5 December – My SNSF report

You can now generate a list of publications that follows the format required by the SNSF for any new request for funds in a few clicks!

The “My SNSF report” feature allows anyone affiliated to a UNIL research unit to create a list of research results in the format requested by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Indeed, the SNSF requires all applicants to provide a standardised set of information when applying for new funding. This includes a list of research results that can be generated from Serval and that meets the requirements of the SNSF.

You will find more information about InfoSERVAL as well as in the video tutorial that will show you how to work on your document to facilitate the layout of the publication list.

13 November – New user interface

Aiming to improve SERVAL to make it more user-friendly and attractive to our researchers, we have redesigned the input interface and its workflow. Depositing your publication in SERVAL has never been easier!

The following features will therefore be pushed into production on Wednesday, November 13, 2019:

Simplified entry interface

When creating a record in SERVAL, you must choose whether the publication has an identifier (DOI or PMID) or not. This allows the user to be directed to the automatic (DOI/PMID) or manual data entry.

It is strongly recommended to go use the automatic entry with an ID, if you have it. This allows us to retrieve a large amount of data related to your publication without you having to enter it yourself.

Data recovery

Data recovery has also evolved, notably with the addition of Unpaywall (for the Open Access status of publications), thus enriching existing third-party services such as Crossref for DOIs, Pubmed for PMIDs, the UNIL service for people and the service for the UNIL structure.

All these operations may take time, but the benefit is greater than with a manual entry.

Automatic input interface

If automatic entry (DOI/PMID) is selected, the input screen is displayed:

In order to enter a new publication with this method, please enter the ID and press “retrieve data”. You can then complete the rest of the form (link to people and units and PDF) and click on “continue”.

You will be redirected to a verification screen to control the data retrieved from the ID. Here you will have the choice to save the record (draft), publish it, or edit the data to complete or correct it.

Manual entry interface

Manual entry involves the same steps, but you must enter the required metadata yourself.

Entering persons

The entry of persons has also been completely reviewed:

It is now possible to enter all persons related to a publication and specify their role with the drop-down menu on the left. This makes it possible to condense the interface considerably and to have an overview of all the actors involved in the publication.

Person and unit links

Don’t forget to link your publication to all UNIL authors and to the units where the research leading to the publication was conducted.

Automatic entry

During automatic entry, proposed links will be displayed after data recovery from the ID. When you check the box for the authors of the publication, their unit will automatically be displayed in the “Unit” field.

If the author of the publication has not been found automatically, you can add them by using the “search manually” button.

Manual entry

During manual entry, the proposed links are displayed after entering the full name of the authors of the publication (for those where there is a correspondence for a UNIL collaborator). As in the previous case, when you tick the box of one of the authors of the publication, their unit is automatically added in the “Unit” field.

If the author of the publication has not been found automatically, you can add them by using the “search manually” button.

Advanced entry

Advanced entry, which can be accessed by editing a record, allows automatic and manual link search. If the author of the publication has not been found automatically, you can add them by using the “search manually” button.

Default visibility of documents

When a new document is added to a record, the default visibility is now set to “UNIL restricted”. This means that the document will only be accessible to UNIL members. Do not forget to change the visibility if you want to share it immediately (“Public”) or after an embargo period (“Under embargo”).

Editing existing records

In order to edit an existing record (in draft or public form), press the blue chevron in the “Details/Edit” column and all available options will then be displayed.

Google Scholar and Google badges

In manual entry and advanced editing of a record, some fields now have a Google Scholar and/or Google badge.

These badges indicate the fields that should be completed for your publication to be well indexed by these search engines.

Improved help

The help icon is now specific to navigation. It takes you to the documentation targeted to the page you are on.

This is a text help, but it includes a link to the video tutorial.

Links to further information on self-archiving and personalized advice on depositing the full text can be found in the input section of the publication manuscript:

Information for researchers

Weekly email notifications are sent to co-authors listing the records to which they are linked that have been created. This allows them to publish them or add the corresponding full texts.

New subtype dedicated to conference slides

Slides presented at scientific conferences can now be submitted and shared from SERVAL by choosing the type “inproceedings”, then subtype “slides”:

Scientific editor for articles

It is now possible to choose the role “scientific editor” for articles.

August 22, 2019: validation halt, decrease in the number of visibility states and entry correction by authors now possible

We keep striving to make SERVAL more user-friendly and attractive to our researchers. We will proceed with the introduction of (strongly requested) fundamental changes in the application as a prelude to a later simplification of the user interface.

The following features will therefore be pushed to production on Thursday, August 22, 2019:

Decrease in the number of visibility states

Simplification of the states of visibility

The visibility levels of records in SERVAL are reduced to two, “draft” and “public”. The published notices (change from “draft” to “public” status) are immediately visible on UNIL websites (including Unisciences) and on SERVAL public website.

Migration of the previous visibility states

The former “personal” and “UNIL” states become “draft”, while the old “web”, “to validate” and “SERVAL” states become “public”.

Records in the “draft” state are visible to UNIL authenticated users. Authors are therefore invited to publish or delete their notices in the “draft” state.

Halting validation and correction by authors now possible

Institutional validation is now abandoned.  From now on, authors will be able to correct the records to which they are linked, knowing that they cannot be deleted once in the “public” state. They therefore have control over it and are responsible for their lists of publications.

Authors are reminded that full texts, once published, cannot be eliminated due to SERVAL’s preservation vocation and our obligations to the German National Library, which assigns permanent identifiers to our documents. However, it is possible to change the visibility of these documents to make them accessible only within UNIL (visibility: “restricted UNIL”).

Data entry agents may also enter and modify the records themselves with the agreement of the authors, but they cannot publish them. This right is reserved to authors.

Roles and rights

Authors have the right to read and write all records belonging to them. Only authors can publish a notice. When a notice is created an automatic information message is sent to all persons linked to the notice.

Data entry officers may enter and modify records in draft or public form with the agreement of the authors. They may not publish a notice.

PhD and master thesis are exceptions

UNIL/CHUV theses and dissertations will be an exception to this change, due to their examination copy status, and will always require validation.

Thus, theses and dissertations currently in a “web” and “to be validated” state will be put in a “draft” state. Authors may enter a thesis/thesis, but not publish it. They will submit it for validation.

Simplified workflow

May 8, 2019: single field “person(s)”, “Open Access” and “APC” fields and new presentation in the metadata step

The following features will be added in production on Wednesday, May 8, 2019:

Single field “person(s)”

Entry in a single list of people instead of an entry in separate fields (author (s), translator (s), …):

It is possible to change the order by moving a line with a drag and drop.

Plan S – “Open Access” et “APC” fields

The fields “Open Access” and “APC” (publication fees), required by plan S, have been added in the entry:

The checkbox “Open Access” can be automatically checked when filling the form via a DOI or a PMID. However, the publication must have a DOI and the publication must be indicated as “Open Access” in Unpaywall.
We have considered all types of Open Access in this field:
  • Gold (immediately available to all under a CC licence in an OA journal)
  • Hybrid (immediately available to all under a CC licence in a subscription journal)
  • Green (embargoed accepted author version of the manuscript in SERVAL)
  • Bronze (published version free to read in the publisher’s webpage after an embargo period)

New presentation of the fields in the metadata step

The layout of the metadata page has been modified.

The interface is now much more compact because all types of authors can be entered in the same “person” field. The help text of a field can be accessed by clicking on its name.

The navigation buttons have been moved to the top of the page, and the different sections of the interface (mandatory or recommended/optional metadata) can be hidden/shown by clicking on their title.

Ajout du champ “licence” et retrait de l’embargo sur les métadonnées.

Les modifications suivantes seront effectuées dans la saisie de Serval le 06 mars 2019:

  • Un champ “licence” est ajouté pour le texte intégral ainsi qu’un autre pour l’ensemble des documents annexes. Il fait partie des champs qui sont exigés par le plan S.
  • Modification de l’affichage de la saisie des documents.
  • La saisie des embargos sur les métadonnées a été retirée.

Archivage d’Unimédia et retrait de Serval

La collection de photographies Unimédia, qui est en train d’être migrée dans les archives, sera retirée de Serval à partir de lundi prochain. Durant cette opération, qui aura lieu le lundi 25 février entre 7h30 et 8h30, Serval, le support de cours, les actualités et BiBIL subiront quelques perturbations. Merci de votre compréhension.

Le choix de la collection dans les formulaires de recherche et dans la saisie ne sera plus nécessaire et permettra ainsi de simplifier l’écran principal de Serval:


Usage data

You can consult the publication usage data in Serval. They are displayed in their details.

The usage data correspond to two values:

  • Number of views: the number of times the record was viewed
  • Number of downloads: the number of times that the full text was downloaded


  • In the details:

  • The usage data page of the publication. It is accessible by clicking on one of the values ??of the usage data in the details.

Retention of access statistics has begun on January 3, 2018. Update of usage data is done one time per day.