Elements: New Features

Our team is always hard at work making Elements the best system for every institution’s needs. We release new updates throughout the year, so make sure to check back regularly.

December 2017 Release (v5.9)

Our final release of the year is packed with new functionality. Repository Tools 2 continues to evolve with new bidirectional Figshare integration and many more new features. As well as this, we include improvements to the Open Access Monitor and the Assessment Module.

  • Two-way repository integration with Figshare

    We are excited to release deposit functionality for figshare for Institutions, establishing a bidirectional repository integration based on our Repository Tools 2 framework. This release sees the introduction of new deposit functionality which allows data, publications and other outputs to be deposited to figshare via Elements. Designed to complement the existing deposit experience in figshare, this functionality empowers institutions to create multiple pathways for depositing to encourage researchers to make more of their research outputs openly available on figshare. Read more on our blog.

  • OA Policy and OA Monitor enhancements

    Based on client feedback, we have added new functionality to the OA Monitor which allows System admins and verifiers to exclude publications from OA policies, and to choose whether or not to display the ‘In OA Policy’ indicator on the ‘My Publications’ page in Elements.

  • Assessment Module improvements

    This release includes the ability to configure Managers of individual Assessment exercise definitions. This feature was introduced to provide greater levels of confidentiality between different exercise definitions; assessment managers are now allocated per-exercise-definition rather than having permissions to manage all exercises.

It continues to be our great pleasure to work closely with our community to envision and develop new features for Elements, so we would like to thank everyone for contributing to the Symplectic community throughout 2017. We look forward to continuing to work with you all in the new year.

There’s more detail on Elements v5.9 in the release notes. If you would like any assistance with your upgrade, please contact us – we are here to help.

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October 2017 Release (v5.8)

Symplectic’s fifth Elements release of 2017 arrives just in time for Open Access Week, and is full of features developed in response to client feedback, regarding the OA Monitor, Impact module, Repository Tools 2 (RT2), and many more.

  • Repository Tools 2: figshare for Institutions

    The first wave of integrations between RT2 and figshare for institutions, this release enables the harvest of public items from figshare into Elements, as well as custom crosswalking between the systems, giving institutions control over mapping output types and metadata from figshare into Elements. It’s also possible to position figshare as a repository within Elements and target it when configuring Open Access policies. Deposit functionality and full two-way integration is planned for an update in the near future.

  • Impact Module: New Group Impact Officer Role

    Elements now offers a new group role, Group Impact Officer, which has the capability to manage records of impact on behalf of researchers. Group Impact Officers are able to view and edit existing records of impact which are linked to one or more users in their group(s). We have also improved the way that a record of impact can be linked to publications, grants, and other records.

  • OA Monitor improvements

    This release contains various enhancements to the Open Access Monitor, including a new configuration for assessing deposit deadlines, a new reports page that allows administrators to run reports on users or groups, and more.

In addition to these major enhancements, we’ve also added new configurations, user interface improvements, and updates to datasets, emails, and reports. As always, we’d like to thank our user community for participating in conversations around these developments and helping us build better products.

There’s more detail on Elements v5.8 in the release notes. If you would like any assistance with your upgrade, please contact us – we are here to help.

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August 2017 Release (v5.7)

As we move into the second half of 2017, we are pleased to announce our fourth Elements release of the year, containing improvements to Repository Tools, the Assessment Module, and user profiles.

  • Repository Tools 2 EPrints Deposit Functionality

    After introducing deposit functionality for DSpace in last year’s December release, we’re pleased to now offer similar capability for EPrints, featuring a multitude of configurations and features. As well as these, there are improvements to EPrints harvesting and crosswalks.

  • Improvements to the Assessment Module

    Many internal and external assessments include a review and scoring process – Elements now supports scoring for reviewers. There have also been some tweaks to the user interface and the process of adding reviewers.

  • User Profile Completeness Report

    In light of Elements’ ability to feed data into public profile systems such as VIVO, Profiles RNS and institutional web pages, some users requested a method of discovering how complete researchers’ profiles have been made. A new report has been developed to indicate profile completeness in percentage terms to indicate which academics have richer profile information available and may wish to add further information to their profile.

These, and other improvements, can be read about in more detail in the release notes. If you would like any assistance with your upgrade, please remember we are here to help.

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June 2017 Release (v5.6)

After a dynamic first half of 2017, our latest release provides some excellent new features for Repository Tools and the Assessment Module.

  • Repository Tools 2 for EPrints

    We are excited to introduce the first Repository Tools 2 integration for EPrints, enabling institutional EPrints repositories to be added as a data source for Elements. We have also enhanced our RT2 DSpace functionality which now includes embargo advice, re-use licences and deposit licences.

  • Improvements to the Assessment Module

    We have added a number of new features to the Assessment module, centred around the ability to automatically transition users of the Assessment module through configured stages. We have also added support for confidential exercises, and added a new type of exercise which will allow subscribers of the Assessment module to conduct short surveys via Elements.

  • ORCiD API Upgrade

    In January 2017 we were given notice that ORCiD plan to deprecate their API v1.2, currently used by Elements, at the end of the year. In preparation, Elements v5.6 and above will move to using the new ORCiD API v2. Customers are advised to ensure they upgrade to Elements v5.6 (or a later version) to avoid loss of connection to ORCiD.The switch to using the new ORCiD API will be done automatically during the upgrade process.

These, and other improvements, can be read about in more detail in the release notes. If you would like any assistance with your upgrade, please remember we are here to help.

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April 2017 Release (v5.5)

We are particularly excited about this release as it includes the much-anticipated launch of Automatic Claiming, and takes a major leap towards demonstrating the long term value of researcher identifiers.

We are also pleased to share further enhancements to the Assessment Module, further progress on Repository Tools and the OA Monitor, as well as a brand new integration with GRID (Global Research Institution Database) for Dimensions Subscribers.

  • Automatic Claiming

    A major rethinking of how Elements handles the claiming of publications, Automatic Claiming does exactly what the name suggests. Automatic Claiming continuously analyses publication data already captured inside Elements for author identifiers. When a researcher confirms that an author identifier is theirs, Elements will then automatically claim all publications which include that identifier and continue to do so for future publications which also contain the same identifier. For more information, click the link to the release notes below.

  • Improvements to the Assessment Module

    As part of our ongoing development of the Assessment Module, we are pleased to introduce a set of features designed to better support the administration of reviews, including the adding and managing of multiple review stages, assessment locking, reviewing in different stages, and more.

  • Repository Tools updates

    Updates for Repository Tools include embargo end date display, enhanced file upload, a crosswalk testing tools, and support for DSpace 6.0 in RT2.

As well as these, the Open Access Monitor has a new ‘pending compliance’ status amongst other improvements

These, and other improvements, can be read about in more detail in the release notes.

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March 2017 Release (v5.4)

This release includes the introduction of global funding database Dimensions for Universities as a supplementary publication data source, the inclusion of new metrics, and the ability to control the display of citation and journal metrics throughout Elements.

We have also made a number of usability improvements to further support repository deposit rates, and extended the functionality of our Repository Tools 2 integration for DSpace.

  • New metrics and Dimensions for Universities

    Based on enhanced PubMed data, Dimensions for Universities will provide additional metrics including the Relative Citation Ratio (RCR), Dimensions citation counts, and h-index. It will also automatically assign Field of Research classifications (up to 4 digits) based on analysis of publication abstracts and automatically create links to grants within Elements where funder identifiers are known. Once enabled, Dimensions for Universities records will supplement existing Elements publications that have a corresponding PubMed ID.

  • Improvements to Repository Tools 1 and 2

    For Repository Tools 1, we have updated the deposit page interface to more clearly identify for a researcher all of the steps they need to complete their deposit. We have also continued to build upon the new Repository Tools 2 (RT2) DSpace repository integration, first released in December 2016. We have added a number of new features to enhance the deposit functionality and to support the implementation process.

  • Improvements to Assessment Module

    We have now added a ‘clone exercise definition’ button that also replicates structure, rules and settings; a ‘select all’ button for users completing selections for assessment exercises; and a PBRF publication eligibility date calculator for institutions in New Zealand.

As well as these, we’ve renamed the HERDC Module to Annual Collection (as requested by our Australian user community) and improved linking for user to user relationships.

These, and other improvements, can be read about in more detail in the release notes.

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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.

  • Other improvements

    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.

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October 2016 Release (v5.2)

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.

  • Attachments

    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.

  • Outstanding tasks

    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.

  • Other improvements

    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.

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September 2016 Release (v5.1.2)

  • Greater control of relationship types

    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.

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July 2016 Release (v5.1.1)

  • Waiver generation

    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.

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June 2016 Release (v5.1)

  • Improved publication claiming

    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.

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March 2016 Release (v5.0)

  • New homepage and user friendly navigation

    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.

  • Assessment Module

    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.

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December 2015 Release (v4.17)

  • 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.

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October 2015 Release (v4.16.1)

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.

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August 2015 Release (v4.16)

  • New Analytics Module

    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.

    This metadata can be linked to any other researcher, grant, professional activity, equipment and so on, ready for reporting and satisfying open data mandates.
    Read more about figshare for institutions here.

  • Other improvements and fixes

    Elements v4.16 also contains advanced repository integration, by surfacing even more information on the files held in external sources such as figshare, E-PMC or arXiV.

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June 2015 Release (v4.15)

  • Enhanced integration with Dimensions

    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.

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April 2015 Release (v4.14)

  • Open Access Monitor

    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

    Other improvements and fixes were added to Elements 4.14, including enhanced options and flexibility for user roles.

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February 2015 Release (v4.13)

  • Institutional Custom Reporting

    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.

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December 2014 Release (v4.12)

  • New On Acceptance Workflow

    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.

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