Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Repository, TULIP, and your PDR

For staff currently preparing Portfolios of Activity for PDR purposes, this may be the first time you have had cause to use the University Repository. Issues regarding how the Repository and TULIP interact for these purposes have been covered in other blog posts and documents. This entry brings together links to the most relevant.

The most important element to note at the moment is that ordinarily item details are transferred from the Repository into TULIP each night. However, you can also refresh your TULIP records from the Repository on demand from within the Portfolio itself. Go to the Research/Scholarship tab and then, in the Research Outputs section, click on [Refresh my Research Outputs from the Repository].

Please note:
  1. New items must be deposited in the Repository before they become available in TULIP (the status after you deposit will state "Under Review" - the records will become live after quick checking from library staff).
  2. For changes to an existing item, the new version must be live in the Repository before it becomes visible in TULIP. The exception to this rule is Confidential items, as these never become live in the Repository. In this case the new version only needs to be deposited.
Information on:
How to update the details of a record that was originally created in TULIP - (see also the "Life After Launch" document -

How to create a brand new record (i.e. not to modify an existing record) -

How to have a record available to your Portfolio of Activity but not appear on your staff profile -

Friday, 28 November 2014

"I don't want this publication showing on my staff profile ..."

As staff get accustomed to using the new Repository, one issue you may find is that you've created a record in the Repository that you don't want to appear in your staff profile page. This is where it's important to understand how the different system interact.
The Repository as it stands performs two separate-but-linked functions:
  • it provides a structured database for making details of your publications, often including the full text, publicly available at; and
  • it provides information on publications which is shared with TULIP, from where that information is used in many other systems such as the Portfolio of Activity and, most pertinently here, the Staff Profile pages.
The important concept to understand here is that the Staff Profile pages do not take their information directly from the Repository - they take them from TULIP, and it's simply now the case that entering details via the Repository is what gets those details into TULIP (and provides extra functionality for open access).

There may be cases where you don't want the details of publications you have entered into the Repository to be displaying in your Staff Profile pages. Depending on what you want to do, you have two options:
  • If you want to ensure the item is not publicly available at all, i.e. available through neither the Repository itself, nor your staff profile pages, then when creating the record set its confidential status to "Yes".
The confidential property is the second field in the publication details section. By default it is set to 'no'.
  • If you want to hide the item from your staff profile page but still want it to be publicly available through the Repository itself, leave the confidential status to "no", make a note of the item id number, and then send an email to with that id number, asking for the item to be hidden from your staff profile.
The easiest way to find an item's ID number is from the URL if you are editing it - it's the number after eprintid, e.g. in the example below, the item with ID 2000000 is being edited.

If you are just viewing your items, you can find out the item ID by looking at the item in your Author listing on the repository:

Choose Browse by Liverpool author to find your own author listing
The URL that links from the title of your publication will give you the ITEM ID of your publication.

This is just a temporary measure - upon completion of the separate Staff Profile Pages project, you will be able to use TULIP itself to decide which items do and do not appear on your staff profile.

For clarity, you should also know that any changes you make in the Repository will only be reflected in TULIP and your profile pages the morning after the changes have been made. When the Staff profile Pages project is complete, you will be able to refresh your profile pages on demand.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Life after launch - the Repository after its first fortnight

It's a fortnight after the release of the University Repository and we've a good idea now what categories the queries we've received predominantly fall into. We've addressed this issues in a Life after Launch document - This document addresses the common questions we've received in the three areas:
  1. Editing of records (particularly of records imported from TULIP)
  2. Ownership of records
  3. Multiple/Duplicate author names in records
 Though all of these issues have also been addressed elsewhere in this blog, the document brings them altogether in one place.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

How to tell if a repository record has been imported from TULIP

The previous blog post outlined why it is important not to directly edit or amend (or especially remove) any records in the Repository that have been imported from TULIP (i.e. doing so could cause problems with the other systems, such as Portfolio of Assessment, that take their publications details from TULIP) - but how do you know for sure if a record has been imported from TULIP?

The answer is straightforward - when viewing the record for a specific item, look at the web address. It will be in the form of, where XXXXXXX is a number. If this number is between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000, this indicates that the record has been imported from TULIP and should not be directly edited.

TULIP and the University Repository; or why you should avoid directly editing imported records

It is useful to understand the link between TULIP and the University Repository, both now and into the future.

Currently, the majority of the records in the University Repository have been imported from TULIP. These records were used in TULIP to populate things like Portfolio of Assessment and staff profile web pages.

These original records are part of the historical record of the University’s output and should not be directly edited or amended. To do so could interfere with processes that audit and monitor those records. Similarly, with newly created records, once that record exists, it is important that the first entry is maintained in its original state.

If you need to make any changes to a record, please create a new version of it as outlined below, then proceed to edit that new version:

1. Create a new version. Whenever you make any changes in the repository, you should always create a new version - this creates a history trail for your item records and allows the proper checking of any changes made both against the usage in other institutional systems (Portfolio of Assessment, Profile pages etc.) and quality checking. First, within manage deposits click the View icon (a piece of paper with a magnifying glass) next to the item you want to change, then click the Actions tab and select New version.

2.  You will see a message to indicate you have successfully created a new version

3. In the actions tab of the item, now select Edit Item for the new version:

4. Change the view to the Details of the Item and make the changes you need as appropriate.

Save your changes - they will then be reviewed and normally the new version will go live the next day (there may be a bit of a delay during the initial repository launch period as many people do this!). When the new version of the record is made live, the old one will no longer appear on the publicly-viewable repository (though it will still remain within the system).

Friday, 24 October 2014

University Repository launched

The University Repository is now available. The University Repository will replace TULIP's function of providing the university's database of research publication details. It will also provide the means to make the full text of research outputs available online.

The following text explains some of the reasons behind this move, and outlines some of the things you can expect, in more detail.

Why are we switching?

The University Repository is specifically designed to store and manage bibliographic data concerning university research outputs, especially publications. You can also store and make available full text versions of your published outputs, a vital requirement to comply with HEFCE and other funders’ open access requirements (see the Open Access LibGuide for more information).

What’s happening to the publications details in TULIP?

These details have been imported into the University Repository. The way publication details have been held previously, coupled with the process of bringing them into the Repository, means that some data will look poor in the Repository; for example, attempts to de-merge long author lists mean author surnames such as de Bolins or van Houten may not display correctly. The most obvious difference will be that often authors will appear twice in a record. This is explained in the following blog post Knowing Me Knowing You. It is important to note this is a result of how data have been previously stored and then imported into the Repository; it is not a “feature” of the Repository, future publications will not exhibit the same inconsistencies, and details can be edited within the Repository. The citations should still display the authors of a publication correctly.

Will details of all my publications be publicly viewable immediately through the Repository?

Yes and no. Those publication details that are currently viewable to other systems via TULIP will be publicly viewable immediately through the Repository. Those details that are in TULIP but currently hidden from other systems will be imported into something called the Review Buffer in the Repository, and will have their confidential status set to yes. In order to make such hidden items available, you will need to log in and return the item to your work area. You will then need to create a new version of the record and make any required edits, including setting the “confidential” status to “no” before placing the item back into the Review Buffer. Library staff can then check the details before the item is made available. In this way we ensure that no matter what the original reason for hiding a publication, they remain hidden until a choice is made by you to change that status. In other words, there is no need to worry that currently hidden records will suddenly become publicly viewable after the switch.

How will this affect things like my staff web page and Portfolio of Assessment?

These systems will continue to take their information from TULIP. The University Repository and TULIP will be linked in such a way that TULIP will mirror publication details entered in the Repository, and so, in practice, you should not notice any difference in your staff web page displays. There are checks in place to ensure that items in the repository cannot be removed (or certain changes made) if they are used in other official systems, such as a Portfolio of Assessment.

What will the University Repository do?

The University Repository will act as the university’s primary location for our published research outputs. Details of journal articles, monographs, conference proceedings and so on will be entered into the Repository either by research staff themselves or administrative staff on their behalf. Once entered, details will be quality checked by library staff before being made publicly available. Library staff will also check that the version of full-text papers uploaded to the repository is the correct one.

How does the Repository relate to open access?

The Repository will be one of our key ways of making publications available on an open access basis. The University’s Open Access policy (due to be considered by Senate in November 2014) requires staff to upload details of journal articles and conference proceedings (i.e. all outputs in publications with an ISSN) and their author accepted manuscript into the Repository within three months of acceptance by a journal. The author accepted manuscript is your own version of the paper incorporating all revisions required by the peer review process, but not including the publisher’s own formatting. This will be required to meet the HEFCE’s policy on open access and the next Research Excellence Framework. For clarity, this form of open access is often referred to as Green open access and author self-archiving.

How do I get publications details into the Repository?

A full guide to uploading publications into the Repository is available. In summary, there are two main ways of entering publication details:
  • manually, that is by typing them in; and
  • by import, that is by importing details from sources such as DOIs, PubMed IDs, or EndNote libraries.

Who should I contact if I have a question not answered here?

Please send your enquiries to Your question will then be answered or forwarded to someone else for an answer as appropriate.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Knowing Me, knowing you . . .

When you examine the information imported from TULIP into the repository, you will notice an odd thing - there will tend to be University of Liverpool staff in the entry listed twice.

This came about because of the way the information about a publication was stored in TULIP. It was not possible to reliably tell which of the staff who had administered (created, edited, etc.) the record were part of the citation list.

In order to address this issue, the records were imported with both sets of users attached. However, administrative users (i.e.e anyone who created or edited the record) are a special user type which means they do not appear in the automatically generated citation for that item. If you wish to clean up the contributor records of you items the repository, it is necessary to perform the following steps on each record:

Create a new version - whenever you make any changes in the repository, you should always create a new version - this creates a history trail for your item records and allows the proper checking of any changes made both against the usage in other institutional systems (PoA, Profile pages etc) and Quality Checking.

 You will see a message to indicate you have successfully created a new version

In the actions tab of the item, now select Edit Item for the new version:

Change the view to the Details of the Item:

Change the contributor type of UoL authors as appropriate (this will mostly be to 'author') and remove (just delete the information) the authors that are duplicates:

Save your changes - they will then be reviewed and normally the new version will go live the next day (there may be a bit of a delay during the initial repository launch period as many people do this!)

Friday, 25 July 2014

The old in and out . . . .

As well as using the institutional repository to manage your official record of outputs for things like REF and PDR, you will often want to utilise other reference management formats, in citing your work while writing, or importing records from other systems. 

The repository can accommodate a large number of these, with a couple available at launch and more developed over time. Initial requirements for the repository identified DOI and PubMed as the key online sources and EndNote and BibTeX as the key bibliographic formats. DOI and PubMed are available on the Sandbox now. Work is proceeding well on EndNote and BibTeX, which require modifications to work with our unusual repository structure (c.f. Behind The Curtain)  

Let us know in the comments below if they are working for you and what additional sources / formats you would like to see available.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Behind the curtain . . .

How you manage recording your publications is changing . . . this blog post will cover some of the processes involved in ensuring your existing information moves across seamlessly to the new platform.

First, a little about the existing facility - the TULIP Manage Publications Function (TULIP-MPF). This has evolved organically out of the University's changing needs to record and report research outputs. It allows a lot of flexibility in how information is recorded. This has its good and bad points. On the plus side, the lack of constraints allows any information to be entered. On the negative side, the lack of constraints allows any information to be entered . . .

For example, in TULIP-MPF you can enter any author names as free text, formatted any way you want. This is great for getting your presentation just right in the other places you use that record BUT it makes it very difficult to link back other members of staff that may be on the publication. There are also innumerable ways to enter the same name of a journal, which can make tracking WHERE people publish difficult.

As part of the move to the new system, there has been a concerted effort to rationalise all this free form information and provide a bit more structure so that, in future, information will be more rigourously controlled. For example, in the new system, as you enter an author's name, suggestions from the staff list will pop up. When you start to type a publication's title, if there are similar titles in the system, they will appear, so that you can see if a colleague has already entered it, and link to that, instead of creating a duplicate.

A lot of time has been spent trying to identify information structures and to carry them across, to try and reduce duplication and make the new information intuitive and useful - both at a personal, and institutional level. One area where this has required a compromise is the way TULIP-MPF records the people involved in a publication. In TULIP-MPF there are two types of person record - those involved with administering the record, and those on the citation (authors, editors, etc). Unfortunately, the authors is a free text string - that is, one of those flexible pieces of information. This means that there's no way for the new system to know which of the authors on teh citation are members of staff, so initially the new repository will only maintain those links to administrative users - which may, or may not, include authors. This means that, in the first instance, those authors who have colleagues on papers will have to edit the citation to link them directly to their staff record.

Initially, the project promises to deliver information AT LEAST AS GOOD as that which currently exists in TULIP-MPF. Over time, individuals will curate their records and much of the duplication and low quality information will be replaced and removed.

Interested in what your records will look like in the new system? The Sandbox has the records from TULIP-MPF and the Research Repository - why not head over and take a look, then let us know what you think in the comments below . . .

Friday, 18 July 2014

Climb every mountain . . . . a brief overview of the ongoing technical work delivering the new Repository

As we start the final transition from the TULIP manage publications to we are going to publish a number of technical articles explaining some of the processes and issues involved. This first one is a general overview and introduction.

The project is split into a number of phases. At the start of the upcoming academic year, phase one will deliver. This is a replacement of the functionality of the manage publications function in TULIP (TULIP-MPF), moving from an ad hoc internally developed system to one of the institutional standards. Subsequent phases will develop the features above and beyond those already available.

Phase one has focused on delivering a simple process to move all of the existing records out of TULIP-MPF (and the pilot Liverpool Research Archive). A great deal of effort has been focussed on structuring the information to make it more reliable. For example, in TULIP-MPF, the author names in a citation are free text. This makes it really hard to link authors and publications together, especially if a colleague enters the data. In the new system all personal data is directly linked to the staff records for UoL employees and will make suggestions based on records already existing for other contributors.

Autocomplete suggestions will search existing records for titles of publications already in the repository, so that the same output is not entered twice and journal names will also feature autocomplete suggestions.

The system will make it easier to enter already existing article records, initially supporting import from DOI and PubMed. Other bibliographic formats (EndNote, BibTeX, etc) will be available for import and export.

Upcoming articles will focus in a bit more depth on some of the above. If you have something in particular you would like to hear more about, why not leave us a comment?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Reported issues and feedback

Your feedback will help us improve the functionality of the repository, so that when the full live version is launched we have a robust system in place. This blog posting will be used to highlight the issues you've fed back to the team and the status of work on that issue.

You can use the comments section of this post to highlight new issues. If you do so, please give us the following information to help us diagnose the problem: Operating System; Web Browser: Network (e.g. Managed Windows Service network)

Issues and feedback

Issue: Entering details of book chapters.
Symptom: Currently the way the citation for these items displays makes no differentiation between author and editor (i.e. all names appear as if authors of the book chapter).
Status: Fixed

Issue: Display problem.
Symptom: Large black bar covering top section of homepage when viewed on Internet Explorer 8.
Status: Being investigated.

Teething problem - fixed

As the previous post mentioned, we had some issues with users accessing the Sandbox

An immediate investigation showed that a development setting had been left on instead of being switched off, meaning that only users in the group coo were able to log on.

This has now been reset so that all users with an MWS account can access the Sandbox.

Thanks to all those who reported the issue and worked with us on identifying it and ensuring the fix worked

Wouldn't you know it - teething troubles

A number of users have contacted us to say that they have been unable to log in to the Sandbox repository. We don't know how widespread the problem is at the moment, but are working with some of the affected users in attempt to rectify the problem. We will post again once we have a solution.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

"Sandbox" University of Repository now available

In preparation for the next Research Excellence Framework the university needs to develop an institutional repository in order to meet the requirements of the REF Open Access policy.

The Library and CSD are developing our University Repository for this purpose, and a “sandbox” version of the Repository is now available at

We want to ensure that the Repository meets your needs as well as those of the Research Excellence Framework, and so over summer the sandbox University Repository will be available for you to test out its features and experiment with uploading information.

We will gather feedback and make announcements of developments on this blog, where you can also get further details of the what and why of the Repository (see earlier entries below). This is your chance to tell us what features you would like to see added and what needs to be improved.

As this is a sandbox version of the Repository you can add dummy items and try out different use cases. We will be re-setting the sandbox at points during the summer, so don’t be surprised to find new features added, and items you have created no longer there. A Deposit Guide is available from the Repository homepage to get you started.

The Repository includes publication details imported from both TULIP and the old Research Archive (an earlier system using the same software as the new University Repository). These data will in some cases be less than ideal, but as part of the testing period you can try out editing records.

Acting on your feedback, the full version of the Repository (including full integration with TULIP to ensure that items appear in your profile pages) will then be launched in time for the start of the new academic session.

Friday, 11 April 2014

The University Repository Project - the What and Why

This entry outlines the purpose and benefits of the University Repository project.

The key systems


Historically, one of TULIP’s functions has been to act as the University’s publications database, holding bibliographic details of all publications / outputs of research by university staff.

Bibliographic data held in TULIP are used for purposes such as REF submissions and providing details of publications for personal web pages and the PDR system.

The TULIP publications database was designed as an internal-facing system, rather than as a system to provide bibliographic details to users external to the university, and does not enforce any specific format for storing bibliographic details.

The Repository

Institutional repositories are online databases of publications, and can include metadata-only records (i.e. just the information about research publications) and metadata-and-full-text records.

The University Repository runs on the EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton. It is the most widely-used such software in the UK.

The Repository is specifically designed to host and make publicly available bibliographic data in a properly structured fashion. It can also help make the outputs of university research more widely available by hosting the full text of outputs.


Interplay between the two systems

The University requires a publications database, a single source of data on its research outputs (currently provided by TULIP). It also needs to be able to comply with the open access requirements of the next REF (for which it will need an institutional repository).

It is inefficient to require staff to enter and maintain publications details in two separate systems. As such, the repository project aims to integrate the two systems.

The purpose of the project

The project will see the research publications data currently held in TULIP transferred into the Repository, so that the Repository will have all the publications details of the University’s outputs. By the project’s conclusion, there will therefore only be one system for both holding details of publication outputs and, where desired/necessary, the full text of outputs.

Bibliographic data in the Repository will still be available to be called by TULIP for re-use in other systems, such as the PDR system, personal web pages, and so on.

This has the following advantages:

  •  staff need only enter publication details into one system, not two;

  • the system they’ll be using is designed to meet the new requirements of an externally facing repository;

  • the new system will continue to feed those other systems (PDR pages, personal web pages, etc.) already in use;

  • the new system will allow for full text of outputs to be stored on a central University system and, where necessary, made available on an open access basis.

How things will be after switchover

Once publications details from TULIP have been imported into the Repository, all those details will be held in what is called the Review Buffer within the Repository. This means that the data are available for internal viewing by logged in staff, but will not be available on the Repository’s public interface. The data will still be available to other internal systems for PDR, web pages and other purposes outlined above. Staff can then choose if they wish to make their records, or certain ones of their records, publicly available through the public repository interface.

A word on data quality

As already noted, TULIP was not designed to impose full bibliographic standards on data collection.

One example of this is the Author field, which was collected as a single free-format text string, rather than a list of individual names (as in the new Repository). Although most records have been split into individual names for the data transfer process, in some cases names such as “de Bolins” or “van Houten” may not be migrated correctly; et al may be given as an actual author name; and so on.

Whilst starting with fully cleaned data would be ideal, this would require significant manual intervention which would therefore add a considerable delay to the project, so we have chosen to prioritise the release of the new system.

Into the future

After switchover, the Repository will become the University publications database, and bibliographic data on staff outputs will need to be entered into it. This can be done manually or by simple import from other sources of bibliographic data, such as lists of DOIs, PubMed IDs, and other bibliographic data sources. As outlined earlier, other systems that use this data (e.g. profile pages) will continue to work as before.