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

Author: Kirchner van Deventer (Page 1 of 4)

Library Research Week 2024

Visit the Library Research Week homepage for the latest news about the upcoming event!

Monday, 13 May

Launch of Library Research Week 2024

SunDMP (FAIR Wizard) Launch and Opening of Library Research Week

Professor Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies

Time: 15:30 – 16:00

Advancing Research Excellence: Stellenbosch University’s Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals

Time: 16:00 – 16:40

Tuesday, 14 May

Let’s kickstart the research process

Writing a sound research proposal: principles and process

Professor Susan van Schalkwyk

Time: 10:15 – 11:30

Writing a good proposal starts with good planning. This session on proposal writing will focus on how you can use nutshell writing to plan your proposal and get the writing process started.

EndNote for intermediate users

Mr. Kirchner van Deventer

Time: 11:30 – 13:00

This workshop will require a working knowledge of how EndNote operates and how to use its basic functions. The session’s focus will be on EndNote’s technical features that allow for greater customisation and precision.


Participants will learn

·         How to edit and create a custom style

·         How to use Term Lists

·         How to handle complicated references

Literature Reviews in Practice

Ms. Heila Mare & Mr. Kirchner van Deventer

Time: 14:00 – 16:00

This webinar will focus on how to extract the most important pieces of information from academic sources and how they should be applied in a literature review. Prior to the webinar, you will receive several academic articles that you will need to read through in preparation for the session. We will draw from various disciplines to be as inclusive as possible. It is highly recommended that you also view the following recording of the general principles of how to conduct a literature review:

Literature Reviews


Participants will learn:

·         How to break down a source using the Literature Synthesis Table

·         How to extract the most important information from a source

·         How to relay that information in your own words in a literature review

Wednesday, 15 May

Let’s excel in research strategies

Managing your research with SunDMP (FAIR Wizard)

Mr. Xabiso Xesi

Time: 09:00 – 10:00

The foundations of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles in managing research will be covered during this session and how the FAIR Wizard tool can help SU researchers implement these principles in the research workflow. Subjects including data management, creating metadata, and data sharing protocols will be addressed, focusing on how crucial it is to improve the discoverability and usability of research data.


·         Understanding the core principles of FAIR data and their significance in modern research practices.

·         knowledge of the FAIR Wizard tool’s capabilities, which can help researchers apply FAIR data concepts in an efficient manner.

·         Applying FAIR data concepts practically to your research projects to improve reproducibility and collaboration.

Mixed-methods research

Professor Stiaan Lamprecht

Time: 10:15 – 11:45

This is a research approach that combines both qualitative and quantitative methods in a single study. This approach has become increasingly popular in many fields, as it allows researchers to gain a deeper understanding of complex phenomena that cannot be fully understood using a single method.

This webinar will focus on discussing what is meant by “mixed method research” as well as provide insight on how to conduct mixed method research.

Introduction and Primer to Scoping Reviews

Dr Michael McCaul

Time: 13:45 – 15:15

This webinar is designed to provide an overview of scoping reviews, a type of literature review that is increasingly popular in the fields of health sciences, social sciences, and other disciplines. The webinar will cover the basic principles of scoping reviews, including their purpose, methodology, and key features, as well as provide examples of how scoping reviews can be used in research and practice. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussions with the presenter and other attendees.​

Thursday, 16 May

Let’s utilise tools for research

PowerBi: A Tool for Data Visualisation

Ms. Marié Roux

Time: 09:00 – 11:30

The workshop will be a hands-on introduction to Power BI, available for free through SU’s subscription to Microsoft 365.

Participants will learn the following:

·         How to install the desktop and connect to Microsoft Excel

·         ​Start visualising data easily with an extensive library of data visualisations.

·         ​How to build reports and dashboards

SPSS: The Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Software

Dr Cindy Steenekamp

Time: 11:30 – 13:00

The workshop will first focus on some of the foundational principles of quantitative research before it proceeds to the functionality and utility of SPSS as a tool for quantitative data analysis.

·         The workshop will include:

·         What is quantitative data and where does it come from?

·         Foundation of quantitative data analysis (levels of measurement); and

·         Introduction to SPSS.


Qualitative Research: The Basics

Dr Elizabeth le Roux

Time: 13:45 – 15:15

This webinar is tailored for emerging scientists (supervisors and postgraduate students) interested in doing or supervising qualitative research.

·         Principles for interpretivist research

·         Doing qualitative interviews

·         Interpreting analysed data

·         Preparing to interpret, theorise, and particularise with qualitative data.​

Friday, 17 May

Let’s strive for research excellence, in the face of adversity

Panel Discussion – Three years later: What has been the impact of Transformational Agreements at SU


Mr. Sakhile Mngomezulu, Professor Marena Manley and Melanie Lehnert-Bechle

Time: 09:00 – 10:15

How green spaces influence our wellbeing – Veggie Mandalas: Personal Research Journey

Prof. Karen Esler

Time: 10:30 – 11:10

How SciVal can benefit Researchers in Practice


Time: 11:30 – 12:30

The session will demonstrate how SciVal is used in specific cases, with specific examples of how the data in SciVal could be used by the researchers themselves.

Wiley Author Workshops this April

The Library and Information Service would like to invite you to join us for one of the upcoming Wiley Author workshops that will be held on 15 and 22 April. The first workshop, on 15 April, is aimed at early-career researchers who are looking to publish their first research paper. The April 22 workshop will be a more hands-on, practical workshop that is aimed at senior researchers and current authors who would like specific issues or concerns addressed. Click on the flier below to book your place now!

Common issues encountered with EndNote 21


As we are entering March, we at the Library and Information Service are thrilled to see how popular EndNote is among our clients and how excited some were when they heard that we finally got a license for the product. However, no transition to new software ever goes smoothly and as we assisted you in setting up the software, we noticed that some common issues are frequently encountered. These will be added to our EndNote Library Guide and will also be addressed in future EndNote workshops. Nevertheless, we believe it will be worthwhile to address some of these issues in this month’s newsletter. Below you will find a description of some common issues and how they can be solved:

  • Where to find the installation file
    • When you plan on installing EndNote, do not go to their website. You need to download the install file (Mac or PC) from the University’s Software HUB and also remember to copy the Product Key that is saved in the .TXT file.
  • Microsoft Word and Outlook needs to be closed for the installation to continue
    • It may sometimes look like you have closed MS Word, but it could still be running in the background.
      • Windows:
        • Click on the Windows icon (bottom left of the screen) and type: Task Manager
        • Once Task Manager has opened, search for Word in the Search Bar:

        • If there is any Word process running, select it and then click on End Task. After that you should be able to install EndNote.
      • Mac:
        • Sometimes on Mac devices, it may look like you closed Word, but you actually only closed the documents, but did not exit the application. To exit Word, you need to click on Word in the toolbar in the top left of the screen and then on Quit Word:

  • EndNote not opening in Mac, even though it says it has installed:
    • When EndNote opens for the first time on Mac devices, it looks as if nothing is happening because no new window pops up. However, EndNote does open, but it does not prompt you to create a new library. So, you need to create one:
      • At the EndNote toolbar on the top left of the screen, click on File>New:

      • EndNote gives a new library the default name ‘My EndNote Library’, but you can name it whatever you wish.
      • Very, very important: Make sure that you save the library on your Mac’s HardDrive and not on iCloud or any other cloud drive. This is essential to avoid the potential corruption of your library.
      • Once your library is created, it will open automatically and you can continue to use EndNote from there.
  • I am using the SU Harvard file, but I am noticing several errors
    • As EndNote is new to us at the library, so too is its style customisation feature and, admittedly, some errors have popped up in the style. However, each time an error is identified, it is corrected and a new version of the style is uploaded to our Library Guide. At this stage, we recommend that you download and replace the SU Harvard style every few weeks to ensure that you have the most up-to-date version of the style. Once we are satisfied that all the errors have been ironed out, we will share a general announcement to that effect.
    • You can download the latest version of the style here.
  • I have chosen the style I want to use in EndNote, but it isn’t the right one in Word:
    • You need to make sure that your preferred style is also selected in Word and not just in EndNote:

These are the most common issues we have encountered so far, but they are by no means the only ones. If you encounter a problem, you are more than welcome to contact your faculty librarian, or Kirchner van Deventer / Letlao Seloma in the Research Commons, so they can assist you with your issue.

Remember, EndNote is meant to make the research process simpler for you and if it does the opposite, then let us help you master the programme!

Enquiries: Kirchner van Deventer

Unlocking innovation: A #SmartResearcher workshop on the Makerspace

It has been two years now since we first opened our doors to researchers and other clients to use our Makerspace. However, we realise that Makerspace is a new concept to most researchers and clients and it is necessary to constantly provide training and workshops on what the space has to offer as well as how to safely operate the tools and software in this space.

Therefore, to showcase what the Makerspace offers, we now have a dedicated #SmartResearcher workshop where staff from the facility will introduce you to all the available services and equipment. This workshop is scheduled for 13 March 2024 from 12:00 – 13:00 and will consist of an introductory presentation that gives an overview of all the services available to clients who are both on- and off-campus. Those who will attend in person will then be taken on a brief tour of the facility where you will get to see all the equipment in action. It is hoped that the training will lead to maximum utilisation of the space as well as result in researchers and clients being aware of how to operate some of our tools and software to achieve maximum results safely.

The goal of the Makerspace has always been to enable researchers, students and staff to create new digital artifacts and materials, adopt new digital tools, processes, and methods and participate in innovative projects, communities, and discussions. The space and associated services are meant to showcase new and innovative digital technologies that can further enhance our students and researchers’ academic endeavours. The Makerspace has three 3D printers, as well as a 3D scanner that lets you scan an object that can then be replicated. There is also a variety of electronic equipment available for our clients to tinker with.

Space for in-person attendance is limited, so book your spot here!


Save the Date: Library Research Week 2024

Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service’s Library Research Week will take place during the week of 13 to 17 May 2024. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on the programme and the range of exciting topics that we will cover this year. In line with one of Stellenbosch University’s core values, the theme for Library Research Week 2024 is Let’s achieve excellence in research. So, save the date and be ready for what will be an innovative and relevant learning experience that we believe will help you excel in your research!

Library induction for new staff and postgraduate students

If you are new to Stellenbosch University, but you are a postgraduate student or a new staff member, it can be daunting to have to discover all the services and facilities available to you and, especially, how to access them. As part of the Library and Information Service’s #SmartResearcher training series, we offer a Library induction that specifically caters to postgraduate students and academic staff. This three-hour session will introduce you to all of the services and facilities that the Stellenbosch University Library has to offer. You will learn how to find your faculty librarian, how to navigate the library’s website, how to access library guides that are important to your research area and how to contact the library for assistance.

You will also be introduced to Research Impact services, Research Data Services, Open Access publication, the Carnegie Research Commons, the Makerspace and our institutional repositories.

Below are the dates available in the first semester:

Both sessions will be presented in hybrid format, so you can choose to attend in person or online.

Remember, we are here to help you excel in whatever you aim to achieve!

Migrating from Mendely to EndNote

January has come and gone and we at the library are in full swing getting ready for the academic year. Part of that preparation involves preparing our clients for the use of the newly acquired EndNote 21 reference management software. For new clients, or for those who are embarking on a new degree, journal article or research paper, switching from Mendeley to EndNote will be fairly easy. However, if you are mid-way through writing up your degree or other academic work, then it can become more complicated to switch to an entirely new programme.

In fact, we strongly recommend that those who are already working on documents using Mendeley Cite (the MS Word add-on for Mendeley Reference Manager), should stick with Mendeley until they are finished with their current research. There is currently no way to convert a document formatted with Mendeley Cite to EndNote. If, however, you are still using the original version of Mendeley, called Mendeley Desktop, then it would be possible to convert your document. Along with the document conversion, you will also have to transfer your Mendeley references or library to EndNote. This is an easy process, but if you have multiple PDF articles attached to your references, then these will not be transferred along with the Mendeley records. To clarify everything that’s been said above, we recommend following the below steps in the order:

  1. Move all of your PDF articles to EndNote.
  2. It’s only then that you can convert your Mendeley library to an EndNote library.
    • Take note that if you have organised your Mendeley library into multiple folders, there is unfortunately no way to copy the folders to EndNote. You will either have to create new folders (called Groups in EndNote) in EndNote and export the contents of each folder separately.
  3. If you have a Word document (formatted with Mendeley Cite-o-matic), then you can convert it to an EndNote formatted document.
  4. If you are using the new version of Mendeley (Mendeley Reference Manager), then you won’t be able to convert your document.

Instructions on how to do all of the above are available on our EndNote Library Guide under the Moving your Mendeley Library to EndNote tab.

Remember, if you struggle at any stage with switching to EndNote, do not hesitate to contact Kirchner van Deventer and we will gladly assist you!

If you would like to schedule and appointment regarding EndNote, please fill out the form below:

Tools for thought: Rayyan

Rayyan is a powerful, intelligent systematic review platform that allows you to do large scale analyses of thousands of records. It allows researchers to organise, manage and accelerate their collaborative systematic literature reviews. Rayyan understands language, learns from decisions, and helps research teams work quickly through even their largest sets of references reducing around 80% of your screening efforts. Rayyan is user-friendly and 93% of our members report learning to use Rayyan took them less than an hour or a day to master (Tryphosa, 2023). In the video below, we go over the Rayyan’s key features and introduce you to its potential benefits when using it for systematic (or other) reviews.


Update on EndNote implementation


With January nearing faster than some of us might hope, we are working hard to have everything in place so our users can download, install, and access EndNote in the first week of January 2024. The SU Harvard Style is ready for use and once we have the full license, our clients are welcome to make recommendations or request changes to the style. We have also identified six “super users” who will be responsible for providing EndNote support and training in their respective areas. They are:

Kirchner van Deventer, Manager: Carnegie Research Commons

Letlao Seloma, Librarian: Carnegie Research Commons

Sanda Nyoka, Law Librarian

Lucinda Raath, Arts and Social Sciences Librarian

Yusuf Ras, Head: Medicine and Health Sciences Library

Heila Mare, Theology Librarian

These six librarians have received advanced training in EndNote. The next phase in EndNote training will be in-house training for other library staff. This training will be more basic in nature, but will allow most of our staff members to assist in basic queries and troubleshooting. If advanced support is needed, you will be referred to one of the librarians listed above.

In addition to our in-house training, we will also provide monthly training to all SU staff and students who need it. This training will form part of our popular #SmartResearcher training sessions, so keep an eye out for the 2024 schedule! There will be two types of training. The first will be a session on how to migrate your existing Mendeley or Zotero Library to EndNote. During this training we will also take you through the process of downloading and installing EndNote on your device(s). The second type will be a practical training session where we will take you through all of EndNote’s features and capabilities. We will show you how to import references from databases, how to search some databases from within EndNote, how to navigate your library and how the MS Word plugin, Cite-while-you-write, works. Our EndNote Library Guide will also be up and running by January 2024 and it should prove a useful resource for FAQs, troubleshooting and other guides on how to use the tool.

We hope that you are as excited as us about this new reference management tool and may it contribute to the success of your research journey!


Stellenbosch University to get EndNote license

EndNote - Ritme

Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service is very pleased to announce that, starting January 2024, staff and students will have access to EndNote 21. The decision to acquire EndNote follows a survey we conducted earlier this year on our clients’ satisfaction with Mendeley as the supported reference management tool at Stellenbosch University. The survey indicated a large level of dissatisfaction with the reliability of Mendeley. At the same time, we conducted a benchmarking exercise to see what reference management software other institutions were using. It was notable that most of the research-intensive institutions were subscribed to EndNote. Given the overall dissatisfaction with Mendeley and what appears to be the software of choice at other institutions, the decision was made to subscribe to EndNote.

EndNote is one of the best reference management software packages available. With EndNote you can manage and format your citations with ease and its integration with cloud services and word processors are some of the best. Here is a short list of some of EndNote’s features:

EndNote’s style customisation feature is especially promising as we will be able to create custom styles according to our clients’ specific needs. In addition, EndNote offers a level of software stability that open-source reference managers unfortunately do not provide as yet. Naturally, we will offer support and training in how to migrate from Mendeley or Zotero to EndNote, if you wish to do so.

We will share further announcements regarding training and other resources as we get closer to January, so keep your eye on Library Research News for further updates. In the meantime, have a look at this video to see what some of the new features of EndNote 21 are.

Enquiries: Kirchner van Deventer

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