Top 5 FAQs

How do I deposit my paper in Spiral?

Depositing a paper in Spiral is quick and easy.  Please watch depositing in Spiral video.

There are also two guides to Depositing in Spiral depending on whether your work has just been accepted for publication or has already been published. If you need more help, please get in touch with the Open Access team in the library.

Can I use Spiral to comply with REF?

Yes. Spiral is a REF-compliant research repository.

When should I deposit my paper in Spiral?

Once your paper has been accepted for publication, you are advised to deposit the accepted manuscript to Spiral via Symplectic Elements. If your publisher requests an embargo to be applied to your paper, the Library’s Open Access team will check and apply all relevant embargoes.

Can I deposit a link of the preprint server (e.g. arXiv, medRxiv, biorXiv) for my accepted work?

Yes, if the version deposited on the preprint server is the accepted version, then you can add the link to the OA location field in Symplectic Elements. Please send the following statement to the Open Access team to confirm the preprint is the accepted version

Dear Open Access Team,

I, the author of TITLE, DOI/CITATION, can confirm that the version of the paper currently held in PREPRINT SERVER NAME:PREPRINT NUMBER, version 1/2/3/4 etc., is the accepted manuscript version of this paper, which was submitted to PREPRINT NAME on INSERT PREPRINT DEPOSIT DATE, prior to its first publication on PUBLICATION DATE.

Kind regards, AUTHOR’S NAME

How will I know if a co-author has deposited a paper?

Imperial co-authors will receive an email notification when a relevant paper is Deposited. It is good practice to ensure you add all Imperial co-authors when depositing on acceptance in Symplectic Elements.

Frequently asked questions

Can I deposit a link of the preprint server (e.g. arXiv, medRxiv, biorXiv) for my accepted work?

Yes, if the version deposited on the preprint server is the accepted version, then you can add the link to the OA location field in Symplectic Elements. Please send the following statement to the Open Access team to confirm the preprint is the accepted version

Dear Open Access Team,

I, the author of TITLE, DOI/CITATION, can confirm that the version of the paper currently held in PREPRINT SERVER NAME:PREPRINT NUMBER, version 1/2/3/4 etc., is the accepted manuscript version of this paper, which was submitted to PREPRINT NAME on INSERT PREPRINT DEPOSIT DATE, prior to its first publication on PUBLICATION DATE.

Kind regards, AUTHOR’S NAME

Can I deposit an unpublished paper or preprint in Spiral?

Yes, but we would advise you to continue to use a preprint repository in your discipline, such as arXiv or bioRxiv, if you want to make a preprint openly available.

However, the version you should deposit in Spiral is the accepted manuscript (which is after the peer review process) as this is the version that is expected to be required for the next REF open access policy.

Can I use Spiral to comply with REF?

Yes. Spiral is a REF-compliant research repository.

How do I add my publishers required embargo?

The Open Access team will check your publisher’s policy and set the appropriate embargo. Embargoes in Spiral are automatically lifted when completed.

How do I deposit my paper in Spiral?

Depositing a paper in Spiral is quick and easy.  Please watch depositing in Spiral video.

There are also two guides to Depositing in Spiral depending on whether your work has just been accepted for publication or has already been published. If you need more help, please get in touch with the Open Access team in the library.

How do I update a paper that is already live in Spiral?

Please email the Open Access team with the updated file, including details of the paper or the Spiral handle (the URI link to the record) and we will replace the file on the Spiral record.

How will I know if a co-author has deposited a paper?

Imperial co-authors will receive an email notification when a relevant paper is Deposited. It is good practice to ensure you add all Imperial co-authors when depositing on acceptance in Symplectic Elements.

Should I upload my papers / thesis to ResearchGate?

Authors should always check any publisher agreement that they have signed before posting to social networking sites like ResearchGate and Academia.edu. If you want to know more about the pros and cons of posting on ResearchGate please see ResearchGate vs institutional repositories: which one should I use?

There is already a preprint record (e.g. arXiv, medRxiv, bioRxiv) for my paper that is accepted for publication. Should I use that record?

As the accepted manuscript (which has gone through the peer review process) is a new output, we would advise you to create a new Symplectic Record. For instructions on how to deposit your paper on acceptance, please see Deposit on acceptance.

What is the “Request a copy” button?

When an item in Spiral is under an embargo, users can still use the “Request a copy” button to send a request to the author for a copy. One-to-one sharing of published articles is permitted by the exception Fair dealing in UK Copyright Law. However, it is at the author’s discretion if requests are granted or not.

When should I deposit my paper in Spiral?

Once your paper has been accepted for publication, you are advised to deposit the accepted manuscript to Spiral via Symplectic Elements. If your publisher requests an embargo to be applied to your paper, the Library’s Open Access team will check and apply all relevant embargoes.

Who can I ask to help interpret my publisher's agreement/contract?

For help with copyright transfer and publishing contracts please contact the Open Access team including a link to any information you have or attaching a copy of your publisher’s contract.

Why has the version of my work that I uploaded been declined?

If you receive a notification email that the version you uploaded cannot be deposited to Spiral, the reason for this will be included in the email. If you are still unclear as to what the reason is, please contact the Open Access team.