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Research Data Management adventure game launched

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service is pleased to announce the launch of the Research Data Management (RDM) Adventure Game.

The RDM Adventure Game is a text-based role-playing interactive fiction serious game, based on the data management challenges of a research project. The game takes the form of an online choose-your-own-adventure format in which game players take a simulated research project through the following processes: data management planning, data collection/generation, data organisation, data description and research publication, while encountering data management challenges along the way.

The game was developed as part of a collaboration between the University of Bath Library and Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service between 2017 and 2020 by Alex Ball (University of Bath), Samuel Simango (Stellenbosch University) and Nushrat Khan (University of Bath).

In January 2021, the Wellcome Trust’s Early Career Researchers Advisory Board endorsed the game by including it in the Wellcome Open Research early career researchers pack, recognising it as a useful tool for researchers. Sonya Towers (Grants Adviser at the Wellcome Trust), stated:

“The game is a great, fun way to teach researchers about how to manage their research data, throughout the entire grant life cycle. I really like the way it feels like you are part of an exciting story, where each decision acts as a cog in determining how the story ends.”

Since the game’s launch in December 2020 it has been played by people across 32 countries, and has recently been shortlisted as one of the nominees for the NSTF-South32 Awards for an award under the data for research category.

If you are interested in playing the game, click here. For more information, please contact Samuel Simango at ssimango@sun.ac.za.

Atlas.ti campus license now available

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

We are thrilled to announce that we now have an Atlas ti campus license available to staff and students.

What is ATLAS.ti?

ATLAS.ti is a powerful workbench for the qualitative analysis of large bodies of textual, graphical, audio and video data.

Sophisticated tools help you to arrange, reassemble, and manage your material in creative, yet systematic ways. ATLAS.ti keeps you focused on the material itself. Whether your field is anthropology, economics, criminology, or medicine: ATLAS.ti will meet your qualitative analysis needs.

To learn how to put ATLAS.ti to good use in your research, visit the Research Blog

For more information watch this YouTube video.

The license is available to staff and students and the software can be downloaded on  www.sun.ac.za/softwarehub.  
Users first need to create their own account on Atlas.ti website and use the invite code to gain access to the license and software.

*Please note: Users must please register with their @sun email account and not external email addresses so that the licenses can be managed.

Bespoke Research ICT Service Desk launched

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

A collaborative effort between the SU Research Support Teams (including LIS, DRD, IT, and IG) saw the development of a bespoke Research ICT Service Desk

The Service Desk is an intuitive portal so SU researchers have one place to go for services and advice specifically related to research information and communications technology (Research ICT).

This includes services and advice related to data collection, data storage, data transfer, data visualisation, and more. Bringing the SU Research Support Teams together on one platform improves collaboration and knowledge sharing across teams to address researchers’ requirements more efficiently.

OneDrive for Business

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

What is OneDrive for Business?

OneDrive for Business is Microsoft’s file-hosting service that allows you to store, share and synchronise work files.  It is certified against the internationally recognised information security standards, but you are still responsible for using it in a safe and secure way.

Why use OneDrive for Business?

  • It provides 5TB of cloud storage space for each staff member and student. This means you have ample space to store your documents
  • Your data will always be available from anywhere, anytime, on any device with an internet connection
  • Your documents will also be backed up and safe if you have problems with your device’s hardware or if it gets lost or stolen.

How do I access OneDrive for Business?

All staff automatically has access to OneDrive and can be accessed in the following ways:

  • OneDrive desktop application

If you don’t have access to the OneDrive for Business application, you can download it here: https://microsoft.com/en-za/microsoft-365/onedrive/download.

  • Web Interface

Log on to Office365 with your email address and password.

  • OneDrive is also accessible via my.sun by clicking on the Office365 link or searching for Office365 in the search field.

What if I have been using OneDrive personal, Dropbox and other cloud storage options? 

You can keep on using them, but it is very important that you only use these storage options for your personal data.

OneDrive for Business and SharePoint online are available under the US MS Licence agreement for storage and sharing of institutional data. The storage and sharing of institutional data are not allowed on Dropbox, OneDrive personal or any other cloud storage

Important to know:

  • Familiarise yourself with copyright regulations. Make sure you know what you can store and share online.  SU copyright agreements do not extend to storing of documents protected under the copyright law on OneDrive for business or any other public store space.
  • You are entirely responsible for your own information. Be careful who you give rights and access to, as it will compromise your information if it’s visible to unwanted people.
  • You are responsible for synchronisation between online and local data. Synchronisation between online and local information needs to be set up correctly and done on a regular basis.
  • Keep in mind that access to cloud services when on campus will not incur any costs, but if you work from home your own data will be utilised.
  • If a staff member resigns or a student leaves the university, they will no longer have access to the information stored on their OneDrive. Remove any data stored on Microsoft One Drive and copy it on your own external hard drive or other online cloud storage, for example, Google Drive or Drop Box before you leave the university.

Further information:

https://www.agileit.com/news/benefits-of-microsoft-office-365-onedrive-business-collaboration/

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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