Following a successful pilot, functionality for the Research Office to transfer grant-to-publication links from Symplectic Elements to Researchfish is being implemented.  The functionality is intended to relieve frustration and the administrative burden of re-entering publication data that has already been provided, allowing more time for researchers to focus on their research.  Delivery by Researchfish is targeted for the end of 2017.  The Research Office aims to complete the first transfer before the major submission period in early 2018 and will do so on an ongoing periodic basis thereafter.

The Interoperability Working Group is now looking at datasets.  It is the intention to pilot the transfer of dataset information from Symplectic to Researchfish for the 2018 submission period.  The requirements are currently being agreed though in the meantime, academics are encouraged to add records of their datasets to Symplectic, including a DOI, and to link the dataset to the relevant grant(s).  This information will likely form the basis of the transfer so should save the trouble of having to enter this information into Researchfish manually – and will also result in compliance with the College and funder research data management (RDM) policies.

All other outcome types, plus any grant-publication or grant-dataset links that are not centrally transferred into Researchfish still need to be entered directly into Researchfish.  See guidance on adding publications to Researchfish using Symplectic and our Quick Start Guide Researchfish Quick Guide [pdf].

Accordion - RF Interoperability

What happened in stages one and two of the pilot?

To reduce the manual effort of completing the publications element of the Researchfish return in February-March 2016, existing data were centrally transferred into Researchfish on behalf of academics. A snapshot of valid publication-grant links was taken on 30th October 2015. This snapshot included journal articles and conference proceedings published in 2014 onwards with either a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or PubMed ID (PMID), associated in Symplectic Elements to an award with a valid external reference number from RCUK, Cancer Research UK or NC3Rs. This snapshot was transferred into Researchfish in December 2015.  This included nearly 1,100 publication-grant links and benefited over 300 Imperial academics, some with as many as 40 publications submitted for them.

Between stages, feedback was sought from those academics that had the most publications submitted on their behalf.  This feedback was very positive and was fed into the overall project to petition further funders to engage with the pilot.  Stage two of the pilot was approved and expanded so all funders that use Researchfish were included.   Furthermore, Symplectic Elements was back-filled with any additional grant-publication links found in Researchfish where these could be matched back to internal records to try to further reduce administrative burden on academics.  Note: This included all grant-publication links made by all co-authors. This is entirely correct and should not be removed, even if you were not an author on these papers.

In the second stage, the snapshot of data from Symplectic was taken on Thursday 10th November and all valid links were added to Researchfish before Christmas 2016.  There was also a second snapshot taken on Wednesday 18th January.  The same criteria were used as for stage one except it covered all funders that use Researchfish and publications from any date were included.  Nearly 3,000 publication-grant links were transferred from Symplectic into Researchfish in advance of the submission period.  Additionally, for those academics that referenced their award directly in their publications, around 1,500 more publication-grant links were uploaded.  This equated to 30% of the publications that were submitted in this period, considerably reducing the burden on academics of submitting their outputs.

A second backfill of Symplectic using grant-publication links from Researchfish has also now been completed where these could be matched back to internal records to try to further reduce administrative burden on academics.

What is next in line for interoperability?

The Interoperability Steering Group is now looking at datasets.  It is the intention to pilot the transfer of dataset information from Symplectic to Researchfish for the 2018 submission period.  The requirements are currently being agreed though in the meantime, academics are encouraged to add records of their datasets to Symplectic, including a DOI, and to link the dataset to the relevant grant(s).  This will likely form the basis of the transfer so should reduce the amount of information to be entered into Researchfish manually – and will also result in compliance with the College and funder research data management (RDM) policies.  Further details will be provided once agreement has been reached on the structure of the pilot.

Is making these links in Symplectic mandatory?

Creation of publication-grant links in Symplectic is not mandatory.  Rather it is believed to be the most efficient way of transferring this information into Researchfish, hopefully reducing your administration and saving your time as well as allowing you to apply for Open Access funding for linked publications.  If you prefer to make these links manually in Researchfish, please feel free to do so.

Creation of dataset-grant links in Symplectic is mandatory.  This is due to research data management policies of many of the College’s primary research funders that require the College to have a catalogue of such information.  Complying with this requirement should in future have the added benefit of transferring this information to Researchfish automatically, saving you time and effort in your submission period.

Why must Researchfish returns be done at all?

All Research Councils (as well as a number of other funders including Cancer Research UK and NIHR) impose sanctions, which may result in no future payments on existing grants and no further grant applications being accepted if a return is not completed. More positively however, RCUK also publishes Researchfish returns on Gateway to Research, giving greater exposure to the research. It is also used to shape future funding opportunities, generate case studies and crucially to make the case to BEIS for continued funding of RCUK.

Further support

Research Office should be contacted with queries relating to the pilot on researchoffice.researchfish@imperial.ac.uk. Researchfish should be contacted about usage and technical matters on support@researchfish.com.