In July 2015 the NWU officially commenced with an eResearch drive that will ultimately help to align research support units and researchers across all disciplines to embrace the power of the digital world in the 21st century.

The NWU eResearch Initiative was launched with a two-month awareness campaign across the Mahikeng, Potchefstroom, and Vanderbijlpark Campuses. Engagements with institutional management, library services, information technology, research directors, researchers, and postdoctoral research fellows were top priority.

On 1 October the first quarterly NWU eResearch workshop took place. The quarterly workshops form part of the eResearch strategy and provide opportunities for stakeholders to improve their knowledge and share their progress as well as challenges. During the workshops the daunting task of keeping abreast of developments in research related technology and methodology is addressed by invited talks from experts in one of the relevant areas.

Melissa Badenhorst from Worldwide Information Services (WWIS) spoke at the first eResearch workshop and demonstrated the research tracking capabilities within InCitesTM, a research analytics tool from Thomson Reuters. The demo was insightful and lead to a lively discussion about how the tool, which the NWU already has a license for, could be used by researchers and research administrators to benchmark research activities within the university.

The next item on the agenda was an update from Library Services (Mahikeng, Potchefstroom, and Vanderbijlpark Campuses), the Research Support Office, and Information Technology about their current standing and future vision for embracing technology to enhance research.

The workshop provided a great opportunity to learn about ongoing initiatives in the various areas and also to plan collaborative actions for the next few months. The next workshop is planned for early December and will focus specifically on Research Data Management.

To contact us, please email or follow us on Twitter @NWU_eResearch.

(Written by Anelda van der Walt)