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Ask a Librarian: Research Support

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Where can I do research in the Unisa Branch Libraries and in the Muckleneuk Library on the Pretoria Main Campus?

Study space in support of researchers:

Each of the Unisa Libraries has a limited amount of seating for students and visitors who need a desk at which to study or at which to consult Library material. However, please be aware that the number of seats is limited for public safety reasons.

Master’s and Doctoral students have access to the Research Space on the 4th floor of the Muckleneuk Library where they may write and work on their research projects. Access to this area is controlled by the use of your electronic student card.

A study carrel is a small, lockable room in the Library reserved for study. Study carrels are available for use by Master's and Doctoral students on Levels 5 to 8 of the Muckleneuk Library. Enquire at the Lending Counter of the Muckleneuk Library if you wish to make use of a study carrel.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when you present another person’s ideas as your own without properly acknowledging that person as the source of those ideas. Plagiarism applies to both published and unpublished material.

To learn how to avoid plagiarism you can read through this guide click on Managing Sources > Avoiding Plagiarism.

You can also download the Unisa Plagiarism brochure.

Who can assist me if I am an undergraduate or Honours student with a research component to my studies?

The Library offers support for the research skilling of undergraduate and Honours students in the following ways:

The LibGuides themselves are part of the Library's efforts to support students and researchers to develop their research skills.

If you are an undergraduate or Honours student, please read through the LibGuide on How to Search which explains the basics of how to search the Library's resources, including how to make the most of Google and Google Scholar, and if you have a research component during the course your studies, you will find the LibGuide on the Literature Review helpful.

There is also a link on the Library home page to Research Support where you will find a useful set of tutorials on Research Skills. Topics covered include:

  • Using the Unisa Library home page
  • Researching your topic
  • Using the Library's subject databases
  • Finding books
  • Finding journal articles
  • Finding theses and dissertations
  • Finding other electronic material
  • Findling legal information
  • Evaluating  your information
  • Managing your references
  • Keeping up-to-date with your research
  • Citation resources

If you visit the Library in person, the Branch Librarians will also be able to guide you in how to search the Library Catalogue and other electronic resources.

Pay attention to the Library Training page. Here you will find the Training Schedules of sessions to be held by the Branch Librarians of the Muckleneuk Library on the Unisa Main Campus in Pretoria. Use the Online Booking Calendar to book your place on the training. The types of training offered include:

  • Introduction to the Library: Services and Procedures
  • Using the Unisa Library Catalogue
  • Introduction to E-Resources
  • Using Reference Sources
  • Introduction to Reference Techniques
  • Research Skills

As long as your assignment or research project does not require you to do a literature search of limited scope independently by yourself as a learning exercise to develop your research skills, or if you have carried out a literature search and are simply not finding relevant or sufficient information, you may submit a request for a literature search on your research topic to the Information Search Librarians Team via myUnisa > click on More Sites > click on Library > if the menu on the left-hand side of the page is not visible click on the right-facing arrow to expand the menu > select the Literature search request form option from the menu > read the important information on this page before clicking on the blue continue arrow in the bottom right-hand corner of the page and complete the form > click on Submit only once to prevent duplicate submissions.

Submit any request for a literature search at the earliest opportunity as this service works on a first-come-first-served basis.

Who can assist me if I am a Master's or Doctoral student?

The Unisa Library supports Master's and Doctoral students in the following ways:

The LibGuides themselves are part of the Library's efforts to support students and researchers to develop their research skills. Take a look at the LibGuides on Research Skills and on the Literature Review. Look for the subject-specific guides compiled by the Personal Librarians via the Library Guides link on the Library home page.

You will also benefit by contacting the Personal Librarian for your subject. This valuable service supports researchers in the following ways:

  • assistance with research needs
  • training in the use of the subject databases (group and one-on-one training by prior arrangement)
  • support in setting up alerting services
  • compilation of subject -specific literature lists
  • developing partnerships with academics, researchers and graduate students

If you visit the Library in person, the Branch Librarians will also be able to guide you in how to search the Library Catalogue and other electronic resources.

If you cannot visit the Library, you may submit a request for a literature search on your research topic to the Information Search Librarians Team via myUnisa > click on More Sites > click on Library > if the menu on the left-hand side of the page is not visible click on the right-facing arrow to expand the menu > select the Literature search request form option from the menu > read the important information on this page before clicking on the blue continue arrow in the bottom right-hand corner of the page and complete the form > click on Submit only once to prevent duplicate submissions. Submit any request for a literature search at the earliest opportunity as this service works on a first-come-first-served basis.