ACU eLibrary Research Management Good Practice Index

brought to you by Research Africa - Connecting the African Research World

Welcome to the ACU Research Management Good Practice eLibrary

Introduction Back to Top

The ACU eLibrary is a database of hundreds of Research and Innovation Management policies, procedures, contract templates, guidelines, and forms, in place at universities around the world. The eLibrary is regularly updated and revised with new entries.

The purpose of the ACU eLibrary is to provide Research and Innovation Managers with an extensive resource of policy models in a range of different contexts. We hope that comparing international trends will be useful as you develop your own research strategies and seek to encourage more high-quality research outputs at your institution.

The ACU eLibrary was developed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities as part of the Research Africa project, and this basic version of the database is available as a free public-access resource. For information on how to access the full version with added search functions and live community forums, please contact for subscription information.

ACU and Research Africa Back to Top

The Research Africa consortium is comprised of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), ResearchResearch Ltd., and the ACU.

The ACU's Global Research Management Programme seeks to enhance the capacity of research managers around the world to share good practice and strengthen their institutions' place in the research community and in the wider community as well.

This Good Practice eLibrary is one such effort by the ACU, and has been developed especially for Research Africa.

How to Search Back to Top

There are several ways you can search the ACU eLibrary for policy documents. Documents are organised by Research Management themes, including Commercialisation, Publication, Costing Procedures, Intellectual Property, Research Ethics, among many others. Click on any of these items in the Themes menu to refine your search - if you would like to select more than one theme, hold the CTRL key on your keyboard and select multiple items in the Themes menu.

You can also refine your search by country, by authoring institution, by year of revision (so that you can find policies revised in a specific year), and by document type (depending on whether you are looking for guidelines, policies, or forms - please see the Definitions section of this page for more details). Each of these categories have menus you can search by. You can hold the CTRL key to select multiple items in any of these menus.

Also, enter a word into a free-text search bar and the database will list all the documents which contain this word in the text. For example, by entering the term "animal housing" all the policies that refer to the housing of animal research subjects will be displayed.

If your search returns too few results, try broadening your search by selecting fewer items in your search criteria.

Results Back to Top

Once you have produced a list of search results, you can click on any result you are interested in learning more about. You will find the institution's web site where the full policy document can be read and downloaded, or you can download a PDF version of the original document. We have also provided a short summary to introduce the document.

You will also see contact information for the office responsible for the policy document at the authoring institution if you have any specific questions or comments about this document and its development.

Publications Back to Top

Policy documents included in the ACU eLibrary have also been the subject of an ongoing ACU study under the Research and Innovation Policy Series, with results published in a series of detailed reports available for free to members of Research Africa. Please select one of the following links for more information on reports in this series.

Current Practice in Research Ethics: Global Trends and New Opportunities for African Universities (April 2007)

Current Practice in University Intellectual Property Policy (forthcoming)

Current Practice in Contract and Grant Management (forthcoming)

Definitions Back to Top

Document Types:

any contract templates, application forms or approval/submission forms to be completed by researchers, principal investigators, human research subjects, or other stakeholders.
strategic documents which outline general visions but do not regulate or mandate adhesion to a particular set of procedures, nor do they declare any body or committee which might be responsible for overseeing the guideline.
may imbue elements of strategic guidelines, but are also regulatory and legislative, and they commit those covered by the document to upholding the document’s provisions or risk facing reprisal
while not decreed through policy, many institutions have created innovative services at their Research Management or Technology Transfer offices which aid researchers in obtaining advice for drafting funding proposals, promoting the institution’s research culture, or other areas of Research Management.

Contact Back to Top

If your query is regarding Research Africa subscription information, or about how to use the ACU eLibrary or to submit your own institution’s research and Innovation Management policies to the ACU eLibrary, please contact us by either:

Research Africa – Sales and Marketing
125 Buitengracht St.
Cape Town 8001
South Africa
Tel: +27 21 409 7912
Fax: +27 21 409 7913
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Woburn House
20 – 24 Tavistock Sq.
London WC1H 9HF
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)207 380 6772
Fax: +44 (0)207 387 2655