Knowledge Creation through Academic Research

A wise person once said: “Research is creating new knowledge.” A statement that sums up rather nicely the fact that academic research is not the stereotypical domain of people in white lab coats or dusty academics hidden behind piles of old books. Academic research is essential to the development of every sector of society – from medicine to law, from business to technology – no subject can advance without research. Through research, new knowledge can be created and, more importantly, shared. Research benefits communities and economies – it is an essential ingredient of growth and development.

It’s exciting to note that South Africans are pulling their weight in contributing quality research to this ever-expanding global knowledge base. For example, in 2018, at an award ceremony at Unisa, Dr. S Jansen van Rensburg received the 2017 Young Female Doctoral Graduate Award for her research work in law. At the event, Unisa’s Vice -Chancellor Prof. Mandla Makhanya commented that South African universities, including Unisa, were influencing the interpretation of the political and academic dialogue of the present-day world.

A glimpse at last year’s National Research Foundation (NRF) Award winners shows just how South Africa’s finest researchers are ‘advancing knowledge, transforming lives and inspiring a nation.’

To name a few:

The NRF Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Dr. Bernard Fanaroff, Special Adviser and Former Director Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA-SA). Dr. Fanaroff was recognised for his scientific contribution; his role as an anti-apartheid activist and his contribution as a public servant and as the Director of SKA-SA where he led the bid for South Africa to host the design and construction of the Meerkat Telescope.

Prestigious awards were further given to upcoming researchers under the age of 35 deemed set to become future international leaders in their respective fields: Dr Sarah Fawcett, Department of Oceanography, University of Cape Town; Dr. Geoffrey Howarth, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town; Dr. Gareth Hempson, Ndlovu Node at the South African Environmental Observation Network, and Dr. Alistair Price, Department of Private Law, University of Cape Town. As guardians of African research, Sabinet will continue to drive the support of library processes and the access to reliable research for all.

Get your title deed ASAP before new regulation sets in

Land grabs or land acquisitions are no stranger to South Africans. But it looks like a different cat is out of the hat. The Department of Rural development and Land reform has announced changes to Regulation 68 of the Deeds Registries act. Regulation 68 sets out what process must be followed after an original deed or mortgage bond has been lost or destroyed.

As an homeowner, there are various reasons why you would need a copy of your title deed. It is an important document, proving the owners of said property. If your property is still bonded, the bank is most likely to have a copy of your deed, but if you have freed up your property, you, as the owner would be in possession of this document.

Currently, homeowners can simply make a written application (accompanied with an affidavit) to deed office and get a new one. This is about to change and could have financial implications when trying to sell your property.

The regulation has been amended but it’s not in operation as yet. The implementation of the amendments to regulation 68 have been suspended by the Chief Registrar of Deeds until further notice. We are awaiting the publication of a notice in the Government Gazette. So it’s not all bad news just yet, homeowners still have the opportunity to obtain their title deed, the easy and more cost efficient way, before the new procedure sets in. You can either enquire directly with the deeds office or ask an attorney to assist with acquiring a certified title deed for your property.

When the new regulation sets in, a property owner would need to follow these steps to get a copy of their title deed:

  • Visit the deeds office (deeds registries may not give out information acting on a letter or a telephone call)
  • Submit an affidavit, attested by a notary public (meaning paying an additional fee that was never part of the original cost)

The notice of intention to apply for a certified copy or the cancellation of a lost bond must be published in an ordinary issue of the Government Gazette. Copies of the deed must be left open for inspection in the deeds registry for a period of two weeks after the date of publication of the notice.

For more on Regulation 68 of the Deeds Registries act and other changes in legislation, check out Sabinet’s Legal Information Services. Sabinet is always of the mind that the community surrounding it, is better off when it promotes growth, education and understanding through information. Visit Sabinet Gazettes and Sabinet National Legislation for more information.

The Sabinet Legacy: share the journey

For over 30 years, Sabinet has been committed to changing lives through providing access to information. Our passion is to share knowledge – because this not only empowers individuals but it supports education and social upliftment.

Our story began in the early 80s and today we have flourished from providing purely library support services to offering customised information-centric services for libraries, corporates, small businesses, students, the media and researchers.

We are excited to share a video of this rewarding journey with you – click here to view and share.

SA ePublications: Who Benefits from Online Medical Journals?

Online Medical Journals

Scholarly articles published in online medical journals are subject to the same scrutiny and peer-reviews as those published in physical form. They thus offer writings that are well-researched and relevant, but their digital format makes them much more accessible. This clearly benefits readers, who are able to focus their searches to find relevant articles almost instantaneously.

But, in addition to end-users, who benefits from online medical journals? The following are a few other parties to whom online medical journals are thoroughly advantageous.

Here Is Who Feels the Advantages of Online Medical Journals

Essentially, the benefits of online publications are so great that everyone in the chain of production, distribution, and consumption feels the effects. But, to elaborate, here is how they feel the benefits:

1. Authors

The actual writing process for authors differs very little regardless of whether their work is to be published on paper or online. The main difference arises in the fact that digital publishing allows authors to have their work read by a far greater audience. Because of the ease of access of online scholarly articles, authors could potentially have their work read by many more readers than they would if their work was to be strictly physically published.

2. Publishers

Publishing online is not without its costs, but those costs are decidedly less than those of physical publishing. The printing equipment and supplies can be removed from the equation, as can the distribution costs. Even if physical publication is still a necessity, printing fewer issues and supplementing these with digital issues will still result in considerable savings.

3. Libraries

Maintaining subscriptions to a wide variety of physical medical journals can prove costly to libraries. But, with the reduced cost of medical journals, libraries can offer more content while turning a bigger profit.

Furthermore, libraries must consider the issue of storage of historical issues. When storage space is depleted, libraries must choose between ridding themselves of older issues and taking on document storage solutions at a cost. With digital issues, however, this is not a factor.

4. Readers

As we mentioned, ePublished medical journals offer readers a great many benefits. First and foremost, access is greatly increased when readers simply need a device with an internet connection. Readers can also use cross-referencing tools and precision search to pinpoint the exact information they need and find it quickly. Add to this the fact that they can do all of this from mobile devices and online medical journals become, understandably, very attractive to readers.

How Can You Benefit from Online Medical Journals?

If you are an author, publisher, library, or reader, you now have a better understanding of how you stand to benefit from ePublishing. But, how do you begin reaping those benefits? The answer is Sabinet!

We are poised to help both those on the publishing end and those on the subscription end. So, to begin your journey into ePublishing, be sure to contact us today.

African Research Journals: The Importance of African Content in Research

African Research Journals

Technology has allowed us to share information effortlessly and on a global scale. As a result, the planet’s population is moving ever closer to a universal knowledge-base. However, while the concept of universally shared and accepted knowledge is possible, it cannot exist (at least in the foreseeable future) because of a single factor; the individual knowledge of nations, such as that contained in African research journals.

Sarpong (2002) wrote that a people’s approach to knowledge and science (and the investigation thereof) cannot be removed from its history. African content is thus important in relation to research for the following reasons:

1. It Allows for Comprehensive Research

Even if the topic being researched stems from a foreign school of thought, African content is important for comprehensive research. The African literature on the topic might provide supporting or sometimes opposing evidence, making the research on the topic more complete. And, when it comes to research, it is often desirable to include other perspectives in order to validate the position of the research.

2. It Is Absolutely Relevant to African Studies

When it comes to researching African-centric topics, African content is invaluable, for obvious reasons. There is no better perspective on the topics relevant to African development than that portrayed in the literature and journal entries published in Africa by Africans.

3. It Portrays Development over Important Fields

Historical views on certain topics might not always be consistent with modern thinking, but they are always important when it comes to research. This is true for a number of reasons, but one definite advantage of historical literature is the fact that it can be used to portray development over certain fields, and present an accurate time-frame for that development.

Sabinet provides access to the African Journal Archive, which covers historical writings on a variety of topics, including politics, history, geology, education, law, medicine, botany, agriculture, and zoology.

Sabinet’s African ePublications

The African Journal Archive was sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York in an effort to preserve the important literature of Africa and make it available for research projects. The result is a collection of journal articles covering the topics mentioned above, and dating back to 1906.

The African Journal Archive contains more than 182 African journals, incorporating over 150,000 articles, which are full-text and fully searchable through our information services.

To learn more about this service and how you might access it, be sure to contact Sabinet right away.

A Closer Look at Sabinet Monitoring Services

Sabinet Monitoring Services

When you want to find something online, you don’t enter URL after URL and read all the content on each site in the hope that you’ll discover what you are looking for. This would be far too time-consuming and not necessarily very effective. Instead, you adopt the digital answer to this process and have a search engine perform this task for you, cutting down your search time to milliseconds. But, if it can be this easy in some areas, why are you still extracting legal information from multiple sources? Sabinet Monitoring Services intend to change the way you find legal information online, cut down your search times drastically, and keep you constantly in the know.

Sabinet Monitoring Services work to compile all the movements in terms of legislation and feed it to you as it happens. It uses up-to-the-minute research on Bills and Draft Bills to notify you of changes before they happen, keeping you always ahead of the curve when it comes to important legislation being passed.

You have the power to decide when you would like to be notified of events, depending on your choice of service, meaning that you could potentially receive real-time updates of important events sourced from Sabinet monitoring articles, press releases, opinion pieces, speeches, and statements.

Who Benefits from Sabinet Monitoring Services?

Our services benefit workers in a great many fields, including the following:

1. People in the Legal Field

Naturally, if you are to offer sound legal advice, you have to keep abreast of the current state of the law through legislation. Our legal monitoring services allow you to just this, taking away the stress of having to obtain your information from multiple sources. With Sabinet, the latest happenings in the legal environment can potentially appear in your email inbox moments after they occur.

2. Legal Reporters and Journalists

It is necessary for those writing about changes in South Africa’s legislation to be privy to those changes as they occur. But, notifications of these changes are not always handed down on a platter. With this in mind, it is far easier to have a constant feed of collated information coming from a reliable source, which is exactly the service offered by our monitoring process.

3. Businesses with Legal Restrictions

If you own a business that operates within stringent legal boundaries, you need to be aware of any changes which may affect the way you run your business. Fortunately, with our service, you can set a filter to only receive information pertinent to your industry.

Sabinet is the Only Source You Need

Our monitoring services extract data from a wide variety of sources and offer it to you in a simple, easy-to-follow medium. This makes us the only source you need in order to keep abreast of legislative progress.

To learn more, or register for our services, please contact us today.

Unlocking the blockchain – An introduction to bitcoin and distributed ledger technology

While not many vendors in South Africa accepts cryptocurrency as a valid payment method, Bitcoin has started taking over the entire world. Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money. Invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Published in 2008, and was released as open-source software in 2009.

And although the Rand continuous to weaken, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is growing fast, with currency values climbing in 2017. Bitcoin enjoyed an increase in price of 63% during the last month and trade volumes almost ten folded on our local exchanges.

In light of this, Sabinet hosted the annual Organisation of South African Law Libraries (OSALL) breakfast workshop in Centurion that focused on this very topical matter and the impact thereof.

Norton Rose Fulbright’ Kerri Crawford and Rakhee Bhikha, based in Johannesburg, shared mind-boggling insights with law librarians and other professionals from the legal industry.

One might be familiar with cryptocurrencies, digital currencies or virtual currencies, but they all mean the same thing. Bitcoins hold many benefits in which they are readily available and the cost of transactions are very low. None of these however are linked to a bank or country.

Bitcoins are preferred by many online patrons, because of its real-time processing, easy accessible and most likely the anonymity factor to it. These days, you can purchase almost anything using bitcoins form coffee to houses, and you can use it in any country.

But the real question everyone is asking is how can something so anonymous and acquired so easily over the internet be legal? Every day we hear about how people are using their hard-earned Rands and buying bitcoins – whether it is for an investment or the thrill of buying internet currency and watching it grow by the day, sometimes even doubling overnight. Fact is Bitcoins are changing the financial industry the same way web changed the publishing industry.

Bitcoins are ‘mined’, using computing power in a distributed network. This network also processes transactions made with the virtual currency, effectively making bitcoin its own payment network.

Only 21 million bitcoins can ever be created by miners. However, these coins can be divided into smaller parts (the smallest divisible amount is one hundred millionth of a bitcoin and is called a ‘Satoshi’, after the founder of bitcoin).