Milestone @ NWU!

We are proud to announce that Boloka (the Open Access Institutional Repository of the NWU) is growing rapidly and this month we have reached a milestone with more than 20 000 items indexed. Thank you to everyone who contributed to Boloka’s success over the years and for making NWU scholarly output visible and searchable to the whole wide world through Open Access.


During the January 2017 “Ranking Web of Repositories”, Boloka was ranked 7th in Africa and 364th in the world.

Maximum exposure increases the impact and enhances the discovery of your research

  • Create an ORCiD, distinguish yourself and your work (NRF prescription)
  • Consider publishing in accredited journals  (Start here)
  • Publish your final accepted version as early as possible – post print (i.e. final draft post refereeing) Send these versions to your Faculty Librarians to be included in Boloka
    (NRF prescription)
  • Retain your self-archiving rights or
  • Check publishers’ policies on copyright and self-archiving
  • Share: Inform colleagues and engage in social networking communities
  • Create an online profile (Google Scholar Citations)  (see: NWU on GSC)
  • Remember to keep your datasets or post to platforms for storage

…early deposits of full text on Boloka enhance early discovery through Google…  


Communities in (Boloka) NWU-IR
Africana Collection [350]
Conference Papers [345]
Theses and Dissertations [8580]
Inaugural Lectures [292]
Research Output [7546]

“Energising scientific endeavour through science getaways and e-infrastructures in Africa”


Zine Sapula, of the North-West University Libraries (Potchefstroom Campus), attended the Sci- GaIA: Festival of Open Science’s User forum & Final Event on 24 March 2017. Sci-GaIA is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project that focuses on and advocates the development of Open Science e-infrastructure on the African continent. The conference attendees consisted of a diverse group of individuals from various fields of expertise and backgrounds, all of whom share a passion for Open Science. NWU was represented in numbers by researchers and students, especially from the Vaal Triangle Campus.

Speakers’ presentations included progress reports on what Sci- GaIA e-infrastructures projects have thus far been developed in Africa, for example the Sci- GaIA Open Science platform which can be accessed by all participating institutions via a federated authentication process. The platform allows users from registered organisations to re-produce, re-use and publish their research and link it to their researcher’s ORCID ID. E-infrastructures projects that are currently in the pipeline for several African countries, and the challenges they face in implementing Open Science initiatives, were also discussed.

South Africa’s commitment to Open Science was also evident, as can be seen by the number of Open Science projects, such as SA Identity Federation (SAFIRE) and the African Research Cloud (ARC) (of which NWU is a founding member). Dr Anwar Vahed presented an overview of the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA), which is a national platform that currently provides researchers with Data Management Plans. DIRISA, at this stage, is developing a Data Deposit tool which will in future enable researchers to store their data. However, researchers using DIRISA will be required to offer open access to their data for re-use by other researchers. Another South African initiative, funded by NRF, is in the pipeline. Known as the African Open Science Platform, the initiative is managed by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and its aim will be to promote the value of Open Data for communities.

Significantly, the conference presentations (see slides) further detailed how African research communities can use Open Source technologies and Open Science platforms to distribute their research and engage with the wider science community.  The benefits of opening up research were outlined as follows:

  1. Communities will benefit by accessing and re-using the data.
  2. Will connect researchers and facilitate collaboration.
  3. The research output, or data, will potentially receive more citations.
  4. Will increases researchers’ visibility.
  5. Gain improved H-index and altmetrics ratings.

Article written by Zine Sapula.


DHASA 2017

Two staff members of the Library Services, Potchefstroom Campus attended the Inaugural Conference of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA) in Stellenbosch from 17 – 20 January 2017.


Ziné Sapula and Anneke Coetzee attended the two-day pre-conference workshops and tutorials (17 & 18 Jan), and two days of peer-reviewed oral and poster presentations (19 & 20 Jan).

The pre-conference workshops included a workshop on how to create a digital edition, with an introduction to markup, XML and TEI guidelines. Another workshop introduced ways to improve the user experience in DH interfaces using Google Analytics. Workshop no. 3 gave an introduction to CATMA (Computer Aided Text Markup and Analysis), a tool developed at the University of Hamburg and currently used by over 60 research projects worldwide.

Topics included in the oral and poster presentations included Language, Literature, Visual Arts, Theatre Studies, Language Technologies, Library Studies, Philosophy, Software / Computation.

Anneke delivered a presentation with the title: Digital special collections in the Ferdinand Postma Library (North-West University).

Firstcoast donates scanning voucher

During the 2016 EduWeek the Library Services (PC) received a voucher for the scanning of historical documents from Firstcoast Technologies, a company specialising in office optimisation and electronic document technologies.

The Library decided to use the opportunity to enhance a current project, namely the digitisation of Die Wapad, a local student newspaper . Due to the large format of the bound volumes digitisation thereof is not an easy task. Die Wapad is one of a number of digitisation projects being done in-house at the library.

Firstcoast has just delivered the digitised copies in pdf format, and the Library is grateful for their contribution to the project.

Marius de Beer (Academic Support Services) and Mark Gamanya (Firstcoast)

LibQUAL 2016 Action Plan


The Library conducted its 4th LibQUAL survey during the second semester of 2016. The full 2016 LibQUAL Survey report is available. A total of 1042 users participated in the survey. Users had the opportunity to make comments on how they experience the Library Services.

These comments provided valuable information about areas where users feel improvements could be made. Of the 991 comments that respondents left, more than 500 were compliments. We are grateful to each and every participant.

The Library decided on the following action plan to address the concerns of our users.

The users have spoken!

Innovative Users Group – SA 2016

Every year institutions that use software from Innovative Interfaces (III) – a vendor specialising in library related software – have the opportunity to participate in user group conferences held all over the world. Staff members from the NWU Library Services attended this year’s South African conference, the IUG-SA, which was hosted by the Vaal University of Technology and held at the Emerald resort and casino in Vanderbijlpark from the 23rd to the 25th of November.


The theme of the conference was “III inside out: share your expertise”, and as such presentations focused on how institutions use their systems to optimally support functions in the library. Carine Basson represented how the NWU Library Services uses the system to determine overlap between subscription packages in order to identify options with the most value.


This conference also gives III and other vendors an opportunity to demonstrate and introduce new products to the library community, and allows members to network with colleagues in an informal setting. The 2017 IUG-SA will be hosted by TUT.

Potch Campus LibQUAL Winners

After the recent LibQUAL survey, the following Potchefstroom Campus users received prizes from the Library as token of appreciation for their participation:


Academic staff:
Prof Marique Aucamp (Pharmacy)

Mabel Mabalane (winner of 1st prize- external hard drive)( PhD Education)
Mariza Breytenbach (Languages)
Funiwe Dlamini (LLM)

Refilwe Ratshefola (BCom HR)
Daleen Botha (Chemical Engineering)
David Moya (Electrical Engineering)
Suné Jonker (Chemical Engineering)

Library staff attended a Marketing Course

Six staff members from the three campus libraries attended a UKS Marketing Course on 31 October and 1 November. The following topics were discussed:

  • what is library marketing?
  • why do you need to market your library?
  • library displays and publications as marketing and promotional tools
  • social media as marketing and promotional tools
  • understanding library customer needs and expectations
  • principles of customer research
  • basic principles of developing a marketing plan
  • know your library
  • mission statement of your library
  • relationship building
  • assessment of promotional activities and tools


Staff members received practical assignments. They had to design or present a poster and also had to be a one person display reflecting a specific service or event in the library.

There were ample discussions – it was a good opportunity to get a broader scope on library marketing matters, especially the intricacy of making it work over three campuses.

Article written by Louise Vos