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Author guide to publishing on Octopus.


Octopus publications are different to traditional journal articles or papers. There are eight smaller publication types aligned with the research process. A little like a 'patent office', you can register all your work, including theories, data, and analyses. However, when you start the publication process you’ll need to approach it as though you’re submitting to a journal. Whatever you publish should be the formal 'version of record', ready to be assessed by others and publicly recorded against your name and ORCID iD. You might want to have a look at some example publications of the different types before writing your own. Here is a handy guide to the eight types. It is most likely that your first publication will be of a Research Problem. Here is an example of what a Research Problem publication might look like. You can also see other publication types linked to that one. When you're ready to publish, you will need to have to hand:

  • Your publication title
  • Your main publication text and references
  • The email addresses of any co-authors
  • Information about any funders that should be acknowledged
  • Details of any conflicts of interest to be declared for all authors
  • Your institutional affiliation(s), to make it easier for your work to be tracked and deposited in the correct repositories
  • A publication or topic already on Octopus to link yours to. If you’re publishing a Research Problem this could be a generic topic, such as ‘medicine’, though the more specific the better as it will help your publication be found and assimilated with other research on the topic.

If you require further guidance, or would like to suggest any additional author materials, please contact the team at

Publishing on Octopus is quick and easy by design. Below is a step-by-step guide to get you started.

Signing in

You’ll sign in using your ORCID® credentials (or create an ORCID account if you don't have one). You will also need to provide a verified email address so that you can receive essential service notifications.

Publication types

The eight publication types in Octopus are intended to align with the research process, so select the stage which matches where you are in your work. See our FAQ for more information on the publication types. You can publish each stage as it happens, publish when the project is finished, or adapt existing papers to record prior work to Octopus.

Adding a publication

Click 'Publish' on the navigation bar. Alternatively, you have the option to 'write a linked publication' or to 'write a review' on any publication page. You’ll be prompted to add a title and select the publication type. If you’re writing a review or linked publication, the publication type will be automatically limited to available options. Note that publication type cannot be changed once a draft is created.

Once you click 'Create this publication', a draft is created. You’ll be taken to the full publication form, here you can navigate to any page of the publication process. The review page will show you any missing required information. Once all essential information is provided, you can preview and publish your work.

All publications on the platform use a CC-BY 4.0 licence to comply with open access requirements.


You may specify the affiliation(s) related to your publication. These are pulled in from your ORCID profile, so you’ll need to make sure you have the necessary information filled out there to add it. The affiliation for your work may differ from your current affiliation, for instance if you've moved roles since completing the research project. Octopus does not display individuals' institutional affiliation on publication pages.

Linked publications

All Octopus publications are hierarchically linked in a collaborative chain and need to be connected to 'the one above it in the chain'. This is designed to avoid vital missing links in the research record. For example, you can't publish an ‘analysis’ without linking it to the relevant ‘results’, and you can't publish any ‘results’ without linking that to the ‘method’ that you followed. A ‘peer review’ can be linked to any other type of publication; and a ‘research problem’ can also arise from any other publication type. You can publish all stages of the chain (excluding a peer review of your own work!), but any author can also create a linked publication from another's work.

To link your work, find the existing publication(s) on Octopus. This will be a publication of the appropriate type (i.e. the 'one above it in the chain'). When you view this publication, you’ll see the option to 'write a linked publication' if you’re signed in. You can also click 'Publish' and then search for the publication(s) you want this new work to be linked from.

We recommend linking your work to existing publications on Octopus. If you can’t find an existing piece of work that yours stems from in some manner, you can always find the relevant topic and link it to that instead. However, we recommend searching for existing Research Problems first. If you are recapping a well-known Research Problem or Rationale/Hypothesis which is not yet present on the site, simply treat this publication as you would the introduction to a paper.

Main text

To add your main text you have the option of uploading a .docx file, or pasting your work directly into a text editor. There are no formatting requirements in Octopus – you can choose how best to present your work. You should use the same reporting guidelines that you would when writing a paper, with the caveat that not all requirements will apply to each of Octopus' smaller publication types. At the end of the publishing process, you will be able to preview your publication to make sure all styling, tables and figures etc. are displaying correctly.

Adding references

You can use your preferred reference style, but references must be line-separated. Where appropriate, all references should include a DOI or URL. You’ll need to separate your references from the main text and instead add them to the dedicated ‘References’ field. Octopus will review your references and identify any links – we recommend checking that these are displaying correctly, and making any edits as required.

Referencing work in other repositories

Specialist materials cannot be hosted on Octopus, but the platform does allow you to link to other platforms. You’ll need to add the DOIs or URLs to resources hosted elsewhere – for example, a video protocol, digital images or a large dataset in a specialist repository. In Octopus you should ensure that there is at least a descriptive outline of the specialist material you link to, and you may also wish to include sample data where relevant.


These are optional fields which aid the discoverability of your work. The text provided will be used, for instance, when your publication appears in Google results.

Conflict of interest

Before publishing, you’ll need to specify where there are any conflicts of interest related to your publication. If yes, you must provide a short statement on any conflicts of interest, for example related to your current or past employment, financial interests, or personal relationships.


You can list any sources of funding for your publication. We recommend that where possible you use your funder's ROR identifier to ensure consistent and accurate organisational data is displayed. This will also enable more efficient discovery and tracking of research outputs across institutions and funding bodies. However, if your funding source does not have a ROR, you can input details manually. You can also provide a free-text statement describing the funding arrangements for your publication.

Research process

Some publication types require additional information. Results publications require input on data availability, data permissions, and details of ethical permissions. Hypotheses and methods have the option to specify if a publication is equivalent to a 'preregistration' (i.e. being published before data has been collected).


All authors need to approve a publication before it can go live. Authors will be asked to provide email addresses for each contributing author. They’ll receive an email asking them to confirm their involvement, providing them with a link to the draft for review. Co-authors will need to add their affiliations, and then are able to approve the publication. If any amendments are required first, these should be raised directly with the submitting author.

Previewing publications

Once all required information has been submitted, you can preview your publication. We recommend that you check through this carefully, as changes cannot be made to this version of work post-publication.

Acceptance process

There’s no acceptance or rejection from Octopus, you’re recording the work as yours, and registering when you did so. Others can then assess the work, review it, and build on it. You should try to ensure that you are completely happy with the work before you press 'publish'.


Octopus allows for reversioning of publications. This feature is intended for cases where an author makes a mistake, or a reviewer points out something which needs adding or correcting. In the latter case, we recommend including the reviewer as a co-author on a new version to recognise their input.

Creating a new version

To reversion your work, you’ll have the option to create a new draft from the publication page. You can also access this link from your account page. Once you’ve selected ‘create a new draft’, you can go through the publishing process in the same way as you would with any other publication in Octopus. All co-authors will need to approve the new version of work before publishing.

Once your new version is published, a dropdown menu will be available on the publication page so readers can choose which version of work to view. Each new version will have its own DOI and any peer reviews or red flags will remain with the version they were originally linked to. A canonical DOI is also available which will always point to the latest version of a publication.