Spiral is the College’s institutional repository for research outputs – it contains full-text documents only and aims to be a showcase for the research that Imperial’s research community carries out. Symplectic Elements is the College’s Current Research Information System which the same research community uses to maintain its research profile such as grants and publications - it is not a full-text repository.

Authors who wish to upload copies of their publications to Spiral for compliance with REF 2021 are asked to use Symplectic Elements - and the Open Access team in the Library will process this for ultimate deposit in Spiral.  Those who wish to pay for open access via the Gold OA route can also apply using Symplectic.

Spiral is freely available to the public, indexed and harvested by Google Scholar as well as Open Access content aggregators such as CoreBielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) and OpenAIRE which aggregates the discovery of EC and ERC open access funded research. So if the work appears in Spiral it will also appear in many Internet search results returned.

Researchers maintain a list of their research outputs via Symplectic which is displayed on their Professional Web Pages (PWP). Any changes that need to be made to records in Spiral should be made in Symplectic first (changes are not reflected in Spiral automatically) and then those changes requested from the Open Access Team. “MySpiral” from within Spiral is for administrators who process research papers from Symplectic and doctoral students who upload their theses.

A note on Spiral’s search engine functionality

Spiral uses a repository software called (DSpace) (many other institutions use it too). The search engine of our current instance of Spiral is not as effective as we would like it to be. However the content within Spiral is discoverable from outside and is harvested regularly. We expect to upgrade several instances of DSpace during 2018.

If you have feedback on the Spiral service or Symplectic Elements you can provide it via this web form