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REDCap launched for researchers

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

SU Research Support Services are pleased to announce the launch of Stellenbosch University’s Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) service. REDCap is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases and can be configured to meet compliance standards such as HIPAA, 21 CFR Part 11, and FISMA.

REDCap is a tool for capturing confidential information. This requires planned and careful management in order to protect the participant’s personal data. For data security purposes, exporting of data from the platform is discouraged, but if necessary, security and confidentiality will depend on correct tagging of identifier fields in the data dictionary and correct assigning of user rights for export by the Data Manager.

Ethics approval is required from an appropriate Stellenbosch University REC if working with humans, human material (such as blood or tissue) or their data, including secondary use of such materials (this is defined as the reuse in a new project of previously collected data or material). Please contact your local ethics office if you have not yet applied for ethics clearance. The application will include questions related to how you manage, store and use data, including data entered into REDCap. It may also require that you submit the data dictionary and an assigned roles list. Particular attention should be paid to which identifiers you intend to collect and how you will maintain confidentiality if exporting identifiable data.

Adequate and appropriate consent is an essential requisite of REC approval. If you are collecting and storing personal identifiers, it must be reflected in the consent form. If you intend to share or reuse data or material, it must be consented to when the data or material is collected, otherwise, it cannot be used or shared in future research projects.

To access this service, register on redcap.sun.ac.za with your active SU username and password. As part of the registration process, you will receive an email verification request. This auto-generated email will include instructions on how to set up Google Authenticator. For security reasons, Google Authenticator must be used with REDCap to ensure multi-factor authentication.

A training instance of REDCap is also available on redcaptest.sun.ac.za, where you can explore REDCap functionality and present training sessions. ‘Real’ data may not be captured in the training environment. Google Authenticator has to be set up separately for the training environment and the live environment.

SU does not provide institutional support for the day-to-day operational use of REDCap. It is a researcher’s responsibility to familiarise themselves with the software, however, embedded video guidance and numerous FAQs are available online. SU-specific guidelines are available here. For fee-based REDCap advanced support, contact redcap@sun.ac.za.  For technical support (i.e. access-related or system errors), contact help@sun.ac.za.

A REDCap mobile app is also available and can be used on iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet. The REDCap Mobile App adds a new dimension to REDCap’s versatility by providing users with a tool for offline data collection, particularly in environments with poor Internet connectivity. The devices (tablet or phone) must be secured. REDCap Mobile App users must report any stolen tablets or phones to SU IT and the SU REDCap Administrators.

 

 

 

Teach and Learn with MATLAB and Simulink

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Where Will MATLAB Take You Today?

Stellenbosch University has a Total Academic Headcount (TAH) license for MATLAB, Simulink, and add-on products. You may use these products for teaching, research, and learning. The license allows individuals to install the products on university-owned equipment, as well as personally owned computers.

Get Access Today: http://rga.sun.ac.za/firga/matlab.html

Good news for MATLAB fans

Monday, April 24th, 2017

MATLAB and Simulink are fundamental computational tools used at educational institutions worldwide. More than 500 universities have instituted a Total Academic Headcount (TAH) site license, including one-third of the top 300 universities worldwide and 23 of the top 25 universities.

Today, MATLAB and Simulink are an integral part of the curriculum at the SUN. The tools are used for teaching and research across several academic disciplines such as Geography, Agriculture, Economics, Biology, Informatics, Psychology, Math, Statistics and Physics, in addition to the engineering disciplines. The university provides lab room access via 8 different classroom licenses servers to be used by students on university owned machines. Researcher access is provided by a number of installs: 6 network servers provide 35 concurrent users, 8 group licenses with 79 users and 35 individual licenses.

Students who use MATLAB and Simulink establish a foundation for learning that serves them through their university years and prepares them for careers in engineering but also in areas such as biology, science, finance, and math. Faculty employ MATLAB and Simulink to engage students in coursework and research by providing a flexible environment for teaching, applying algorithms and models, and exploring data. Students can apply theory to real-world problems within a broad range of student- oriented research much in line with the big trends towards active learning i.e. PBL and CDIO.

Stellenbosch University has a Total Academic Headcount (TAH) license for MATLAB, Simulink, and add-on products. Faculty, researchers, and students may use these products for teaching, research, and learning. The license allows individuals to install the products on university-owned equipment, as well as personally owned computers.

To obtain an individual license for laptops and home PC’s:

Option 1 – On campus download – Click here for instructions.
Option 2 – Off campus download from Mathworks Website. Click here for instructions.

Learn About Capabilities and Using the Software

Use the TAH Resource Kit to find tutorials, webinars, teaching materials, books, and more to help you use MATLAB and Simulink. When you access these resources from the resource kit, you bypass registration forms.

Note that your MathWorks account gives you access to FREE online training with theMATLAB Onramp, as well as access to online assignments through Cody Coursework.

Empower Yourself With MathWorks tools

Visit the MathWorks for Education website at mathworks.com/academia
Visit the MathWorks Academy site for FREE online course at matlabacademy.mathworks.com

MATLAB Mobile

Connect to MATLAB from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.mathworks.com/products/matlab-mobile.html

Need Assistance?
E-mail: ithub@sun.ac.za

[Information supplied by Kirsten Smith, Application Engineering Manager at MATLAB]

Important news for ORCID users

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

On Friday 7 April the National Research Foundation (NRF) distributed an ORCID statement requiring all researchers and students applying for funding and rating to have an ORCID identifier. The NRF membership of ORCID ensures that researchers and their institutions will benefit from access to and integration with the ORCID registry. They are in the process of integrating ORCID into all application and grant management processes and systems. They are also considering integration benefits such as automated processes for uploading research output records into a researcher’s profile and research reports. Please read the NRF ORCID statement here.

What is ORCID?

An ORCID iD comprises a 16-digit identification number which uniquely distinguishes one author from another (e.g. http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5109-3700). In doing so it ensures that scientific authors are permanently connected to their online research activities throughout their research careers.

ORCID and Stellenbosch University

You will know that Stellenbosch University has been a member of the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) network since 2015 and we would like you to associate (“connect”) your ORCID and SU network identities to allow for the integration of ORCID iDs across systems in a managed way.

While it is now compulsory to have an ORCID iD when applying for NRF-funding or –rating, Stellenbosch University would like to request you to create your ORCID record and connect it to the Stellenbosch University integration at the same time. To do so please click on the button below (if you already have an ORCID iD, please sign in to your account to connect it with your SU network identity).

 

HULP

Please read the ORCID Library guide if you need more information, for example on the benefits of using an ORCID iD and the benefits of connecting your ORCID iD to your Stellebosch University identity.

Enquiries: Contact your Faculty Librarian or Marié Roux, tel.: 021-8082623.

Conservation by drone

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

You’ve seen the videos on YouTube – sweeping, breathtaking aerial shots capturing locations inaccessible to most people. On Wednesday Rhino Africa released a video compiled with drone footage which shows the beauty of Africa and the results are truly breathtaking. 

We can now gain access to previously remote areas with drones or UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) controlled by remote or with the guidance of software and GPS. These flying robots were named “drones” because they resemble the monotonous sound a male bee makes.

droneInitially, drones weren’t used for recreational activities. The first drones were utilised in the military, but today civilian drones outnumber their military counterparts. It is estimated that, by 2015, over a million has been sold. Currently, they are used  in commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications, such as policing and surveillance, aerial photography and conservation. 

The idea of using UAVs for conservation was conceived by Lian Pin Koh, a conservation ecologist and Serge Wich, a primate biologist in January 2011. It soon came to light that the available UAVs were too expensive for use in developing countries where they were most needed. The only solution for Lian and Serge was to build their own more affordable version, which ended up costing less than $2,000.

A year later, they tested their prototype in North Sumatra, Indonesia where the UAV flew over 30 missions and collected thousands of high-quality aerial images and video footage of forests and wildlife. (https://conservationdrones.org/our-story/)

As their research became known, the term “Conservation Drone” was coined and by 2012 the International Anti-Poaching Foundation was using UAV’s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIrgjCNcDBI

Worldwide organisations began using drones for conservation. In 2012 the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) started using UAVs in Chitwan National Park, Nepal to monitor rhinos, tigers and elephants, but also to deter poachers. In the same year, Google donated $5 million to the WWF to purchase conservation drones to fly over parts of Africa and Asia in an attempt to help monitor and catch wildlife poachers.

Closer to home UAVs have been used successfully in the Kruger National Park against rhino poachers. In 2012 a UAV was loaned to the South African National Parks authority by its manufacturer, Denel Dynamics. 

“In March 2014, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation announced a 255 million rand donation for a three-year initiative in partnership with Nature Conservation Trust, South African National Parks (SANParks) and a South African public benefit organisation (PBO) to combat poaching in Kruger National Park and test new anti-poaching technology. SANParks is testing the use of drones and this year, the Foundation added a further 37.7 million rand to buy a helicopter for use in anti-poaching operations.” (https://www.savetherhino.org)

In Namibia, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society used this technology to monitor the annual seal cull and also to combat rhino poaching in Etosha National Park. 

Other uses for UAVs include aerial crop surveys, aerial photography, search and rescue, inspection of power lines and pipelines, counting wildlife, delivering medical supplies to otherwise inaccessible regions, and detection of illegal hunting, reconnaissance operations, cooperative environment monitoring, border patrol missions, convoy protection, forest fire detection and monitoring,  surveillance, coordinating humanitarian aid, plume tracking, land surveying, fire and large-accident investigation, landslide measurement, illegal landfill detection, the construction industry and crowd monitoring. (Wikipedia

[SOURCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_aerial_vehicle, https://conservationdrones.org/our-story/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_Drones, https://www.savetherhino.org/rhino_info/thorny_issues/the_use_of_drones_in_rhino_conservation]

 

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