Stellenbosch University (SU) launched the seventh annual Library Research Week on Monday, 13 May 2019. It will run for the duration of this week until Friday, 17 May at both the main Stellenbosch campus as well as the Tygerberg campus.
The theme this year is Be a smart researcher with many presentations focusing on the sub-themes of Be prepared, Be open, Be inspired and Be supported.
During her welcoming address at the launch event, Ellen Tise, Senior Director: Library and Information Services at SU, said she hoped that all the emerging researchers, postgraduate students and early career academics, who are targeted every year to attend the events, would be able to benefit from a great and fruitful week.
“Every year we line up experts to share practical knowledge on topics such as in the case of this year, research integrity. Other topics include writing, keeping momentum when writing and the literature search strategy, which is something that we always have during research week each year."
According to Tise, the whole research week will provide amazing presentations for researchers and especially emphasised that emerging researchers and other stakeholders should attend Wednesday's event between 13:00 to 14:00 at the SU library. Wednesday's event, titled The changing landscape of open access globally, will be presented by Glenn Truran from the South African National Library and Information Consortium (SANLiC), with a response from Michael Cherry, an academic at SU.
“It is so important that we have this and we want as many people as possible, especially postgraduate students and academics, to attend. There are many international research initiatives around the world, especially the Open Access 2020 initiative. The whole scholarly landscape is being completely transformed and there are all these initiatives around the world to ensure that by 2020 we can have as many of our scholarly publications and research openly accessible and available to anybody from anywhere in the world," said Tise.
Prof Nico Koopman, Vice-Rector: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, officially opened the research week at the launch event. He expressed the importance of having libraries at universities. “Libraries help universities to fulfil one of our important mandates in society and it's the mandate to embrace intellectual labour. Intellectual labour helps us to get rid of and be free and liberated from the flight of complexities. Through hard work and research and during this research week we need to help the university and society deal with all the complexities by posing the hard questions and use this week to become smarter researchers."
The guest speaker at the launch event was Prof Johan Fourie, Professor at the Laboratory for the Economics of Africa's Past (LEAP). His topic was From documents to data: How new digital tools can transform history research and he focused on the importance of archiving generally considered uninteresting documents like marriage certificates, baptisms etc. which can help tell the stories of South Africans whose history was never fully recorded in our past.
“Part of my research aims is to uncover new ways to find and give a voice to the people who are typically excluded from narratives that dominate the archives in South Africa and other colonial countries' history. Librarians and archivist are important agents in helping us tell and uncover these stories," said Fourie.
To find out more about the research that Fourie and his colleagues are doing at LEAP, click here.
For the full programme of the Library Research Week, visit http://library.sun.ac.za/en-za/Pages/Home.aspx.
Photo by Stefan Els.