Research Directors Forum

Library support throughout the Research Cycle

The Library Services (Potch Campus) took part in the Research Directors Forum held on 22 September at the Sports Village. Louise Vos, Manager: Marketing, Liaison and Quality gave a presentation on Library support throughout the Research Cycle.

She explained how the Library Services support the research process with relevant services, information resources, research tools and facilities.

Research Cycle


With reference to this design, she showed that tradionally the Library played a major role in the pre-publication phase, especially during the Gathering Phase. The library now also plays a very prominent role in the post-publication phase, especially regarding the preservation, measurement and enhancement of visibility and impact.

Regarding the Preservation Phase, the Library is responsible for Boloka, the Institutional Repository where NWU research output is centrally preserved, indexed and made visible. As the Institutional Repository is visible within Google and GoogleScholar, it contributes directly to a higher webometrics ranking for NWU, currently ranked 7th amongst Institutions in Africa. The role of the Library in Research Data Management was explained. Together with eResearch and IT Services, the Libraries of the NWU are currently involved in Research Data Management. This initiative requires collaboration and a task team was formed over all 3 campuses.

She mentioned that all three campus libraries are involved in arrangements for Open Access Week during 24 – 28 October. Postgraduates and researchers can look forward to sessions about Boloka, PER Open Access Law Journal, ORCID. Representatives from the NRF and ASSAf will also do presentations. All sessions will be shared among the three campuses via Adobe Connect web conferencing software.

Feedback was given on the Research Commons, as this space was discussed at an earlier Research Directors Forum in 2013 when the space was still in development. The directors then gave their input and recommendations regarding facilities and necessary software.
It was reported that this is a prime space and very popular amongst postgraduates, researchers and also visiting academic staff. The number of visits for this year is 27027, with 1038 unique entries.

Article written by Louise Vos


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