Carpentry Connect South Africa 2021 in Review

Last month’s Carpentry Connect South Africa took place completely virtually, and was attended by more than 120 attendees and volunteers (i.e. trainers, instructors and helpers) from 28 countries worldwide, including 16 countries in Africa. The event included 2 Carpentries workshops, 1 Carpentries instructor training event, 2 networking events, 1 learning session and 1 opening address.

The main goal of CarpentryConnect South Africa 2021 was to build capacity for workshops through instructor training and bring together newer and more experienced community members to share knowledge, network, develop new skills, and develop strategies for building strong local communities around digital and computational literacy in Africa.

Support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation‘s Event Fund allowed for, among other things,  300 GBs of mobile data bundles to be provided to 71 attendees over 19 African network providers. This enabled participation to those who would have otherwise not been able to attend such a virtual and mobile data intensive event. Often, even “free” events” cannot be attended due to the high costs of streaming video of such an event. This is particularly noticeable in contexts where Internet is pre-paid (credit is purchased in advance of service use).

Read more about the event.

Open Science Fair Symposium

BHKi (The bioinformatics hub of Kenya) and OpenScienceKE are proud to announce a new project, Empowering Researchers with Skills and Tools in Open Science and Bioinformatics.

This will consist of a series of events that will bring together researchers enthusiastic about bioinformatics and open science. The first virtual event is the Open Science FAIR symposium from October 11th-15th, 2021. The event aims to sensitise participants on FAIR open data science practices such as project planning and organisation, collaboration, licensing and data sharing. It exposes participants to use open science tools that facilitate these practices.

Register here to participate.

The organisers are also looking for presenters who have used open science practices to present their work and methods to fellow researchers. Register here to share your work. 

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.

Science Summit at UNGA76

ISC (Intelligence in Science), a Brussels-based advisory firm specialising in science, technology and R&D research and policy, will organise the second edition of the UNGA76 Science Summit around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) in New York in September 2021.

“Engagement with policy leadership is more important than ever: UNGA76 is a unique forum for science leadership to show how policy and political leadership can benefit from science and the scientific community. Central to this is the role of nonstate actors and the multilateral fora, which increasingly determine how priorities are set. Science needs to be part of this dialogue and at an earlier stage and inform outputs through thought leadership, evidence, insights, analysis, and innovation.We can only tackle the greatest challenges that we face and will face over coming decades – such as climate change, pandemics and biodiversity loss – through transparent, open and agile research collaboration. We must bring the widest possible range of resources, expertise and perspectives to bear on solutions which will benefit people across the globe.”

The virtual meeting aims to raise awareness of the role and contribution of science to the attainment of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will demonstrate initiatives that provide models for global science mechanisms and activities supporting the SDGs, particularly in science infrastructure and capacity building. Science is more than a funding prioritisation exercise: it can improve all policy-making areas and play a more critical role in achieving policy objectives and the benefits to people everywhere, including responses to global challenges.

The Draft Programme is available here.

Register here.

For more information, contact Declan Kirrane (declan.kirrane@iscintelligence.com)

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.