more in the release notes.
figshare for institutions now available as a data source
Our new integration with popular research data management platform, figshare, allows for the automatic capture of metadata on datasets, posters, journal articles, figures, media and presentations.
Back in October 2014, we launched Dimensions for Universities, the research funding analysis tool, in collaboration with ÜberResearch.
With a grant database containing more than $750 billion of historic and current funding, the system now benefits from deeper integration with Elements. Grant data held within Elements is now supplemented with data and metadata from Dimensions. Publications can now also be linked to their respective grants automatically – a major evolution in functionality. Read more in the release notes.
New features in the OA Monitor
The launch of the Open Access Monitor in April was a great success. After feedback from our user community, we decided to implement some changes to improve it even further. Administrators now have more options with regards to user engagement and deposit pages. More labels, filters and exceptions have also been added, as well as some other improvements.
Other improvements and fixes
Other improvements and fixes were added to Elements 4.15. ‘Externally managed’ data types are now supported – allowing non-editable external data to be used for linking within an Elements system – and a Module Access page has been added for administrators, which significantly improves its options for user management.
Building on the improvements we introduced in v4.12 to support institutional Open Access policies, v4.14 introduced our most significant enhancement to date, The Open Access Monitor, the first of three new modules coming in 2015.
At Symplectic, we understand that institutions gaining the benefits of Open Access shouldn’t bear the cost of increased administrative burden on staff responsible for its engagement. Built in collaboration with our international user community, this module helps institutions manage, measure and track the success of their Open Access policies, without significant strain on resources. Read more on our blog.
Enhanced user profile customisation
Changes have been made to the way user profile data is shown within Elements. There is now greater control available over the fields that are displayed on the user profile page, and these can be edited by system administrators.
Fields can now be locked to prevent editing if they are not relevant or available. Field locking is also now available on ‘types,’ such as publications or teaching activity.
These changes allow institutions to feed data to certain fields from other systems without the risk of it being edited via the user interface. Read more in the release notes.
Other improvements and fixes were added to Elements 4.14, including enhanced options and flexibility for user roles.
Institutions are now able to define and register their own custom reports for use within Elements.
This feature builds on the introduction of CV exporting from the 4.9 release, and makes use of the Reporting Tools database. It’s split into two different types – user-based and group-based reports.
This is a significant new feature that we’ve spent a while fine-tuning. We’d love to hear what you’ve been using it for, and how well it works for you. Read more in the release notes.
Associate skills, expertise and strategic research themes with user profiles
The capture of controlled vocabularies or labels is now supported on the Profile page. Just like the label schemes on Publications, you can now enhance profile pages with information such as skills, expertise or other custom data. These can then also be fed to networks such as VIVO or Profiles RNS, or to public-facing web pages. They can be added and updated by researchers in a few clicks.
Linking grants when adding a manual record
Confirming the outputs of funding is important for researchers and institutions, due to increasing requests from funders. For institutions to be able to accurately report on these, researchers should be incited to link their publications to grants. This can now be done with the new ‘link funding’ step that shows when manually creating or claiming a publication.
Thanks to a number of usability labs, feedback sessions and discussions led by our clients, we are very excited to introduce functionality designed to support institutions with their Open Access policies: the On Acceptance Workflow.
The On Acceptance workflow is designed to encourage researchers to deposit their accepted work/s while capturing the minimum metadata required by the institution for reporting and reuse in other systems. Once enabled, researchers will be guided through a simple 3-step workflow:
1) A quick duplicate check to ensure the publication doesn’t already exist in the system. 2)
An improved and customisable manual entry wizard to capture key metadata about the publication
3) A prompt to deposit the publication in the institutional repository (requires Repository Tools package) Read more in the release notes.
Inclusion of FundRef registry
Institutions are coming under greater pressure to report on the outputs resulting from their funding, particularly from the funding bodies themselves. Accurately reporting on the relationship between their work and its funding requires access to a consistent list of funders. In v4.12, a database of over 6000 Funders have been integrated into Elements so that researchers can quickly add Funding Acknowledgements to their work/s. Researchers can now easily add a Grant ID, choose a Funding Organisation/s and add any notes to a publication; simplifying and encouraging the input of reliable funding information for reporting and reuse in other systems.
Export 2015 NIH Biosketch
The ability to export an Academic CV or NIH Biosketch was introduced in our April release (v4.9). Shortly after that, the NIH introduced a new Biosketch format, to come in to effect in mid-2015. To allow researchers to begin using it as soon as possible (or begin adjusting to the requirements), Elements v4.12 now supports the export of both formats of the NIH Biosketch. The new format.