UCT eResearch is a distributed organisation that promotes use of advance information technologies to support innovation in research. Download our reports to read eResearch case studies and find out more about what UCT eResearch has been doing to support and accelerate research at UCT.
eResearch Report: 2020–21
If UCT is to achieve the Vision 2030 goal to unleash knowledge in and from Afrika our researchers need to be properly capacitated with the latest tools and technologies to compete in the increasingly data-intensive world of research. UCT eResearch continues to put in the work to provide both the critical infrastructure, as well as the skills and capacity our researchers need, to transform data into information and knowledge. The eResearch report contains research case studies of the wide variety of work the UCT eResearch team does to support research, as well as features to update our research community on the new services available.
The sixth edition of the annual eResearch report explores what it means to be a research-intensive university in the African context, and how eResearch can facilitate the acceleration of local scholarship to contribute to global knowledge.
The research landscape is rapidly changing, with new technologies enabling new forms of collaboration, data gathering and analysis. UCT eResearch – a distributed organisation made up of a partnership between ICTS, UCT Libraries and the Research Office – is the university’s response to this changing research landscape. This report, the fifth annual eResearch report, details the coordinated effort of research support units and the response of researchers as they integrate eResearch capabilities into technology-enabled research practice.
As researchers grapple with growing data sets and new requirements for greater openness in the research lifecycle, the work of UCT eResearch becomes more critical for the research endeavour. “eResearch is a service with a purpose,” says Dr Dale Peters, UCT eResearch director. “And that purpose is to support and accelerate research.”
Meeting the needs of big data science
In order for UCT to stay globally competitive as a research institute in a world of big data, we need to ensure our researchers have access to cutting-edge facilities and infrastructure. However, this is a regional, national and continental challenge; UCT needs to work with it's neighbours to advance the African research agenda.
UCT eResearch, as a partnership between Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS), UCT Libraries and the Research Office, works to ensure that the data needs of our researchers are supported at every step of their research lifecycle.
We are currently witnessing the rise of large-scale, distributed global research collaboration, along with greater application of the principles of openness: open access, open data, and open science. These changes mean a greater need for distributed and shared technologies that fundamentally alter the manner in which scientists carry out their work; in the tools, applications and workflows they use, and in the manner of communication arising from their collaboration.
Just as the telescope allowed Galileo to search the skies in the early 1600s, and the magnetic compass made it possible for Chinese explorers in the ninth century to traverse the oceans, information and communication technologies are pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery today. Computational science and data-intensive research are well established as the third and fourth pillars of scientific enquiry, alongside theory and experimentation.