Activities: There’s so much that you can record in Discovery and more than one way to do it!

Over the past few years our team has noticed additional focus and attention on the need to record research-related activities and have responded by adapting and improving our services to accommodate the changing needs of our academic community. The driving forces behind these changes are threefold;

Responsible Research Assessment

As a signatory of DORA, and because of our commitment to the responsible use of metrics, the University recognises the need to take a holistic approach to research assessment. This means adopting a broad approach, encompassing recognition of all types of research activities which is not limited to reliance upon quantitative metrics. To achieve this academics are strongly encouraged to use Discovery to record their research-related activities such as engagement and measures of professional esteem. Without these records there’s a risk that these important activities aren’t given the recognition they deserve.

Recording Public Engagement

Our engagement with the public plays a crucial part in our role in society and culture. It’s important that we are able to review and assess our numerous engagement activities so that endeavour and reach can be recognised and also supported. By recording your engagement activities you help to increase awareness of engagement across the university and beyond.

Measures of Professional Esteem

Recognising that our academic community extends its reach and impact by taking on roles and responsibilities which support the wider academic and research environment at local, national and international level, and often without additional resource should be an important part of any review process. These measures of professional esteem can also be recorded in Discovery, providing both a formal record of what has been undertaken but also allowing external stakeholders to locate potential partners and collaborators.

So, what can you record in Discovery?

Pretty much everything! There are 38 activity templates which include, for example:

Public engagement activities:

  • working with schools
  • citizen science
  • delivering public lectures and seminars, exhibitions and festivals
  • work on advisory boards
  • hosting academic visitors

Measures of professional esteem:

  • editorial work
  • membership of various organisation types
  • consultancy
  • hosting a visitor
  • being an invited speaker
  • receiving funding for research-related activities

How can you record activities in Discovery?

Create the records yourself
You can log into Discovery and add the records yourself. Many of our colleagues prefer this option as they like to have control over their Discovery Profile. We provide resources and information guiding you through the process: Discovery Portal guides on the Open Research SharePoint site
Mediated deposit
Complete the Activities form, and we’ll create the record for you. Please note that this will take longer and we may have to come back to you for more information.
Emailing for help and advice
Finally, if you’re really stuck, we’re a friendly bunch and are more than happy to help with reasonable requests. Contact


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