Research Information Systems

PURE and Research Professional are provided and supported by the Research Office for use by research staff across the university.  The system administrator for both systems is - please contact him if you are having any difficulty, or want to make any suggestions for improvements. 

If you are looking for information on eJournals or Collections visit the university library eResources pages or library information.


PURE  (PUblication REsearch) acts as our Institutional Repository but is much more than that. It can also store data, additional files, help you create your online research profile, enable us to order, prepare and submit our REF submission and offers the opportunity to report on a host of research activity. For user guides and system information see the dedicated PURE page.

PURE provides for us:

• Public visibility of all of the below on the dedicated and university branded UHI Research Database
• Repository for research outputs (publications, films, artwork, books, reports), activities, events, interactions. Display on the UHI Research Database.
• Capture of research impacts information (including the ability to save related case studies)
• Details on research staff (including current and former, student supervision)
• Data organised (and separated) by organisational units (including aggregation of researchers and research outputs related to a particular research unit, network, school or group on the UHI Research Database)
• The ability to mark, order and prepare REF submissions from across the university with workflow and review and direct upload of the entire submission to HEFCE systems.
• Analysis tool for REFresults analysis and comparison
• Equipment, vessels, facilities and services located by organisational units and displayed on the UHI Research Database
• Publishers used and the APC’s paid to publishing houses
• Secure in-house storage (on UHI servers on UHI controlled database) of all of the above in whatever format it is produced (pdf, wmv, mp4, jpeg, zip, tiff and so on)
• Secure in-house storage of entire research datasets, and the ability to make available via the UHI Research Database
• Public visibility (or not) of all of the above on the dedicated and UHI branded Research Database (all items added to the DB can be marked with a visibility of ‘public’).
• All outputs marked ‘public’ are also search engine discoverable, so are trawled by Google, Google Scholar, Bing and ResearchGate – this action is what forms the GS and RG results and listings.
• No collaboration, social or peer finding element to search for researchers working in the same discipline/ area

Who has access to PURE?

In short, staff who are currently or expect in the very near future to be producing research publications. This can be research active staff or research students or research support staff. Research active people have profile information with contact details, biography, research and teaching interests.

There are many levels of access that can be granted to PURE users. Most academic staff will only require access as Personal Users, which allows them to maintain their own profile as well as add, approve or disclaim research outputs as an on-going activity. Further permissions can be granted at department or partnership level in discussion with line managers and the system administrator.

Request a PURE user account

The type of user account that you need for the PURE system will depend on your role within the university; 
Academic Staff: If you are Academic Staff and research active your line manager should have had a user account set up for you.

Research support staff: If you are a research active member of non-academic staff and would like to set up a research profile in PURE please ask your supervisor/manager to make a request to the system administrator.

If you are employed by the university and would like access to PURE you can request access by completing the PURE new user form.


Research Professional

Link to research professional website

One of the most effective ways to keep up to date with news or funding opportunities in your research area is by regularly checking, or setting up personal alerts based on your area of interest, on Research Professional. The Research Office subscribes to this web-based database on behalf of UHI researchers - it allows you to search for research funding opportunities relevant to you, and you can also keep up to date with research News, Sponsors or Jobs. The search works in the same way as a search engine; once a phrase is entered results are displayed in order of relevance.

You are able to add your own specialist search terms and completely customize your account according to your particular interests, from very small funds within a particular area to programmes from the likes of ESPRC, RCUK, Wellcome and so on. It is a fantastic resource and used by many universities across the UK and Europe to varying degrees - if you have not created a profile for yourself follow the link above to quickly register.  If you are having any difficulty then please contact the system administrator for UHI -

Once you have set up your own personalised alerts you will receive weekly emails from Research Professional with information about funding opportunities within your research area.

There are numerous sources of research funding; from research councils, charities, the government and the European Union. The most critical aspects to contemplate when looking for research funding are to ensure the research idea is in keeping with the funders remit and that you match their eligibility criteria.

A guide for UHI researchers new to the resource is available HERE (pdf document)

Help videos on various aspects of using Research professional available on RP on YouTube

Activate using your UHI network logon to sign in to Research Professional: use this pdf guide. 

Free training sessions on use of Research Professional

As part of the university's subscription to this resource, monthly training sessions are available to all research staff, even if you have attended before and want to brush up on certain aspects of the service. You can view these demonstrations from your own PC, can choose to receive sound either via your computer's mic and speakers, or by phoning in to a voice conference. Each session will provide an introduction to the Research Professional platform, demonstrate how to locate funding opportunities which match your interests and show you how to set up email alerts to keep you informed of new developments. Upcoming dates for these sessions are listed on the front page of Research Professional (after login) or on the research section of the university intranet.



ResearchFish (RF) is an external service outwith the control of UHI but must be used by all PI's to report outcomes from an increasing number of funding bodies. It is a tool used by an increasing number of research funding organisations, replacing the ROS reporting system, specifically to report on research outcomes on a project (or award) basis. The purpose is to enable research funders to track the impacts of their investments and the data uploaded is only visible to the awarding body and the responsible PI. The SFC have now started using RF to gather details of outcomes resulting from their strategic investment grants, which aren’t research-related. The main points are summarised as:

  • On ResearchFish the information is only available to the responsible PI and the body who funded the research, with a limited summary available on the ‘lite’ version to nominated representatives of university research offices.
  • The information is only available publicly in summary on the RCUK/TSB Gateway to Research portal. However, it should be noted that funders can take information out of RF and publish it as they choose. This is why PIs are required to sign a “Principles of Use” statement. PI’s should be very careful not to name names, or upload confidential or commercially sensitive information as once uploaded to RF the funder has complete control over the data. 
  • The information on RF is not discoverable by search engines.
  • Upload of outcome information is restricted to the PI responsible for a research project or a trusted user, but submission of the data must be done by the PI alone.
  • No ability to upload information from a central file or anyone other than the lead PI.
  • Publications mentioned in the outcome reports are not available for download from RF but PIs are being encouraged to supply URLs to e-versions where available - this could point to the PURE record or the publisher record.
  • The only known overlap with PURE is that the outcomes recorded on RF could also be included as impact data on PURE (the difference being on PURE the impacts can be made publicly available, related to people, units or projects or reported on)

There is a good summary of the purpose of the application on the ResearchFish website.

RCUK have also produced a guide to researchers and Research Office staff  - RCUK ResearchFish FAQs



The university subscribes to Scopus so all reseaches have the opportunity to use Scopus services - this is an external database so we have no control over how it works or performs. 

    • Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings
    • Find articles and data from your own discipline or beyond your core subject area
    • Find experts in particular subject areas with author profiles
    • extensive bibliometric and historic trend analysis
    • Scopus features smart tools to track, analyze and   visualize research
    • As research becomes increasingly global, interdisciplinary and collaborative, you can make sure that critical research from around the world is not missed by using Scopus  to search for the latest developments in your subject area

Login to Scopus using your UHI network name and password at:

For training information see the Scopus webpage.


Google Scholar/ResearchGate

Both of these external services are outwith the control of UHI. However, many researchers do use these services as a means of connecting with the widest audience possible and professional networking with peers. A short description is included here just as an indication of where these services sit in the wider research systems context but no influence or control over these systems by the university is implied.

Google Scholar

A service from Google that aggregates research information and creates an online profile for researchers by scraping information from across academic web sites (including the university’s PURE database), presenting it to the individual to include or reject from their profile.

  • The ability to collaborate, interact or find peers - to search for researchers working in the same discipline/area
  • Can create an online profile, share, communicate with peers
  • Publicly available
  • Citation and download statistics
  • Cannot upload outputs to the profile, must rely on Google finding outputs
  • Cannot include other activities
  • Has no institutional relationship
  • No institutional reporting worth – not related to AP, department, networks, groups.

 UHI Libraries have created a very useful guide to the benefits and pitfalls of using other aspects of Google Scholar (i.e. as a library tool), you can access it at UHI LibGuides.


In many ways similar to Google Scholar - a rival application owned by Microsoft that similarly scans the internet for articles and like-minded researchers and presents them to a researchers account with the option to bookmark in a ResearchGate profile. Attributes are similar to Google Scholar.

Tools for active data

There are various tools available to help you manage active data.  The below tools can help the various processes but you need to match the correct service with your needs. They are intended to help researchers manage data from its point of creation, facilitating its productive use in the present, but also establishing the support structures necessary to ensure its future survival. The list is complied by the Data Curation Centre and will clearly change over time, visit the page using the link at the bottom to explore your options:

  • cRunch
  • DataCite
  • DataStage
  • DataUp
  • DataVerse
  • DMPTool
  • EZID
  • figshare
  • iRODS
  • Kepler
  • LabTrove
  • myExperiment
  • PERICLES Extraction Tool
  • RSpace
  • Taverna
  • WebCite

Data Curation Centre suggestions for managing active data


Clearly there are a myriad of software programs researchers can use and these pages cannot possibly cover all of them, nor should we attempt to. Instead we focus on the main systems in general use and the ones the university have control of. However, on this tab we will list useful links to some other system sites or training videos to help with a wider range of software you might encounter.

Training videos in the use of Web of Science

GATE Text Mining software; for developing tools to mine research papers for specific key information
Text mining presentation from Mendeley; useful links to research data sources and open source software to create workflow tools with an overview of how to use them.

EndNote - Referencing software available to students and staff. You can now access the full version of the referencing software ‘EndNote’ via MyUHI. As part of our licence agreement, academic partner institutions are entitled to install copies on partner owned computers. Staff or students who want to install EndNote on their own personal computers will have to pay costs detailed at .  Or you can contact your local librarian with any questions. The university pays a subscription for us of this service.

Referencing and RefWorks - Library guide to the uses and downloading of RefWorks (A reference management tool designed to help researchers gather, manage, store and share their reading). The university pays a subscription for us of this service.

Zotero is another tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research. It has many similarities with RefWorks and EndNote but also many specific features.  Built on an open-source basis and free to use.

Mendeley reference manager and academic social network - Make your own fully-searchable library, cite, read, store, lists, showcase, bookmark. Free service for now (owned by Elsevier).

Search engines for research - beyond Google and Bing, resources for researchers from across the web.

Nvivo - software that supports anaysis of qualitative and mixed methods research. It’s designed to help you organize, analyze and find insights in unstructured, or qualitative data like: interviews, open-ended survey responses, articles, social media and web content. Free licence available via the university for staff and students - details from LIS. 

Nvivo Training