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

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.”