Workshop: Creating a DMP

Research data management (RDM) is an integral component of the research process. A data management plan (DMP) provides detail of how your research data will be managed. A workshop held on 2 Augusts aimed to provide an overview of what DMPs are, why a postgraduate student would need one, and a practical guide on putting one together.

Workshop contents:

  • What is a data management plan (DMP)?
  • Why postgraduate students need DMPs
  • How to put together a DMP plan

Workshop outcomes:

  • Basic understanding of the UWC RDM policy and the POPI Act
  • Understanding of the implications of these policies for postgraduate research
  • Practical skills for putting together a RDM plan for thesis research

Date: 2 August 2022
Time: 12:00-14:00

Sign up here:
Watch the recording:

Facilitators: Mark Snyders (Library), Sarah Schäfer (eResearch Office),  and Janine Senekal (DPGS)

Africa Open Science Hardware Summit

AfricaOSH is an organisation that aims to inspire African makers, and is focused on open source scientific tools and hardware. They seeks to promote and provide a platform for innovation and creation in Africa, and hold annual events.

The 2022 annual summit theme is Growing the Do-It-Yourself & Do-It-Together (DIY/DIT) Culture for Community Transformation : a focus on Open Health, and promises to be insightful, educative, innovative and fun. The event will be hosted by MboaLab and take place from 29 September-1 October in Yaounde, Cameroon. Read more about it here.

Applications to attend the 2022 AfricaOSH annual summit are now open:

Working with Data Training Module Q&A Session

The Working with Data: Training Module, created in collaboration with DPGS, is still available on iKamva, and the Q&A session on Wednesday 8 June is an opportunity to ask questions about spreadsheets and OpenRefine.

The session is also for those who would like to begin working on the module during the vacation period.

To access the training module and the recording of our introductory session on iKamva:

Working with Data Training Module now active on iKamva

After a successful introductory session on 11 May, the Working with Data: Training Module, created in collaboration with DPGS, is now live on iKamva. For those that missed the introductory session, the recording is also available on iKamva.

The purpose of the training module is to equip postgraduate students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to clean and organise their data using spreadsheets and OpenRefine. The lessons are based on Data Carpentry lessons.

The lesson materials will be available until 8 June.

To access the training module on iKamva:

More Data Openness in NIH Policy

In what has been described ‘seismic‘, the NIH’s (US National Institutes of Health) new data-sharing policy mandates that all researchers share their data. The NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, and this shift could set a global standard for biomedical research.

In January 2023, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) will begin requiring most of the 300,000 researchers and 2,500 institutions it funds annually to include a data-management plan in their grant applications — and to eventually make their data publicly available.

Nature, 16 February 2022

This certainly is groundbreaking news in a research landscape that has seen a steady albeit slow progression toward more openness. Mark Hahnel, founder of Figshare, agrees that this is huge news. He urges the the academic community to not lose focus on potential benefits that open data can have “for reproducibility and efficiency in research, as well as the ability to move further and faster when it comes to knowledge advancement”.

The policy, which applies to research funded by or conducted by NIH that results in the generation of scientific data, establishes the requirements of submission of Data Management Plans (DMPs), and it also emphasises the importance of good data management (RDM) practices. This includes maximizing the appropriate sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research, with justified limitations or exceptions.

There is no doubt that this policy will be felt globally, by researchers and academic institutions.

Read the full NIH Policy here.

Find out more about Research Data Management (RDM), Data Management Plans (DMPs) and see our useful DMP Resources and Tools.

Working with Data: a Training Module

In collaboration with DPGS, a ‘Working with Data’ training module will begin on 11 May. The module will include an introductory session, after which training materials will be available through iKamva. The purpose of this training module is to equip postgraduate students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to clean and organize their data in spreadsheets and OpenRefine.

RDM Short Course

H3ABioNet is offering a short online course in Research Data Management (RDM) in June, and registration is open until 24 April. The course will introduce the principles and practices of RDM, and give practical advice for implementing these practices in African research context.

Topics that will be covered include data discovery and re-use, data documentation and organization, data standards and Ontology, data storage and security, repositories and policies, FAIR & reproducibility and best practices in developing an effective DMP.

H3ABioNet (Pan African Bioinformatics Network for the Human Heredity and Health in Africa) is a Pan African Bioinformatics network and was developed to support H3Africa research projects through the development of bioinformatics capacity on the African continent.

Read more about the course.

Figshare awarded grant to further enhance functionality for the research community

Figshare, the organisation behind UWC’s institutional repository, Kikapu, has been awarded an NIH Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative (GREI) grant. GREI is led by the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS) and provides funding for repositories to grow their functionality and better meet the needs of research communities and the NIH Desirable Characteristics for Data Repositories

The award granted to Figshare will support ongoing efforts to advance Figshare’s repository infrastructure to make research data better documented for findability and reuse. Figshare also plans to expand their support for metadata standards to enhance discoverability and tracking of open research, and broadening their metadata support for research funders and grants. 

Read more about the award.

Open Science Stakeholder workshop on the South African Open Science Policy

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), in partnership with the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and Universities South Africa (USAf), hosted an online Stakeholder Workshop on 22 February to facilitate broad-based consultations in order to successfully develop the South African Open Science Policy.

The workshop included inputs and presentations from various stakeholders, as well as a Q&A session.

Watch the recording.

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.

Watch the recording

Relevant documents:

UWC’s RDM Policy

Kikapu Data Deposit Guidelines