#Dataspring Progress Update: Allowing Authors to Upload Files Directly to Figshare

This guest post is a #dataspring research data management project update written by Andy Byers, the project’s lead developer.

Streamlining Deposit: An OJS to Repository Plugin” is the name of the Jisc-funded research and development collaboration between the Centre for Information Science and open access researcher-led publisher Ubiquity Press

The project will develop a suite of plugins for the popular publishing Open Source project Open Journal Systems (OJS) to streamline article submission and depositing.

Today (Monday 13 July 2015) and tomorrow  the project team will update on its progress and participate in the second #dataspring sandpit workshop at Imperial College London.

“The four UK HE funding bodies believe that the outputs of research should be as widely accessible as possible. For this reason, we have introduced a new policy for open access in relation to research assessments after the 2014 REF.

The policy states that, to be eligible for submission to the post-2014 REF, authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts must have been deposited in an institutional or subject repository on acceptance for publication. Deposited material should be discoverable, and free to read and download, for anyone with an internet connection.

The requirement applies only to journal articles and conference proceedings with an International Standard Serial Number. It will not apply to monographs, book chapters, other long-form publications, working papers, creative or practice-based research outputs, or data. The policy applies to research outputs accepted for publication after 1 April 2016, but we would strongly urge institutions to implement it now.”

-“Open access research“, Policy Guide, Higher Education Funding Council for England, page last updated 3 December 2014.


Some code from the OJS to Figshare plugin

Some code from the OJS to Figshare plugin


What has that got to do with depositing?

Well, it’s the first stage in a three stage project. We intend to write not one, but three plugins[1]:

  1. Deposit supp files to Figshare
  2. Deposit supp files to Dryad/Other repos
  3. Interface for JISC Router to collect articles

This also allows for your data files, figures and code to be cited independently of the actual article, as Figshare will assign them a DOI.

What are OJS and Figshare?

OJS, Open Journal Systems, is a web application supported by the Public Knowledge Project and is widely used for self/institutionally hosted Journals. Ubiquity Press’ Journal Management System is a customised version of OJS. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, published by Ubiquity Press, is built on it.

Figshare is an online digital repository where researchers can preserve and share their research outputs, including figures, datasets, images, and videos. It is free to upload content and free to access, in adherence to the principle of open data. [2]

How will it work?

The plugin will be hooked into the submission process and will give the user the option to submit their supplementary files [such as figures; charts; datasets; appendices] to Figshare rather than directly into the Journal. The DOI assigned by Figshare is stored and, on publication of the article, the Editor can select which files should be published alongside the article.

The article page will then display title, description and a DOI link to the supp file.

Will others be able to use it?

Absolutely! We’re building the plugin in the open, it can be found on Github [3], you’re welcome to clone the project and contribute to it. When the project is complete we will be building a zip release that can be dropped into the OJS plugin installer, but there are instructions on how to install the development version.

What state is it in?

The plugin is currently in development, but works quite well. We have yet to hook it into the submission process or the “In Editing” section of OJS and these functions will be available soon.

You can see the plugin in action on Youtube:

Additional Functions

We will be adding an additional function to allow the author to deposit their article directly to Figshare as well.


About the Project

Streamlining Depositing is a City University Centre for Information Science and Ubiquity Press project funded by JISC #DataSpring.

Project Lead — Ernesto Priego, City University London
Lead Developer — Andy Byers, Ubiquity Press
Developer — Mauro Sanchez, Ubiquity Press
UX/UI — Stephann Makri, City University London

The project includes output in the form of our plugins but also in the form of best practice documentation and various research outputs.


Priego, Ernesto; Byers, Andy (2015): #Dataspring Idea: Streamlining Deposit: An OJS to Repository Plugin. figshare.

http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1318724 Retrieved 11:26, Jul 07, 2015 (GMT).

Higher Education Funding Council for England, “Open access research”, Policy Guide, page last updated 3 December 2014. http://www.hefce.ac.uk/rsrch/oa/Policy/ Retrieved Jul 07 2015.


Andy Byers is on Twitter @ajrbyers.

This post was originally published, in slightly different form, on 7 July 2015 and 5 July 2015.

This project will also be presented at the Public Knowledge Project Scholarly Publishing Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 11-14 August 2015.

About Ernesto Priego

A lecturer at City, University of London. My research interests include digital humanities, library and information science, human computer interaction design, comics scholarship, scholarly communications, open access, open data and open educational resources.
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