SANLIC Conference 2017

NWU staff members attended the SANLIC Conference in Durban (22 – 25 May 2017).

The biennial conference hosted by SANLiC (South African Library & Information Consortium) was attended by 4 Staff members of the NWU Library and Information Services.

Dr. Mathew Moyo, Jubrie Oosthuizen, Maniza Ndwandwe and Carine Basson

The theme of the conference was: Disruption in the Library, the Laboratory, the Classroom. The focus of the conference was on how the Open Access movement is gaining momentum over the subscription model as the benefits to society of opening access to research outputs and educational materials become increasingly self-evident. Increasingly, research and academic institutions, either by choice or force of circumstance, are walking away from publisher deals based on the subscription model.

Against this backdrop, the South African higher education sector is in crisis and disruption. The conference assisted library and information practitioners in making sense of developments, honing skills and developing strategies to deal with the disruption.

Presentations were given on the advancement of the Open Access movement, licensing and negotiation principles, and knowing and evaluating the library’s electronic collection.

More than 30 vendors and publishers had exhibitions and some presentations were given on developments being done by them. The conference was therefore also geared to networking with publishers and vendors.

A pre-conference workshop was also attended by Dr Mathew Moyo (Senior Director: Library and Information Services), Prof Lucas Venter (Director: Institutional Office of Research Support) and Mrs Anelda van der Walt (NWU eResearch Initiative). This was a closed workshop for directors and research decision makers. The title of the workshop was: OA2020 – initiative for the large-scale transformation of the subscription system (Leveraging the power of institutional budgets and research outputs to secure the economic benefits of Open Access)

The social highlight of the conference was the gala dinner where the guest speaker was Dr Adriana Marais. Adriana is a quantum biophysicist and is best known as one of the 100 Mars One Project astronaut candidates in the running to move to the red planet in 2026. She shared some insights as a researcher and inspired delegates and reminded the conference why, despite the disruption, it is an exciting time in the four billion year history of life on Earth to be alive!

VTC Undergraduate Open Day

The Library took part in the Undergraduate Open Day on Saturday 13 May 2017. Library staff working at a tent did a presentation regarding library services. Other staff members gave prospective students a tour within the library and explained how the library operates. At the library entrance they had some sweets, library pamphlets and lanyards that were given to the learners as token of appreciation.


A big thank you to the following staff who contributed to the success of the day: Glenda Makate, Katlego Chiya, Nthabiseng Maseko, Tiny Moripa, Thoko Tswaile, Siyabonga Sithole and Hendra Pretorius.


Undergraduate Open Day 2017

The Library was part of the NWU Open Day activities on Saturday 6th May 2017.

Librarian for undergraduate support, Dina Mashiyane welcomes visitors to the Information Commons.

Prospective students had the opportunity to do online registrations in the Library. As this was the only registration facility on campus, it was a very busy morning for staff members of Information Services in the library. Prospective first years and their parents had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the library services offered to undergraduates. They were very impressed with the library and available facilities.

Prospective students, Carol Mohibidu, Siobhan Titus and Latifa Filander busy with online registration. They are from Vryburg.

Career Day (Potchefstroom)

The NWU (PC) had a General Career Day on 10 May.  The Library took part in raising awareness of different career paths in the field of Library & Information Sciences.   A number of students showed interest in the Postgraduate Diploma in Library & Information Science as offered by Unisa.


This was also an opportunity to reach out to the students in terms of informing them of the services and facilities offered by the Library Services.


IUG Conference in Maryland (USA)

iug-america-2017.jpegThe annual Innovative User Group (IUG) conference was held in Maryland USA from the 2nd to the 5th of April 2017. This conference brings together users of Innovative Interfaces (a vendor for specialist Library Management systems) to share and learn from each other through presentations, Birds of a feather sessions and personal networking. During the conference staff from Innovative also present on what is current and future developments for their Library systems while interacting with users of their systems on ground level.

At this – the 25th IUG conference – as many as 12 concurrent sessions covering different modules and topics related to the Innovative systems were presented, and attendees could choose sessions based on their interests. The systems administrator for the NWU Library Services attended the conference and focused mainly on the areas of system development and administration.

The conference had a total attendance of more than 800 library professionals from 16 countries with more than 160 sessions.

Louw Venter (Ferdinand Postma Library) and Racheal Nabossa (Uganda)

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)