Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research Data Management (RDM): Open Data, Open Science and Open Access

UCT Libraries Research Data Services provide guidance and support for all aspects of the data lifecycle, from planning your data management strategy during the proposal phase through preserving your data at the conclusion of your project.

What is Open Data?

A Few Words on Open Data

Open data is the idea that some data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.

Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share. Governments, businesses and individuals can use open data to bring about social, economic and environmental benefits.

Why Is Open Data Important?

Open data is important because the world has grown increasingly data-driven. But if there are restrictions on the access and use of data, the idea of data-driven business and governance will not be materialized.

Therefore, open data has its own unique place. It can allow a fuller understanding of the global problems and universal issues. It can give a big boost to businesses. It can be a great impetus for machine learning. It can help fight global problems such as disease or crime or famine. Open data can empower citizens and hence can strengthen democracy. It can streamline the processes and systems that the society and governments have built. It can help transform the way we understand and engage with the world.

Introducing ZivaHub - Open Data UCT

Following the official launch of ZivaHub on 24 October, UCT Libraries is the first academic library in the country to have a fully functioning open-access institutional data repository (IDR) available to its research community. Read News article here.

Open Data at UCT


Open Data UCT, powered by Figshare for Institutions, is available to all students and staff at UCT. This new service is an online repository, providing access to the supplementary research data that inform scholarly outputs hosted on other platforms, such as OpenUCT.

Data First

Welcome to our Open Data Portal

Our Open Data portal gives researchers access to high-quality disaggregated data (microdata) from African countries. Register on our site to find and download data.

Please remember to cite each data source used in your research. Citations for each dataset are available under “Data Access” in the study information. Citation information can also be accessed at Or contact our helpdesk for help with citing data.