Development of Research Administration and Management System for Higher Education Institutions in Developing Countries: Case Study of Durban University of Technology
Research information management has become an essential activity for higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide as a mechanism to aggregate, curate, utilize and improve the transparency of information about research. It has led to the evolution of proprietary software systems for administering and managing research information in HEIs. However, the literature reveals that most proprietary software systems are usually inflexible, costly to maintain and do not adequately satisfy the dynamic requirements of HEIs in developing countries. Consequently, the demand for current information systems is to incorporate a high degree of formalism into software development processes to produce correct, flexible, usable and cost-effective systems. This paper reports on the development of a web-based research administration and management system (RAMS) that addresses pertinent issues associated with research information management in the context of HEIs in developing countries. The Zermelo-Fraenkel specification language has been utilized to formally specify the requirements of RAMS in close collaboration with the intended users who evaluated its usability. The overall results of the usability evaluation show that RAMS is effective, useful, easy to use, learnable and satisfactory.