Symplectic Elements at Oxford

Symplectic Elements is a central University tool that helps to record bibliographic and other information about research outputs. Symplectic provides a simple web-based interface for adding and reviewing research information held in personal user accounts, which are stored in a secure central server.

Consistent information regarding research outputs (Journal Articles, Book Chapters, Patents, etc.) is required for periodic assessments by research funders. Symplectic is specifically designed to improve University record keeping for such purposes and was the University’s principal tool for preparing research outputs data for the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

Symplectic can be used to easily deposit full text outputs to the University of Oxford Research Archive (ORA) and, with suitable configuration, can feed data to other University systems such as departmental websites. 

Accessing your account

Once registered with the system, you can access your account at using your Webauth (Oxford Single Sign-On) username and password.

Please direct enquiries to your Symplectic_Departmental_Contacts (23kb) list or to the central Symplectic helpdesk at

User guides and other proprietary documentation provided by Symplectic Ltd are available from the right-hand section of this page. Further information on the Symplectic-ORA deposit tool is available from the Bodleian Libraries.

Requesting a user account

Research and academic staff of the Collegiate University, listed in the Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) directory, will automatically have a user account in Symplectic Elements at Oxford. Most academics and researchers will have access to Symplectic Elements by the end of September 2015. From then on new appointments registered in HRIS will have their user accounts created automatically. See Symplectic Elements Support and Functional Enhancements – Update (554kb) for more details.

If you have not been granted automatic access (e.g. administrative staff, technical support staff, etc.) you will need to request access from your departmental administrator contact who will complete a new user request form on your behalf. Access will be granted within one week from request.

Departmental administrators

For departmental administrators (including REF coordinators and website managers) we now have a SharePoint site dedicated to Symplectic (registered users only).

Principally, this is a place to share information of assistance to department/faculty staff with operational/admin input to the tool. You will find information about system upgrades, user guides and more technical guides about the use of APIs.

Furthermore, it will be used for discussions (best practice, tips and workarounds, non urgent issues, future requirements, etc.) that should involve other Symplectic users very much like a forum.