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Library Research Support & Services 2019: Symplectic Elements


Elements is the University's publications information system (supplied by Symplectic) and the place where authors can upload full text outputs for deposit to PEARL, the University's Open Access Repository.  
All staff have an Elements profile. Please log in using your Plymouth username and password:

How to configure and use Elements

  • Roles: Any reporting or delegation roles (if applicable) will also be shown on this page.


You will be redirected to ORCiD to register or sign in.  
Symplectic will regularly read your ORCID record and add publications that you have claimed in ORCiD to your Symplectic profile.  
ORCiD can populate ORCiD with exact matches. The other import methods rely on keyword searching (so may not be accurate, especially if you have a common name) or manual upload. ORCiD will also autopopulate with new articles when you submit your ORCiD ID in you manuscript submission – more and more publishers are signing up.
See our full guidance on ORCiD:

Click the Menu and ‘Search Settings’ box on the home page:


Name variants:
The default name given will be that which is held on iTrent, the university’s HR system.  The need to use any of the subsequent search terms below will depend on how common the surname is.

This has to match any terminology used by databases e.g. as PU could be described as “Univ. of Plymouth”; “University of Plymouth”; “Plymouth University”; "Plymouth Business School" etc., it is safest to simply use the lowest common denominator of “Plymouth”.  Likewise, add a short place name for each previous institution e.g. “London”.

Keywords and Journals:
Use with care – these fields are only recommended only for very common names where name/place does not bring back specific enough hits.

Database search settings: Scroll further down the page to adjust the harvesting settings of databases configured work with Elements:   PubMed, PubMed Central, Web of Science, arXiv (physics/computer science/maths), DBLP(computer science), RePEc(economics) and CiNii(Japan) are currently configured for harvesting by Elements.  Tick only the databases relevant to your area.  
CrossRef database of DOIs (multidisciplinary) will also be searched.

Add in specifc profiles e.g. a ResearchID from Web of Science to personalise even further:

Manage your Pending Publications  harvested by the databases:

Elements has harvested hits from different databases.  You now need to ‘claim’ them as your publications or ‘reject’ them if incorrectly harvested.

Mine  =  publications  accepted as being written by the user
Pending  = results retrieved by the automated harvesting, awaiting Claim or Reject
Not Mine
= these will not be retrieved by the automated harvesting again so a decision is only required once on each output.

Mistakes in the data?
To view full details of the publication, click on the publication title link. This will also display the database source name.  Click this to display the full record from the database. If any of the details are wrong, then the database, e.g. Web of Science, should be contacted to request a data correction.  Contact if this is required.  A temporary fix is to create a manual record with the correct information and then to click the star  to denote it as the ‘favourite record’.  

Outputs which are not indexed in the data sources or imported via EndNote will need to be manually added via pre-set forms. (NB: use of ORCiD to manage a publication profile is recommended.  ORCiD is interoperable with most systems including Elements and reduces the manual burden e.g populating profiles for grant submission etc.)

DOI look up:

For articles there is a DOI look up and for books an ISBN ‘Google Books’ look up – Elements will look externally to bring in a record and prepopulate the necessary fields.

If it cannot find a pre-existing record, you will be prompted to fill in a record manually. 

Records can be imported into Elements from EndNote:

In EndNote:

  • Click on File / Export. Name the file and use a .txt file extension eg mypubs.txt
  • Output style – Choose Select another style and then select RefMan (RIS) Export. Click the Choose button.
  • Save the file.

Return to Elements:

  • Go to “Home” and collapse the “Publications” left hand menu > click “import” 
  • Browse to the saved filed > “upload” 
  • Elements will indicate any upload failures e.g. records without titles.
  • Elements will also give an indication and instructions about any matched records that match records already in Elements. 

Go to “Elements” > “Publications” and ensure 'detailed view' (not 'compact') is selected:

Hover over the Altmetrics donuts to see the social media buzz on your articles:

Export a list of publications:

  • Go to the portal ( > 'My Personal Details' > 'Staff' > 'PPP'
  • Click the “now set to Elements Publications” link > “submit
  • Then select “set your display preferences” to make visible your Elements feed by ticking both boxes next to “publications”
  • Changes should take effect after 24 hours.
Senior staff may wish to delegate access to their Elements account to another individual, such as an Administrator or assistant, so that they can manage publications on their behalf. Actions taken by the delegate will be recorded as being done by the delegate.

The delegate must be added by the profile holder:  Go to “Account Settings” > type the surname of the delegate and add
Delegates can be removed in the same way.


PEARL Deposit Agreements

Help & Support

For queries on these systems please contact: or log a problem with the Service Desk: or 01758 (5)88588

What are the benefits to using Elements and Pearl?

New: Ask the library about how to populate your school or faculty extranet pages with a dynamic feed of publications which includes the DOI and Open Access PEARL links:

View PEARL statistics

See the most downloaded thesis or research paper from PEARL.  The statistics may surprise you.  Did you know that between approximately 15,000 to 20,000 items are downloaded from PEARL each month?  Work deposited into PEARL can be found by anybody, anywhere in the world.

business, chart, computer, data, finance, graph, statistics icon

  • Elements is a single source of publications data that can be repurposed for any internal or external reporting required e.g. HEFCE REF with publication data harvested automatically by external search engines and systems such as ORCiD.
  • Automatic populating of staff members' profile pages on the extranet. 
  • Enables full text publishing of research outputs into PEARL, the university's repository, which is then harvested by Google Scholar and other search engines.
  • Using these systems enables open access to your research, satisfying funder mandates and preserves your outputs for the future.