Library Research News

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

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.

Library guide on tools and applications for research

Did you know that one tab of the Research Process library guide is dedicated to tools and applications for research? This page takes through the research process and highlights useful tools and applications which you may find helpful while going through the different steps of doing your research. It includes planning tools, conceptualisation tools, note taking, surveys, links to other library guides and tools for data analysis. Just to mention a few.

Explore the guide on your own here.

You are welcome to contact us if you need  assistance with any of the tools listed here.

Useful link: Also see Nicole Hennig’s  Best apps for academics

New platform for discovering and evaluating scientific articles – scite

A new platform for discovering and evaluating scientific articles via Smart Citations, scite, has seen the light.

Their deep learning model classifies each citation context automatically. The numbers show how sure it is of a classification and categorise it in three different contexts, Supporting, Mentioning, Contradicting.

Josh Nicholson writes about how to use scite (see an extract below):

… in order to truly identify what research is reliable or not, we need to access every scientific article ever written. Fortunately, leading academic publishers like Wiley, The British Medical Journal, Karger, Rockefeller University Press, and others have started to share these with scite. Some have even started to display scite information directly on their articles.

We’re excited about the possibilities of bibliometrics to help scientists and non-scientists understand science better and would like to invite researchers to use our data (for free) to perform their own studies.

Download the Chrome extension and see this information popping up automatically while browsing scientific articles.

It is interesting to see that Eugene Garfield predicted this kind of service in 1964, in an article titled Can citation indexing be automated?

Slide from demonstration about scite on 30 June 2020, by Josh Nicholson

Data analysis software

Did you know that Campus IT has made available a Software Hub where you will find all the software available under the University’s site licenses? It’s available on a public Sharepoint site, where you can download the software and see How-to-guides. It consists mostly of data analysis software such as Mathematica, SAS, SPSS, Statistica and Matlab.

It is also important to be aware of free data analysis software. Here are some examples:

Data cleaning
Statistical analysis
Qualitative analysis
  • Dedoose (Free for first month, thereafter you only pay a minimal amount in the months that you actually use the tool)
Data visualisation applications and tools
Social and other network analysis

Free COVID-19 portal on Pure

Elsevier made available a free COVID-19 portal on Pure. It is possible to identify potential research collaborators in areas related to the coronavirus epidemic.

You can search a set of researchers and research institutions whose prior publications indicate potentially relevant expertise related to the novel coronavirus. The following categories are available to conduct your search: researcher profiles, researcher units, relevant research, datasets and media items about the research.
See more information on how to use this portal.

How can you improve your impact as author/researcher?

Earlier this week the Library presented a workshop on Maximising your research impact. You are welcome to view the powerpoint here, but herewith also a short summary of important steps to take:

Make sure to publish strategically

  • Carefully take note of the Instructions to Authors of the specific journal
  •  Be careful of predatory publishers
  • Publish Open Access, not only your final product, but also your research data (SUNScholarData), code (Github), software, presentations(Slideshare), working papers
  • Journal metrics: Use Web of Science or Scopus for analysing journal metrics in order to make sure you publish in a high impact journal (Journal Impact Factor, Citescore, SNIP, Scimago Journal Rank, etc)
  • Make sure the journal is accredited to receive subsidy from the DHET
  • Create a unique author identifier to ensure that you are able to track citations to your research and that your research can be found continuously (ORCID library guide)

Measure your author and article impact

  • Citation analysis is a way of measuring the impact of an author, an article, by counting the number of times that author, article or publication has been cited by other works.
  • Use different author metrics and not only the H-Index (G-Index and M-Index for example)
  • Also consider other aspects of a candidate’s career, such as discipline, and how many collaborators a researcher works with, etc.
  • Remember to measure your social media posts, media mentions, readers, downloads of articles, etc. with Altmetrics (, Plum Analytics in Scopus and Ebsco, ImpactStory, etc)

Networking: Know how to find collaborators

  • ResearchGate
  • Academia
  • Social Science Research Network
  • Mendeley
  • LinkedIn

Promote your work with Social Media and other public engagement

  • Actively make time for public engagement
  • Use Facebook, Twitter to promote your research
  • Start a blog or personal website about your research/research group
  • Learn about which research will make the news: Newsworthy-infographic

Other useful reading on the topic:

Maximizing your Research Impact


Taylor and Francis’ author guide

University of Berkeley Library Guide

Need any assistance?

Contact: Marié Roux

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