Transferring publications to eScholarship from another service

Modified on Thu, 25 May 2023 at 04:45 PM

Many departments, research units, and individual researchers already maintain information about their publications in another system such as a departmental publication server, another institutional repository, or a researcher profile / academic social networking site. Because of the variety of platforms publication where information may be maintained, the process of transferring these items to eScholarship varies - but eScholarship Support and local campus library partners are here to help!

This guide describes a few methods of preparing publication information for transfer to eScholarship. It is particularly useful for those working with a large number of publications. If you need to transfer fewer than 25 items to eScholarship, using our manual submission process will likely take less time than the methods described below.

For individual researchers 

Easy: Use the UC Publication Management System 

If you are a UC faculty or employee, we recommend using the UC Publication Management System. As of 2023, all UC faculty and employees have full access to the UCPMS and may log in using their campus account credentials. 

The UCPMS finds publications you may have authored and presents them for you to verify and deposit to eScholarship. Every two weeks, it scans multiple publications databases and lets you know when it's found new works to verify. And it will also try to find valid open access PDFs of your article to deposit.

Unlike eScholarship, the UCPMS also enables you to connect to systems and services where your publications may already listed, such as ORCID, Dimensions, Scopus, SSRN, and ResearcherID/Publons. Once connected, the UCPMS automatically imports any publications verified in those systems now and in the future, so all you need do is deposit the article to eScholarship. It also supports importing a full list of publications from other systems such as Google Scholar Profiles, and includes guides for importing from ResearchGate, Academic.EDU, and personal bibliographies in Word and PDF format. Learn more at the UC Publication Management System help desk.

For department or research unit administrators

Easy: My publication metadata can be exported

If your publication metadata is in another institutional repository, a locally managed database, or a web service that offers an export option, it's very likely that the exported metadata can be adapted for use with our XML or spreadsheet-based batch import service.

A little more work: My publication metadata cannot be exported directly, but can be detected by citation management software

Some users aren't able to export publication information because they do not have direct access to the database storing the metadata or because they are utilizing a commercial academic social networking site (e.g., ResearchGate, SelectedWorks, etc.) that blocks its users from exporting their own publication information. (You can read more about the differences between academic social networking sites and institutional repositories on the Office of Scholarly Communication blog.)

If you're working with a large number of publications, the inability to export your own publication metadata can be frustrating. But before you give up, check to see whether citation management software can help gather most of the metadata for you. While it may initially seem like a lot of work to follow the steps below, the process has been tested with a collection of ~500 publications, which were able to be extracted with about 2 hours' work.
(Note: the method below utilizes Zotero, a freely available citation manager, however there are many other software solutions available that can be used to achieve similar results.)

1. First: Install the citation management software and accompanying browser plug-in

Both pieces of software are available on the Zotero Downloads page. You'll need to install both, and the Zotero desktop program must be open in order for the browser plugin to work.

2. Check configuration settings

Zotero is mostly ready for the next steps 'out of the box.' There is one setting, however, which you'll need to adjust. Open the desktop application's 'Preferences' panel and under 'General > Miscellaneous,' un-check the box that reads "Automatically take snapshots when creating items from web pages." Also make sure that the box labeled "Automatically attach associated PDFs" remains checked / enabled.

3. Start capturing metadata

Open up the webpage where your publications exist currently (the example pictured is a researcher profile page). You will need to click on each individual publication record, then click on the Zotero browser plugin icon to capture the metadata on the page.

If successful, you will see a confirmation that the metadata was captured in the bottom-right of your browser window. If a downloadable PDF of the article is available, Zotero should be able to capture that as well. Repeat this process for each item you'd like to capture.

TIP: It is much more efficient to capture several dozen publications in succession than it is to do them one at a time. To do so, hold down the CMD (on Mac) or CTRL (on PC) key on your keyboard while clicking on several publication records. This will open each record in its own browser tab. Once you've opened several new tabs, move to the first publication tab and click on the Zotero browser plugin icon. Leave your cursor on the icon. Wait for the confirmation notification to appear, then enter CMD+W / CTRL+W to close the current browser tab. You can then quickly click the Zotero icon on the next publication record and proceed through the process at a clip.
(To prevent your browser from crashing or freezing, avoid opening more than ~20 browser tabs at a time.)

4. Export your metadata

Once you've captured metadata for all publications you'd like to transfer to eScholarship, return to the Zotero Desktop application and select 'File > Export Library...' Leave all export options at their default values, except 'Format.' The format you choose will depend on how you intend to use the export file with eScholarship.

  • If you'd like to use the batch import service, select 'CSV' as the format.
  • If you'd like to import your publications to the UC publication management system (available to senate-represented faculty), select 'BibTeX' as the format. If this is your desired option, you can skip the next step in this guide. Remaining steps for importing your publications to the UCPMS are described in a solutions article on the UC Open Access Policies Support portal.

5. Share your files

You will need to provide eScholarship Support with both the exported CSV metadata file and the full-text PDF file for each article. If Zotero was able to download the PDF for the publications you captured using the steps above, you will simply need to move those files into your preferred file sharing service (e.g. Dropbox or Google Drive).

You can locate the path for these files in the Zotero 'Preferences' panel under 'Advanced > Files and Folders > Data Directory Location'. Navigate to this location on your computer and copy the 'Storage' folder (which will contain all captured PDFs) to a shared folder. Finally, add the exported CSV metadata file to the shared folder and send a link to the shared folder to eScholarship Support.

If Zotero was unable to capture the PDF for your publications, contact eScholarship Support for further guidance.

Last resort: None of the above options worked for me

If the above options did not work for you, you might wish to first try an application other than Zotero. Otherwise, you'll need to manually re-enter metadata for your publications and upload the associated full-text PDFs. You can complete this process using the eScholarship submission form or by creating a batch import spreadsheet from scratch.