NECTAR, faster: import your publications with a DOI

We’re always delighted when staff and researchers add their work to NECTAR, the university’s research repository. It helps develop NECTAR as a comprehensive showcase of our research output, it helps authors by pushing the work to their staff profiles and NECTAR-friendly web resources like Google Scholar, and it helps schools by driving annual research reports and the REF.

But we’re also aware that adding an item takes time, and time is a valuable commodity. In this post I’ll show you how to use a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to get your work into NECTAR as quickly and efficiently as possible.

About Digital Object Identifiers

A DOI is basically a short, unique text string that permanently identifies a resource. Typically this will be an electronic document, such as an online journal article. If you’re publishing to a journal that uses DOIs, the publisher will create one automatically.

The application and advantages of DOI technology are explained effectively in its Wikipedia entry or on the DOI homepage. In terms of journal articles and NECTAR, a DOI allows NECTAR to look up and pull in article metadata – which means you don’t have to enter it. Let’s see it in action:

Finding the DOI

Search tools and databases will generally provide a DOI as part of their search results, if one exists. Let’s assume you’ve found an article on Web of Science that you’d like to add to NECTAR. Here’s the article in the Web of Science search results with the DOI highlighted:

The DOI on Web of Science

The DOI in this case is 10.1098/rsnr.2011.0052, which you can select and copy.

Adding the DOI to NECTAR

The next step is to log into NECTAR, which will take you to your Manage Deposits page. The Import controls are beneath the New Item button. You need to set the drop-down box to DOI (via CrossRef) and then click Import:

Preparing to import a DOI into NECTAR

Testing and importing

Next you’ll see the DOI import form. The Paste data box will already be selected, so paste your DOI into there:

Pasting a DOI into NECTAR

If you click the Test without Importing button NECTAR will look up the DOI to make sure there are no problems. Once you get the all clear, click Import Items and you’ll be taken to the standard new item form, but with many of the item details already added from the DOI lookup:

DOI details imported into NECTAR

Final steps

There are a few details that will need adding after the import – for example, we can see in the screenshot above that the DOI hasn’t imported the publisher. It’s also important to edit the author details – these will be imported but they won’t have your university email address added, which is essential for grouping your work in NECTAR, both to avoid duplication in the ‘browse by author’ lists and to ensure the content of your school’s annual research report  is correct.

To correct the author details, delete the existing entry for your name (and any University of Northampton co-authors) and start typing your email address into the email field. If you’re already on NECTAR, your details will appear in a drop-down box, and you can click the box to add them to the form. If this is your first NECTAR entry, just fill in the details as the form suggests.

You’ll also need to complete the Schools and Departments form field, which is university-related information the DOI record won’t have.

Multiple imports

You can enter several or more DOI codes into NECTAR’s import form – just add a new line for each code:

Multiple DOIs in NECTAR

With multiple items NECTAR will import them and take you back to your Manage Deposits screen to show you the successful imports:

Multiple DOI imports in NECTAR

The imported items can then be edited and deposited in the usual way.


If your research output has a DOI attached to it, NECTAR’s import functions can save  you a lot of time and typing. Some post-import tweaking is inevitable, but DOI importing will improve the depositing process for all staff and researchers. If you have any questions about the NECTAR process, please contact the LLS Research Support team.

Thumbnail image: Mesilaskärg by Mariakeernik via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

Posted on November 6, 2012, in Library and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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