eResearch Report 2017 - 2018 - Page 5

UCT eResearch:
The journey
Dr Dale Peters
UCT eResearch director
The Greek poet Constantine
Cavafy, addressing perhaps
the hero Odysseus on his
homeward voyage to the
mythical island of Ithaka, has
a simple message for all of us
about appreciating the value
of the journey. The eResearch
journey has only recently
begun, and yet in our haste and
eagerness to satisfy the needs
of every researcher, we forget
that it is the path that can
teach us the most, and is also
the most enjoyable.
The annual eResearch Report
provides such a moment of
reflection, an opportunity to
savour the satisfaction of the
journey expressed in these pages
by an ever-expanding group of
colleagues across the university.
The rapid development of
research infrastructure, both
locally and globally, has set the
research ecosystem on a path
of intense transition to open
science. Council approval of
the research data management
(RDM) policy has focused much
of our attention in the past year
on developing a coordinated
research support effort across all
stakeholder groups, comprising
the Research Office, Information
and Communication Technology
Services (ICTS) and UCT
The research infrastructure too
has taken on a new trajectory
with the implementation of
Ilifu, aimed at developing
the first data node for dataintensive research in the national
cyberinfrastructure. Locally,
our own high-performance
computing (HPC) cluster,
seemingly approaching the end
of its journey, was reviewed by
supportive champions and will be
upgraded accordingly. Similarly,
the network renewal project has
been launched and will offer the
reward of unprecedented highspeed connectivity.
New services have
evolved in the process,
notably scientific
communication, a
specialist role in science
journalism profiling
research on big-data
science projects. This
enables eResearch to
tell the stories reflected
here, highlighting the
scientific achievements
and the social impact
of research undertaken
at UCT.

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