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The PhD journey can PhD Journey 1be an extremely isolated one, and students are often not aware of all the various resources at their disposal. If you have recently started your PhD and have felt this disillusionment, then take note.

Hosted annually by the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED), the workshop aims to introduce first year PhD students to various resources available at UCT, as well as to provide a platform for students to build supportive relationships with peers. This year will see the assembly of the Careers Service, ICTS, UCT Libraries, The writing Centre, Doctoral Degrees Board, International Academic Programs Office (IAPO), Postgraduate Centre and Funding Office and Postgraduate Literacies. (more…)

Writing Centre

Research Commons Librarian, Amina Adam, with Writing Centre consultant, Ilse Groenewald.

Building on the library’s strategic plan to foster and maintain collaborative relations with key stakeholders across campus in support of research, the Research Commons is elated to announce its latest collaboration with the UCT Writing Centre. This collaborative effort will see the Writing Centre making themselves available to postgraduate students for consultations in the Research Commons, encouraging and enforcing their motto of good writing practices. This will serve the need for further support for the postgraduate student body as well as forging the way for both the Research Commons and the Writing Centre to be a prominent partner for research at UCT.

Writing Centre consultant Ilse Groenewald will be availing herself to students in the Research Commons Seminar room weekly, on Fridays from 9:00 – 13:00. Struggling to write that proposal, reworking a chapter, need a fresh eye to peruse your writing… we can assist. See the brochure below for the online booking procedure.

Writing Centre Brochure

If you are interested in using a reference manager for the write up of your thesis, then click on the link below. UCT libraries’ experienced librarians have compiled this comparative table, to assist you with making the decision of which reference manager to use. In the link below is the “must know’s” of the 3 most commonly used reference managers at UCT. Have a look and see which of these meet your research requirements.Endnote Mendeley Ref works

Bibliographic Management Tools


Day 5 of Research Week marks the successful conclusion of Research Week 2014. It seemed quite fitting that the Friday’s sessions focused more on student needs as the day was started by Sr. Joy Knighton-Fitt from student wellness, who spoke on research related stress. She approached the subject holistically, discussing the wheel of health and how to balance the various spheres thereof.

The open agenda took the stage for the rest of the afternoon to discuss topics that emerged from the Library’s Inspire Idea Tree. A successful talk, as subject librarian Glynnis Lawrence addressed postgraduate challenges such as supervisor relations, loneliness and funding to name a few. (more…)

Nelleke Bak, Director of Postgraduate Studies


The Research Expo saw the influx of academics and post-gradate students alike, as we reached day 4 of Research Week. The expo provided students the opportunity to promote their research by presenting it to academic staff and fellow students. Among the people crowding around posters, was a panel of judges who scored students in various categories. The winners of the day were: (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.



The conclusion of day 3 of Research Week at UCT Libraries marks the halfway point of the long awaited event. It has been quite an eventful week with panel discussions, author workshops and a lot of banter around the barista as attendees patiently wait on that aromatic cup of java.

Research Ethics and Open Access were the hot topics at Research Week yesterday. The morning session was lead by Dr Robert McLaughlin from UCT’s office of Research Integrity. Joining him was Prof Francois Viruly from the department of Construction Economics, Prof Mastin Prinsloo from the UCT School of Education and Dr Bert Mohr from the UCT Centre for Animal Research, for a lively discussion on Research and the Ethics that underpin it.

This was followed by a teleconference presentation by Iryna Kuchma from EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) out of Kiev, who opened the afternoon session on Open Access. Partnering with her on the topic was UCT’s Laura Czerniewicz and Ina Smith from Stellenbosch University.



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)