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University of the Witwatersrand chooses Figshare to support its open data goals

By Laura Day June 18, 2024

Tuesday 18 June 2024

Figshare, a leading provider of institutional repository infrastructure that supports open research, is pleased to announce that the University of the Witwatersrand Library has chosen Figshare to support its research community with archiving, publishing, sharing and promoting their datasets. 

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) – a leading research institution in South Africa based in Johannesburg, ranked as the second best university in Africa 2024 (jointly with Stellenbosch University) – will become the 19th institution in the country using Figshare as their data repository. Figshare is proud to now officially work with the top nine universities in Africa. 

Using Figshare, Wits will be able to ensure that all research data produced by their researchers, academics and postgraduate students will have a DOI, ensuring it is truly findable, trackable and citable. DOIs will be minted through the Figshare platform and will therefore be integrated with international data harvesters, making the research shared highly discoverable. Wits will also utilize the ability to clearly link research data to published articles and related outputs shared in other repositories, which is an important part of Figshare’s functionality. 

The Wits Library is looking forward to the potential new collaborations and partnerships the new repository may foster, enabling their research community to connect with researchers in similar fields and disciplines. The easy-to-use interface and extensive support documentation Figshare provides was also of great importance to the Wits team when selecting a tool alongside the attribution of crucial usage metrics including views, downloads, Altmetric attention data and citations. 

Importantly, the repository will ensure compliance with relevant funder requirements for data sharing and make it easy for researchers and academics to fulfil their funder responsibilities when it comes to open research. The research shared in the repository will also be in line with core Open Science and FAIR data best practices and principles. 

“As the Wits Library, we are excited to bring to Wits the Figshare data repository and related services, and look forward to assisting our academics, researchers and students by making their research output available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner. The Wits Library will use this platform to contribute to the national data repository providing even more exposure to the important research being conducted at our institution,” said University Librarian Dr Daisy Selematsela

Mark Hahnel, Figshare Founder and Digital Science’s VP of Open Research, said: “We’re really proud to have such a strong Figshare community in South Africa, with a large group of leading institutions, and it is exciting to see this grow even further with the addition of the prestigious University of the Witwatersrand. We’re looking forward to supporting them in meeting their open data goals and providing their research community with the infrastructure required to adhere to funder policies and open research best practices.”

About the University of the Witwatersrand

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) is situated in Johannesburg, South Africa – a vibrant, leading commercial city on the African continent. Wits is home to one of the largest fossil collections in the southern hemisphere and is internationally recognized as a leader in the palaeo-sciences. Wits scientists have been contributing to the palaeo-sciences record for almost a century. Wits University is more than an educational brand, it’s a time-honoured legacy that aims to educate and change through quality education and sound motivation to develop African societies. For 100 years Wits has been known for and remembered through the calibre of graduates that it produces, and the footprints of change that they leave in the public and private sectors in all fields of industry. Wits University has five faculties and 33 schools. It boasts two campuses – in Braamfontein and Parktown – that are spread over 400 acres in Johannesburg. It includes 11 libraries that create a vibrant nexus of ideas, collections, expertise, and spaces in which users illuminate solutions for local and global challenges and host a hi-tech digitisation centre. Perhaps more than the University of the Witwatersrand extraordinarily being ranked in the top 1.3% of universities globally, our legacy equally requires that we continue to be positively ranked by the everyday impact we make to society, the quality of our goals and the lives we change. This is how we are ranked in and among the world’s universities.

About Figshare

Figshare, a Digital Science Solution, is a provider of institutional repository infrastructure. Our solutions help institutions share, showcase and manage their research outputs in a discoverable, citable, reportable and transparent way. We support institutions in meeting the growing demands for research to become open, freer, FAIRer and more connected. We provide the flexibility and control for you to create research management workflows that work for you. We take care of implementation, updates, security and maintenance – ensuring you and your researchers can always depend on your repository, leaving you to focus on what really matters; research and its impact on the world.

About Digital Science

Digital Science is an AI-focused technology company providing innovative solutions to complex challenges faced by researchers, universities, funders, industry and publishers. We work in partnership to advance global research for the benefit of society. Through our brands – Altmetric, Dimensions, Figshare, ReadCube, Symplectic, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, Overleaf, Writefull, OntoChem, Scismic and metaphacts – we believe when we solve problems together, we drive progress for all. Visit and follow @digitalsci on X or on LinkedIn.

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