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Tuesday 27 June 2023

Unlocking the Power of Research Data


                                               By Nkululeko Magwaza & Nonjabulo Ngcobo

Introduction: Research data holds immense potential in driving innovation, addressing challenges, and fostering collaboration within the academic community. The recent "Unlocking the Power of Research Data" event at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) shed light on the significance of effective data management, the role of repositories, and the transformative impact of open science. Organized in collaboration with Figshare, a leading platform for research data management, the event aimed to raise awareness of Yabelana, a Figshare-powered repository managing research data at UKZN. The event provided researchers with a platform to share insights, exchange experiences, and explore innovative approaches in research data management.

Harnessing the Full Potential: The event emphasized the vital role of research data in advancing scholarly pursuits and the opportunities unlocked through open research data practices. Cross-pollination of ideas, facilitated by open data sharing, enriches the research landscape and fosters collaboration among institutions and entities. Yabelana, utilizing Figshare as its renowned repository, empowers researchers to securely store and share their research data with the wider academic community. Open research data allows for systematic approaches to finding practical solutions to ongoing challenges and emerging problems.

Paving the Way for Academic Excellence: UKZN, committed to cultivating a data-driven research culture, recognizes the value of research data and invests in the necessary infrastructure and expertise. Yabelana, powered by Figshare, plays a crucial role by providing a robust platform for managing research data at UKZN. Researchers can securely store, preserve, and share their data, ensuring accessibility and long-term impact. The event acted as a catalyst for fostering innovation, enhancing research outcomes, and strengthening UKZN's reputation as a hub for ground-breaking discoveries across disciplines.

Promoting Transparency and Community Engagement: The event highlighted the importance of open science in promoting transparency, reproducibility, and community engagement. Open research data allows for greater visibility, impact, and collaboration within and beyond the academic community. Yabelana, aligned with these principles, enables researchers to openly share their data, increasing transparency and facilitating collaboration. Figshare's comprehensive features, including data citation and version control, ensure the integrity and reproducibility of research findings. By embracing open science and making research data openly available, institutions and researchers contribute to a more inclusive and collaborative research ecosystem.

Raising Awareness and Best Practices: Events like "Unlocking the Power of Research Data" play a crucial role in raising awareness, fostering collaboration, and promoting best practices in research data management as the demand for accessing scholarly materials and research data continues to grow. Organized by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Library in partnership with Figshare, the event facilitated discussions on data management strategies, sharing protocols, and publication practices. It provided a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and innovative approaches, contributing to the advancement of research data management practices. Researchers gained practical insights and explored the potential of Yabelana in supporting their research endeavors.

Conclusion: The "Unlocking the Power of Research Data" event at UKZN, organized in collaboration with Figshare, highlighted the transformative potential of research data in driving innovation and collaboration. Through Figshare's robust platform, institutions and researchers can enhance visibility, impact, and collaboration within and beyond the academic community. Yabelana serves as a valuable repository for managing research data at UKZN, offering secure storage, easy accessibility, and efficient sharing of datasets. As the research landscape evolves, events like these acts as beacons, guiding researchers towards harnessing the full potential of research data and unlocking new frontiers of knowledge and discovery.


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