On April 16 2018, over 150 researchers convened at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)-Nairobi for a half-day forum to discuss how research can be progressed using ICT. The event, organized by KALRO and KENET sought to engage researchers in bid to promote research using Information Technologies. KENET has long worked with researchers as one of its mandates is to enhance research using ICTs. Research in the country has been enhanced by the array of research services and infrastructures provided by KENET. Cloud Computing and High-Performance Computing (HPC) are services provided by KENET that researchers in various fields such as medicine, computer science and bioinformatics use to process and store their data.
The forum began with introductions and welcoming remarks from the deputy Director General crops (Crops Division)- Dr. Felister Makini. Thereafter, KENET Executive Director, Professor Meoli Kashorda presented on KENET researchers services and benefits such as Eduroam, digital certificates and shared facilities. He emphasised on the importance of self-assessment of an organization using the Elsevier tool that gathers information using Scopus. Most of the researchers seemed unfamiliar with the tool therefore the director elaborated widely on scival. The researchers who were mainly scientists specializing in agricultural research learnt how research services from KENET could be utilized to bridge a gap with their peers both locally and globally.
A major issue arising was the importance of open data which will enhance visibility and accessibility of information. Most researchers were afraid of availing their data citing plagiarism as the main risk. It was made clear that open data is now a contemporary issue therefore the researchers can choose to open their data to a specific audience such as to KALRO members only or to the world. This will facilitate collaborations and more citations hence increasing visibility. Reaching more people will imply more impact to the community. This is in line with the KALRO goal which is to expedite equitable access to research information, resources and technology in agriculture.