Nykohla Strong Jeff Arnold
Email: Email:
Phone: +44 (0)1224 272077  


Pure is a web-based system that captures a wide range of research-related outcomes, impact and activities and promotes the University’s research excellence to the wider community.

Pure organises content in a relational way to build links between people, grants, publications, impacts and datasets.  It is a dynamic and productive source of information which underpins many of the University’s processes. Pure also synchronises with other university systems to provide a connected view of our research activity.

As part of the University research information system, Pure also provides a public research portal to showcase academic research and activities. Find out more on our Research Portal information page.

'How to' videos and training resources can be found at and in the resources below.


Activity module review

The Pure team is currently reviewing the Activity module to remove many of the historical ‘Other’ categories and to add new categories where required. If your activity is changed to a new category you will receive two notifications from the system, the first notification will advise of deletion (removal of the old category) and the second notification will advise of creation (adding the new category). Please accept our apologies for any disruption while we try to improve this area of Pure. If you have any concerns or questions, or if you have a suggestion for a new activity category, please email

Overview of Pure

Pure is the University's Research Information System. Pure stores information about research activities such as:

  • Research outputs (publications)
  • Professional activities and awards, outreach and knowledge exchange
  • Evidence of Impact
  • Datasets (underlying data from publications)

It also displays data relating to research activity held in other University systems; e.g. research grants, HR data and student supervision details. Pure allows related activities to be linked together to build up a profile of research for individuals, disciplines and schools. Publications, Datasets, Activities and other data entered into Pure with a visibility of Public will be displayed on the Public Research Portal. Open access publications with an attached full text file will be linked to the Aberdeen University Research Archive (AURA) where all open access publications are available to read.

Pure was used to co-ordinate the research output element of the REF2014 submission, using the REF2014 module. With more and more pressure on the University to meet requirements for the next REF, annual returns to Funding bodies, and audit requirements, it is important that research staff across the institution maintain their Pure profile, and keep Pure up to date with their latest research outputs and activities.

Upgrades and maintenance

Pure has three major software releases each year and we aim to upgrade in line with these releases.

Open Access and REF

HEFCE Open Access Mandate

The HEFCE REF open access mandate for journal articles came into force on 1 April 2016.  This means that all journal articles and some conference proceedings will have to be discoverable and, where possible, publicly accessible within three months of acceptance for publication in order to be eligible for submission for the next REF.

REF 2021

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK universities and higher education colleges. We use Pure to enter, review and assess publications for REF.

Training and Support

'How to' videos and training resources can be found at

Below you will find some short tutorials and guides on individual aspects of Pure, we will be adding to this section over time and aim to create a library of resources.

You can also download the Pure Welcome Pack, the welcome pack was created to help all users who are new to pure, or who need to know a bit more, to navigate through the most used features of the system.

In addition to the these resources we are happy to arrange individual or departmental training sessions tailored to your requirements. Please contact us for further details.

For enquiries on Open Access, AURA (open access publications repository), and Research Data Management you can also contact the Library via

Getting Started
  • What is Pure - Pure is The University of Aberdeen’s research management system, which aggregates information about Discipline, School and researcher outputs. Pure includes a searchable web portal, that enables you to find and discover experts from within certain fields.  Pure automatically pulls publication data from online databases and internal systems to create comprehensive and accurate profiles, allowing you to find and be found by potential collaborators.  You can verify, add, or update the information in your profile at any time. Pure is also used to coordinate and submit the Research Excellence Framework (REF) return
  • Logging on - The URL to access Pure is Your Log in details are your university ID e.g a12ab1 and your university password, this is the same password that you use to log in to your PC and to your email.
  • Types of Content - Available contents include: Research Output, Activities, Projects (awarded grants), Applications/Funding, Datasets, Press/Media, CV's, Research Facilities, Journals & Publishers, Extrenal People & Organisations, and REF2021 submission data.
Updating your Profile
Managing your outputs
Adding other outputs

This section is under development, please come back soon for more information

  • Activities
  • Press Media
  • Prizes
Searching & Reporting
Managing your Public Profile
Managing Notifications & Settings

This section is still under development, please come back soon for more information

  • Notifications & messages
  • Automatic Imports
  • Trusted Users
Help & Support
  • Online Help - Online help is available within Pure by hovering over on the Help and Support option at the bottom right of the Screen it will take you the Pure Help and Documentation webpages
  • Further Training - Further training on pure is available from the PURE team, please email us to arrange training
  • Researchers' Toolkit - the toolkit is designed to help researchers find the relevant tools, services and support to prepare proposals, manage grants, share knowledge, and publish research.
Editing and Administration in Pure
  • Adding new content on behalf of others
    How to add content from scratch using predefined templates, or import content from online sources such as WOS and PubMed, on behalf of others in your School or Department.
  • Managing content on behalf of others
    How to edit and remove content on behalf of others in your School or Department.
  • Videos available from the new Pure Academy, also cover administration and support in Pure. Recently added videos provide a good introduction to the basics of Pure:
    • Class 1 – How to support your researchers
    • Class 2 – How to quality assure content
    • Class 3 – How to manage Master Data
    • Class 4 – How to do reports
    Please note that a BrightTALK login is required.

Below are some of the most commonly-asked questions about Pure. If your questions are not answered below or in the User Guides section, please contact Nykohla Strong.

How do I add and edit a publication (research output) for my staff web page?

Publications should be added and edited in Pure, once saved they will be displayed on your staff web page and the public research portal.

  • Pure settings: To make the publication display on your staff web page and Public Research Profile, ensure that 'Public – no restriction' and the 'Yes' radio button are selected in the Visibility section of the publication record, (note that this is the default setting for most publication types).
  • Staff pages settings: Ensure that your staff page is set to 'research outputs (Pure)'
  • Editing: Publications should be edited and saved in Pure, the information will then automatically update on the relevant web pages.
What format is used for displaying publications on staff web pages?

The University uses the Harvard format for displaying publications on staff web pages, this format cannot be changed on individual staff pages.

How can I change the order of the publication types displayed on my staff web pages?

Publications are currently displayed in a fixed order, starting with Contributions to Journals. Although this order cannot be changed on individual staff pages, a person viewing your staff page has the ability to choose the publication type they are interested in using the 'Jump to' menu.

How can I change the publication type if there is a mistake?

Publication types are selected in Pure when a publication record is created, if the publication in your staff page is being displayed incorrectly e.g displaying as a specialist publication and it should be a journal article, this can be corrected by changing the publication template in Pure. Please note that once a publication has been validated, any changes must be carried out by an administrator, so please email us to request changes for validated publications.

Can I include an image to accompany my publication?

It is not currently possible to include images or thumbnails, alongside the publications on your staff pages or Public Research Profile; however you can upload a wide variety of supporting documents, web links, DOI's and image files which can be stored in Pure and in AURA

Once I have entered my publication in Pure, when will it appear on my staff page?

The information should be displayed on your staff page within a few minutes, however, in some cases the update may happen the following day. (Remember to ensure your visibility settings are correct)

What is the Public Research Portal?

Pure includes a facility to display information on research outputs, datasets, media, prizes, and activities to external viewers, via a web interface, similar to staff web-pages. All University Pure users (staff and research students) have their own profile page. Pure users have full control over which content they display on the Public Research Portal; if a user has information stored in their Pure account which they do not want to display publically, they can change the visibility settings for the relevant content.

if you have any other questions about Pure, please contact Nykohla Strong.