eResearch site launched at UCT

12 March 2012

UCT's Information and Communication Technology Services has launched an eResearch website that offers staff and postgraduate students a central point from which to access research support, management tools and information that is currently spread across various web pages at UCT.

The site has a host of valuable information that has been sorted into easy-to-navigate sections. Each section has links to a number of portals, external databases and services available for researchers. These links make it easier for researchers to find the information that they need. One such link provides access to the Research Professional Africa website, where numerous research funding opportunities can be found and applied for through UCT's Research Office. The Research Africa news and UCT research news, Research Portal News blog and news archives have also been added to the site, so researchers can read the latest research news from one central place.

One of the highlights of the site includes access to various self-help tools. For example, the four Reference Management Tools listed on the site can help researchers to collect and manage references from various online databases, or help them to construct and manage bibliographies and publication citations in their reports and manuscripts. Then there is the searchable Research Facilities Database, which lists equipment and research facilities that are already available on campus. The database includes contact information to make it easier to access these expensive resources.

The site also lists various support services available to researchers, such as the data capture service for multiple choice questionnaire papers or survey responses. The video conferencing consultation support service is available to help researchers set up a video conference at UCT. The High Performance Computing service and systems provide multiple processors to enable the solving of advanced computation problems. Researchers are invited to give their input on the eResearch Discussion Board topics; to suggest more links; and to use the Feedback tool to submit suggestions and comments.

UCT staff members and postgraduate students (master's level and above) can access the site using their UCT username@wf and network password. The site can also be accessed off-campus through the Virtual Private Network.

The eResearch site is a step closer to the Research Portal that has been on the cards for many years. Putting together the Research Portal is a complex task that requires extensive planning, integration and consultation. The initial version of this portal will go live later this year.

In the interim, the eResearch site provides a solid foundation from which researchers can find researcher-specific information and resources. For progress updates on the development of the Research Portal, see the Research Portal News blog.

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