Library Research News

News from research support services - Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service

Get help on all aspects of the Research Process

Do you know about this helpful Library Guide that assists you with all the aspects of the research process?  It follows all the steps involved with conducting research, from the planning phase, data collection, the writing process, archiving, publishing, and measuring your impact. Where the Library is not involved, you will be referred to the correct information elsewhere on campus.

Please contact us if you need further assistance with any of these steps.




Developing a plan for communicating your research

The following steps might be a good way to improve your online visibility as a researcher and assist you with communicating about your research:

  1.  Create and maintain online profiles (e.g. Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Academia).
  2.  Use persistent identifiers (e.g. ORCID, Researcher ID in Publons, DOIs) to disambiguate yourself as an author or to link to your work.
  3.  Publish in Open Access journals or choose Open Access options.
  4.  Use Creative Commons licenses for your work for re-use.
  5.  Self-archive pre- or post-prints to institutional repositories (SUNScholar).
  6.  Publish your data to data repositories (SUNScholarData).
  7.  Make social media engagement about your research a regular habit (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  8.  Engage your audience in meaningful conversations about the topics that you are interested in.
  9.  Connect with other researchers by means of academic network tools (ResearchGate, Mendeley, etc)
  10.  Appeal to various audiences via multiple publication types (academic articles, news items, blog posts, magazine articles)

It will be important to check in on your goals often, at least once in six months, or when you have published a new article.

Get help:
Marié Roux
Faculty Librarians
Research Commons Librarians

Library guide: Research Impact & Scholarly Profiles, University of California, Berkeley Library
Library guide: The Research Process: Improve your impact, Stellenbosch University 

Play the Research Data Management Adventure Game

The Library recently launched a Research Data Management Adventure Game. It is a text-based role-playing interactive serious game based on an academic research project’s data management challenges. The game takes the form of an online choose-your-own-adventure format in which game players take a simulated research project through the processes below whilst encountering data management challenges along the way.

The game focus on the following learning outcomes:

  • Data management planning
  • Designing participant information sheets and consent forms
  • Choosing appropriate equipment for research projects
  • Acquiring suitable third-party research data
  • Organising research data
  • Storing research data appropriately
  • Analysing and documenting research data
  • Preparing research data for archiving
  • Publishing research data

The game was developed as part of a collaboration between the University of Bath Library and Stellenbosch University’s Library and Information Service.

Try it out here and let us know what you think! See also more about the game on the SUNScholarData library guide.

Contact Samuel Simango if you need any assistance with Research Data Management.

How to complete your ORCID record

You have created your ORCID iD, but now what ? Which steps do you need to follow to keep your record up to date?

The following two videos might assist and guide you through this process. (See also the specific timings for each step below):

ORCID video

Contents of this video (2:10 minutes)

  • What is ORCID?
  • Who are integrating with ORCID? (00:15)
  • Examples of integrations (0:27)
  • Benefits of using an ORCID iD (00:39)
  • Where to use your iD (00:52)
  • How to create and connect your iD to SU identity (01:05)
  • Demonstration (01:18)
  • How to populate your record (01:44)
  • Help (01:59)

Populate your ORCID record

Contents of this video (about 13 minutes):

  • Add a biography (00:23)
  • Add your employment (00:53)
  • Add your education (01:29)
  • Add invited positions and distinctions (01:49)
  • Add membership and service (02:42)
  • Add funding (3:46)
  • How to add your works (publications and other works) (06:08)
  • Add works via Google Scholar (10:11)
  • How to add aliases, keywords, websites, social media links (12:05)

More help

International Open Access Week 2020

International Open Access Week is an annual event aimed at promoting the Open Access movement’s principles and practices of free and easily accessible research outputs. This year’s theme is Open with purpose: Taking action to build structural equity and inclusion and it is being held this week (19-25 October) worldwide. It is an opportunity for the wider community to coordinate and take action to make openness the default for research:

“We need to examine who these spaces and systems are designed for, who is missing, who is excluded by the business models we use, and whose interests are prioritized. As we work together to rebuild these structures, we need to commit to moving from conversations to concrete commitments and to hold one another accountable for making real progress.” – Nick Shockey

In line with this theme, Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service has chosen to focus on Open Data (a sub-component within the broader context of Open Research) and to also showcase SUNScholarData. SUNScholarData is SU’s digital repository for research data and it was developed in line with the recognition that research data should be open, transparent and easily accessible.

For more information on Open Access initiatives at Stellenbosch University, you can view the video below:


Preprints and Research Square

Research Square has partnered with Dimensions to provide early citation data on preprints. It lets you share your work early, gain feedback from the community, and start making changes to your manuscript prior to peer review in a journal.

About Research Square

Research Square is a division of the Research Square Company, and exists to make research communication faster, fairer, and more useful. The preprint platform, launched in 2018, is a  large, author-centric preprint server that brings transparency to the peer review process. Through the journal-integrated In Review service, innovative author dashboard, manuscript assessments, and research promotion services, they enable researchers to share their research with the broader community,and receive useful feedback much earlier in the publication process. (See the list of participating journals)

Also read this blogpost and view the short recording  of a webinar on “the role of preprints in elevating trust in peer review”.

Policy on self-archiving of research output

Do you know about the SU Policy on Mandatory Self-archiving of Research Output, which was approved in December 2014?

The policy requires that full-text copies of published journal articles or conference proceedings of SU research output be hosted in the institutional repository, SUNScholar .

The following versions of your articles may be submitted to the repository (all in compliance with the policy of the publisher):

  • Publisher’s version
  • Post-print (final peer-reviewed manuscript with the incorporation of revisions)
  • PDF of peer-reviewed conference paper

You may contact your Faculty Librarian who will  be able to submit on your behalf, or submit your research output yourself by sending an e-mail to, requesting to register as a submitter. The steps are also set out on our help page. One individual may also submit on behalf of a department after they have been registered and have all the necessary information to complete the citation.

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