eResearch Report 2017 - 2018 - Page 4

eResearch Report 2017–18
Standing on strong
foundations to
support dataintensive research
in Africa
Professor Michael Kyobe
Deputy vice-chancellor for research and internationalisation
In March 2018, UCT implemented its research data management
(RDM) policy in response to a changed research landscape. It
has become almost standard for funders to demand the open
publication of research data. Soon it will be commonplace for
journals to ask for the data behind findings to be made public to
ensure replicable, verifiable science. And this is a good thing.
We need no reminding that
research is a public good. And
just as technology has meant
that we can today collect data
sets previously unimaginable, it
has also allowed us to share that
data with colleagues anywhere
in the world. And not only that –
we can share the software used
to analyse the data, or the tools
to visualise it. It means we can
collaborate better, and it also
means greater reliability in our
research outcomes.
For many, this step is a
frightening one. Technology
has moved so fast that it has,
in less than a decade, changed
the way we do a great many
things, from collecting our
data to communicating with
colleagues. Fortunately, as the
pages of this report show, UCT
has laid the foundations to
support this change.
UCT eResearch was formed
when the concepts of big data
in research and open science
were only starting to emerge.
Fortunately for the institution,
those who came before me, deputy
vice-chancellors Danie Visser and
Mamokgethi Phakeng, realised that,
soon, these concepts would no
longer be niche.
Today UCT is ready for dataintensive research and open
science. For this I would like to
thank all those who have been
working tirelessly to build these
strong foundations.

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