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

Month: July 2018

Overview of Library Research Support Services @ SU

The Library and Information Service provides a variety of services to support postgraduate students, academic staff, researchers and postdoctoral students at each stage of the research lifecycle. Some focus areas ensure access to the best possible academic sources, facilitating scholarly communication and promoting research output. Herewith a description of these services which the Library offers:

Information Services

Each Faculty of the University is assigned one or more Faculty Librarians to provide subject-specific library support. You are welcome to contact your Faculty Librarian about information searches, library orientation, information literacy instruction, collection development, scholarly publication and citation reports.

Carnegie Research Commons

The Research Commons is a research environment intended for use by postgraduate students at masters and doctoral level, as well as academic staff and researchers. Professional and peer assistance is available to provide researcher-orientated services. It is equipped with computers, workstations and seminar rooms, a video conferencing facility, as well as areas for discussion and relaxation.

Research Impact

Citation analysis, also known as bibliometrics, is becoming increasingly important for research evaluation and the meaurement of research impact. The Library subscribes to tools to assist with these measurements which are useful for NRF ratings, CV’s, interviews, evaluations, etc.

Research Impact services include citation analysis services (article, author,  journal, departmental or faculty analyses), services around unique author identifiers (ORCID), assistance with where to publish and advice on improving your impact as a researcher. Please contact Marié Roux for further assistance.

Digital Scholarship

The Digital Scholarship division delivers the following services:

Open Access

The Library and Information Service invested significantly in resources in growing its Open Access services to its user communities and offers the following suite of Open Access initiatives:

SUNScholarSUNJournals, SUNConferencesSUNDigital Collections and the Open Access Publication Fund.

Read here more on the policy on mandatory self-archiving of research output.

Research Data Management

Research Data Management (RDM) entails planning for the manner in which research data will be managed during and after the research process and includes controlling the collection, processing, analysis, sharing, dissemination, curation and reuse of research data. Research Data services at the library include training and workshops on RDM as well as support for researchers and students in terms of aspects of RDM.

Special Collections

A substantial collection of manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints and photos is housed in the Special Collections Division (Africana, Manuscripts, Rare books) and the Documentation Centre of the Music Library (DOMUS). This division has as its primary mission the acquisition and preservation of rare materials, making it accessible to clients as well as preserving it for posterity.

Research Workshops

A varied training programme is presented to postgraduate students and academic staff throughout the year to assist you in making optimal use of the Library’s information sources and discovery tools as well as to enhance your research productivity. Among the topics are Improving your literature search strategy, Copyright issues in theses and dissertation writing, Finding Government Statistics, Mendeley, Maximising your research impact, Where to publish your research, The benefits of Open Access and Introduction to Research Data Management.

Library Guides

Librarians compile guides of recommended resources that provide a useful starting point for finding relevant subject information sources. Additionally, a number of library guides provide in-depth information on specific topics such as how to find, access and use information effectively, bibliometrics, where to publish your research, referencing and many more. A number of guides contain training material and step-by-step information.

Library Research Week 2018

The Library and Information Service will be presenting its 6th Library Research Week from 30 July to 3 August 2018. This year the theme is Research in Action. Emerging Stellenbosch University researchers and students will be equipped with practical knowledge of research essentials such as their literature search strategy, writing a research proposal, copyright issues and managing research data.

The following themes will feature on the separate days:

  • Research essentials
  • Historical research
  • Research data
  • Writing
  • Wellness support

For the first time, Tygerberg Campus will have their own version of Research Week in the brand new Medicine and Health Sciences Library.

Please click here for more information and to register for the different sessions.

Journal Citation Reports for 2017 now available

The Journal Citation Reports with 2017 data are now available. The following new features are included:

  • Re-designed and enhanced journal profile pages (see screenshots below)
  • Document-level transparency for the JIF and new indicators
  • Citation network expansion: Citations now include the contribution of the Book Citation Index
  • New contextual information: Geographical data of authors and a list of top contributing institutions.

Find the Journal Citation Reports on the Library Homepage under Find/E-databases/Journal Citation Reports.

These metrics could be helpful in finding a good journal, but remember that there is no guarantee that an individual article in a journal with a high impact factor will be well-cited. JCR and the Journal Impact Factor can be useful in helping you to choose a journal, but it is always good to use it in combination with other methods too, such as asking the opinion of a colleague or supervisor, or maybe your own knowledge of the editors of the specific journal.