Symplectic: what’s in it for me?

Researcher using laptop

Are you a member of staff in the Department of Medicine? Do you publish your research? If the answer to both of these questions is ‘yes’, then you’re obligated to keep your Symplectic profile up-to-date, as outlined in a message from the Faculty Dean last year. Although this may feel like a box-ticking exercise, staying on top of your profile has a huge number benefits for both you and your research. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the basics of the system, the rewards that you can reap through proper engagement with Symplectic, as well as signposting you to relevant resources from around the College.

What is Symplectic?

Symplectic is the research information management system used by Imperial to detail the publications, funding, equipment and professional activities of our researchers and Faculty members. The information in Symplectic is used to populate your Personal Web Page (PWP) and showcase your research and collaborations. This provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ to maintain a list of your publications, manage open access and highlight other important activities that you undertake, such as external lectures or board membership.

This quick guide to Symplectic covers how to claim and deposit publications, as well as setting up a delegate to manage your profile if you have administrative support. The Library has also published this handy video tutorial to help you get to grips with the system:

Okay – so what are the benefits?

Boost your online presence

In an increasingly online age, the reality is that we are all just a quick Google away. Your PWP is a page that is highly-ranked by search engines, and is a great way to make a strong first impression to funders and collaborators alike. Keeping your Symplectic up to date by claiming publications and keeping other measures up to date automatically populates your PWP, saving you from having to manually update a list of journal articles and other activities.

Curate your output

Symplectic allows for you to boost the visibility of your favourite articles on your PWP, as well as hide the publications you don’t want to show. This can be achieved by either clicking the heart (favourite) or the eye (not visible) icons within Symplectic. This means that you can gain all of the benefits of having your work claimed within Symplectic, while maintaining a strong curated external presence.

Share your research with a bigger audience

Symplectic has a built-in workflow to manage open access, with support provided by local teams as well as the Library. This not only ensures that you are meeting funder requirements and that your papers are eligible for the upcoming Research Excellence Framework, but you will also gain the benefits of open access publishing, which include a potential threefold increase in readership.

Take advantage of automation

We are moving towards a time in which systems are better able to talk to one another, saving you time and effort on administrative tasks. Researchfish, which funders use to measure research outputs, now includes papers linked to grant funding on Symplectic before periodic cut offs. For Researchfish returns with a deadline of 14 March 2019, any connections made before 25 January 2019 will be automatically included. You can also set Symplectic to use your other online identifiers (such as Scopus or ORCiD) to auto-suggest or claim publications to save you even more time and effort.


For help with Symplectic and to better understand how it feeds into your PWP, please refer to available guidance or contact Jaxom Champion (j.champion@imperial.ac.uk) or Genevieve Timmins (g.timmins@imperial.ac.uk).

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