Symplectic Help


The symplectic publications database used by Leeds University allows academic members of staff to compile lists of publications. The system regularly checks various databases, including Scopus and Web of Science Lite, using the user’s name and initials, and the publications it finds are added to the user’s record. The system then sends an email asking the user to check the pending list and either approve or decline each publication.

The symplectic system has a web service which is used to pull data from the publications database. The service is not available off-campus, so if you need to access it remotely, you will need to login using Desktop Anywhere.

Checking the Feed for a user

The output of the service is an XML file which lists the publications of a user in the symplectic database. Once you have the symplectic ID for a user, you can check the contents of the feed using the following URL:[uniqueid]

[tab:Using Symplectic]

What can I do if searching of on-line databases has been turned off for my record?

Once you have logged in, click on the search settings heading on your summary page. At the bottom of the settings page ensure that you have a check in the box next to Web of Science (and PubMed if you think that any of your papers will be picked up by that!).

How can I change the search criteria?

If the default search isn’t picking up all of the publications that you think it should be, click on the search settings heading on your summary page. On that page you can add alternative forms of your name and change the starting date for the search. If you decide to add keywords or journals, do so with care, you may find you limit the search too far.

New members of staff should particularly check the addresses listed. “Leeds” is automatically added when your record is created. You’ll need to edit the search criteria and add keywords for any institution that you have worked in previously.

Can I add or edit publications manually?

Yes. Links on your summary and publications pages allow you to add publications easily. If you want to edit a publication that is already there, click on the Manual tab above the publication title, then click the edit button. Full instructions are available on the symplectic site.

You can change your search settings if you find you are declining a lot of publications, or if you feel the search is missing too many. It is also possible to add publications manually. In particular, chapters in books are often not included in Web of Science. If you have only recently arrived in Leeds you will probably want to update your affiliations.

Why are some records duplicated and what can I do about it?

Publications that were in the ULPD system (pre-August 2008) were imported into Symplectic when that was set up. These are all marked as “Manual”. Since then Symplectic has been running checks for publications in Web of Science and importing those. Unfortunately it doesn’t always seem to be able to tell when a publication has already been added manually and adds a duplicate record. If you have added publications manually you may also find that Symplectic has created duplicate records.

It is possible to join records manually, either when viewing pending publications or once you have accepted a publication. See the section on “Records found in more than one online database” in the Full guide.

If I delete / reject publications will it affect my co-author’s records?

No, it won’t. You are not removing the publications from the database, just disassociating them from your own record. Each member of staff approves / rejects publications only for themselves.

Why don’t the records I have approved or edited show up on my School web page?

If your site uses the Staff Profiles plugin, your symplectic ID number has to be added to your School web page manually before the link is made with Symplectic. The plugin allows you to specify which items are shown on your page according to their status (Published, Accepted, etc.), so once you have some publications on your page, check these settings to ensure that the correct publications are being displayed. If you already have a publications list on your page, note that changes to the symplectic database only update the data held by WordPress overnight, so any additions or changes you make will only show up the next day.

There are issues with the publications listed on my web page, how can I solve these?

Try checking the publications to make sure:

  • they have a publication date
  • they are marked as published
  • they have not been marked as invisible

Don’t forget that if you make changes they won’t take effect on your web page until the next day.

Do I need to add publications which are in press/not yet published?

While you can add these manually, it is acceptable to wait until they are published and show up in one of the bibliographical sources symplectic uses. If you add them manually and they are later picked up automatically, you will need to remember to delete the duplicate. In this case it is probably best to delete the publication that was added manually (there will be a symbol on the Summary record).

How can I upload copies of my publications and link to them?

The best location to upload full-text publications is the White Rose e-repository. The repository has a direct link to Symplectic and there are detailed instructions on how to request that a publication is uploaded.

Copyright is a problem, but publishers often allow you to upload the final peer reviewed copy of a paper. Full details and link to Sherpa/Romeo for checking the copyright permissions are available on the instruction page.

Once papers are uploaded to the White Rose Repository they should automatically be linked from the list on your web page.

How can I add links to my publications held on other sites?

The Author URL field is exposed in the Staff profiles plugin, as is the notes field, but you will need to specify their display in your wordpress profile for them to show up on your page.