New Administrative Batch Management in Figshare


The ever-evolving list of content types and workflows being handled by Figshare requires an ever-improving product and the April 2022 release brings the perfect example of this. We’re pleased to announce the launch of in-browser Batch Management for our Figshare for Institutions platform.

Why was this built?

The following conditions influenced our decision to build this functionality:

  • An increased volume of content being published per institution requiring easier management
  • More sophisticated metadata needs from our users
  • Increased reporting requirements due to a higher volume of papers
  • An increased variety of users administering Figshare with a continuum of technical skills

How was this built?

As a Product Director, I feel fortunate to have such an engaged and skilled user base! We were able to utilise a community driven development approach to build this product in concert and ensure we were delivering the most helpful tool we could. Here’s a brief summary of the roadmap to delivery:

  • Initial public proposal open to all users for comment
  • Comment and community discussion round 1 begins
  • More in-depth public proposal after assessing and actioning initial comments
  • Comment and community discussion round 2 begins
  • Meetings with individual users for feedback and discussion
  • Final proposal with design and specification opened
  • Final comments
  • Development begins  

What is it?

This functionality enables the creation and management of many records at once within your Figshare repository, up to thousands of records. This is not just for items you own, but any item that you have the permission to edit via impersonation. You can find this new area accessible with the User drop down menu.

Role restrictions

This functionality is restricted to Institutional Administrators only.

The page itself

On the page, you can find two sections that will be outlined below, the Download Metadata section and the Upload Metadata and files section.

Download metadata

The output of this section will be a CSV containing the metadata of the requested items. This will be sent asynchronously in a zip file to your registered account email when it has been prepared.

There are 2 main options to consider:

  • Do you want metadata of only public items or all items in any state (public/private/draft)?
  • The state of the object will be shown in the download sheet  
  • Do you want the metadata of objects from across your whole repository or from specific groups only?

If you have a variety of metadata across different groups, then each metadata field will be represented in each own column and will be empty for items that don’t have those fields applied to them.  

Upload metadata and files

This section is used for both the creation of new items and the editing of existing items. You can choose to publish items or push the new changes or newly-created items straight to private. If you choose to publish, all items included in the upload sheet will be published.

If your repository has the review module enabled, you can choose to automatically approve the items. This will not skip the review process, but will create a Review entry and approve it from your login.

If you are creating new items, it’s a good idea to download the existing metadata spreadsheet first. This way, you’ll see all of the existing metadata fields and how they are organized. If you don’t have any existing items to download, create a private item utilizing all of your fields to see what the upload sheet should look like.

The only thing that will not be present on the download sheet that you may want on the upload sheet is files.

You can attach files to items from any publicly available link (http and https), including FTP. To do this, you’ll need to add a column that looks like this:  



Example cell:


This would upload two files, each from a different location, into one item.

Once you have created and uploaded your sheet, we’ll get to work on enacting the requested changes. Depending on the number of requested changes, this can take minutes to hours.

IMPORTANT NOTE: To ensure that your requested changes are processed in the shortest possible amount of time, please make sure to only include in the sheet those items that you wish to update.

When these changes are complete, a success CSV will be sent to your registered email. This will outline any failures that may have occurred during the process. The row number in this will be the row the item was in the original upload sheet.  

The editing and creation process works on an “all or nothing” approach per item, so even if only one aspect fails or is incorrect then no changes to the item will occur.

Some notes on the upload sheet

  • Creating items on your own account can leave the account ID blank
  • For Group ID, if you are publishing items to the default group, you can leave this field blank.
  • For Funding search, you can use this endpoint:
  • DOI is ignored, handle is ignored, private link is ignored
  • For “Is embargoed”,  0 = No, 1 = Yes
  • “Embargo type” is either file (files only) or article (embargoes the whole item, metadata and files)
  • “Embargo allowed administrators” = 0 /1
  • Adding an account ID will show that item is created via impersonation when investigating that item. This will create the item in the desired account and then that user will be able to make edits in the future.  
  • HTML tags are supported for the description, e.g.  <p>This is a description.&nbsp;</p><p>It is of an item</p>

It is possible to make one download and one upload per hour. If you need this to be increased, please contact support.  

In conclusion

We look forward to your feedback on this new tool. Please add any specific feature requests to the feature request forum or send any general feedback to

This post was guest-written by Chris Blumzon, Figshare Product Director.

Apr 28, 2022 10:45

This is a reposted article from our blog, the original article can be found at:

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