Enhanced RIS – One week in from changeover…

RIS Home
Feedback button icon

Many thanks for your feedback and ideas for the new RIS system. We are currently working through these requests, and fixing bugs that have been identified post-launch.

Please provide any further feedback, comments and observations via the Feedback button which you will see on the right hand side of the RIS Home screen.

We will provide additional drop-in training sessions over the next few weeks (details tbc).

If you have any queries please contact Laura Bailey (laura.bailey@swansea.ac.uk) and/or Andrew Burrows (a.j.burrows@swansea.ac.uk).

Research Information System Enhancement (RISE) Development Update #3

Where are we now?

User testing has been a key focus over the past weeks with users from across all Colleges and Schools being invited to test the system. This includes members of the REF Team, REF Officers and academics. We have held sessions in ISS and also run sessions remotely to allow colleagues to test the system from the comfort of their own offices and at a time convenient to them.

A number of common concerns have been raised through the testing including:

· The need for the system to give a visual sign when pages are loading

· Additional save buttons to prevent the user from scrolling needlessly

· A welcome message using the users preferred name e.g. welcome John, rather welcome J.Jones@swansea.ac.uk

We would welcome any further feedback on the system and if you would like to be involved in testing please contact the team on the details provided below.

What next?

Over the coming weeks we will be working to ensure that the feedback from user testing is used to inform future development work and to fix common problems. We will also be looking ahead to the rollout of the system in September, with our attention turning to developing training sessions and updating user guides.

Please note, the Outputs Mini-REF for 2019 will be run from the current RIS following the Publications Mini-REF Assessment Process 2019.

Feedback and get involved

Colleagues are welcome to come and view the current stages of development in Faraday, Singleton or to attend bi-weekly showcase meetings where the development team demo the new system, to provide an opportunity for colleagues and inform future developments.

We will be continuing to test the system with users over the coming weeks. If you are interested in taking part please contact Laura Bailey (laura.bailey@swansea.ac.uk) and/or Andrew Burrows (a.j.burrows@swansea.ac.uk). We will of course keep you up-to-date on progress and training will be provided should the changes to the system necessitate this

Exporting publications from RIS to another system

If you want to set up a new research profile (such as an ORCiD) then a new feature on Cronfa can help! Research staff at Swansea University are required to enter all their publications onto our Research Information System (RIS). This then feeds them out to their staff web page, our institutional repository Cronfa and other processes such as REF. You can get publications into RIS directly from ORCiD but until recently there has been no easy way to get publications out of RIS into another system.

RIS feeds publications into Cronfa: a recent enhancement to Cronfa means that researchers can now export their publications from there BUT this will only capture outputs in RIS which have the “Public” flag ticked so that they appear on Cronfa (you will see a red Cross next to your output in RIS if it is not currently public).

In Cronfa, navigate to your author page: you can do this by searching for one of your outputs and then clicking on the “Swansea University author” name (highlighted in yellow below):


An author page looks like this:


At the top (highlighted yellow in the screenshot) there is an “Export all as” option. You can choose either EndNote or BibTex. If you select “BibTex”, you can manually edit the file name and add a “.bib” extension.

BibTex is used, for example, by ORCiD as one of their import options so this provides a quick route to populate your ORCiD profile with all your publications, particularly if you have publications which are not indexed in major databases such as Scopus.

If you wish to export a selection of outputs from Cronfa, you can use the “Bookbag” functionality. On any search results page you can select specific outputs and use the “Add to Bookbag”. The suitcase item at the top of the screen lets you view your “Bookbag” and there is an export option there for Refworks, EndNote and BibTex.



Uploading papers to RIS: new version field

As part of the preparations for the new open access policy for the next REF, staff are now being asked to enter some additional information on RIS when uploading papers.

To upload a PDF to RIS, go to the “Documents” tab and click “Upload File” next to the correct output. You will then see the following fields:


The “Set Versions” field contains a list of values defined by NISO as international standards (which are required for compliance reporting).  The full documentation can be found here (PDF link) but the NISO definitions are given below. (If you just need a quick answer:

  • Preprint = “Author’s Original”
  • Accepted manuscript / post-print = “Accepted Manuscript”
  • Published version = “Version of Record”)

The Version will now be displayed on Cronfa when a file is available for download and a value has been supplied.

Author’s Original

(this would correspond to a pre-print version)

Any version of a journal article that is considered by the author to be of sufficient quality to be submitted for formal peer review by a second party. The author accepts full responsibility for the article. May have a version number or date stamp. Content and layout as set out by the author.

Submitted Manuscript Under Review

Any version of a journal article that is under formal review managed by a socially recognized publishing entity. The entity recognizes its responsibility to provide objective expert review and feedback to the author, and, ultimately, to pass judgment on the fitness of the article for publication with an “accept” or “reject” decision. May have a version number or date stamp. Content and layout follow publisher’s submission requirements.

Accepted Manuscript

(also known as the post-print, this is the minimum version required to comply with HEFCE’s REF open access policy)

The version of a journal article that has been accepted for publication in a journal. A second party (the “publisher”—see “Version of Record” below for definition) takes permanent responsibility for the article. Content and layout follow publisher’s submission requirements.


A version of a journal article that is created as part of the publication process. This includes the copy-edited manuscript, galley proofs (i.e., a typeset version that has not been made up into pages), page proofs, and revised proofs. Some of these versions may remain essentially internal process versions, but others are commonly released from the internal environment (e.g., proofs are sent to authors) and may thus become public, even though they are not authorized to be so. Content has been changed from Accepted Manuscript; layout is the publisher’s.

Version of Record

(This is the Publisher version. It is rare for publishers to permit this version to be self-archived: check Sherpa Romeo for the copyright for a journal)

A fixed version of a journal article that has been made available by any organization that acts as a publisher by formally and exclusively declaring the article “published”. This includes any “early release” article that is formally identified as being published even before the compilation of a volume issue and assignment of associated metadata, as long as it is citable via some permanent identifier(s). This does not include any “early release” article that has not yet been “fixed” by processes that are still to be applied, such as copy-editing, proof corrections, layout, and typesetting.

Corrected Version of Record

A version of the Version of Record of a journal article in which errors in the VoR have been corrected. The errors may be author errors, publisher errors, or other processing errors.

Enhanced Version of Record

A version of the Version of Record of a journal article that has been updated or enhanced by the provision of supplementary material.


ISS are happy to advise if you have any questions on uploading papers or open access compliance: iss-research@swansea.ac.uk



RIS Update: file version now required

If you are uploading documents to RIS (which Swansea researchers should be to ensure open access compliance with both the University’s mandate and the REF policy…) you will notice that on the “Upload file” screen there is now an additional required field to give the version of the output. This is one of several forthcoming changes to ensure that the system is capturing all the required information for open access compliance:

Screenshot of RIS showing the new "Set Version" field
(Click for full-size screenshot)

The options shown are taken from the NISO documentation and the “Help with setting a version” link will give more detail on what they mean (unfortunately we are required to use this slightly confusing terminology for external reporting purposes). The key ones to note are:

  • “Accepted Manuscript” – this is the version required by the REF policy as a minimum. Also known as the “Author’s accepted version” or “post-print”. This is also the version USUALLY permitted by publishers for self-archiving – see our previous post on how to check your journal’s policy. We would anticipate most files uploaded should be this version and not having any publisher formatting.
  • “Version of Record” – this is the published version. Unless you have retained the copyright to your output AND have permission to use the publisher’s formatted version, it is unlikely you would be permitted under copyright to upload this version. Again, see our post for how to check your copyright situation.

There is a detailed discussion of the various versions of an output on the “Versions toolkit“. As always, contact us on iss-research@swansea.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns. We’d be glad to help!

The Guide to RIS has been updated to reflect this change – see p.7 for a step-by-step guide on uploading documents.

ORCID import to RIS now available

Swansea University’s internal Research Information System (RIS) now has a one-way import from ORCID. Anyone wanting an easier way to update their publications in RIS can transfer them in bulk from their ORCID (or just update with additional outputs). The import button is on the Outputs tab:

Screenshot from the RIS outputs tab showing the Import button for ORCID

This functionality is available once you have entered your ORCID in the ABW (HR) system. There may be a short delay before it appears in RIS.

Not got an ORCID? You should! ORCID has become the indispensable researcher identifier used by funders, publishers and more. You can sign up on the ORCID website and we have a guide on how to populate your id (PDF).

Please let us know (iss-research@swansea.ac.uk) if you have any problems or feedback for the ORCID import.

What you said about RIS…

Photo of post-its with RIS feedback on

Back in April we ran a series of groups to gather staff feedback on Swansea University’s Research Information System (RIS). Many thanks to all staff who participated! We had some excellent feedback and ideas across the 4 groups we ran (and some additional one-to-one conversations yielded further feedback).

We recorded all the individual comments, grouped them and scored them (attendees were asked for priorities). Some of our feedback was from RIS Administrators and focused specifically on the Admininstration tab within RIS – some minor changes have been implemented already (e.g. a new staff lookup) and other changes are currently in progress. The results relating to the general user interface are presented below. The top 10 change requests were as follows:

  1. Greater clarity and simplicity for the process of publishing documents (full text) to Cronfa: “public” flags and ticks are currently confusing.
  2. It should be possible to upload a document when adding the metadata of an output (not as a subsequent step on the separate “Documents” tab as at present).
  3. More information in the “i” help fields – what effect certain fields have and are they necessary? This covers a multitude of queries on specific fields.
  4. Confusion about dates (publication / authored / in print) in RIS and which are required. We are also missing the “Date of Acceptance” which needs to be added for REF compliance.
  5. Synchronization with ORCID so that publications could be imported from ORCID to RIS and vice versa.
  6. Adding authors for an output: to be able to do this when adding the output details (at the moment you have to save the output, then edit to add additional authors manually)
  7. Additional fields needed when adding full-text documents to RIS (e.g. version, notes).
  8. The ability to populate RIS from a search on a database such as SCOPUS or Web of Science.
  9. Allow for greater flexibility in terms of visibility on Cronfa and staff web pages: at the moment the “Publish” option covers both locations but staff would like to be able to publish documents on a staff web page and not Cronfa, for example.
  10. Confusion over the “co-authored” flag and what it means.

There was also feedback on the problem of duplicate records appearing in Cronfa (an example here). This would require a major revision to the RIS system which cannot be undertaken at present (see below) however the developers are looking at options for workarounds.

As most research staff are aware, RIS is currently experiencing high usage due to the Research Excellence Framework planning activities underway in most colleges. Changes to the user interface are therefore on hold until these exercises are over. We are hopeful that there will be a new release for RIS in the late summer / early autumn (after beta testing) which will address most of the points listed above.

If you would like to send feedback on RIS, please email us on iss-research@swansea.ac.uk and we will continue to collate ideas and suggestions.

RIS and Cronfa

RIS is Swansea University’s Research Information System. It is a central repository of research which is only available to staff. All research publications authored or co-authored by Swansea University staff can be uploaded into RIS and it will be used to generate entries for the REF, the annual list of university research etc. You can access it via http://home.swansea.ac.uk

Cronfa means store or reservoir in Welsh. This will make information for university publications available online to the wider academic community and will be searchable by tools such as Google Scholar, increasing the visibility of your research.

For more information and advice contact your college research co-ordinator or your subject librarian.