Message from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Postgraduate Studies and the Library

Knowledge is a cornerstone of modern society. Societies that invest in knowledge production will
thrive; those that do not are likely to remain in the ranks of mediocrity. UJ understands its critical
role as a centre of knowledge not only in the continent of Africa but also globally. The university
therefore positions itself within the social, industrial, governmental and international spheres to pursue
research and development that are relevant, applicable, timely and of global stature. These goals are
achieved by investing in high quality staff, postgraduate training and research and development.

In 2006, UJ set itself the target of achieving 600 research units by 2016. In 2012, we submitted 906
research units. In 2011, 806 units were submitted and 774.35 were achieved. It is clear that we have
broken well past the 800 mark. This of course means that our previous targets need to be revised.

In 2012, 77.1% of publications were submitted for international publication compared with 71% in
2011 and 65% in 2010. The 2012 submissions were made to some of the world’s leading journals
including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences with an impact factor of 9.7, Physical
Review Letters with an impact factor of 7.4, Nature Materials with an impact factor of 30, Physical
Review with an impact factor of 4 and the Journal of Physical Chemistry C, the top journal in physical
chemistry. The number of active researchers grew to 647 in 2012, from 622 in 2011. Nine hundred
and eight papers and 1 311 citations appeared on the Scopus database, and 734 papers and 1 296
citations on the InCites research evaluation tool. In 2011, UJ contributed 6.9% of the national research
output and is expected to increase this share after the DHET has completed its auditing process. Per
capita output was 0.89 units, having grown steadily from 0.4 in 2007. All these data are evidence of
the university’s remarkable growth in research stature.

Of particular strategic importance to UJ is its increased number of NRF-rated researchers. This rating
process is uniquely South African and recognises the country’s most active and prominent academic
researchers. The number of the university’s NRF-rated researchers has increased from 96 in 2011 to
114 in 2012, and of its A-rated researchers from 5 to 6. A-rated researchers are scholars who are
global leaders in their fields.

Another key growth area has been in the number of post-doctoral fellows, including many from all over
the world. In 2012, UJ had 110 post-doctoral fellows compared with 82 in 2011.
The university takes very seriously the issue of postgraduate training. In 2011, we had 2 039 Masters
students of whom 389 graduated, and 629 doctoral students with 68 of them graduating. In 2012,
these numbers increased to 2 072 Masters students, with 430 graduating; and 623 doctoral students
of whom 109 graduated.

On behalf of the Research, Postgraduate Studies and Library Office, I thank the faculties and all the
researchers who have made the impressive statistics detailed in this report a reality. I would like to
give particular thanks to Prof Adam Habib and Dr Christopher Masuku, respectively previous Deputy
Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Advancement and Executive Director: Research and
Innovation. They served the university with distinction, and were central to nurturing UJ’s now well
established and productive research culture. We wish them well in their new endeavours.

I look forward to engaging with all of our stakeholders as we move ahead, achieving our current targets
and revising those outstripped by the rapid pace at which we have been growing the quality and quantity
of our research.

Prof Tshilidzi Marwala
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Postgraduate Studies and the Library

     
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