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

Category: Open Access

Developing a plan for communicating your research

The following steps might be a good way to improve your online visibility as a researcher and assist you with communicating about your research:

  1.  Create and maintain online profiles (e.g. Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Academia).
  2.  Use persistent identifiers (e.g. ORCID, Researcher ID in Publons, DOIs) to disambiguate yourself as an author or to link to your work.
  3.  Publish in Open Access journals or choose Open Access options.
  4.  Use Creative Commons licenses for your work for re-use.
  5.  Self-archive pre- or post-prints to institutional repositories (SUNScholar).
  6.  Publish your data to data repositories (SUNScholarData).
  7.  Make social media engagement about your research a regular habit (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  8.  Engage your audience in meaningful conversations about the topics that you are interested in.
  9.  Connect with other researchers by means of academic network tools (ResearchGate, Mendeley, etc)
  10.  Appeal to various audiences via multiple publication types (academic articles, news items, blog posts, magazine articles)

It will be important to check in on your goals often, at least once in six months, or when you have published a new article.

Get help:
Marié Roux
Faculty Librarians
Research Commons Librarians

Library guide: Research Impact & Scholarly Profiles, University of California, Berkeley Library
Library guide: The Research Process: Improve your impact, Stellenbosch University 

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.

International Open Access Week 2019

International Open Access week is celebrated every year globally during the last week of October. The theme this year is “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge”.

In celebration of Open Access week the Academy Science of South Africa in partnership with the Library and Information Service will be hosting a dialogue on Open Access publishing lead by Prof Jonathan Jansen. More information on the event is available here.

During Open Access week the Library also uses the opportunity to draw attention to our own Open Access initiatives, which are the following:

  • SUNScholar institutional repository
    • Launched in 2008
    • Provides access to over 55 800 research outputs of SU (including theses, dissertations and articles)
    • Approximately 600 000 visits and 250 000 downloads per annum
  • SUNJournals open access journal hosting platform
    • Launched in 2011
    • Currently hosts 25 journals affiliated with SU
    • Over the last three years these journals collectively hosted more than 300 research outputs contributed by Stellenbosch University researchers
  • SUNDigital Collections digital heritage repository
    • Launched in 2013
    • Showcases library Special Collections
    • 12 917 items in 30 collections
    • Approximately 14 000 visits and 10 000 downloads per annum
  • SUNScholarData research data repository
    • Launched in 2019
    • A repository for SU researchers to share and disseminate their research data in accordance with good research data management practices
    • Facilitates the findability, accessibility and reusability of the university’s research data

Article by : Mimi Seyffert-Wirth