Following a successful pilot, functionality for the Research Office to transfer grant-to-publication links from Symplectic Elements to Researchfish has been implemented.  The functionality has reduced the frustration and administrative burden of re-entering publication data provided within College systems, allowing more time for researchers to focus on their research.  The Research Office  completed the first transfer in 2018 and is now supporting this activity on an ongoing periodic basis around the Researchfish submission window.

The Interoperability Working Group also considered the transfer of datasets with a pilot undertaken in 2018.  Academic staff are encouraged to add dataset records to Symplectic with a DOI and link the dataset to the relevant grant(s).  This information is used in the transfer and will not then need to be entered into Researchfish manually. All datasets should be compliant 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 will need to be entered manually into Researchfish as per funder requirements.  Guidance is available on How to add publications to Researchfish using Symplectic [pdf] as well as more general guidance on the Researchfish System.

Accordion - RF Interoperability

What happened during the pilot?

In February-March 2016, existing data were centrally transferred from Symplectic into Researchfish on behalf of academic staff. A snapshot of valid publication-grant links was taken on 30th October 2015 including journal articles and conference proceedings published since 2014 with either a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or PubMed ID (PMID), associated in Symplectic Elements with a UKRI, Cancer Research UK or NC3Rs award with a valid external reference number. This snapshot included nearly 1,100 publication-grant links and was transferred into Researchfish in December 2015. It benefited over 300 Imperial academics, some with as many as 40 publications each.

Positive feedback was obtained from academics with most publications submitted on their behalf and was fed into the overall project that then petitioned further funders to engage with the pilot and Stage Two expanded the scope  to include all funders using Researchfish.  Symplectic Elements was also 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.

During this second stage, snapshots of data from Symplectic was taken on Thursday 10th November and all valid links were added to Researchfish before Christmas 2016 with a second snapshot taken on Wednesday 18th January.  Applying Stage One criteria with the addition of all funders using Researchfish and publications of any date,  almost 3,000 publication-grant links were transferred from Symplectic into Researchfish ahead of the submission period.  For those academics referencing their award directly in their publications, a further 1,500 publication-grant links were also uploaded - equating to 30% of the publications that were submitted in this period, considerably reducing the academic burden.

A second backfill of Symplectic using grant-publication links from Researchfish was also completed where these could be matched back to internal records.

How is interoperability managed now?

The transfer of dataset information from Symplectic to Researchfish occurred for the first time in the 2018 submission period and all academic staff are encouraged to add records of their datasets to Symplectic, including a DOI, and to link the dataset to the relevant grant(s).  Regular transfers of datasets and publication information are now undertaken, substantially reducing the amount of information manually entered into Researchfish.

These processes are compliant with the College and funder research data management (RDM) policies.

Is making these links in Symplectic mandatory?

Creation of publication-grant links in Symplectic is not mandatory but it is the most efficient way to transfer this information into Researchfish, reducing administration and saving time. Publication-grant links also allow you to apply for Open Access funding for linked publications.  These links can also be done manually in Researchfish.

Creation of dataset-grant links in Symplectic is mandatory.  This is due to the research data management policies of our primary research funders requiring the College to catalogue this information.

Why must Researchfish returns be done at all?

All Research Councils and a number of other funders including Cancer Research UK and NIHR now impose individual and institutional sanctions which include no future payments on existing grants and no further grant applications being accepted if a Researchfish return is not completed.

UKRI subsequently 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 to support the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in making the case for the continued funding of UKRI.

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