Information Services Division


Research Publications Service (RPS) - FAQ

Launch RPS
General Information on RPS
Login problems
Technical Settings
Loading Full Text into UCL/Discovery
Settings for Online Datasource Searching
Maintaining Publications
RPS Data in External Systems and Web Pages
Delegating Administration
Information for Administrators
RPS and REF 2014
More Help....

General Information on RPS

Q. What is the Research Publications Service (RPS)?

A. The Research Publications Service is the repository for UCL's research publications output.  RPS is accessed via the web and authors can enter the metadata for their publications manually or set up search settings which will harvest data from on-line sources such as PubMed, Web of Science and DBLP. There is also the ability to upload the full text of the publication to UCL Eprints.

Q. What is the data in RPS be used for?

A. The data held in RPS will be made available to a number of different systems and web front ends including IRIS, SLMS web site, personal web pages and departmental web pages. The data will also be used for REF 2014 and Professorial Appraisal.

Q. Who ‘owns’ the data held in RPS?

A. The data is owned and remains the responsibility of the authors of the outputs recorded. However, manual records may be subject to centrally managed quality control mechanisms to ensure that they are complete and accurate for the purposes of public presentation and national research assessment exercises such as REF 2014. It is essential that publications which are intended to be put forward for submission to REF have a full and correct bibliographic record. For these reasons, Library Services will monitor quality of data and may make changes as necessary to RPS data including merging and deleting duplicate records.

Q. Someone has changed my data. Why?

A. Staff in Library Services need to monitor the quality of the data in RPS and may find it necessary to make changes. Departmental staff may also perform quality checks at a local level.  If you find that the reasons for any change made to their data are not clear, find the publication record affected and click on the History tab. Here you will find the name of the person who has made the change so that you can contact them for more information.

Login Problems

Q. I can't log in - my userid isn't recognised. What can I do?

A. First check that you can log into other UCL sites (such as UCL Moodle). If not, you may have a problem with your UCL password and should contact the ISD Service Desk.

If your password works OK elsewhere, you may have more than one UCL account and RPS is using the incorrect one. Log into the UCL Directory Self Service page - from here you can see your UCL accounts. By selecting 'Exclude email?' against a particular address, you can set it as 'least preferred' account and it will not be used by central systems such as RPS.

Alternatively, contact RPS Support at rps-support@ucl.ac.uk for further advice.

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Technical Settings

Q. Which browsers can I use with RPS?

A. The suppliers recommend the following browsers to be used for RPS:-

  • Internet Explorer Version 8 and above.
  • Safari 5
  • Firefox 4

Q. Can I add a photo to my RPS profile?

A. As RPS is not a public facing service, any profile picture would only be seen by yourself, someone you delegate access to your profile, or to an administrator. The public facing profile per researcher is IRIS and it is here that you can upload a picture not in RPS.

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Uploading Full Text to UCL/Discovery

Q. How do you full text into UCL/Discovery?

A. The following video clip shows how to load full text into the institutional Respository i.e. UCL/Discovery :

  • Go to the Full Text tab for the publication
  • Locate the file to upload and RPS will feed that file to the UCL/Discovery team for copyright checking and loading into UCL/Discovery

Q.  I used to use OnCite. What has happened to my data?

A. OnCite data has been imported into RPS. Please note that it will be marked as a manual datasource.

Q. There are some missing records in RPS that used to be in OnCite. What has happened to these?

A. Where it has not been possible to match publication records to a user in RPS, the records have not been imported but have been stored for a limited time. Instructions for how to retrieve and upload the missing records can be found here.

Q. My H-Index has been calculated incorrectly when compared to ResearcherID or Scopus. How can I get the correct data?

A. RPS uses data from Web of Science to calculate your H-Index. If the H-Index reported by RPS is different from ResearcherID it will be because RPS does not have the same information on which to perform the calculation.

This can be fixed by ensuring that RPS has imported the correct data from Web of Science. This is done by manipulating your search settings (see below for some tips or the Guide to Search Settings for more detailed instructions).

Common reasons why RPS will not find your publications from Web of Science include:

  • Publications are indexed under different variants of your name (e.g. "Darwin CR" rather than "Darwin C".
  • Your search is only retrieving "UCL" or "University College London" publications and not publications from previous institutions. (Some older publications may have "UNIV COLL UNIV LOND" or similar in Web of Science as an address, for example).

If in doubt about how your publications may be indexed on Web of Science, compare the name and address details of your publication list on ResearcherID or Web of Science and make sure that they are matched in RPS.

It is important to remember that publication details added manually (including those imported from the previous system, OnCite) will not be included in the H-Index calculation - only those with a data source from Web of Science.

If you prefer to display details from a manual record or from another datasource, this will not alter how the H-index is calculated provided the Web of Science source exists as a datasource as well.

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Settings for Online Datasource Searching

Q. Which Datasources are searched by RPS?

A. RPS currently searches against:

Q. Web of Science data seems to be different after the upgrade in December 2011. Why?

A. Thomson Reuters the providers of the Web of Science data source have changed the options available via the Symplectic tool that RPS is built on.

Thomson Reuters have introduced a new service model for their Web of Science data services with two new levels of subscription: WS Lite and InCites/WS Premium. These changes will affect the data received by RPS when it performs online searches of the WoS database.   UCL are subscribed to the new WS Lite data service.  This change will limit some of the data previously obtainable from WoS for all new publications RPS harvests.  However UCL has come to an agreement with Thomson Reuters and any records previously harvested from WoS that are in RPS will remain intact.

Q. What do I do if the imported data is incorrect?

A. You can edit data that has been imported. This will create a second version of the data that you can set to be your preferred version (see the User Guide for more details on setting preferred data sources).

If the data is incorrect in an online datasource, you may link to report the error directly. For Web of Science, for example, this can be done by using the data change request form available here:


Q. I have too many search results - most of them aren't mine. How can I change search settings?

A. The default Search Settings for RPS can be too broad for some people - especially if they share a name with other authors - so their Pending Publications list may contain lots of entries for publications that are not theirs.

Update your search settings to refine the results for online searches. Try adding Address information to limit results to UCL (add "UCL" and "University College London") and for other any previous institutions. You could also try limiting results by entering a start date, i.e. for when you started publishing.

Search Settings can be updated by clicking the 'Search Settings' link on your homepage (below the Publications section) or by selecting 'My Elements' > 'Search Settings' from the RPS menu.

More information on updating search terms can be found in the User Guide.

Q. The online search hasn't found all my publications. How can I change search settings?

A. Make sure that your Search Settings are broad enough to cover most scenarios:

  • Try adding name variants if you sometimes publish under a different name or use a different firstname or initials. 
  • Try adding Address information - if your default search just lists UCL/University College London, RPS will not find any publications you may have for previous institutions.
  • Check how the address is stored in the source on-line database. For example, some publications have been known to have an address of "Univ Coll London" in which case this address should be entered in the search settings.
  • If you have other restrictions, such as searching only for specific Journals or by Keywords, try removing these as such options make the automated searches very restrictive.

Search Settings can be updated by clicking the 'Search Settings' link on your homepage (below the Publications section) or by selecting 'My Elements' > 'Search Settings' from the RPS menu. Click on the Plus (+) button to the right of 'Default search terms' or the other search terms to see the settings.

More information on updating search terms can be found in the User Guide.

Q. I often publish under a different name. How can I add that name to my search settings?

A. You need to enter Name Variants under your Search Settings. Search Settings can be updated by clicking the 'Search Settings' link on your homepage (below the Publications section) or by selecting 'My Elements' > 'Search Settings' from the RPS menu. Click on the Plus (+) button to the right of 'Default search terms' or the other search temrs to see the settings.

Enter Name Variants in the format "Surname Initials" or "Surname Firstname": e.g. "Darwin C", "Darwin CR" or "Darwin Charles". Click on the Plus (+) button to the right to add the terms.

RPS Name Variants

Once the terms have entered click on Save at the bottom of the screen.

Q. How do I include items published before I was at UCL?

A. Check your Search Settings. For some users, an address "UCL"/"University College London" already added. This will mean that only publications related to UCL will be imported from online databases. You can add names of other institutions as well if you have published before joining UCL.

Search Settings can be updated by clicking the 'Search Settings' link on your homepage (below the Publications section) or by selecting 'My Elements' > 'Search Settings' from the RPS menu.

More information on updating search terms can be found in the User Guide.

Q. Can I use my ResearcherID to retrieve my publications?

A. Yes - there is an option under the advanced search settings for the Web of Science (Lite) data source. To enter the ResearcherID:

  • Login to RPS.
  • Click on the 'my elements' menu then 'search settings'.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the list of data sources.
  • Expand the Web of Science (Lite) section as seen below:
RPS ResearcherID
  • Enter the ResearcherID as indicated above.
  • Make sure you have selected the Web of Science (Lite) data source.
  • Click on 'save' at the bottom of the page.

NB:  When records from Web of Science are added to a ResearcherID profile, the records in Web of Science are updated to get associated with that ResearcherID. 

This association between Web of Science and ResearcherID happens periodically and the usual time taken for this process is 7 to 10 days.  It is after this period, the ResearcherID publication becomes searchable in Web of Science.

Q.  How do I increase  Open Access content using arXiv messenger tool ?

A.  Harvested publications in your RPS profile that have details from arXiv may be included in the new full text retrieval 'arXiv messenger' tool. This tool is an easy way to increase your Open Access content in UCL Discovery as it saves you locating your arXiv files. If arXiv messenger locates full text that can be deposited to one or more of your publications, you will see a text alert when you login to RPS. The alerts are also indicated by the envelope icon and number to the left of the search box.


Click on the link in the text alert to see the list of files ready for upload in the arXiv messenger Inbox.


To deposit the text for one of the publications listed, click on the link 'Upload your file to UCL Discovery' which is found under the publication title. This will open the File management screen for the particular publication.


Click on upload to right of the arXiv file icon and then click on the ‘grant’ button to transfer the file to UCL Discovery and to confirm UCL discovery can disseminate the full text, subject to copyright. The UCL Discovery team always check copyright before making any full text publicly available.

Go back to the arXiv Inbox (or click on the envelope icon at the top of your screen) and repeat with any other publications that are listed.

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Maintaining Publications

Q.  I have just received an email from RPS what do I do ?

A. If you receive and e-mail from RPS about having Pending Publications awaiting approval, have a look at the Getting Started with RPS guide

Q. How do I change a Publication Type?

A. There may be times when you need to change a publication type. This may be because some OnCite publication types could not be directly matched to the RPS publication types or because you wish to change an entry that you have entered or imported manually.

Changing a publication type is different from making other changes and is done from the publications list.

  1. Find the publication you wish to change on your list of publications (from the Home Page select Publications)
  2. For each publication, the Publication Type is listed above the summary:

    Publication Type
  3. Click the publication type and a drop-down box will appear:

    Change Publication Type
  4. Click Save once you have selected the new publication type.
  5. As there is not always a direct match between fields when changing publication types, you should now click on the Edit button to make sure that the data appears in the correct fields.

Q.  How do I make a publication favourite?

A. When you make a publication favourite they appear on a tab in your profile page in RPS and also are displayed at the top on your IRIS page.

To make a publication favourite first find the publication you wish to change on your list of publications (from the Home Page select Publications).  Then click the heart shaped icon next to the publication.


Q. Can I add Grants or link Grants to Publications in RPS?

A. Unfortunately Grant facility is not currently utilised and there is no way to remove Grants from the header on the Profile page.

Q. What is the Reporting Date?

A. For each publication record there are two fields which store the date - the publication/conference/etc. date and the reporting date. The reporting date is created the first time the publication is created and will be based on the date in the publication/conference/etc. date field. This allows you to record different publication dates but use the reporting date to be the date when the publication was first published. The publication date is also used for reporting and sorting purposes. The reporting date is now clearly displayed at the bottom of the summary section for the publication as seen below:


Q. My publications aren't being sorted by date order. How can this be fixed?

A. As mentioned in the previous question, the publication date is used for sorting. In some cases publications that were entered manually without a publication date (including those imported from the previous system, OnCite) will not have a value in reporting date. This can be changed by manually editing the full publication record or by changing the publication in the summary section as seen above.

RPS Data in External Systems and Web Pages

Q. Are there any other systems which use RPS data?
A. Yes - the data entered in RPS is used by the following systems:

  • UCL Discovery
  • IRIS
  • Professorial Appraisal
  • Senior Promotions (by exporting data)
  • REF 2014
  • Lists of publications embedded in personal or departmental web pages

Q. How do I embed my publications or departmental publication in a web page?

A. Full instructions on how to do this can be found on the page Including RPS data on your webpages.

Q. I have just added/updated a publication in RPS but it is not showing in my Web page/IRIS/UCL Discovery/etc.

A. The external sources do not have a live link to the RPS database and the information feeds to these systems are normally refreshed on a nightly basis.

Though this does not include the "Web Include" service that is currently updated on a weekly basis (usually over the weekend) whilst a replacement service is being implemented to take over.

Q. How do I prevent publications being displayed on public web pages/systems?
A. At the top right of each publication record you will see a series of icons. The one indicated in the picture below will make the publication invisible from public view:

Once marked the publication will not be available to any of the public views (e.g. Web Pages, IRIS, UCL Discovery, etc.) after the next refresh of data.

NOTE: if a publication is associated with more than one UCL author (on the UCL Users tab) then it will only be removed from public lists if all UCL authors make it invisible.

Q.  How can I extract publications relating to funding from RPS into the Research Council UK's Research Outcome System (ROS) ?

Delegating Administration

Q. How do I allow someone else to update my publications data?

A. RPS includes the ability to Delegate authority to other UCL staff to allow them to update your publications. If such authority has been delegated to you, you can use the Impersonate function to make any changes.

To Delegate:

  1. Click on the Account Settings (top right hand corner), the page will display Delegate menu option in the middle of the screen.
  2. Enter the surname of the person you wish to delegate to in the Name box.
  3. Select their name from the resulting drop-down box and press Enter.
  4. Click Save.

To Impersonate:

  1. If someone has delegated permission to edit publications to you, you will see the Impersonate option on your Home page menu. Click on Impersonate.
  2. Select the person you with to impersonate by picking their name from the list of users (use the Filter box if necessary).
  3. RPS will effectively switch to their account and you will see all of their publications and (almost) all of their options. A banner appears in the top-right of the screen telling you who you are impersonating.
  4. When you have finished impersonating them, click the red cross [x] button against their name in the yellow banner.

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Q. How do I get access as an Administrator so that I can run reports and manage publications for my department?
A. Complete the registration form and get it signed by your Head of Department. There are 2 higher-level roles in RPS - select which ever apply.

  • Statistician - can access RPS reporting functions
  • Research Manager - can impersonate (see above) other staff in the department to maintain their publications.

Completed registration forms should be sent to RPS Support, ISD, 1st Floor Podium, 1 Eversholt Street, NW1 2DN.

Q. I have the Statistician role. How do I access reports?

A. From the RPS Homepage, select Reporting from the menu. Then select to either run Reports, view Statistics or compare Statistics.

Reports/Statistics can be run for individual users or for groups (i.e. departments) and you can choose start and end dates to see.

Reports can be used to list publications (4.i) or you can pick a predefined report from a list (4.ii)

Q. How do I find staff in my department with pending publications?

A. Individuals are notified when new publications have been found by the online searching but unfortunately there isn't any way to notify Research Managers that their staff have pending publications.

Instead it is possible for those with the Statistician role ro run a report detailing who has pending publications.

  1. Select Reporting from the Homepage menu
  2. Select "Create and download reports"
  3. Select the department you're interested in and the start/end dates for the report
  4. In section 4.ii, select "Approval counts" as the report to run
  5. Click the Go button - the report will open in Excel and is sorted by the number of pending publications (highest first).

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REF 2014:

Q. How will RPS be used for REF 2014?

A. The REF2014 module in RPS will be used at UCL as the primary tool for making decisions regarding the selection of staff and outputs in REF. All UCL staff eligible as Category A in REF2014 will be assigned to units of assessment (UoAs) set up in the system according to a submission structure agreed by the Vice-Provost (Research)’s REF Strategy Group. The module allows researchers to nominate a number of outputs as their best work and provide explanatory text for both internal selection purposes and as additional information in the submission. The number of outputs a member of staff can nominate may also exceed the minimum number required and provides scope and flexibility in the selection of outputs to be included. Once researchers have nominated outputs, the module provides UoA leads and other staff undertaking selection activity with the functionality to review and manage submission portfolios.

Q. Which data source is best for citation data, particularly for REF 2014?

A. HEFCE recently announced that Elsevier had been awarded the contract for supplying citation data for REF2014 from its Scopus database. UCL holds a licence to Scopus and it is available to all RPS users as an additional data source. Given the importance of this bibliometric data for REF purposes, it is recommended that all users switch on Scopus searches and use this as the preferred source of bibliographic data for any outputs nominated for REF submission.

Internet Explorer
amber light 6
RPS will perform slowly on IE6.
  green light 7-9 Supported
Firefox green light 3-8 Supported
Safari amber light   Not fully tested at UCL although Safari is certified by the software suppliers.
Chrome amber light   Not fully tested at UCL although Chrome is certified by the software suppliers.
Web of Science logo

Web of Science record

RPS Manual Entry icon

Manual (or OnCite) record

Datasources Tab

Check which sources exist for a record with the Data sources tab.

Registering to use RPS

All UCL staff and research based students are automatically set up to access RPS using their UCL ID and password. However, there are a handful of higher level functions which staff can request access to:

  • Research Manager - Users can manage publications on behalf of other staff in their department
  • Statistician - Users can generate and run reports containing bibliographic information for their department

To request access to the above roles please download and fill in the application form found on the Registration Forms page.

More Help

If the resources detailed above don't provide the answers you need, 

please try the user guides, the on-line user guide below or contact the team supporting RPS.