Quick guides

Getting started

  • Welcome

    If you have never used Hirsla before these quick guides will introduce you to it's core functions and assist you in finding content as well as personalising and navigating around the site.

  • What is Hirsla?

    This is Landspitali's (LSH) repository or digital archive. It is intended to capture, store and preserve LSH employees' scholarly works and to make it available to the research community through Open Access protocols. Hirsla contains articles from both Icelandic and international journals.

  • How is it organized?

    This repository is organized into a hierarchical structure based upon MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) and LSH infrastructure. Subjects (communities), sub-subjects and collections are intended to correspond to specialties within LSH as well as organisational hierarchy.

    Subjects represent the top-layer, Sub-subjects are a further division of the subject. Collections are groups of related documents. It is essentially a simple file system that allows for as many layers as required. In March 2007 there are 15 subjects (communities) representing different departments. These are Biological Sciences, Nursing etc

    The Unit for Nutrition Research has no sub-subjects but has a number of collections within it each representing a different type of item. On the other hand Biological Sciences is divided into three sub-subjects: Biochemistry, Biology and Genetics. Each one of these sub-subjects will have their own collections in which scholarly work from specific research labs is stored.

  • So what will you find here?

    Institutional archives are often created exclusively for pre and post-print research articles. However, in Hirsla you will in the future also find technical reports, conference papers, theses, book chapters, editorial articles, educational material etc. Hirsla will therefore house various forms of scholarly output.


  • Do you need to register?

    For searching, browsing and viewing all the open access content there is no registration required. However, if you want to view access restricted documents or sign up for email alerts to newly added content you will need to register, as you would with any site.


Using search

There are two principal ways of finding content within this repository searching and browsing.

The simple search box appears in the top left hand corner of each page of the site with the exception of the submission form. Enter your search term and you're away.

You will find that there is an additional search box on each community, sub-community and collection home page. This search box will allow you to carry out a simple search at that level of hierarchy or any level below it using a drop down menu.

Here are a few tips on searching:

  • The site search box

    Search terms entered in the site search box will be searched against all indexed metadata fields ; as well as the full text for PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and RTF files.

  • What is not searched - stop words

    The search engine ignores certain words that occur frequently in English, but do not add value to the search. These are:
    "a", "and" , "are" , "as" , "at" , "be" , "but" , "by" , "for" , "if" , "in" , "into",
    "is" ,"it" ,"no" , "not" , "of" , "on" , "or" , "such", "the" , "to" , "was"

  • Truncation

    Use an asterisk (*) after a word stem to get all hits having words starting with that root, for example:


    will retrieve selects, selector, selectman, selecting etc

  • Stemming

    The search engine automatically expands words with common endings to include plurals, past tenses ...etc.

  • Phrase searching

    To search using multiple words as a phrase, put quotation marks (") around the phrase, for example:

    "organisational change".

  • Exact word match

    Put a minus (-) sign before a word if it should not appear in the search results. Alternatively, you can use NOT. This can limit your search to eliminate unwanted hits. For instance, in the search:

    training-cat or training NOT cat

    you will get items containing the word "training", except those that also contain the word "cat".

  • Eliminate items with unwanted words

    Put a plus (+) sign before a word if it MUST appear in the search result. For instance, if the word "training" is optional, but the word "dog" must be in the result you would use:

    +dog training

  • Boolean searching

    The following Boolean operators can be used to combine terms. Note that they must be CAPITALIZED ! AND - to limit searches to find items containing all words or phrases combined with this operator, e.g.

    cats AND dogs

    will retrieve all items that contain BOTH the words "cats" and "dogs". OR - to enlarge searches to find items containing any of the words or phrases surrounding this operator

    cats OR dogs
    will retrieve all items that contain EITHER the words "cats" or "dogs". NOT - to exclude items containing the word following this operator, e.g.

    training NOT cat

    will retrieve all items that contain the word "training" EXCEPT those also containing the word "cat". Parentheses can be used in the search query to group search terms into sets, and operators can then be applied to the whole set, e.g.

    (cats OR dogs) AND (training OR discipline)

  • Advanced search

    Underneath the simple search box is a link to the advanced search page. The advanced search page allows you to specify the fields you wish to search, and to combine these searches with the Boolean "and", "or" or "not". You can restrict your search to a community by clicking on the arrow to the right of the top box. If you want your search to include all Hirsla's content then leave that box in the default position. Select the field to search in the left hand column and enter the word or phrase you are searching in the right hand column. You can select the Boolean operator to combine searches by clicking on the arrow to the right of the "AND" box.
    Note: You must use the input boxes in order. If you leave the first one blank your search will not work.


There are four browsing options available in Hirsla.
You will find that there is an additional browse menu on each community, sub-community and collection home page. This browse menu will allow you to carry browse records in the archive at that level of hierarchy or any level below it using a drop down menu.

  • Browse by community/collection

    This link will display the full hierarchy.

  • The other browse options

    The other browse options will allow you to browse the content. You can switch between browse lists, and choose different ordering and display options or jump to a specific location within the list.

  • Date issued vs date submitted

    The date issued is the date the work was first made publicly available, for example the date it was published in a journal.

    The date submitted is the date the item was archived within Hirsla. If the item has not been published before the date issued and date submitted dates will be the same.

  • Browse within communities and collections

    Each community and collection has additional browse options within it. Browsing a community will also browse any sub-communities or collections within it.

Submitting content

  • What type of content should we be submitting?

    Institutional archives are often thought to be exclusively created for pre and post print research articles. However, whilst individual communities may have their own specific submission policies you should submit any of your research output that is relevant to your subject. This could include published articles, technical reports, conference papers, data sets, multi-media files and eventually theses.

  • Why should we submit our work to Hirsla?

    Research has shown that work published in Open Access institutional repositories can gain up to 300% more citations than research published in journals that limit access through paid for subscriptions. That means increased exposure to your work and all the benefits that come with it. Increasingly, more research funding bodies are insisting that work carried out under their grants must also be deposited within an institutional or subject specific repository.

  • How do we submit?

    You first need to ask an administrator to give you permission to submit to a particular collection or collections. Then, using the submit links from the navigation bar or from the collection homepage follow the steps: add descriptive metadata, upload the file, check the submission and agree to the distribution license.

    There is an additional option to automatically populate some of the metadata using a PubMed ID or a DOI.

  • How much metadata should we add?

    As much as possible, the more metadata you add, the greater the chances of someone finding your work. However, the only compulsory field is title.

  • How do we know if we are allowed to submit an article that has been previously published?

    Publisher policies for self-archiving are listed on the Romeo database, which is also linked to from the first page of the submission form. When in doubt, always archive your pre-print version.

  • Is there any restriction on what files can be uploaded?

    Hirsla can accept any type of file, including HTML files. The Hirsla administrators will inform you of any specific restrictions.

  • Will my submission appear immediately?

    Some collections will have a review workflow where an editor will check your submission before it enters the archive. Otherwise your submission will enter the archive as soon as you have agreed to the distribution license.

    An item's metadata is available for searching immediately, the full text will be indexed over-night and will be available to be searched the following morning.

My Hirsla

Note some options mentioned here are only visible for administrators

Once you have registered with the site you will be able to enter the 'My Hirsla' page through the link on the top navigation bar.

From here you have a number of possible options available:

  • Submit to a collection

    You will only be able to submit to collections you have been authorized to.

  • View all items you have submitted

    Note that this will display only items you have submitted not items you have authored. To display items you have authored you should set-up a researcher page and add them to that.

  • Edit your registration details

    Here you can also change your password.

  • Edit your researcher page.

    Researcher pages allow you to add detail about yourself and your interests on a publicly viewable page. You can add links to content within Hirsla or external content.