Since July 2007, Imperial College London has provided an Institutional Repository, called ‘Spiral’ to archive text-based research outputs and make them open access.
An institutional mandate passed in 2012 requires research publications, subject to publishers’ copyright policies, to be deposited into Spiral in addition to the deposit of PhD theses, grey literature such as dissertations, reports, books and monographs are exempt from the above mandates. From April 2016 onwards, a UK open access mandate called as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), requires all accepted journal articles and conference papers to be deposited in a repository as part of the national research assessment exercise.
All staff and doctoral students are entitled to deposit any text-based work for which they have authorship and sharing rights in Spiral. They can do this via Symplectic Elements which is the College’s Current Research Information System which the same research community uses to maintain its research profile such as grants and publications. Spiral is run on DSpace software (v5.10) and holds over 70,000 full-text items (October 2020). It is freely available to the public, and uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) which allows it to be indexed and harvested by Google Scholar as well as Open Access content aggregators such as Core, Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE), OpenAIRE, the British Library’s EThOS service and many others
Help and guidance on depositing to Spiral can be found via the Library’s web pages: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/support-for-staff/scholarly-communication/open-access/spiral/
Publishing reports with Spiral
Spiral as well as being a place for authors to upload journal articles and monographs; it can also be a home for any research that is not intended for journal publication, or research that authors wish to share more rapidly than journal publishing, or preprint platforms allow. Additional information can be found the library's 'Publishing with Spiral' pages: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/support-for-staff/scholarly-communication/publishing-with-spiral/