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

Author: Marié Roux (Page 1 of 6)

Summary of Open Access Week 2022

Stellenbosch University Library celebrated this year’s International Open Access Week 2022 by presenting a three-day programme that took place from 26-28 October. The celebrated theme “Open for Climate Justice” showcased a number of SU speakers who addressed the sub-themes of Climate Diversity, Climate Studies & Global Leadership and Climate Sustainability & Open Access at Stellenbosch University.

26 October – Climate Diversity

Prof Ruppel from the department of Mercantile Law, addressed the issues of climate justice versus climate responsibility, a South-North perspective.  He noted that the more affluent countries, such as those in the Global North, are responsible for around half of all the greenhouse gas emissions.  Whereas the Global South with the least greenhouse gas emissions, are the ones who are suffering as a result.  Yet the accountability of these adverse effects of climate change, hence climate justice, is complex and shrouded in legal, political, economic and philosophical issues.  He believes the North-South inequality can bridge the gap by recognising and acknowledging each others’ different realities and thereby objectively tackle global climate change.

Dr Okoliko from the School of Public Leadership, talked about a social media research study of public views on the COP26 coal phase-out deal for South Africa.  Their analysis showed Facebook to be the primary source of news and the ‘go to’ platform for several South African news media.  By analysing the comments and views of the people, they discovered an overwhelmingly negative sentiment towards the deal.  However, the negativity is based on legitimate issues, such as the proper allocation of funding, the pros and cons of this deal for South Africa, the environmental impact and potential job losses within the industry.

Prof Helen de Klerk and Mr Bailey from the department of Geography & Environmental Studies presented a dual paper.  They looked at various open access resources that provided geospatial data in geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) data.  These data repositories can be used for creating climate forecasting, climate change modules and climate simulations.  They also discussed the basic and advanced uses of these open data resources.

Recording: Open Access Week 2022 Climate Diversity 26 October 2022

27 October –  Climate Studies & Global Leadership

Prof Guy Midgley from the department of Botany & Zoology and School for Climate Studies gave a brief overview of climate inequality in so far that less than 3% of the world’s investment into climate science is allocated to the whole of the African content.  He also discussed regional solutions, for example the green hydrogen deal will work for Namibia, but it cannot work for South Africa.  By way of demonstration, he used a MIT database, En-Roads, demonstrating the various vectors that are involved in decision-making when it comes to finding solutions to climate challenge.

Miss Mbuyisa and Miss Murray from the department of Botany & Zoology, represented the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC) Youth Ambassadors for 2022.  They not only represented Stellenbosch University but were also the only representatives from an African University.  They, along with several other SU students, were the African voices for a global youth programme that involved discussions around climate change.  They gained insight from multiple disciplines and learned about West-centric ideas verses Africanacity. Having gained considerable knowledge and experience, they were able to host the African Regional Forum at the School for Climate Studies.

Recording: Open Access Week 2022 Climate Studies & Global Leadership 27 October 2022 

28 October – Climate Sustainability & Open Access at SU

Prof Chris Reddy from Curriculum Studies, started off by explaining the natural ecological structure of cycles and the human or man-made environmental structure.  Although humankind is part of the natural cycle, we are not within the ecological cycle and our actions and interventions are causing disruptions in the ecological cycle.  For this, environmental education is an essential dimension, since in it lies the sphere of a relationship with our environment.  This sphere allows for critical thinking based on local and community-driven issues.  It advocates for localised change, developing emancipatory life practices, and a place for sustainable living practices.

Prof Booysen from the department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering discussed the use and consumption of water, energy, and electricity.  The department developed three devices, namely What’on, Geasy and count Dropula.  These devices collected data from geysers in various households, various schools and from the driving patterns of minibus taxis.  The collected data is openly accessible and countries such as Switzerland, France, the United States, Oxford and even Eskom, are now using the data to run simulation models.  Next on the agenda for the department is water quality meters, smart green tunnels and air quality sensors.

Dr Tshuma from the department of Agronomy discussed how agricultural activities contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, following a 10-year trial study involving eight countries. Their analysis showed that using nitrogen or synthetic fertiliser increases crop production. Their study also showed that synthetic fertilisers can be replaced by using more natural techniques to produce the same yield.  These techniques include animal manure, legumes, crop rotation and tillage methods, to name but a few.

Prof Esler from the department of Conservation Ecology & Entomology discussed her personal experiences about her connectedness and reciprocity with nature.  Experiencing home invasion, grief and stress she discovered the synergy and beauty of growing your own vegetable garden.  This timeless activity re-connected her with nature.  From her own garden, she started a hobby and created mandalas, which became her meditation tool.  Nature nurtures, and for her, nature is not just about a physical connection or producing food, but also a mental and spiritual connection that can heal both body and mind, and by healing the planet you heal yourself.  She also believes urban gardening can go a long way in combating climate change.

Mrs Seyffert-Wirth from Stellenbosch University Library gave an overview of why we are celebrating open access, and the benefits of providing free and unhindered access to research output.  She discussed the various open access initiatives that have been initiated, hosted and maintained by the Library & Information Service for the past 14 years.  This includes SUNScholar an institutional repository; an Open Access Publishing fund, now halted; 20 active journals; and a digital heritage repository.  She introduced the Library’s plans for the future, which include transitioning digital repositories to connect with the semantic web; finding a connection between different library collections using various data science techniques and flagship projects to host Digital Humanities connections in collaboration with some of the SU departments.

Recording: Open Access Week 2022 Climate Sustainability & Open Access at SU 28 October 2022  

Author: Paulette Talliard

The digital heritage repository: SUNDigital Collections

In almost ten years of existence, SUNDigital Collections, a digital heritage repository of the Library and Information Service, has showcased special collections and unique items from the Library to the public. It offers a single connection point to various collections of primary resources as well as digital research output. In support of digital scholarship, sharing our valuable resources and promoting intellectual collaboration the Library and Information Service offers free online access to these digital collections. The repository currently contains almost 16 000 items in 43 collections.

In recent years, Digital Humanities (DH), an area of scholarly activity at the intersection of computing or digital technologies and the disciplines of the Humanities has become a recognized discipline. In exploring how the Library can support Digital Humanities, it was found that SUNDigital Collections is an ideal home for DH projects.

One of the flagship projects is the hosting of the “Hardekraaltjie” collection in collaboration with the SU Transformation office’s Visual Redress project. Stellenbosch University engaged with members of the Tiervlei community and other stakeholders to initiate a “deep human-centered community participation process” to commemorate members of this community that were laid to rest at the site previously known as Hardekraaltjie cemetery. This cemetery is located on the grounds of the university’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Science. The University is committed to, in consultation with other members of the affected communities, to erect a memorial installation at the site of the cemetery to remind us of a past when the dignity of the people in this area was tragically violated. The cemetery was in use from 1909 to 1946 and had a central place in the then Tiervlei community, which was subjected to forced removals under the Group Areas Act of the apartheid regime.

SUNDigital Collections now gives a voice to the displaced by hosting inter alia recordings of interviews with members of the Hardekraaltjie community. The project is still in its infancy but will showcase deeds, images, maps, articles, poems and other material related to Hardekraaltjie once completed.

Please visit the repository for a peek into our digital heritage.

Author: Mimi Seyffert-Wirth

The special collections of DOMUS

The Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS) is the special collections section of the Music Library. The aim of DOMUS is to collect, preserve and make available, rare materials of musicologists, musicians, music institutions and music societies. Representing mostly South African demography, our collection development focuses on South African and African content. Document types include paper documents (for example, correspondence, photographs, notes, and music manuscripts) and audio-visual materials (for example, CDs, DVDs, reel tapes and videos). Items added to DOMUS are either as direct donations or through collaboration with staff from the Africa Open Institute (AOI) and the Music Department.

Initial collections included Africana sheet music, rare books, collections of former Konservatorium staff members (e.g., Friedrich Wilhelm Jannasch and Hans Endler) of composers (e.g., Albert Coates and Rosa Nepgen), bibliophile Michael Scott, physical chemist Frits Stegmann, and newspaper critic Charles Weich. From 2005, the music special collections became known as DOMUS, based on a project that Prof Stephanus Muller proposed to the SU Library and Information Service and the Music Department.

In due course, more South African music collections were added to the existing DOMUS collections.  These collections represent different South African styles, languages and cultures and include artists such as Basil Coetzee, David Kramer, Jonathan Butler, Coenie de Villiers, Dizu Plaatjies, and Zayn Adams from the collection of producer Patrick Lee Lee-Thorp, Brenda Fassie, Johnny Clegg, Lucky Dube, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Mandoza, Prophets of da City, Rebecca Malope and the Soweto String Quartet from the collection of producer Pam Devereux-Harris, and Jeremy Taylor, Roger Lucey,  Kippie Moeketsi and Hugh Masekela from the Hidden Years Music Archive Project (HYMAP).

DOMUS also holds the collections of Afrikaans rock musician Anton Goosen, Taliep Petersen (musician and director of musicals) and composer and accordionist Nico Carstens. Anton Goosen, or ‘Liedjieboer’ (it is loosely translated as a person farming with songs). His song, ‘Blommetjie-gedenk-aan-my’, is regarded as the first rock song in Afrikaans, and this song earned Goosen the title of ‘Father of Afrikaans rock’. Recently, the book, ‘Mr Entertainment: The story of Taliep Petersen, by Paula Fourie was published.

Nico Carstens LP’s in foyer of Music Library

Jewish music is also represented through the collection of Fay Singer, who established the South African Jewish Music Centre (SAJMC) in 1992 to preserve Jewish music within a South African context by means of performances, presentations and lectures.

The Eoan Group collection documents the activities of the group, founded in District Six by Helen Southern-Holt in 1933. The Group operated under difficult circumstances under apartheid. From 1966, for example, they could perform in the City Hall before mixed audiences through permit applications.

Collections of South African art music composers include Graham Newcater, Stefans Grové, Michael Blake, Hubert du Plessis, Christopher James and John Simon. The collections of filmmaker Aryan Kaganof and musicologist Christine Lucia, as well as collections of music societies such as the Southern African Church and Concert Organists Society (SACOS) and Obelisk Music are also included.

It is clear from these examples that DOMUS collects diverse collections that link in with Stellenbosch University’s mandate of inclusivity, transformation and redress as set out in the Transformation and Redress Policy.

More information on DOMUS and its collections can be found in the DOMUS Library guide. The article, ‘Armed with a light bulb at the end of a cord’ provides a detailed history of DOMUS for the period 2005 to 2015.

Authors: Santie de Jongh and Beulah Gericke-Geldenhuys

From Open Access to Open Data

Image source: JulieBeck

In the past decade, the management of research data has come to take on a more prominent role at tertiary education institutions around the world. This has been primarily due to the increasingly data-centric route that academic research has taken. At the same time, academic institutions have come to be influenced by the Open Access movement which advocates for the unrestricted access and use of published research outputs. A convergence of these two developments has culminated in a call for unrestricted access and use of research data. The term commonly reserved for data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone is: ‘Open Data’.

The move to make research data more openly accessible is being pushed through by research funding agencies as well as academic journal publishers. In recent years, some of Stellenbosch University’s research funders have instituted mandates that require the implementation of adequate research data management practices in order to enable the open accessibility of research data. Such practices should comply with certain best practices, such as the following requirements:

  1. research data should be managed through the creation and submission of data management plans; and
  2. research data should comply with the FAIR Data Principles by being findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

As a leading research institution, Stellenbosch University sought to address this issue by setting up an institutional research data repository known as SUNScholarData. SUNScholarData is a multidisciplinary institutional research data repository that was launched in August 2019. The repository is used for the registration, archival storage, sharing and dissemination of research data produced or collected in relation to research conducted under the auspices of Stellenbosch University. SUNScholarData creates a medium through which Stellenbosch University’s research data can be made findable and accessible. It also facilitates the interoperability and re-usability of the university’s research data.

SUNScholarData was not set up in isolation. Instead, it was set up as part of a broader implementation which also included the formulation of a governance framework and the development of supporting research data services that are provided by dedicated staff members at the University’s Library and Information Services. Such services include data curation, client consultations and related training sessions. The use of SUNScholarData is supported by the SUNScholarData Library Guide. This is an online resource that provides a wealth of information about the repository in an easily digestible manner.

For more information about how you can make your research data openly accessible please contact the Research Data Services division at:

Peer Review Week 2022: It’s quiz time!

The week of 19-23 September was Peer Review Week and the theme was Research Integrity: Creating and supporting trust in research.This was a global virtual event celebrating the important role that the peer review plays in the publishing process. Individuals, institutions, and organisations participated and shared information on quality peer review practices. Some of the goals of Peer Review Week are:

  • To emphasise the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication
  • To showcase the work of editors and reviewers
  • To share research and advance best practices
  • To highlight the latest peer review innovations and applications

To find out whether you are up to date with the peer review process, take the quiz here.

To see more about all the activities related to this year’s Peer Review Week, read here. Videos are shared via the Peer Review Week YouTube channel.

It is also possible to follow most of the activities, blog posts etc., by following the hashtag: #PeerReviewWeek22


Join us for Open Access Week

Each year International Open Access Week is celebrated in the month of October.  The theme for this year, Open for Climate Justice, is in the spirit of raising awareness, connecting, collaborating and crossing borders.  The Library will host speakers from various departments across the Stellenbosch University community.

The programme will run from 26 – 28 October 2022, and will take place in the Electronic Classroom of the Stellenbosch University Library from 13:00 every afterternoon.  Live streaming will be used to broadcast to the branch libraries.  Recordings of the sessions will also be made available afterwards. Come and listen to speakers such as Prof Guy Midgley, our very own GAUC Global Youth Ambassadors, Prof Helen de Klerk, Prof Oliver Ruppel, Dr Flackson Tshuma, Curtis Bailey, Dr Dominic Okoliko, Prof Karen Esler, Prof Thinus Booysen and Prof Chris Reddy, as they will be discussing climate change, open access and the challenges of understanding mother nature.

Registration is free and more details are available on the Library’s website.

Please contact Paulette Talliard for more information.

Submit your thesis/dissertation for December 2022 graduation

December may still be two months away, but the University is all geared up for the December 2022 graduation.  Since 2008, Stellenbosch University only accepts theses or dissertations that are electronically submitted.  Those who are set to graduate in December and have been nominated by their supervisors can now submit their final documents on the SU Thesis/Dissertation online system.

At the Stellenbosch University Library, the staff is also ready to assist with this completely online process. It firstly involves the nomination by the supervisor. Secondly, the submission of the thesis or dissertation by the student and, thirdly, the acceptance thereof by the supervisor.  For more information on these steps, see our guidelines here. Please join us on 11 October when we present a webinar on the submission process.  Please book here if you are interested to attend.

Enquiries: Paulette Talliard

Your ORCID iD is all about being connected!

Did you know that your ORCID iD is all about being connected? Many researchers create their iDs in order to apply for funding at the NRF or to submit a paper for publication. But you can do so much more. ORCID is all about the importance of being connected, either to your Stellenbosch University identity, to the databases where your articles are indexed, to funders, publishers, organisations, and so on. In this blog post, we will explore some of the different types of “connectedness” which are very important for you as a researcher.

Connect to the Stellenbosch University integration

We would like to encourage you to connect your ORCID ID to your StellenboschUniversity identity.
Please follow this link and follow the steps below.

  • First sign in to the SU portal
  • You will be directed to the “Manage your researcher identities” page
  • Click on the “Connect” button under ORCID
  • If you already have an ORCID ID you will be able to sign in and authorise SU to view and update your ORCID profile
  • If you don’t have an ID yet, click on “Register now”, complete the form and authorise SU to view and update your profile, all in one step!
  • We encourage you to use your email address to register.

Read more about this aspect in a previous blog post.

Connect to your Scopus Author iD

Option 1: Link your ORCID iD from Scopus Author ID

1. Go to Scopus Author search
2. Search by your name and “Stellenbosch University” in the Affiliation field
3. Click on your name in the results list to open your profile page. (Please note that you won’t find an Author ID if you don’t have works already indexed by Scopus)
4. If you do have an Author ID, select “Connect to ORCID”
6. Follow the steps to associate your Scopus author profile with your ORCID record

Option 2: Linking Scopus Author ID from ORCID

1. Log in to ORCID
2. In the Works section, select ‘Add works’ and then ‘Search & link’
3. Select Scopus Elsevier from the list and click on authorise
4. Follow the steps to associate your Scopus profile and works with ORCID

Connect to ResearcherID on Web of Science

ResearcherID profiles, which were previously available in Publons, have been merged with the Web of Science interface.  It is now called “researcher profiles” and allows you to manage your publications, track citation counts and calculate your h-index. You can add publications that are indexed by Web of Science or import them from another source. You can also manage your peer reviews now on the researcher profile on Web of Science.

You should ensure that you only have one ResearcherID.  If you already have a profile, please remember to link it with ORCID.

Register for a researcher profile and link it to your ORCID iD:

  1. Register an account on the Web of Science platform (only if you don’t have a Researcher ID yet. First do a search under the “Researchers” tab to make sure whether you have a profile or not. If you have a profile, claim it and add your ORCID iD)
  2. Make sure that you connect your ORCID iD under “Settings” (see image below)
  3. On your profile page, click on edit and then the tab “ORCID syncing” to make sure that they are synced with each other (see image below)
  4. Add further information  to your profile

Read more about Web of Science researcher profiles here.


Connect to Crossref

It is very important to connect your ORCID iD to the database Crossref, because it will then automatically update your ORCID record as soon as you publish a new online article associated with a DOI. Read more here about this great feature.

 Get help

Enquiries: Marié Roux or Kirchner van Deventer

Read more about ORCID and its connectedness in this article: Connected Research


Welcome to Special Collections

Special Collections is a unique space in the Stellenbosch University Library where we focus on research, preservation, and accessibility of unique research material. The division house three sections, in the main library 1) Africana, 2) Manuscript section and 3) Rare books. The Music Library’s Special Collections is called the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS).

Researchers from all faculties are welcome to make use of the research sources in Special Collections.  To make optimal use of this collection researchers are requested to make an appointment by sending an e-mail to Special Collections is a closed collection. Books in this collection are searchable in the library catalogue and you are able to use the material, but you will not be able to borrow it. As preservation is one of the primary goals, clients will be requested to handle material with care, using a book cradle to support the books, wearing gloves, and no photocopies can be made.

Africana consists of a collection of valuable books, pamphlets, maps, pictorial works, and other material on sub-Saharan Africa, with a specific focus on the political, economic, and social history of South Africa, the Western Cape and the Stellenbosch district.  Books published from 1600 until 2022 form part of this collections.



Rare Books is a treasure trove of curiosities. A collection of valuable, unique, and sometimes irreplaceable books on a variety of subjects, including art, the sciences, religion, history, literature, and popular culture. This collection houses first- and special editions, signed copies and unique binding of printed material dating back from 1490 to the present.

Manuscript Section houses more than 461 document collections of individuals or organisations covering categories like the music, architecture, art, literature, political, social, and economic history of South Africa and, specifically, from the Western Cape. Finding aids to the indexes of the document collections and examples of documents are available on SUNDigital.

Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS) is housed in the Music Library and consists of information on special music collections in South Africa aimed at stimulating music research on South African materials in South Africa and internationally.

For more information, researchers can visit the Special Collections library guides at:

Special Collections

Directory of South African Music Collections

Author: Marieta Buys

Stellenbosch University’s three repositories

Did you know that the Library has three different repositories?

SUNScholar  – Stellenbosch University’s institutional research repository

SUNScholar might be the most well-known of our repositories. Since the inception of SUNScholar and its predecessor, Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETD),  the items in SUNScholar have grown steadily to reach a substantial number of 29 500 full-text items in 2021.  The entire process of submission, evaluation, verification and acceptance takes place online.  The ingest of new data into SUNScholar is partly due to the biannual graduation ceremonies, the SU research report and authors’ self-archived published articles.  Self-archiving of published articles gives authors the opportunity to disseminate their research more widely, as SUNScholar has established itself as an accredited institutional repository.

In total SUNScholar had 461 735 visits and 158 470 items downloaded. In the graph below it is interesting to see from which continents it is mostly visited.

SUNDigital – Digital Collections

SUNDigital has also been around for a number of years, but might not be as well-known as SUNScholar. A wealth of interesting original manuscripts, maps and photographs have been digitised to form collections within SUNDigital. The total number of items in this digital heritage repository is 15 896 (2021). The repository usage is high at 51 983 times visited, and 37 051 downloads in total.

SUNScholarData  –  Stellenbosch University’s research data repository

The new kid on the block is SUNScholarData. Since its inception in 2019, a growing number of depositors have contributed to the datasets housed in this repository, including linked PLoS datasets. The use of this repository is also growing with 5 034 views and 3 078 downloads in 2021.

Enquiries: Paulette Talliard and Samuel Simango

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