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Author Seminar

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Elsevier, in collaboration with University of Cape Town, are pleased to invite you to attend an Author Seminar “Strategies to increase the quality and the impact of scientific publications”. (more…)

The Savvy Researcher Series brings information professionals and university experts together with postgraduate students to explore topics related to research and academic success. The series aims to attract all Postgraduate students across disciplines.

Postgraduate students are exploring new methods of research, resulting in new forms of digital output, e.g., data sets, blogs, and wikis; the series aims to meet the evolving needs of postgraduates and enhance the continuum of scholarly communication from discovery to delivery through the provision of information resources, services and partnerships.

The Savvy Researcher seminars are held in the Ulwazi Training Room in the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library on Thursday afternoons from 15h00-16h30. (more…)

The Research Week presentations are now available online.

Please take a moment to complete the short evaluation form below.  Your feedback is very important to us and will be of great help when planning the next Research Week.

Thank you to all the people that contributed to our survey.


ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a non-proprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors. This addresses the problem that a particular author’s contributions to the scientific literature can be hard to electronically recognize as most personal names are not unique, they can change (such as with marriage), have cultural differences in name order, contain inconsistent use of first-name abbreviations and employ different writing systems. It provides a persistent identity for humans, similar to that created for content-related entities on digital networks by digital object identifiers (DOIs).

Source: Wikipedia.

The second video we are releasing shows you how to keep up to date with research publications.


Research Week 12 -16 May 2014

Research Week 12 -16 May 2014.

We will be adding each of the presentations given at Research Week 2014 to this page.

We would like to extend our thanks to all those participating in allowing us to make these presentations available.

Day One

Introduction to Research Week – Danie Visser  (PDF – 1MB)

The practice of research and publication in the South African context – Valerie Mizrahi (PDF – 347KB)

An overview of the research literature – Wieland Gevers (PDF –  138KB)

Day Two

Publishing Scientific Research – Fritz Schmuhl (PDF – 3MB)

Day Three

Open Access: be seen, be read, be cited, have impact! – Ina Smith (PDF – 768KB)

In conjunction with Research Week we will be launching a series of videos on our YouTube channel. The videos will include tips to support your research!

Here is the first on Using Web of Science for your Research.

“When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Crumpled papers.

Photo by ds139. Used under CC2.0.

As I am writing this, I find myself struggling with writers block, and I discover Nietzsche’s famous words echoing through my mind, though slightly construed. As we stare onto the blank, the blank also stares back onto us, and so it goes, the terrible cycle of empty page and empty mind feeding one other. The question at hand: is writer’s block real, and if so, where does it come from? The notion that there is a psychological aspect associated with writer’s block seems to be wide reaching and yet altogether misguided.

Robert Boice notes in his essay on writing blocks that references to this problem have been strewn, and that they have often been based on a writer’s subjective experiences. Psychologists have little to say on the subject and yet the fact that the term is often used interchangeably with writer’s anxiety brings it again, though somewhat problematically, into the realm of psychology.

Is this so called block a manifestation of our own insecurities and inexperience as writers? This would seem to be plausible. During the write up of my own research, I often felt overwhelmed and unequal to the task at hand. However, there is hope for us yet. Keith Hjortshoj writes in his book Understanding Writers Block, “Young inexperienced writers rarely encounter serious blocks… writing blocks are most common among advanced undergraduates, graduate students, scholars, and other professional writers who are not supposed to need help” (2001: 3). (more…)