Webinar: RDM and Kikapu

A webinar on Monday 30 August discussed RDM (research data management) at UWC and Kikapu, our institutional research data repository. Practicing RDM has become an integral part of doing research, and good data management needs to be practiced throughout the research lifecycle. Mark Snyders (UWC Library) and Sarah Schafer (UWC eResearch Office) presented on various aspects of RDM and Kikapu.

https://youtu.be/BzwxJ4TKVmQ
Watch the recording

Relevant documents:

UWC’s RDM Policy

Kikapu Data Deposit Guidelines

Upcoming Webinar: Archival Futures and Research

Preservation, access and UWC’s digital infrastructure

The findings of an archival planning process soon to be officially published in a White Paper: UWC 2021-25: Revitalising Research Archives at UWC will be presented and discussed in an upcoming webinar.

The Director of eResearch, Prof Mattia Vaccari, will moderate the session, and speakers include Prof Patricia Hayes (NRF SARChI Chair in Visual History and Theory, UWC), Dr Nancy McGovern (Director of Digital Preservation, the MIT Libraries, USA), Dr Valmont Layne (Centre for Humanities Research, UWC), and Dr Anthea Josias (University of Michigan).

The webinar will take place on Friday 20 August at 15:00.
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://uwc.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0kd–qpj8tHNZ0w5LBj81ge6t7zVElyykL

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining.

Creating a Data Management Plan (DMP) Workshop

UWC’s Division for Postgraduate Studies (DPGS), eResearch Office and Library Research Support & Scholarly Communications hosted a workshop on creating Data Management Plans (DMPs) on 16 August 2021.

Along with UWC’s Research Data Management (RDM) Policy and the Protection of Private Information Act (POPIA), DMPs are central to the research process. The workshop provided an overview of RDM and Data Management Planning, and demonstrated some practical advice on how to craft a DMP.

Watch the recording.

Data Management Planning is ultimately most useful for the researcher, and it helps achieve the benefits that come with managing and sharing data. Increasingly, funding bodies and publishers mandate the submission of a DMP to ensure that data can be preserved and shared. UWC’s Research Data Management Policy encourages all UWC researchers to submit a data management plan in the course of their research.

August Newsletter

The eResearch newsletter is a quarterly email that includes information about new opportunities in the field, as well as news about what the eResearch Office has been busy with.

View our August newsletter and sign up for the next one.

Free Learning Opportunities with the AAL

South African students are eligible to register to join the next cohort of the African Launchpad initiative (AAL), which offers free nanodegrees through Coursera, edX, and Udacity. The courses include the fields of artificial intelligence, games and applications development and virtual reality.

The initiative was first announced in Egypt in 2018, and is an Africa-wide platform that aims to build capacity of Egyptian and African youth and foster the establishment of sustainable African startups in the area of the advanced ever-changing app and game technologies. AAL works by availing a high-quality, technology-learning online platform through crowd-sourcing top online content developed by prestigious universities and leading companies, and delivered through three leading MOOCs (Coursera, edX, and Udacity). Participants will need to dedicate approximately 10 hours per week throughout the track duration in order to be able to finish in time.

To register, click here, and to find out more details and available learning tracks, click here.

Upcoming DMP Workshop

CREATING A RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT PLAN

The Division for Postgraduate Studies (DPGS), the eResearch Office and the Library. 

Research Data Management Plans (DMPs) are central to the research process, and are aligned closely with the UWC Research Data Management (RDM) Policy and the Protection of Private Information Act (POPIA). An upcoming workshop will provide an overview of DMPs, why a postgraduate student would need one, and a practical guide as to how to craft one.

Duration: 2 hours
Time: 11:00-13:00
Date: 16 August 2021
Platform: Zoom
Facilitators: Sarah Schäfer (eResearch Office), Mark Snyders (Library) and Janine Senekal (DPGS)

Register for the workshop

Using machine learning for food quality and safety assurance

The latest research published by eResearch Office’s Dr Frederic Isingizwe on detecting defects in fresh agri-food products dealt with detecting soft damage to apple fruit while they are still invisible to the naked eye.

Damage to fresh agri-food products due to brute impact or compression force can occur during handling and transport, can be invisible at an early stage but becomes more pronounced with time, either in the consumer’s hands or on a retailer’s shelf. Such damage to fresh produce accelerates the deterioration of fruit and vegetables and can facilitate infections by micro-organisms, which makes products unsafe to consume.

The research was conducted to aid with sorting and grading fresh products, either at an industrial or smaller scale. We demonstrated that these invisible defects can be detected using shortwave hyperspectral imaging techniques and by using machine learning algorithms, we established the degree to which the differentiation of defective from sound apple fruits is feasible.

Read more about this work here.

Upcoming Kikapu Webinar

The Library and the eResearch Office will be hosting a webinar that focuses on our Institutional Data Repository, Kikapu.

The webinar will take place on 30 August at 11am.
Register here.

Kikapu is UWC’s online institutional research data repository. It is a versatile platform for publishing and accessing research data and scholarly outputs, and accepts a wide variety of non-traditional research outputs and file formats. Research data and any associated documents can be stored and shared in either primary or refined versions.

Read more about Kikapu.

Introduction to Research Data Management and Kikapu

The webinar will cover the following:

Introduction to Research Data Management (RDM) and Kikapu:
– What is research data 
– Why publish research data
– Open Access
– FAIR Data principles


Introduction to Kipaku – UWC’s Institutional Research Data Repository
– Creating an account
– Uploading content (datasets)
– Publishing uploaded content (datasets)
– Citing published content
– Tracking record statistics

Watch the NITheCS Roadshow at UWC

On 15 July, the eResearch Office hosted a NITheCS Roadshow at UWC titled ‘Transition from NITheP to NITheCS and how it can benefit your University‘. The session was moderated by eResearch Director Prof Mattia Vaccari, and Prof Francesco Petruccione (NITheCS Interim Director) gave a presentation and answered questions. Watch the video recording:

Prof Mattia Vaccari moderated the NITheCS Roadshow session last week.
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UWC eResearch Office partnering with FSNet-Africa project in interdisciplinary research on African food systems

Food Systems Research Network for Africa (FSNet-Africa) is a collaborative project between the University of Pretoria’s (UP) African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems, the University of Leeds (UoL) (United Kingdom), and the Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN).

FSNet-Africa is an ARUA – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Research Excellence Project funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF); its major contribution to addressing the SDG challenges will be the focus on developing a new understanding of the African food system. It will aim to develop the FSNet-Africa Food Systems Framework and utilising systems-based methodologies to conduct research that enhances understanding of the framework’s components, their interactions, and ultimately the leverage points for food system transformation.

The Fellowship

Dr Frederic Isingizwe from the eResearch Office is one of UWC’s two recipients of the FSNet-Africa fellowship, a two-year research fellowship (July 2021 to June 2023) for early career researchers who are supported in their research to identify and evaluate climate-smart, nutrition-sensitive, poverty-reducing interventions in African food systems.

In addition to research project funding, fellows are supported through participation in a series of structured activities in science, mentorship and leadership development, and by establishing long term research networks, which currently involve ten African Universities and the University of Leeds. This will ensure that the fellows are positioned in the necessary enabling environment and provided with the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to implement impact focused interdisciplinary research related to African food systems and significantly advance their academic careers.

During the fellowship, each fellow will be assigned at least two mentors, from both African and UK universities. These carefully matched research-triads will be interdisciplinary teams that enable the fellows to receive the support they need to develop and implement quality interdisciplinary research projects. This will also create opportunities for fellows and mentors to build meaningful relationships with researchers outside of their own organisations, which can lead to longer term collaborations.

The Research

Understanding African food systems and developing evidence-based interventions to address gaps and systems failures is fundamental to achieving four critical food systems outcomes – nutritious food (safe and high-quality); equitable inclusive systems (social aspects e.g. gender); sustainable environmental approaches and efficient systems (economic considerations e.g. poverty reduction).

The fellows’ research will focus on a systems approach (rather than a discipline-specific approach) to understanding African food systems, whereby the conceptualisation recognises:
– that gender and poverty are cross-cutting issues, influencing not only labour, inputs and types of farming systems (supply), but also diets and food cultures (demand);
– formal and informal supply chains through which food moves from farm to consumer and the different actors and regulations that govern those chains (and the interactions between them);
– key emerging actors within the food systems, such as “agripreneurs” setting up businesses in the agri-sector, and critical drivers of change (e.g. urbanisation and the growing African middle class).

Frederic’s research in the fellowship will focus on developing data-driven solutions for the food supply chain. Aspects such as quality monitoring of agri-food products along the food chain and optimisation of supply chain processes will be the main focus. The project will aim to develop solutions that help improve quality, safety and reduce loss of food along the food chain.