Case Study – Elements at the University of Auckland

The University of Auckland is one of the highest ranked research institutions in New Zealand, with over 30,000 students and 4600 staff. Find out what happened when the university chose to implement Elements in 2010.

Image courtesy of UCL

Before Elements

The university used a combination of a vendor system with custom built interfaces, and manual processes. Their institutional repository was already well established, with a large collection of PhD theses and technical reports.

Staff did not have access to an enterprise directory containing web profiles. The implementation involved migrating over 100,000 publication records – during the migration, the process of matching with external data sources resulted in a significant improvement in data quality.

What were the aims of the project?

Elements was implemented in this case to help with research information and profiles, publication management, strategic planning, and the unification of systems and user experiences.

How did it help researchers?

Elements integrated HR information and subscription data sources like Scopus and Web of Science. This was accompanied by functionality to locate and store full-text copies of research outputs.

A single interface with citation information, journal impact rankings, alternative metrics, and links to full text improved the experience of evaluating and ranking impact.

Most of the 2,000 active researchers at the university use the automated search features to automatically pre-populate their profiles, minimising manual data entry and managing co-authored relationships.

How did it benefit strategic planning?

The university gained instant access to a range of institutional statistics for strategic planning. Citations across multiple sources were available and updated regularly.

The effect was also seen on the measurement of research impact. Citation metrics were available, along with various others. A single source of data could be used to populate multiple downstream systems.

What were the other benefits?

The system hardware, architecture and operating environment all matched the university’s requirements, and the user experience aligned with existing systems.

Data can now be fed automatically into the institutional repository. Copyright permission is visible, and automatically updated from the Sherpa/RoMEO database.

The value of the university’s investment in database and journal subscriptions is really shown when researcher profiles can be pre-populated with rich bibliographic data.

What do stakeholders think?

“The automatic search features are a bonus. I really like the way the new entries arrive automatically, and all I have to do is respond to the prompt to approve them. Navigation in the new release is intuitive and friendly. Linking directly to DOIs and full text is convenient and makes it easy to access and share my own research work.”

-Professor Penny Brothers, School of Chemical Sciences


 “Implementing Elements was completed on-time and under budget, and academic staff were pleased when their profiles were pre-populated with records saving them time and providing quality data.”

– Janet Copsey, Director of Libraries and Learning Services