RDM Workshop

The eResearch Office in collaboration with UWC Library Services hosted two webinars on RDM (research data management) on the 24th and 26 November 2020. The webinars, relevant to researchers, staff and postgraduate students, focused on developing data management plans (DMPs), and storing and sharing research data securely on UWC’s research data repository, Kikapu.

With the increasing global focus on the secure storage and sharing of research data, this topic is especially timely and relevant. Institutions and funders have made clear strides toward identifying where and how research data is stored and how access to it is managed. Moreover, good data management planning and the submission of a DMP has become a mandatory part of research and funding proposals. These webinars aimed to guide researchers in this context.

Participants were introduced to online tools that assist in planning these documents, as well as how to use and access their research data and make it available to other researchers. These include comprehensive templates of the elements that make up a DMP, and a guide on how to upload research data to UWC’s institutional repository, Kikapu, where data can be securely stored, shared and managed. Participants were also introduced to the FAIR Data Principles (that all research data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable). Kikapu also makes it possible to share data either privately with selected collaborators or publicly, and gives all data a DOI (a persistent digital object identifier), which is a convenient way to enable citation of one’s research data.

Watch recordings of the webinars:

Webinar recording from 24 November.
Webinar recording from 26 November.

For further assistance regarding RDM, please contact:

Mark Snyders – msnyders@uwc.ac.za | Manager Scholarly Communication, UWC Library
Sarah Schäfer – sschafer@uwc.ac.za | Research Data Specialist, UWC Library

Welcome to Dr Frederic Isingizwe!

eResearch Scientist Frederic Isingizwe

My name is Frederic Isingizwe, I am a research scientist and science communicator, most specifically within the area of modern computational methods to enable carrying out data-driven research efficiently. I have a special interest in the application of data science methods and artificial intelligence in any way that helps improve the quality and sustainability of life in the world.

My higher education span Physics, Mathematical Sciences and Electronic Engineering (MScEng and PhD). While a graduate candidate, I was involved in research on superconductor devices, applied spectroscopy and bio-systems modelling, managing a postgraduate research laboratory for biological sensors and nano-devices development. Upon completion, I assumed a role for technical advisory and research support for postgraduate students in sensors development and applications research projects.

Since then, I was a postdoctoral research fellow under the South African research chair in postharvest technology at Stellenbosch University. While there, I applied machine learning methods on spatial and multi-wavelength spectral data to advance non-destructive techniques for quality testing and control in postharvest production environments.

I have now joined the eResearch Office at UWC as an eResearch Scientist, and my comprehensive role is to help bring its mission to a success.

Some of my work: Google Scholar | Science Communication | Github

Open Access Week at UWC

It’s International Open Access Week (19-25 October), and UWC Library is celebrating with libraries around the world under the theme Open with a purpose: Taking action to build structural equity and inclusion.

During this week the library will host a number of webinars and presentations, and UWC has entered the international Figshare upload competition, where the individual researchers can win prizes for uploading their research data. For more information about the competition email us on rdm-support@uwc.ac.za.

Tuesday 20th October 2020
10:00 – 11:00

Welcome by Dr Shirlene Neerputh, UWC Library Director
Data Intensive Research at UWC by Prof M Vaccari, Director eResearch at UWC
The Carpentries in Africa by Dr Angelique van Rensburg, The Carpentries
Facilitators: Sarah Schafer & Mattia Vaccari

Wednesday 21st October 2020
10:00 – 11:00

Introduction to Figshare by Megan Hardeman, Head of Engagement at Figshare

UWC RDM Services by Mark Snyders, Manager Scholarly Communications, UWC Library Services

Thursday 22nd October 2020
10:00 – 11:30

The value of open access publishing in the times of Covid-19 pandemic infected research environment by Alfred Nqotole, Deputy Director Research Support & Scholarly Communications, UWC Library Services
Open Access Publishing: UWC Editor’s Perspectives by Prof M Dinbabo and Prof R Shambare

Facilitator: Alfred Nqotole

Register in advance for this webinar:

About the speakers:

Angelique van Rensburg, PhD (Educational Psychology), is the Regional Consultant for Southern Africa at The Carpentries and an Extraordinary Researcher at Optentia Research Focus Area,  North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus. Angelique aims at developing strategies and workflows to adapt The Carpentries’ membership and workshop programs to function optimally in Southern Africa. In addition, her role aims to assist and advise in developing a plan to create and support a strong team of volunteer instructors across Africa. 

Megan Hardeman is head of engagement at Figshare. For the last four years, she has helped researchers make the most of storing, sharing, and collaborating using Figshare and has written case studies, delivered talks and training, leads the ambassador programme, and more. Previously, she was a Product Manager at Emerald Publishing.

Mattia Vaccari is Director of eResearch and AstroInformatics Research Professor at UWC, and he coordinates UWC’s Data Intensive Research emerging niche, which brings together researchers from different fields to foster multi-disciplinary collaboration in big data science. He has worked as a Research Scientist at Imperial College London, the University of Padova and UWC, working at the junction between astronomical instrumentation, big data processing technologies and extragalactic astrophysics. 

Mulugeta Dinbabo is the Chief Editor of the African Human Mobility Review (AHMR), an
accredited Journal by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). AHMR is
an interdisciplinary journal created to encourage and facilitate the study of all aspects (i.e.
socio-economic, political, legislative and developmental) of human mobility in sub-Saharan

Richardson Shambare is an Associate Professor in the School of Business and Finance (SBF) at the University of the Western Cape. Prof Shambare has a keen interest in entrepreneurship and marketing in SMMEs. He has published several peer-reviewed articles, books, and book chapters and presented research at numerous international conferences. Prof. Shambare is the co-founding editor of the Journal of Entrepreneurial Innovations. The JEI specialises in publishing research and analyses pertaining to entrepreneurship trends and particularly innovations in the small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs). The JEI is an Open Access, free to publish online journal.

For more information about the Open Access Week activities please contact Khanyisa Yekwani at kyekwani@uwc.ac.za or library-research@uwc.ac.za

In addition to the webinars and sessions available, UWC has entered the international Figshare upload competition, where the individual researchers can win prizes for uploading their research data. For more information about the competition email us on rdm-support@uwc.ac.za.

Higher Education, Food Security, Big Data and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

On 23 September, the DVC Research and Innovation hosted a webinar titled ‘An impetus for Social Innovation and Development and Data Intensive Research: Higher Education, Food Security, Big Data and the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. The session demonstrated various niche areas at UWC, including Social Innovation and Development and Data Intensive Research. Presentations on research projects included the following:

University as a Vehicle to Achieve Social Innovation and Development: Repositioning the Role of the University in Society.

Dr Lwando Mdleleni works at UWC as a researcher in the office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and innovation. His particular research focus is on social innovation and development. The underlying notion around his position is to foster the role that the university plays in collaborating with communities. He is the founding director of Zenzeleni Networks, where he focused on research and community development in rural South Africa.

Can social innovation provide solutions to relieve economic vulnerability and address food (in)security in the context of natural disaster? Critical analysis of the influence of social innovation during uncertain times of crisis.

Shehaam Moosa is a Master’s student at the Institute for Social Development. She is affiliated to the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security and the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation. She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town holding a Bachelor of Social Science, as well as a Bachelor of Development Studies Honours from the University of the Western Cape. Her research focuses on the influence of social innovation during uncertain times of natural disaster, particularly whether crisis culminates collaboration, in terms of addressing economic vulnerability and food (in)security. She is passionate about sustainable development, social transformation and enabling the most vulnerable.

A deeper look at the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and what it means for the
marginalized, a Social Innovation perspective

Sihle Maphukatha is a Master’s student in Computer Science, his research focus on Fourth Industrial Revolution and Social Innovation. He has a BSc degree in Environmental and Water Science with honours in Integrated Water Resource Management and he has recently obtained his postgraduate diploma in Software Development, all at UWC.

Data Intensive Research for Drug Development, Therapeutics and Precision Medicine.

Dr Samuel Ayodele Egieyeh is a seasoned and highly experienced pharmacist (qualified in 1997) with B.Pharm (UNILAG), M.Pharm (UWC) and PhD in Bioinformatics (UWC). He also has a post-graduate diploma in clinical research and drug development from the University of Basel, Switzerland. He started his research career as a research fellow in 2001 at the
Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) in Abuja, Nigeria, where he was involved in the formulation, production and quality control of herbal medicinal products and raw material development. He is currently a senior lecturer at the School of Pharmacy at UWC. He leads the Computational Pharmacology and Cheminformatics Group (CPCG). His research focuses on computational drug discovery and design; data science (including cheminformatics, bioinformatics, machine learning and biostatistics techniques) for predictive drug development and precision medicine. His presentation will show the use of data science in drug discovery and development, therapeutics, and precision medicine. The presentation will also introduce the “University of the Western Cape’s Computational Pharmacology and Chemoinformatic Platform”, which analyses hit compounds from high-throughput assays (HTS) available in public bioactivity databases. The platform provides data analytics and data mining tools for researchers in drug discovery and design to analyse and mine useful data from their in-vitro experiments in order to make rational and viable drug discovery and design decisions.

Machine Learning for Data Intensive Applications in Communication Networks

Dr Clement N. Nyirenda joined UWC as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science in October 2018. He received a PhD in Computational Intelligence and Systems Science from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2011 and spent one year as a postdoctoral researcher at Keio University, Japan. His research efforts revolve around Artificial Intelligence techniques and their applications in Communication Networks and Smart Environments. In this presentation, he will give an overview of three machine learning projects that he has been working on over the past few years. The first project focuses on human position determination in indoor environments using Hierarchical Reservoir Computing (HRC) based on Array Antenna signals. The second one involves radio signal strength prediction using Echo State Networks (ESN), and the third application involves the detection of data anomalies in smart water metering networks using unsupervised learning techniques.

A recording of the session can be found here:

Data Carpentry Workshop

SADiLaR (The South African Centre for Digital Language Resources) will be hosting the last Data Carpentry Workshop during the first week of October. The workshop will be held online, and is free.

Researchers don’t need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop. This course is aimed at postgraduate students in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Find more information and sign up here.

Online Data Carpentry Workshops

The South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) will be hosting the following Online Data Carpentry Workshops (R for Social Science) in the coming weeks. The workshops  will cover:

  • Data Organization in Spreadsheets
  • Data Cleaning with OpenRefine, and 
  • Data Analysis and Visualization with R

Links to the events:

Please feel free to signup for any of these events or forward this email to your colleagues, students or fellow researchers. Mobile data assistance is possible for learners residing in South Africa. Further information about The Carpentries is available here.

Welcome to UWC’s eResearch Office Website!

Welcome to UWC’s eResearch Office Website! In what is very much a sign of the times we live in, we are glad to be able to inaugurate our web site very much ‘remotely’. UWC’s eResearch Office was set up on 1st April 2019 to promote and support the use of advanced information technologies to foster better, faster and higher-impact research. If anything, the current world-wide crisis has renewed the importance of such an effort, and we are looking forward to working more closely with our partners on campus, nationally and internationally to fulfill this vision. Our website will grow in time to provide resources for researchers and news about data intensive research and research data management activities at UWC. In the meantime, please get in touch with us at eresearch-office@uwc.ac.za if you would like more information.