Dates changes to NECTAR deposits

We’ve made some changes to the way dates are recorded in NECTAR with a new plugin called Dates, Dates, Dates. This will enable us to capture multiple date types for research outputs, which will improve the data we record, and enable us to capture required information to support HEFCE, RCUK and other funder policies.

This post explains the changes and tells you what you need to know to use the new Dates field.

When adding a new NECTAR item, regardless of the type of item you’re entering, you’ll see a new box in the Details form titled Dates. It appears halfway down the form, and by default it looks like this:


From left to right, the fields record the Year, Month and Day of publication, and the date Event (which describes what happened on the date).

If you don’t have the full calendar details for your date, just leave the fields on their default value. So if all you have is March 2016 and you don’t have a specific day, for example, just leave Day set to ?.

The Event drop-down offers the following values:


As per the University’s Open Access policy, and HEFCE’s REF requirements, we encourage authors to deposit items on acceptance. So in most cases, you will want to enter the date of acceptance and set Event to Accepted, like so:


Multiple dates

If you’re entering an item for which you have several dates, you can click the More input rows button to add extra date fields and set them accordingly – here’s an example of an item with an accepted date, a date of online publication (e.g. ‘online first’ or ‘early view’), and a date of ‘full’ publication:


This is a very useful addition to the set of NECTAR tools, as it allows us to capture an item’s full acceptance and publication history in a format that can easily be exported for various reports.

Conference items

For conference items, we recommend using the Dates field to add the date of acceptance. In the Event Details section of the form you’ll be asked to add the conference event date (or dates, in the event of a conference that takes place over several days), and this is the information that appears in the NECTAR citation. There’s no need to add a separate ‘date of presentation’.

Updating deposited and live items

Once you’ve deposited a NECTAR item, you can no longer make changes to it. If you need to add a new date to an item that has already been deposited or made live, please email the details to and we’ll take care of updating the record for you.

For example it’s quite possible that when depositing on acceptance, you won’t know the date of publication. This is fine – just let us know when the date is confirmed and we’ll make sure the NECTAR record is up to date. Publishers and software providers are working on tools to automate this process, and we’re keeping an eye on developments.

Further help

If you have any questions about using the Dates tool or would like to arrange a demonstration, just contact us at and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Posted on March 24, 2016, in Library, Support and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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