Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

NECTAR User Documentation


Browsing is a good way to access documents if you don't have a specific idea of what you're looking for. There are several ways to browse the repository: by author or creator; by school, Division or Department; by year and by subject. If you wish to find out about research undertaken in the local area then you may also browse by topic within Northamptonshire and East Midlands.

To browse the repository either select Browse from the front page or from the navigation bar at the top of the screen. Then choose which property you wish to browse by eg. "subject".

You will be presented with a list of possible values, select one of these, and you will be given a list of references to documents in the repository (if any) which match this value. To access a paper, simply click on its reference in the display.

On the abstract page, you should be able to see what subjects are pertinent to the current document. Clicking on one of those subjects will take you back to the relevant browse by subject view.


The repository offers two levels of searching, simple and advanced. They are similar, but the advanced form lets you perform a finer-grained search using more fields. Access the simple search using the Search NECTAR link on the front page, or using the navigation bar at the top of the screen. To perform an advanced search, use the advanced search link in the menu bar on the left.

Text Search Fields

These are used to search fields like abstract or creator. These are the fields where there is a text entry area, and a popup menu just to the left of it. Type your search terms into the box. You can decide how the system will use your search terms by selecting one of the options from the popup menu just to the leftt of the input box.

All of.

If you select this option a record must have all the values you choose associated with it to be retrieved.

Any of.

If this is selected, any record which has any of the values you select will be retrieved.

Lists of Values

With these you can select one or more values from a list of values for the system to search for. To select more than one value, hold down the Ctrl key whilst left clicking on each value. If no value in the list is selected, the system will ignore this field (i.e. it will retrieve records with any value of this field.)

In cases where each individual record may have more than one value attached to the list, you can also change search behaviour by selecting ``Any of these'' or ``All of these'' from the popup menu on the right of the list.

Any of these.

If this is selected, any record which has any of the values you select will be retrieved.

All of these.

If you select this option, a record must have all the values you choose associated with it to be retrieved.


When you're searching a date field, you can specify a single year or range of years that you're interested in:

retrieves only records where the year is `1999';
retrieves records with years between 1987 and 1990 inclusive;
retrieves records with years of 1995 or later;
retrieves records with years up to and including 1998.

Yes/No Fields

Some fields can have the value yes or no, for example the ``Refereed'' field. In this case, the search field lets you specify whether you want retrieved records to have the value yes or no for this field, or whether you have no preference, in which case the field isn't used to find records.

Logging in

You only need to login to NECTAR if you wish to either save a search for future re-use or enter details of your own work in the repository.

Members of staff from The University of Northampton should contact their School NECTAR Administrator to request a NECTAR username and password.

Depositing Records

The first thing you'll need to do, after logging in for the first time, is fill out your user record.

Once you've correctly filled out your user record, the ``Manage Deposits'' page will show a number of options and any any items you are working on or have submitted but are not yet approved by an editor. The options are described below. Note that the options and information that appear may vary slightly, depending on whether you are in the process of depositing any papers and whether you have any papers pending entry into the main repository.

Your User Record

Your user record is used to hold contact information about you. Enter the relevant information in the form. Those boxes where the field name (on the left of the box) has an asterisk are required fields that must be filled out before you can deposit papers in to the repository.

Rather than clicking in each box before you enter something into it, you may find that your browser will let you use the tab key to move the cursor between the boxes. In this way you can enter the information much more quickly.

When you've entered the relevant information, click on the ``Save'' button at the bottom of the form. If the form is filled out correctly, you'll be taken back to the ``Profile'' page. If there's a problem with the form, the form will be presented to you again with a description of what's wrong. Correct the error and click on ``Update Record'' again.

Your User Workarea

When you click on "Manage deposits" you are able to see all of your items that are currently in processing. Items start off in the "user workarea" and are then moved to "under review" and eventually to the "live archive".

If your user workarea is empty, which will be the case when you first visit the page, you will see a button ``New item'' This button will add a fresh, empty record to your workarea and allow you to start editing it.

If there are papers in your workspace, you will see a list of those papers with some option buttons. The title of each paper you are uploading will be shown in the list, or its ID if you haven't yet given it a title. The option buttons are described below:


Use this button to view the details of the selected paper.

Destroy item

If you select an item and click on this button, that item will be removed from your workarea and discarded completely. You will be asked for confirmation first, so don't worry about accidentally clicking on it.


If you select a paper in your workarea and click this button, you will be able to carry on processing that paper.


If you're satisfied that you've completed uploading the paper and associated information as you had intended, then you can select the paper and click on this button to move the item to the review area of the repository. Note that if there are problems with the paper (for instance, if a document file upload hasn't worked, or the associated bibliographic information is invalid), you will be told what is wrong, and you won't be able to deposit the paper until those problems are fixed.

The depositing process is described in a following section.

The Depositing Process

The depositing process is divided into a number of stages. You can move between these stages by using the ``Back'' and ``Next'' buttons at the bottom of each screen. This should be familiar to those accustomed to using the ``wizard'' style of interface popular on many modern operating systems.

Don't worry about losing information you've entered when you press the ``Back'' button on a form: The system will store everything you've entered when you press it. However, you should not use your browser's ``back'' button when you are depositing papers.

Each stage of the process is described in the following sections.

Deposit Type

In this screen, you should select the one option on the list that best described your paper, for example ``conference or workshop item'' or ``article''. The option you choose here will affect what bibliographic information about your item is collected by the system in later stages.

Then click on the ``Next'' button.

File Upload

If you wish to upload a full copy of your work you may do so on the upload page. You may enter one or more files in a number of formats.

Now click on the ``Upload'' button.

If you selected ``File'' or are uploading a compressed file, you will be presented with a screen where you can either type in the full filename and path of the document file or compressed file into the text field, or (recommended) click on the ``Browse...'' button, and select the relevant file using the file selector. If you're uploading more than one file, there will be a corresponding number of these fields to fill out.

It is important that your work is not made publically visible until the copyright position has been established. For this reason, make sure that the item is visible to "Repository staff only" in the first instance.

If you selected ``from an existing Web site,'' enter the full URL of the first page of the actual document; don't just enter the URL of the Web site the document appears in or the URL of an index or contents page. See the section ``uploading from an existing Web site'' below.

When you've entered the filenames or URLs, click on the ``Upload'' button. You'll then be taken back to the ``Upload'' screen.

In many cases (e.g. PDF, Postscript) there will only be one file; if you've uploaded many files you will need to select the one to be shown first. This should be the first file in the document that a reader should be presented with; the .html file if your document is in HTML format, or the contents page if your document is spread over several uploaded several HTML documents. Use the arrows beside each file to tell the system which file should be shown first.

The ``Delete'' icon on the right of the table can be used to remove individual files that you've uploaded in error.

You can continue to upload more files as before. If you've uploaded all necessary files, click on ``Next''. This will take you back to the ``Details'' page.

Uploading From an Existing Web Site

When you give the repository a URL to retrieve your document from, the repository stores a copy of the file stored at that URL. If the URL is an HTML file, the repository will also copy the images associated with that HTML file, and other HTML files linked to it.

You must supply the URL of the first page of document itself: NOT the URL of the whole Web site, or the URL of any contents page listing multiple documents, index page or abstract page. And NOT

In order to prevent the repository from trying to copy the whole World Wide Web by following every single link, some rules are applied when the system collects your document:

Only files reached by ``relative'' links are retrieved. For example, if the HTML contains a link to node1.html then node1.html will be copied. If the link points to, then that URL will not be copied.

Only files at the same depth or deeper in the Web site file hierachy are retrieved. For example, if a link points to /index.html or ../index.html, the file will not be copied.

This method of uploading papers cannot have a guaranteed 100% success rate. However the software creators have been using it at Southampton for a number of months and it usually works very well.

If something does go wrong, it's normally best to delete all files from the ``Upload'' screen, and try another uploading method.


Next you will be asked to enter bibliographic information about your paper. The exact details that are required will vary depending on the deposit type you selected in the first stage.

Above each input field is the field name and a linking to a short explanation of what should be put in the field. If the field name has an asterisk, the field must be filled out before the paper can be deposited; other fields are optional.

The following are the types of input field you may see:

Text boxes.

Fairly straightforward. Just type the relevant information in, or copy and paste direct from your document.

Popup menus.

Just select the most appropriate option from the popup menu.


Used to indicate a yes or no value.


Select one or more appropriate options from the list. Use Ctrl and click to select multiple options.

Page ranges.

Type the first page in the range into the box on the left, and the last page in the box on the right. If the range consists of a single page, just enter the page number into the left-hand box, and leave the right-hand box empty.


You can enter given name, family name and email address. If there is already something of yours in NECTAR then your details should pop up for autocompletion. Just click on the appropriate name record to select it. Multiple authors or creators can be entered. In these cases, you can add more boxes for names by clicking on the ``More Input Rows'' button at the bottom of the list. Note that empty boxes are ignored.

To remove names from a list just remove the name from the relevant boxes and leave it empty. Don't worry about leaving a blank box in the middle of the list; the system will ``bunch up'' the list.

Once you've entered the relevant information, click on the ``Next'' button. If there are any omissions from the data, the system will explain what is wrong and re-present the form so you can fix the problems.

As with user records, most browsers will allow you to use the tab key to move between the input fields, allowing you to enter the information quickly.

Deposit Verification

Before depositing your item you should click on "Save for later" and then Preview the record. This will show you how it will display when it goes live. At the top of the page there will be a 'Harvard' style bibliographic reference. If this does not look correct then you have probably not put in sufficient information.

You should also check that the document files have been uploaded correctly, including any associated figures and links. If you spot a mistake, you can use the forms' ``back'' buttons (not the browser's ``back'' button) to cycle back through the depositing process and fix any mistakes.

If you're satisfied that everything is correct and has been uploaded correctly, you should return to the 'Manage Deposits' screen and click on the Deposit icon. Having read, understood and complied with the agreement at the bottom of the page, you may then click on the ``Deposit'' button to deposit your paper in the repository. It will then be put in the editorial review.