Research Enablers + One@NWU


The Research Enablers event took place on 31 January 2018 at the Vanderbijlpark Library.  The aim of Research Enablers is to collaborate across disciplines at the NWU and to ask the question on how we are enabling research in our environment today.

Martin Dreyer did a presentation on the platform ONE@NWU – a one stop portal for NWU researchers and users still in process.  All available services and resources will be listed alphabetically and will then link to the documents.  It is a user friendly way to get what you need easily.  A small informal working group were convened to populate the portal with some services.  Everybody gave their input – it was a very effective session.  Martin also informed us about Nextcloud and how to get access to it.

Research Support Librarian, Zine Sapula did a presentation on Research Data Management: Progress and Lessons Learned at NWU.  Figshare and Creative Commons were discussed.

Staff were excited about the changing landscape of research and the role we can play.



Workshop on effective techniques for promoting library services and resources

Library staff from Mafikeng attended a workshop on the 2nd of February 2018 presented by Zanele Magoba from World Wide Information Services (WWIS). She discussed important issues that affect libraries and librarians worldwide; the fact that librarians need to embrace change as practitioners of this profession. In a surprising turn of events, Zanele pointed out that the ever-changing technology may cause librarians to be demotivated. She pointed out that librarians should change their attitudes, empower themselves with the relevant technology skills as well as finding ways to organise the influx of information to what is mostly relevant to us.  Ms Magoba presented a graph of a study that was conducted to determine the reasons behind the reluctance of users to use the library.  Librarians need to be more customer focussed in dealing with the users.

Staff were orientated on the various tools on Web of Science as well as EndNote online.

It was an exciting workshop that left staff with a lot to think about in terms of ways to better our profession, as well as our services. A big thank you to Ms Magoba and WWIS for this eye opening session and the “goodie bags” which were received.


Institutional Repository Workshop

Kabelo Kakole, Librarian: Institutional Repository attended a DATAD-R Workshop for IR Managers in Pretoria on 11 – 14 September. The training was provided by Association of African Universities (AAU) in collaboration with Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF).

This training focused on the IR Management from IT side (Technical) and IR Content Management (User interface).

Mr Kakole focused on the IR Content management where the following subjects where covered

  • Introduction to DSpace a IR management software
  • Creating IR communities, collections and user groups; assigning workflow roles
  • Content preparation and upload and item mapping
  • Content editing, harvesting, embargoes and copyright and licensing.


Ms Ina Smith from ASSAF gave a presentation on how to make your IR a trusted Repository. In her presentation she mentioned that the IR managers should consider having the IR Policies uploaded in the IR home page, there should be a list of contactable persons for both content management and IT/Technical management of the IR. She further advised that we should try by all means to limit our DSpace customization at a minimum according to international standards to allow harvesters to recognize all fields in the meta-data. Visibility of the IR is the most important factor and plays a vital role in the IR rankings. It was discussed that to maximize IR visibility; it should registered in as many directories as possible e.g. OpenDOAR, ROAR etc. The NWU IR is already registered in few international directories and there is hope that our IR will be visible enough.

Dr Leti Kleyn from University of Pretoria gave presentation on how to better market you IR. In her presentation she also put the emphasis on registering the OA IR with directories and harvesters, Market your IR traditional by hosting events and online via social media and other platforms. The IR Rankings issue was brought up and it came out that DSpace 5.5 has hick-ups with the harvesting command line and that impacts on the visibility of the IR. The time to upgrade your IR should also be taken into consideration as to when do you run the IR upgrade. It was mentioned that you should always run the IR upgrade immediately after the release of IR rankings because after the upgrade a lot might have changed in your IR; so there will be enough time for the IR to pick up until the next ranking results are released.  Dr Kleyn as touched on the UP IR road map where she presented their IR workflow and parties involved in the IR tasks.

The NWU IR is currently going great in terms of rich metadata, interoperability, compatible and harvestable by other Open Access initiatives.

Theology Librarians Workshop, Kenya

Hester Lombard, Branch Librarian at Theology, attended the NetACT Multi-School Library Resource Project Planning workshop from 2-7 July at Scott Christian University, Machakos, Kenya.  The librarian workshop was held simultaneously with the NetACT annual general meeting.  NetACT (Network for African Congregational Theology) assist their member institutions with developing congregational theology, leadership and governance.  The management of NetACT identified access to information at the African universities as a problem, and arranged this library workshop for 16 Theology librarians.  Six of the attendees were South Africans, and the other librarians were from other countries in Africa.  During the workshop a web portal was developed to provide theology students of universities who are members of NetACT, with information.


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

Library IT Network Enhancement Workshop

Since the introduction of technology in libraries, the academic libraries have evolved and adapted to the drastic technological change. It is not a secret that academic libraries have long enjoyed their status as “the heart of a university”. Furthermore, employers view higher education institutions as producers of a commodity – student learning. Sabinet in collaboration with TENET have been the host to an insightful workshop that looks to share ideas with Library IT staff on issues to do with absorbing and strengthening current paradigms including Institutional Repositories (IR), Research Data Management (RDM), Digital Curation and Management (DCM) ensuring that our future leaders have stress-free access to digital materials.

On the 29-31 August a Library IT Network event was held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park of which three NWU employees attended the event. This event focused on a number of IT issues in the libraries even though the main focus was on the above mentioned subject i.e. IR, RDM and DCM.


On the 29th at 18h00 it was the opening of the event by Mr Geoff Hoy from TENET who shared an insightful experience on the topic “What’s up at the library”. Even though he is not a librarian, he shared an informative experience on how technology has become a major drive behind many library services and convenient it is to use technological devices to reach out to remote library clients.

On the 30th the event opened with Dr Leti Kleyn sharing the University of Pretoria’s experience with regards to DSpace: an operational overview.  Some of the issues that were covered addressed some technical challenges on DSpace and that there might be a need to explore other options. Johannes Cronje from CPUT followed on a topic “Why I do not use the library”. The presentation was delivered remotely from the comfort of his office via VidyoDesktop (a video conference app.). The topic seemed contradictory to the content of the presentation because the presenter instead of objecting, he just confirmed how he easily access the library services remotely sitting at his desk, which moved a number of librarians in the audience which also proves how advanced the Library IT has gone. The library environment is now so sophisticated that one can receive services remotely e.g. Theses, Journals, eBooks, renewal of material, updates about the happenings in the library etc. (The joy of Library IT usage).

Closing the day on the 30th it was an UnConferencing session where a number of issues were covered and one that commonly stood out was the experience and challenges that most of the Universities encounter when working on the IR. Due to technical challenges faced on the IR, a consortium was proposed but concerns were raised like, Institutions being on different IR softwares and versions; budget issues to sponsor the consortium and events to share challenges and experiences over a certain milestone; and of cause the biggest challenge also discussed was a lack IR (DSpace) experts in the country to support the institutions. However, this matter will still be looked at to come with a beneficial solution to all participating institutions in this event.

The event proved how technology has shaped a number of things especially in the Library environment that, instead of using card catalogues we now use integrated online catalogue, you can renew your own books online other than walking to the library building, access to University Theses and Dissertations is made available online too, journals, eBooks etc., making room reservations and computers bookings, all of that is done by one click and the library will be there. The focus on IR, RDM and DCM is significantly making waves in empowering academic institutions to move towards best practices in creating a trusted IR, managing research data and digitally curating and managing digital content.

Reported by: Kabelo Kakole, Sabelo Chizwina & Vuyo Ngayeka

ORCID Workshop in Pretoria – 19 July 2016

Convened by NRF in partnership with NEDICC and ORCID, the aim of the workshop was to show how ORCID has/can be integrated into the Research Lifecycle. There were many presenters in this workshop but what stood out for us was the presentation by Ms Marie Roux from Stellenbosch University (SU). Her presentation was about how a library has assistance in the integration of ORCID into the University research lifecycle. Marie advises that any university that is thinking of  integrating ORCID into the research lifecycle should involve their IT department from the very beginning for better technical assistance. At SU, assistance with ORCID is seen as a library function and therefore ownership rests with the library.

In terms of promotion of ORCID, SU are using the following methods:

·        ORCID LibGuide.

·        ORCID Workshops – 4 times a year

·        ORCID Information sheet developed

·        ORCID Brochure developed

·        Marketing and promotion of ORCID in the division for research development newsletter – to all researchers on Campus.

Since our University already has a subscription to ORCID it will prudent upon us to adopt some of the strategies to promote ORCID on our respective Campuses. We have an ally in Ms Roux who has offered to share notes with any other university in South Africa that seeks to integrate ORCID into the research lifecycle. The uptake for ORCID at SU has been rather impressive with  at least 24% of academic staff having created profiles so far.


Article written by Siviwe Bangani and Vuyo Ngayeka (seen in photo above).

Highlights of Research Data Management Workshop (23-24 June 2015)

NWU held an RDM workshop for all stakeholders on 23-24 June 2016. Twelve librarians from NWU Libraries attended the workshop. Speakers included Johann Van Wyk (UP), Martie Van Deventer (HSRC), and Lucia Lotter (CSIR) who are part of Network for Data and Information Curation Communities (NeDICC).

On day one of the workshop Johann Van Wyk and Isak van der Walt took us through the journey UP underwent in setting-up RDM. Those include: carrying out a survey of existing RDM practices at UP, interviews with research faculties to determine the type of research data that must be managed, and conducting five pilot-projects from 2013-2016. Further, a task team was formed at UP to assess the readiness of UP for RDM. In a rather playful manner, Martie Van Deventer, showed us the pitfalls of not sharing research data by playing a data sharing and management snafu. She further warned us to expect resistance from sharing data from some researchers as experienced at HSRC.

Day two of the workshop focused on the identification of roles and responsibilities with regards to the development of a Research Data Management Plan. The RDM team from UP gave a preview of what they are doing there by opening their RDM platform. Participants worked in groups to benchmark RDM at the NWU and to work on a roadmap for RDM at the university.


The participants learned about and discussed issues regarding Research Data Management with colleagues from the E-Research Initiative, Research office, IT services and researchers from all campuses At the end of the workshop, the way forward was discussed. Some of the suggestions was the need to establish a taskforce to drive the way forward, the need to present at the Deans Forum and to appoint an individual to drive the process. All stakeholders recognized each other’s’ role in RDM.

By Siviwe Bangani, Sabelo Chizwina and Erika Rood

Emerald Author Workshop

NWU Library Services and the Research Office Hold Emerald Author Workshop in Mafikeng

Held on Monday, 06 June 2016, the aim of the workshop was to assist researchers to get published  specifically with Emerald. A total of 33 researchers attended the workshop. The workshop was facilitated by Mr Sibu Zondi from Emerald. Among the topics discussed were the publishing processes, targeting accredited journals, co-authorship, structuring your paper, dealing with rejection, measuring quality and advice for upcoming researchers on how they can tap into the experiences of established researchers to also get themselves published. The presentation focused on publishing journal articles and books. Some established researchers requested for information on how they could publish books. Mr Zondi informed participants that in order to publish books they would need to contact him and he would forward all the information. The established researchers were further advised to apply to Emerald if they were keen to be reviewers for any of their journals. Furthermore, researchers could contact Emerald if they wanted to establish a journal or if they wanted to have a special issue for a conference. Towards the end of the workshop, Mr Zondi, announced two research funds by Emerald aimed at promoting research in Africa. These are: African Management Research Fund Award for best papers published with Emerald and the 2016 Emerald/AABS Case Study Competition for case studies published with Emerald. Closing dates for researchers to apply are 01 April 2017 and 15 March 2017, respectively.

Judging by the level of engagement during the workshop, Mr Zondi, managed to keep his audience captivated.


Mr Sibu Zondi makes a point during the “Getting published with Emerald” Workshop

Article written by Siviwe Bangani