Category Archives: Tanzania

Brief Feedback on Libsense Repository Workshop, 19-20 November 2018, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Role of NRENs in Support of Science

National Research Education Networks (NRENs – especially Level 4) in Africa, are more and more gearing themselves towards offering ICT related services to the research community – also as far as data-intensive research concerns. For data to be FAIR – findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable – it needs to be curated using trusted platforms. In addition to curation, access to High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters are required to benefit from services offered through the Cloud and recently, also on the Edge. A great deal can be achieved through coordination of resources and investment in shared infrastructure. In 2017 AOSP presented a paper and workshop during the UbuntuNet Connect Conference, inviting NRENs to also explore offering data related services. This was followed by an AOSP meeting between researchers and NRENs on 14 May 2018, Pretoria, South Africa. AOSP has identified stakeholders consisting of representatives from NRENs and researchers to propose a framework for an ICT Infrastructure, towards the sharing of research data, and towards implementing a tangible AOSP during the next phase. The group – under leadership of Prof Benjamin Aribisala – is working on guidelines, guiding both NRENs and governments, to be reviewed by experts during Year 3 (2019) of the AOSP project.

NRENs, Libraries and Institutional Literature Repositories

During the past Libsense Repository Workshop, the UbuntuNet Alliance managed to create a platform for librarians (specifically institutional literature repository managers) to engage with technical NREN staff, to see how they can support and collaborate with one another. It was a great event, and future collaboration looks promising, depending on commitment from both parties. This a first step towards librarians and NRENs collaborating towards extending and advancing institutional literature repositories, towards federation and integration, and towards becoming next generation institutional repositories (COAR). The focus was very much on institutional repositories, but the possibility exists that the repositories can be extended to also address the complexity involved regarding the curation of data sets. Different disciplines apply different metadata standards, and the metadata for data sets is far more complex (also captured as part of Research Data Management Plans, more and more required by funders globally). The curation of data sets also a challenge because of the Variety, Velocity, Volume and more.

NRENs indicated that the following services can potentially be offered to researchers and libraries: hosting of repositories, digital preservation implementing LOCKSS, federated identity management, and more.

From the AOSP landscape study, more than 55 data repositories were identified. Libraries, data scientists and data repository managers are encouraged to work together, and to also register data repositories with re3data.org, towards a comprehensive understanding of what is happening on the continent.

A parallel meeting with VCs from universities across Africa was hosted by UbuntuNet, discussing ways universities and NRENs can strengthen collaboration towards addressing the challenges brought forward by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The presentations from the Libsense workshop are available at https://events.ubuntunet.net/event/19/ Presentations were further guided by the outcomes of the survey at https://www.dropbox.com/s/155fokahpl0tleb/UA%20Interim%20Survey%20Report_Final-20181119.pdf?dl=0, and also the COAR proposal towards New Generation IRs. See https://www.coar-repositories.org/activities/advocacy-leadership/working-group-next-generation-repositories/

Please note:

DSpace 7 to be released early next year, including next generation tools. https://wiki.duraspace.org/display/DSPACE/DSpace+Release+7.0+Status

Invenio 3 already offers new generation IR tools.

African Open Science December 2017 Activities

Just a very brief recap of our events during the past week, to keep you posted and in the loop.

Landscape Survey of Research and/or Data Intensive Initiatives on the African Continent, and Key Stakeholders
The past year (AOSP Year 1, from 1 November 2016 – 31 October 2017) focused on identifying research and/or data intensive initiatives on the African continent, and building a database around it. View a data visualisation of progress made by clicking here. The data is by far not complete, and we hope to add many more activities/projects/initiatives. We are also working in the background unpacking certain initiatives, and cleaning data to be included.

For corrections or to suggest an African initiative, please complete the two fields on the online form – click here.

Tanzania Data Tamasha (Festival)
Zaituni Kaijage wrote in an email that the Tanzania Data Tamasha (6 Dec. 2017) was a highly successful event, with more than 200 participants attending and participating. Also view the booklet which contains all the success stories presented during the event. Thank you to Raymond Katebaka, General Secretary of the African Union of Conservationists (AUC) (based in Uganda) for representing AOSP on very short notice during the Tanzania Data Tamasha. The feedback received from Raymond of great value in steering our thinking regarding the project.

If you have any activities planned in your country, please share with us so we can create more awareness, and also add to the AOSP web for further visibility. You are also welcome to write a brief news item.

SA-EU Open Science Policy Framework Workshop, 30 Nov – 1 Dec 2017
The DST (SA Dept. of Science and Technology) in partnership with the European Union (EU) hosted a successful two day workshop towards an Open Science Policy Framework for South Africa. This workshop followed the Open Research South Africa: high-level stakeholder meeting on Open Research, 12-13 December 2016. An expert task team has been appointed to come up with an SA Open Science Policy framework, and they will be supported by the steering committee.

View the presentations from this workshop:

Different approaches apply to different countries, and we are looking forward to learn more about your plans and progress.

2017 CHPC Annual National Meeting
The 2017 CHPC Annual National Meeting presented another opportunity for AOSP to share its thinking in terms of incentives, motivating researchers to share their data on an open platform.

AOSP is also working on populating the events web page (we have a long list in the process of being added), to create better awareness of open science/open data/open research related conferences/meetings on the continent. Please regularly visit this page and see how you can participate and contribute. The IDW 2018 to be hosted by Botswana a very important event, and we hope to see you all there next year!

Science Talk during SFSA 2017
A high energy 30 min. discussion on incentives, policy, infrastructure and capacity building allowed researchers to give input during group discussions. Each attendee was given a map of Africa, with a real-life problem role-played by members of our Technical Advisory Board, to address. Thank you all for making this high impact, very brief interactive exercise, a huge success! The Future of Science session further evoked a lot of lively much needed debate. Both Prof Geoffrey Boulton (President CODATA) and Dr Heide Hackmann (Executive Director International Council for Science) presented during this session.

AOSP Advisory Council & Technical Advisory Board Meetings
The above meetings took place on 6 Dec. 2017 at the ASSAf offices. Thank you to all members for valuable input and advise in steering this incredibly exciting project! We are thankful for your buy-in and valuable contributions. A special thank you to the chair of the Advisory Council, Prof Khotso Mokhele, and the chair of the Technical Advisory Board, Prof Joseph Muliaro Wafula. Dr Simon Hodson (Executive Director CODATA) has been playing and incredible role in directing and advising the project, and we cannot thank him enough. Thank you also to Prof Geoffrey Boulton (President CODATA) and Dr Heide Hackmann (Executive Director International Council for Science) for joining us during the two meetings, and for your valuable input and steering the project towards an even higher level.

Thank you
Lastly – thank you to you as members of this list for your continued support. Thank you to our funder (DST through NRF) for financial support, as well as other funders – directly (RDA) or indirectly (AAU, UbuntuNetConnect 2017). Many thanks to DIRISA for hosting the web page. And thank you to key stakeholders for their continued support, of which there are too many to name. Apologies if we have left out names, but this thank you to all. This was an incredible year, and each of you played a role in making it a success. Thank you!

More about the initiatives and activities to be shared in January, once we are all back and had the opportunity to discuss among ourselves and include it as part of the project plan.

Wishing all a peaceful and relaxed December/January, and if all goes well, we plan to be in touch again next year.