About the Hub

Institutional Repository

An institutional repository (IR) collects, preserves, and disseminates in digitial form, the intellectual output of an institution. IRs usually provide open access on items held within the IR. The "HKU Scholars Hub" is the IR for HKU. ISSN: 2310-7294.

Publisher Policies

An author's work is only placed in the Scholars Hub after we have confirmed that publisher's policy permits the item to be self-archived in our institutional repository. Most publishers, allow some form of self-archiving, although the version of the work that may be used, and the conditions imposed, vary from one publisher to another.

The Hub closely follows the defintions describing publishers' policies, estalished by Sherpa Romeo. This UK based database contains many hundreds of publishers' policies, and is updated and maintained from funding bodies in the UK, it is administered from the University of Nottingham. This database is often cited as the source of the policy information used in the Hub's own publisher policies database.

Definitions of the most common policy terms used in the Hub:

Postprint: The version of the article after peer review, with revisions suggested by peer review having been made.

This means that in terms of content, a post-print is the article as published. However, in terms of appearance, this might not be the same as the published article, as publishers often reserve for themselves their own arrangement of type-setting and formatting. This also means that in many cases an author cannot use the publisher's (or final) pdf file, for submission to the Hub. However, authors can create their own pdf or have Hub staff do this for them. Having said this, some publishers that allow post-print archiving, insist that authors do use the publisher generated pdf of the final version.

Other publishers, and funders such as NIH or the Wellcome Trust, use other names for a post-print. Some of these alternative names are:

  • "Author's final copy"

  • "Author's version"

  • "Author's manuscript"

Pre-print: A preprint is the author's version of the article before peer review.

Self-archiving: This term is often used to describe the author's right to submit and deposit a digital copy of some version of the article (preprint, postprint, or published version) on the author's personal web page, his or her departmental web page, or in an institutional repository such as the Hub.

Conditions: Publishers that allow self-archiving often impose conditions. An example of one publisher's conditions is shown below as an example:

An author may self-archive an author-created version of his/her article on his/her own website and his/her institution's repository, including his/her final version; however he/she may not use the publisher's PDF version which is posted on www.springerlink.com. Furthermore, the author may only post his/her version provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com".

Embargo Period: A publisher may allow posting of a version of the article to the Hub after an "embargo period". This means the author may not submit to the Hub until a number of months after the journal publication date. The length of the embargo period (6 months - 12 months etc) varies depending upon the publisher.

Permision Required Statement: The publisher allows authors to deposit a specified version of their article in the Hub, using a permission statement.

Open Access

Items in open access (OA) are digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Users anywhere in the world may read, download, copy distribute, print, search, or link to these items.

A growing number of research funders now make it a condition of grant that a duplicate of any research paper be placed in a Repository for open access. These mandates are applied as a condition of grant, so resulting research papers can have archiving conditions already attached before submission to any journal.

Open access Publishing: When referring to OA publishing, it is important to distinguish between two different approaches, sometimes called Gold OA and Green OA. The distinction between gold and green is only about venues, and not about user rights, or "fee or free". The two approaches are defined below:

  • Green OA: the author self-archives into his or her personal web page, departmental web page, or institutional repository, some version of his or her article (preprint, postprint, or published version).

  • Gold OA: the publisher places the authored item in open access within the published journal. Some journals are OA, without fees involved. Other journals may charge the author, his or her institution or funding body, an "OA charge" so that the article may be placed in OA. This last model is sometimes called the "hybrid model". The usual fee is US$ 3,000 per article.

  • The two approaches are not incompatible and can co-exist. Other conditions may or may not also be involved, such as embargoes, permission statements, etc.

Further reading on Open Access

The Open Access Directory

An open access overview

Green, blue , white and gold

Sherpa on Open Access

SCOPUS Citations

SCOPUS is an international abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources. SCOPUS covers more than 15,000 peer-reviewed journals in science, technology, medicine and social sciences from over 4,000 international publishers. The SCOPUS Citation Tracker records citations data year by year for a specific author or topic.

If a Hub article has been tracked in SCOPUS there is note at the end of the Hub meta data record that gives the number of citations made to the item, and a link to the tracked record in the SCOPUS database.

More information on SCOPUS citation tracking is available on the SCOPUS web site.

The Hub's Search Features

The Hub uses the DSpace system software jointly developed by MIT and Hewlett Packard. Many organisations and scholarly institutions also use Dspace for building their institutional repositories. Dspace comes with the powerful Lucene search engine and the Hub has further enhanced search and retrieval capabilities by integrating content with Elsevier's full text retrieval software SCIRUS, and also the SCOPUS citation analysis tracking system.

Quick Searches

The Hub's Home Page has a "Quick Search" form. Terms entered in this form search the entire collection and retrieve records with matching words from any of the following Hub fields: author, title, abstract or series name.

Quick Phrase Searches

To search for multiple words as a phrase or name, place quotation marks around the words. For example, to search for an exact phrase such as "climate change" enclose the phrase in quotation marks as indicated in the following illustration:

Quick Name Searches - where the exact name is known

Quick Searches for author names work best when enclosed in quotations. For example, "TSE, TH" will retrieve all works with this name.

Quick Name Searches - where the exact form of name is unknown

The Hub uses the author's name as it appears on each work or article. If an author writes under varied forms of name, then each variation will appear in the Hub's author name index. Browsing the author name index may be more effective than a Quick Search where the exact form of name is not known.

Search Scripts on Author Names

The following example of a URL script provides a quick and easy alternative method to the Quick Search form:


In the above example, cai is the author's surname and ZX are the author's initials.

The following example illustrates the script for an author with more than one first name:


Quick Searches with Multiple Words

If two or more words are entered as a Quick Search, but are not enclosed within quotes to indicate a phrase, the "OR" search operator is automatically applied, for example:

climate OR change


The results from these Quick Searches based on the OR operator will be very broad and non-specific.

Stop words
The Hub search engine ignores certain words that occur frequently in English. The Hub's stop words are:

a, and, are, as, at, be, but, by, for, if, in, into, is, it, no, not, of, or, the, to, was

This means it is not necessary to include any of these words in a phrase search such as "justice of the peace" or "justice and peace" or "teaching and learning" as they are ignored.

This feature is automatically applied to Quick Searches. Stemming means that any word is expanded to automatically include plurals and past tense and other extensions. This means that a search for the word age automatically retrieves, records with ages, aged, aging.

Truncation is an optional search feature that can be applied by end users. A truncated search requires the symbol * to be added near to the end of a search term. For example a search for inf* retrieves records with influenza, inference, infection, etc.

Exact word search
A plus sign + before a word means this word must appear in the results, e.g. +English language, the word English must appear in the results but language is optional.

A minus sign - before a word will eliminate this particular word from the result.  (Upper case NOT will also produce the same as the minus sign) e.g.  English -language

Advanced Searches

An Advanced Search provides more specific retrieval than a Quick Search. Phrase, stemming, and truncation are also available for Advanced Searches, but an Advanced Search can also:

- limit a search to one or more selected fields, or to a selected Hub community;

- combine search elements using one or more of the search operators And, Or, Not.

The illustration below shows a search of all the Hub's Communities (that is everything in the Hub) for the phrase "higher education" in the Title field only, but excluding any records that contain the words Hong Kong in any field.

Please Note: An Advanced Search will not work unless the boxes in the 'fill-in' search form are completed in order. For example, if the first input box is left blank the search will not work.

Handle Numbers

It is also possible to search for a Hub record by a "persistent identifier" or "Handle Number".

Dspace provides a stable point of reference for any resource in the repository by allocating a unique Handle Number. Because web sites can disappear, or be reconfigured without notice, references (links) to research results can disappear without trace. A core feature of Dspace is the creation of "persistent identifiers" for every item, collection and community stored in DSpace.

A "persistent identifier" is the name for a resource which will remain the same, regardless of where the resource is located. Therefore links to the resource will continue to work even if it is moved.

Dspace Handles were chosen in preference to persistent URLs because of the desire to support citations to items in DSpace over very long time spans. Handles in DSpace are currently implemented as URLs, but can also be modified to work with future protocols. For more information: General Dspace FAQ at MIT Libraries and also about CNRI Handle System for creating these identifiers.


The Hub supports Browsing by author, title or community.

The Browse list uses letter-by-letter sorting. This means that the order of the entries is based on each character in a word, without regard for spaces or punctuation. For example, the following author list shows that MaCallum sorts after Ma, C. but before Ma, CH

Example of the Author Browse sorting order

HKU ResearcherPages (RPs)

The HKU Strategic Development plan for 2009-2014 sets out three strategic themes, one of which is Knowledge Exchange (KE).

As a centre of intellectual development, creativity and informed social awareness, the University will ensure that knowledge exchange contributes to regional and global development, and increase the opportunities for staff and students to benefit from the commercialization and application of their expertise.

RPs display, enable, and measure HKU KE. They also allow industry, government and academia to find an HKU expert for contract research, consulting, and collaboration. After initial creation by Hub administrators, they allow the owning individual to further sustain and enhance their own RPs. More enhancements are currently being planned. We welcome your suggestions!

HKU RP Researchers

Every month the Hub receives a list from HKU Registry of new staff. We create RPs for each staff with a UGC Grade A ~ I. We will also create an RP, if you are currently employed, have authored items, and wish to be included. For this, please write to hub@lib.hku.hk.

RP Data Sources

  • Name, Address, etc: Department web pages, Registry, etc.
  • Publications, Honours, Awards, Prizes, Patents, etc.: We received daily updates from the HKU Research Output System (ROS), and after correcting what can be corrected, we upload to The Hub on a monthly basis.
  • Patents: We receive a quarterly update from Versitech. These are enhanced with data from USPTO and other patent databases.
  • Media Contact Directory: the Media Contact Directory created and maintained by the HKU Communications and Public Affairs Office. Updated monthly.
  • Community Service: We receive this data once a year from HKU CPAO.
  • Supervision of Research Postgraduate Students: We receive this data monthly from the Postgraduate Student System maintained by the HKU Graduate School.
  • (HKU) Committee Appointments: We receive this data yearly from the General Services of the Registry.
  • Bibliometric Details: These are extracted from Scopus, ResearcherID and others. An on-going project searches for errors in Scopus and reports them to Elsevier for correction. Another project created ResearcherID accounts for every current HKU researcher. This data in the RPs is updated weekly.

RP Editing

Please click on "Login" in the top banner, using your HKU Portal username and password. A new additional green menu, "RP Editor", will then appear on the lower left side, with two options, a) Edit ResearcherPage, and b) Manage Publications.

Edit ResearcherPage: After clicking through, a user can edit any of the four sections of the ResearcherPage; i) Publications, ii) Achievement, iii) Grants, or iv) Bibliometrics. On any data element, users can untick the rightside small tick box to hide the element from public display. Most data is harvested from outside silos, and therefore cannot be changed here, as a future update would overwrite any change made here. Boxes outlined in green are ones with data that can be changed here. Users may change/add/delete/hide for data in these boxes:

  • Variant Name(s)
  • Title(s)
  • Research Interest(s)
  • MyURL(s)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Picture

You may hide any element by unticking the rightside small tick box, and then clicking on Submit at the bottom to save.

Data in other boxes, outlined in red, has been harvested from outside silos, and can be changed there but not here. In these red outlined boxes, there is a green text message in every box, giving instructions on how to make these changes at the source. These messages are:

  • Grants: To make Changes please log into HKUPortal, and choose Research & Conference Grants Administration (RCGAS).
  • Media Content Directory: To make changes please contact Community & Public Affairs Office (CPAO), Ms. Trinni Choy, pychoy@hku.hk. The Hub extracts monthly.
  • Community Service: To make changes please login to the HKUPortal and choose Performance Review & Development. The Hub only receives relevant portions of this database.
  • Honours, Awards & Prizes: To make changes please login to HKUPortal and choose Research Outputs. The Hub receives this data monthly.
  • Supervision of Postgraduate Students: To make changes please contact the administrator(s) on research programmes in the dept/school/unit/centre/institute concerned. One person in each such dept has been designated to update the data held in the Graduate School's postgraduate Student System. The Hub receives data from this system weekly.
  • HKU Committee Appointments: To make changes please write to General Services of the Registry, ucomm@hkucc.hku.hk

Manage Publications: Users may choose certain of their publications to "Hide", or to place in a "Selected Publications" box. Hidden publications will still be searchable in The Hub, but not displayed on a RP. An example of possible use is, an author may wish to hide a conference presentation that later become a journal article. The "Selected Publications" box, if made, will appear first before any other publication category box, on the public RP. Please remember to click on "Submit" after making changes here.

Bibliometric data

Scopus: HKU Libraries have an on-going project to find errors and request Elsevier to fix, which is slowly proceeding. Individuals themselves also can find errors to their personal Scopus AuthorID records, and request Elsevier to correct. To do so, please provide your existing Scopus AuthorID; example, 26634245300.

ResearcherID: HKU Libraries create ResearcherID accounts for each current HKU researcher, and then uploaded publication lists from HKU Research & Scholarship (1994-2010). RID numbers and passwords were then given to each owner. If an incoming entry from HKU Research & Scholarship matched upon an entry in Web of Knowledge, then the ResearcherID will show citation counts on that entry. There are errors in HKU R&S, and errors in WoK preventing some matches. Individual RID owners can log into ResearcherID to change, add or delete. ResearcherID.com has an FAQ. You may wish to discuss editing options with Hub administrators.

Adding Publications with fulltext attachments to RPs

There are four ways to do so.

  1. If you have the fulltext of the item, and you know that the publisher allows us to re-post (cf. "Publisher Policies" and "Open Access" above), then please send this to hub@lib.hku.hk, with a short note saying you allow it to re-appear in the Hub.
  2. HKU Research Output System
    1. At the end of each academic year, HKU researchers are requested to enter details of their research output in the HKU Research Output System (ROS). This later becomes the HKU Research & Scholarship. In the input screens for ROS, there is a tick box giving the Hub permission to include, and a box for attaching files. Files attached here will come to us for upload to the Hub. Please note, we can get the published version from the Libraries' subscriptions. However few publishers allow this version. However many publishers will allow an "author's manuscript" (or, postscript). Therefore, do not attach the published version, but rather, the author's manuscript, which we can get only from you.
    2. HKU researchers may enter items into ROS that may have been missed in previous years. ROS will accept these retrospective items, as long as they carry a publication year during which the HKU staff was employed at HKU. The input screen can be found after entering HKUPORTAL → MyUIS → Research → Research Outputs. Retrospective data entered here will also be sent to The Hub.
  3. We will accept RIS files to update the publication lists in the Hub. You can create RIS files by exporting from Endnote, Scopus, Web of Science and other sources. Or, you could tell us from where we may take such a file for you.
  4. Curriculum Vitae holding your publication list. In your RP, you may input a URL pointing to your CV. Or, you may upload a CV to your RP. Please note that the data in your CV, will not merge with the publication lists in the Hub.

Adding Citation Data (without fulltext) to RPs

Before 2010, the Hub only included entries for items that could be displayed in open access; those for which we had fulltext, and permission from the author and publisher. But with it's greater role in HKU Knowledge Exchange, in 2010 the Hub began to import and display all items from HKU Research & Scholarship (otherwise known as HKU Research Output System [ROS]). In the coming months data from Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed will also be imported to The Hub, and deduped against existing Hub data.

Asking others to edit your ResearcherPage

If you have a ResearcherPage and wish to ask one of your staff, for example your executive officer (EO), to make changes for you, you may set up the special password below. After you do this, you will have 2 login methods, the existing one using the LOGIN button on the top of the page, with your HKU Portal ID. And, a new one, "Guest Login" (also at top of page). To set up this Guest Login for your EO:

  1. Please go to http://hub.hku.hk/password-login. Input the email address shown on your ResearcherPage. If your RP shows 2 addresses, use the first one.
  2. Enter no Password. Do NOT click on "Log In". Rather, please click on "Have you forgotten your password".
  3. The owner of the RP will receive email from the Hub with a link to define a new password. This new password need not be the same as the one used in hkuportal login.
  4. Please give the email address you used in this process, and the new password to your EO.
  5. The EO can now click on "Guest Login" at the top of the page, login, and edit your ResaercherPage.
  6. For problems with this process, please write to, hub@lib.hku.hk.

Who are the Hub Administrators?

Thank you for asking! We have a very creative and enthusiastic team, who are all overworked with many other projects to complete besides their work on the Hub; Eliot Liu, Lo Chun-yue, Judy Tsou, Linda Chan, Joan Sia, Francis Poon, and David Palmer. Besides which, we have the very supportive Library staff, and ever appreciative HKU professorial staff. [Feb 2012]

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