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Elements Publications at UT: Introduction to Publications

This guide addresses common questions from UT researchers about creating their Publications list in their Elements profile.

What's in This Guide

Adding Your Publications to Elements

This guide provides help with the Publications component of Elements. 

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How the Libraries Can Help

The Libraries does not subscribe to Elements, but some of its features make use of information from library subscription databases. For this reason, librarians can offer guidance on automating aspects of your Publications in Elements.

N.B. Your workload report is generated from the information you add or claim in Elements. Each faculty member is responsible for creating and maintaining their own profile in Elements. Librarians will neither create nor maintain your profile for you.

Check the Provost's Elements Help site for additional support, including a list of college and departmental Elements liaisons.

About Elements

Symplectic Elements is a software system to collect and understand an institution's scholarly output. Elements is a subscription service paid for by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Research and Engagement.

Elements has "elements," or categories, where you can list most of your professional activities, including teaching, grants, and publishing. This guide focuses on the Publications element only.

Elements information is only visible to UT administrators. There is no public interface for the data added to UT's Elements.


Introduction to "Publications" in Elements


Overview: Adding Publications to ElementsSymplectic Elements Homepage

  1. Login to Elements.
  2. Review the list of publications found by the automated search in the Pending publications list.
  3. Claim your publications.* If the preliminary Pending publications list does not include most of your publications, adjust the automated search settings. How you finalize/leave these automated search settings will influence what the search can find for you in the future.
  4. For anything not found by the automated search, import your citations from your preferred database(s), or from a DOI search, ISBN search, or an EndNote or Zotero library. As a last resort, enter any remaining citations manually.
  5. Verify all citation information. It's common in imported files to find a few errors, such as a book chapter wrongly identified as an article.

*If the automated publications search remains troublesome after adjusting search settings (or you already have an ORCID iD), look into connecting your ORCID iD to Elements (see below).


One option to quickly add publications: Get an ORCID iD and always add your publications there.

Following these steps, if your publications list in ORCID is up-to-date, your articles have a DOI, AND your publications are found in one of the databases indexed by Elements, your list in Elements will be up-to-date, too. By giving UT Elements permission to collect your list of publications from ORCID, your publications (when double-checked against the databases listed above) should appear in Elements without additional steps. And, any new publication added to ORCID should automatically be added to Elements, if it's also found in one of the databases indexed by Elements. Watch a brief video about the process.

What you enter in Elements is only visible internally to UT by default. What you enter in ORCID can be visible to the world.

Publications in Elements: 5 Steps

5 Steps to Add Publications

Step 1: Login

Login to Symplectic Elements:

  • Note: Click Edit your profile to add a brief professional narrative, upload a photo, or provide other information about yourself.
  • Reminder: Though Elements has many categories, this guide focuses on the Publications element only.


Step 2: Review the List of Publications Found

First time users should click on Pending publications. Review the list to see how many of your publications were found. The Pending list is created by an automated search of several publication data sources.

Your list is based on a default search set for all UT users.

  • If you find many publications that don't belong to you, clear the Pending list and adjust the search settings (see Step 3).
  • Elements searches databases that cover a range of journals across disciplines, but there are significant gaps in what Elements can find. The data sources for Elements include arXiv, CiNii, CrossRefDBLP, MLA, ORCIDPubMed, RePEc, Scopus, SSRN, and Web of Science.
  • If your publications aren't usually found in these sources, you can add books, chapters, presentations, and other types of scholarship in other ways (Step 4).


Step 3: Claim Appropriate Pending Publications & Adjust Automated Search Settings

If Elements found any publications through its automated search, review the Pending list of publications.

Then, decide how to proceed.

  • If most of your publications were found by the default search, claim the appropriate citations. Then, import the few that are missing (Step 4).
  • If most of your publications were not found by the default search, but your publications are often indexed in arXiv, PubMed, RePEc, Scopus, SSRN, or Web of Science databases, adjust the search settings.
  • If most of your publications were not found by the default search, and your publications are not usually indexed in the databases above, add your publications by importing citations (Step 4).
  • Consider adding your publications to your ORCID page and connecting ORCID to Elements.


Claiming Publications

Claim those that are yours to add them to the "Mine" list. Reject those that are not yours to add them to the "Not Mine" list.

If this didn't find all your publications (a common issue), you can change the automated search settings to see if doing so will find more of your publications to claim.


What to Know Before You Adjust the Search Settings

Adjusting search settings will change the number of pending publications in your list. Before you begin, keep in mind that:

  • The data sources for Elements include arXiv, CiNii, CrossRefDBLP, MLA, ORCIDPubMed, RePEc, Scopus, SSRN, and Web of Science. If your publications aren't indexed in these sources, the automated search will have limited returns for you.
  • You can experiment with the search settings. Make changes to the search, check what your new search parameters found, and clear pending publications if the search parameters don't work very well. (N.B. It takes ~1 hour for the new search parameters to go into effect.)
  • The search in Elements focuses on journal articles. Add other publications using a different method (Step 4).

Important! Your final search settings greatly influence what the Elements automated publications search can find in the future. Make adjustments with care.


How Do I Adjust Search Settings?

To change your search settings, click on the link that says "...modify your search settings" in the blue box of the Pending list. Alternatively, at the top of the page, click Menu, then chose Manage Publications: Search Settings.


What Should I Change?

  • Name Variants: By default, Elements searches for your name as author using your last name with first and middle initials, based on how your name is entered in the IRIS human resources system. If your name in Elements is different than the name under which you publish, you have changed your name, or your name is very similar to other researchers' names, add appropriate variants.
  • Addresses: Your address relates to your institutional address (default setting: Tennessee). If you have worked at other institutions, you may want to change your search to include other institutions.
  • Start Date: The search is set to find publications from 1975. If you wish to find only recent publications, change the date settings.
  • Online Database IDs: Do you have a ResearcherID (Web of Science) or Scopus Author ID? Add your ID to help you quickly find your publications.

Do you have too many results? Make your search narrower/more specific (Use with caution! Narrowing severely limits the number of hits.):

  • Modify the search start date to the year of your first publications.
  • Add the names of journals in which you have published. (Specifying particular journals may severely limit what Elements finds. Do this with caution.)
  • Add a one-word identifier in "address" for each institution at which you have worked (e.g., Tennessee or Purdue).

Do you have too few results? Make your search broader/wider:

  • Use only your last name, no first or middle initials. If that doesn't help, then also...
  • Don't include an address.

If the automated search continues to miss some of your publications, go to Step 4. Important! Your final search settings greatly influence what the Elements automated publications search can find in the future.


Step 4: Import Citations, Search by DOI/ISBN, or Manually Enter Citations

If the automated search continues to miss some of your publications, import the missing citations or manually add them.


Import Citations from a Database, including Google Scholar, or by DOI or ISBN


Manually Add Citations

Manual entry should be your last resort. Manually adding publications is done through the "+ add" link on the Elements homepage near My Summary. It uses an assisted entry method that checks both Google Books and CrossRef. If you have an ISBN for a monograph, or a DOI for an article, enter it when prompted.

         Elements add screenshot         Elements Add Screenshot


In many cases, a match will be found in either Google Books or CrossRef, and several fields in the manual entry screen will be automatically populated for you. If that doesn't work, see the directions on how to "Import from a Database or by DOI/ISBN" before beginning to add citations manually.


Step 5: Verify Publication Records

Look over your complete list of publications. Find the list by clicking Menu at the top of the screen, then choosing Manage Publications.

Important! Verify that the publication types, titles, dates, etc. in your profile are accurate. Publications are often misidentified by document type. For example, when importing citations, an article might be listed as a book chapter, or vice versa.

To edit a record, look for the yellow pencil icon (Screenshot Yellow Pencil Icon).

Additional Help & Credits

Additional Help

If you need assistance with any of the steps listed on this page, contact your subject librarian.

The Provost's Office has a UT Elements Help site that provide information on Elements outside of the Publications aspect.

Symplectic also has several detailed Elements guides with more information (Note: you must be logged in to Elements to view):

For issues relating to managing your profile, publications, or other data inside Elements, please contact the appropriate point of contact listed on UT's Elements Help Contacts page, which lists help by college and departmental liaisons.

If the above contact is not available, please contact the Office of the Provost at 974-6152.

If you have other questions, please note this message on the Elements login screen:

Elements Login Screenshot


UT's Elements Guide was created with information from the following sources:

The guide was created by Rachel Caldwell, overseen by Holly Mercer (Associate Dean for Research and Scholarly Communication). Directions for importing citations were developed by Jeanine Williamson (Engineering Librarian).