+ Contact

Research Performance Analyst and Planning Officer
01392 726589


Scival is a research publications indicators system. It holds information on citations and publishing collaborations over a range of sectors. The information is available at individual and organisation level.

The system is useful for:

  • Academics
  • Research Services staff
  • Staff working to support partnerships
  • Marketing and communications staff

You can use the system to:

  • Gather statistics to support bids for funding.
  • Conduct comparisons between institutions.
  • Identify areas of interest to existing and potential partners across many sectors.
  • Identify individuals who have published on newsworthy topics.

What can Scival do?

Scival captures a range of information about research papers, including:

  • Journal names and categories
  • Authors
  • Author's organisations
  • Publication dates
  • Citation figures

You can search out individuals and organisations publishing by a number of filters. These include journal category and Research Excellence Framework (REF) Unit of Assessments (UoAs). You can also define your own keywords and search publications for them. A list of UoAs Exeter submitted to the last REF is available on the REF 2014 results webpage.

You can also create groups of individuals and organisations in Scival. You can use this functionality to aggregate and compare large sets of data. For example, you could create an existing research group within the system. You can share groups with other users.

Scival has a suite of built-in analysis tools. These enable you to generate flexible data tables and visualisations, including graphs and maps.

Sharing and University structure

Research Services staff have created a University structure in the system. The structure groups REF-eligible academics into their UoA and College. Research Services can share these with colleagues on request. They are regularly updated to account for leavers and starters.

Research Services have created groups using UoA comparators as defined by UoA directors of research for research monitoring. Research Services can share these with colleagues for benchmarking purposes. When investigating indicators for the comparator groups, you should filter by the relevant UoA.

Appropriate use

You must use Scival data appropriately and understand its limitations.

Scientific publications are much better indexed than humanities and social sciences (HASS) publications. Thus you should be cautious about using the HASS data for benchmarking purposes.

You should not make judgements about performance on a single indicator. Groups of indicators provide a better measure.

Different subject areas have different publishing practices. You should use field-weighted indicators wherever possible. Due to differing sizes between organisations, size-weighted indicators are also preferred.

A group of leading institutions worked to define 'Snowball Metrics'. These are appropriate indicators to use when benchmarking. They have produced a recipe book which provides guidance on appropriate groupings of publications indicators. Scival highlights Snowball Metrics for you.


Anyone with a University email address can access Scival. On your first access you will need to register using your University email address. Please note you must be connected to the University network to log in. If you are away from campus you can use a virtual private network (VPN) connection.

Training and support

If suitable numbers of people are interested, we can arrange for training by Elsevier, the system suppliers. If you are interested in training, please contact .

Please also contact Shane if you are experiencing difficulties or would like support in in using the system generally.

An online manual is also available. This includes indicator definitions and advice on how to best use the system. You need to be logged in to access the manual.