Research Data Collections

The Office for Research collects information on research publications and income towards the annual government research report - the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC). This information determines VU's federal research block funding which contributes to VUís internal grants, scholarships, central support and infrastructure. The HERDC collected information is also used for measuring individual staff performance.

2015 Research Output Collection for 2014 Data- Due Friday 15 May 2015

Research Output Collection for 2014 data has commenced. All research publications published in 2014 are claimed and/or deposited in VU Elements by CoB Friday 15 May, 2015.

This year we will again be conducting one single collection for research publications and income which will be used by the University for your Measurement of Research Activity (or MORA score) and all external reporting purposes. All 2014 research publications and income must be reported by the due date or it will NOT contribute to your MORA score. (NB. Creative Works will be collected from July onwards)


The VU publication data for the annual Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) (which will also be part of future ERA submissions) will be collected through the online publication management system known as VU Elements. VU Elements is an automatic search and harvest tool for research outputs indexed by external publication data sources, such as Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed and ArXiv.

HERDC-eligible outputs are peer reviewed published journal articles and conference papers, academic books and book chapters published in edited volumes published by commercial publishers or otherwise peer-reviewed.


Please, login to VU Elements at and check your publications, claim the ones you have (co-)authored, and add outputs not yet harvested, which is common for books and chapters. If your output is not available online via a persistent URL or DOI, you will have to deposit a pdf of the output for auditing purposes. And I would like to encourage you to remind your colleagues and students to do the same.

The Office for Research already has research income data for grants and contracts which have been processed through the Office for Research. In the coming weeks we will send you a personal overview to check if this data is complete.


If this is your first use of VU Elements, know that the software, using your surname and first name, will start harvesting your outputs stored in world-wide citation indices automatically. If you get no results or too many false positives, start experimenting with the 'search settings' to get the best harvest result. Try name variants if you have published using different versions of your surname, first name and initials, create a surname variant without spaces/apostrophe/hyphens, or create one for each combination of your initials.

If you have a very common name and most of your publications are indexed by Web of Science, a very efficient option is to establish a ResearcherID profile (see Note 1). Adding this ResearcherID as an identifier in VU Elements will improve the accuracy of the harvest.

Similarly, we urge you to verify and correct your Author Profile in Scopus (see Note 2). Scopus provides two ways to correct information for your profile and associated publications: a) by using their web-based author feedback wizard and b) via the Author Search in the Scopus interface, where you can use the links on author profile and author documents pages to request Author Identifier merges and corrections.

If you have published outputs not covered by citations indices, the easiest way to deposit your research outputs is to log in to VU Elements and enter your outputs manually. A quick guide on how to add your publications to VU Elements is available at

If you have any questions about updating your publications in VU Elements, please contact your College Librarian, see

Note 1:  ResearcherID is a registry that assigns a unique persistent identification number and collects contact information about the researcher. It interacts with Web of Science content to provide researchers with bibliographic data and citation counts for creation of their publication list. To establish a ResearcherID, type ResearcherID in a Google search, open the site, create an ID for yourself and then select your outputs from Web of Science. The next step is to add your ResearcherID to VU Elements profile. Once Thomson Reuters has updated your profile (allow two weeks), VU Elements will harvest your Web of Science indexed papers.

Note 2:  The Scopus Author Identifier feature allows researchers to accurately distinguish between publications written by people with similar names. Scopus assigns an Author ID to each author, assembling affiliations and publications based on the content of indexed articles and author feedback. (See for more information on researcher identifiers.)

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