National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Data for Research Award

About the Award

The Data for Research Award is for an outstanding contribution to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation by an individual or a team by advancing the availability, management and re-use of research data.

The NSTF under the guidance of a team of experts through the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA) and the Network of Data and Information Curation Communities (NeDICC) continues this category introduced in 2017, which is meant to acknowledge the work of an individual or a team (including for example researchers/scientists; data scientists; data stewards; innovators; and repository and data centre managers) to be rewarded for the generation, preservation, sharing and/or re-use of a valuable scientific output – the research dataset. Data products, data repositories and data centres are also eligible for team recognition. The intention is to recognise the value of a data set that is of national interest or for the public good, and that is openly available to be re-used and / or re-packaged in products that are of public good and interest, or that could be integrated into products that contribute to the development of South Africa.

The motivation is set out to obtain detailed responses in respect of any of:  

  • the primary data collation or
  • the secondary re-use of the data set or
  • for the management of data repositories and data centres.

For primary data collection

  • The methodology as well as the data collection tools used for collating the data is to be described.

  • The character of the data set that has been curated and deposited in a repository is to be described and details provided of the web address of the repository where the data has been deposited; as well as the persistent (DOI / Handle) identifier of the data set itself.

  • Provide details of the national interest or ‘public good’ aspects of the data. Explain the social impact of the data set in a brief qualitative narrative, e.g. why it is important, to whom it is relevant and/or particulars of the beneficiaries.

  • Describe how the data set has been curated (e.g. does it meet FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles and what quality standard was used (e.g. SASQAF).

  • In what way could others re-use the data set? Any evidence of the quantitative impact (e.g. citation) of the data set is a distinct advantage.

For secondary re-use of data

  • Describe the character of the primary data resource (data set/ data collection) that underpins the secondary use. Has the primary resource been curated and deposited in an accredited Open Access repository, with the provision of a Digital Object Identifier for future citation and referencing? Provide the web address of the repository where the data has been deposited, as well as the persistent identifier (DOI / Handle) of the data set(s).

  • Provide a detailed description of the product or service that is making secondary use of the primary resource mentioned above. Explain the public use, social impact and/or national interest value.

  • Does the secondary product or service acknowledge the use of the primary data resource?

  • Provide the web address of the site on which the secondary product or service is made openly available for further re-use.

  • Describe the potential future value of the product / service.

  • In what way could others use the product / service that was developed? Any evidence of the actual impact of the product / service is a distinct advantage.

For the Management of Data Repositories and Data Centres

  • Provide a detailed description of the repository / data centre. Indicate the level of certification as a trusted repository.

  • Describe the strategies applied to make the data assets FAIR.

  • Explain how data quality is assured.

  • What digital preservation strategy is followed?

  • Any evidence that the repository / data centre is connected to the international ecosystem of repositories / data centres is a distinct advantage.

  • What details, regarding the impact of the data assets, are available? Publications, products, and new services that depend upon the availability of the data, serve as testimony of the repository’s / data centre’s impact.

  • Discuss the future of the repository / centre and how sustainability is assured?

NSTF-South32 Awards


The NSTF welcomes collaboration with other organisations, such as those they have been in partnerships with for many years:

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