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Author guide to publishing on Octopus.

Octopus publications are not equivalent to journal articles or papers. Instead, there are 8 smaller publication types aligned with the research process.Think of Octopus like a 'patent office' where you can register all your work, including theories, data, and analyses. However, when you start the publication process, consider it to be like submitting to a journal. Whatever you publish should be the formal 'version of record', ready to be assessed by others and publicly recorded against your name and ORCID iD.You might want to have a look at some example publications of the different types before writing your own. Here is a handy guide to the eight types. It is most likely that your first publication will be of a Research Problem. Here is an example of what a Research Problem publication might look like. You can see other publication types linked to that one.When you're ready to publish, you will need to have to hand:
  • Your publication title
  • Your main publication text and references
  • The email addresses of any co-authors
  • Information about any funders that should be acknowledged
  • Details of any conflicts of interest to be declared for all authors
  • Your institutional affiliation(s), to make it easier for your work to be tracked and deposited in the correct repositories
  • A publication already on Octopus to link yours to. If you re publishing a Research Problem, this could be a generic topic, such as ‘medicine’, but the more specific the better as it will help your publication be found and assimilated with other research on the topic.
Publishing on Octopus is quick and easy by design. Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:
  • Sign in using your ORCID® credentials (or create an ORCID account if you don't have one). You will also need to provide a verified email address so that you can receive essential service notifications.

Key information

  • What kind of work are you ready to publish? There are eight types in Octopus, from a well-defined Research Problem to a Real World Application. These are intended to align with the research process, so select the stage which matches where you are in your work. See our FAQ for more information on the publication types. You can publish each stage as it happens, publish when the project is finished, or adapt existing papers to record prior work to Octopus.
  • Click 'Publish' on the navigation bar. Alternatively on any publication page you have the option to 'write a linked publication' or to 'write a review'. You will be promoted to add a title and select the publication type. If you are writing a review or linked publication, the publication type will be automatically limited to available options. Note that publication type cannot be changed once a draft is created.
  • Once you click 'Create this publication', a draft is created and you are taken to the full publication form. You can navigate to any page of the publication process. The review page will show you any missing required information. Once all essential information is provided, you can preview and publish your work.
  • What license should I select? You have the option to select from several Creative Commons licenses. Note that Octopus requires licenses which permit derivative works. This is so that we can develop certain features, such as automated translation. If you would like to use a license that is not listed, email help@jisc.ac.uk.
  • How do I state affiliations? You may specify the affiliation(s) related to your publication. This may differ from your current affiliation, for instance if you've moved roles since completing the research project. Note that Octopus does not display individuals' institutional affiliation on publication pages.

Linked publications

  • What is the publication chain? All Octopus publications are hierarchically linked in a collaborative chain, and each type needs to be linked to 'the one above it in the chain'. This is designed to avoid vital missing links in the research record. For example, you can't publish an Analysis without linking it to the relevant Results, and you can't publish any Results without linking that to the Method that you followed. A Review (peer review) can, of course, be linked to any other type of publication; and a Research Problem can also arise from any other publication type. You can publish all stages of the chain (excluding a peer review of your own work!), but any author can also create a linked publication from another's work.
  • Find the existing publication(s) on Octopus that your publication should link from. This will be a publication of the appropriate type (i.e. the 'one above it in the chain'). When you view this publication, you will see the option to 'write a linked publication' when you are signed in. You can also click 'Publish' and then search for the publication(s) you want this new work to be linked from.

    At launch we will have some seed Research Problems for you to link from, but you may want to publish a Research Problem specific to your research, and then the Rationale/Hypothesis etc. However, we recommend searching for existing Research Problems first. If you are recapping a well-known Research Problem or Rationale/Hypothesis which is not yet present on the site, then simply treat this publication as you would the introduction to a paper – giving as good a review of the literature and history of the ideas as you can, giving credit to those who first wrote about them.

Main text

  • How should work be formatted? The publication process will ask you to enter a title for your new publication, and confirm what type of publication it is, and it will then give you the option of uploading a .docx file, or pasting your material directly into a text editor. There are no formatting requirements in Octopus – you can choose how best to present your work. You should use the same reporting guidelines that you would when writing a paper, with the caveat that not all requirements will apply to each of Octopus' smaller publication types. At the end of the publishing process, you will be able to preview your publication to make sure all styling, tables and figures etc. are displaying correctly.
  • How should references be formatted? You can use your preferred reference style, but references must be line-separated. Where appropriate, all references should include a DOI or URL. When adding references, please separate them from the main text and instead add them to the dedicated References field. Octopus will then review your references and identify any links – we recommend checking that these are displaying correctly, and making any edits as required.
  • What about work in other repositories or platforms? Specialist materials cannot be hosted on Octopus, but the platform does allow you to link to other platforms. Please add the DOIs or URLs to resources hosted elsewhere – for example, a video protocol, digital images or a large dataset in a specialist repository. In Octopus you should ensure that there is at least a descriptive outline of the specialist material you link to, and you may also wish to include sample data where relevant.
  • Why do I need a description and keywords? These are optional fields which aid the discoverability of your work. The text provided will be used, for instance, when your publication appears in Google results.

Conflict of interest

  • What do I need to provide in my conflict of interest statement? You are required to specify where there are any conflicts of interest related to your publication. If yes, you must provide a short statement on any conflicts of interest, for example related to your current or past employment, financial interests, or personal relationships.


  • How do I list co-authors and institutions? All authors need to approve a publication before it can go live. Authors will be asked to provide email addresses for each contributing author. They will receive an email asking them to confirm their involvement, and providing them with a link to the draft for review. Co-authors can then approve publication. If any amendments are required first, these should be raised directly with the submitting author.


  • How do I indicate sources of funding? You can list any sources of funding for your publication. We recommend that where possible you use your funder's ROR identifier. This ensures that consistent, accurate organisational data is displayed and enables more efficient discovery and tracking of research outputs across institutions and funding bodies. However, if you funding source does not have a ROR, you can input its details manually. You can also provide a free-text statement describing the funding arrangements for your publication.

Research process

  • What other information will I need? Some publication types require additional information. Results publications require input on data availability, data permissions, and details of ethical permissions. Hypotheses and methods have the option to specify if a publication is equivalent to a 'preregistration' (i.e. being published before data has been collected).

Review and publish

  • Can I preview my publication? Once all required information has been submitted, you can preview how your publication will look when published. We recommend that you check through this carefully, as changes cannot be made post-publication.
  • What is the acceptance process for publications? There is no acceptance or rejection from Octopus – you are recording the work as yours, and registering when you did so. Others can then assess the work, review it, and build on it. You should therefore try to ensure that you are completely happy with the work before you press 'publish'. As soon as the last co-author has agreed it, the work will be live and a DOI available.
  • What if I made a mistake? Octopus will allow for reversioning of publications, but this feature is currently under development. When released, reversioning is intended for cases where an author makes a mistake, or a reviewer points out something which needs to be added or corrected. In the latter case, we strongly recommend including the reviewer as a co-author on a new version to recognise their input. All older versions remain visible on the record, but new versions have their own DOI. All reviews and red flags remain with the version they were originally linked to. We recommend keeping reversioning to a minimum.
If you require further guidance, or would like to suggest any additional author materials, please contact the team at help@jisc.ac.uk.