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Current Awareness 2021: January

Up-to-date topics of interest to researchers

What is current awareness

Current awareness is the term used to describe staying informed by keeping up to date with the latest publications, research and news in your field.

The perspective of current awareness is the present and the forthcoming, as opposed to the retrospective. 

Current awareness ranges from looking for information on specific topics on a regular basis (and this usually involves the assistance of your Personal Librarian to help you set up a search profile matched to your research interests) to embracing a wider, more general, and cross-disciplinary view that brings an element of serendipity into your search for the latest information.

Informally, researchers remain alert in all contexts for useful information and insights that will inform their daily practice, their research, and spark off innovative and creative ideas for new avenues of research.

Website of the month

The website of the month is the UN's website on sustainable development. The site offers current information, is visually appealing and provides links to interconnected subjects from the brand new Online Technology Platform helpful to entrepreneurs, among others, to SDG Good Practices, news, and links to webinars. You will find the webinars under "Engage". On Wednesday 7 July 2021, for example, there is a webinar on higher education institutions and universities. If you miss a webinar, click on the link, click on FEATURED and scroll down to view the webinar on YouTube. 

United Nations: Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Sustainable Development

Further reading

On sustainable development:



  • Request Bell, Simon and Morse, Stephen (2008) Sustainability Indicators: Measuring the Immeasurable? 2nd ed. Sterling, VA: Earthscan (available from the Unisa Library, Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria).


On teaching Chemistry during the pandemic:


About the monthly awareness page

The year is marked with many special days, weeks, and months dedicated and devoted to raising awareness about important issues.

This monthly post, compiled by the Information Search Librarians Team, will note special dates and themes, and draw your attention to possibly interesting cross-disciplinary topical references intended to inform and to inspire ideas for research.

In the media

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Should you wish to read Current Awareness guides of previous years, please visit the archive:







Looking for upcoming conferences?

If you are looking for forthcoming conferences, the following websites are helpful:

Golden oldies

You will be prompted to enter your Unisa student number and myUnisa password, or, your Unisa staff Network username and password to access the full text articles.


Lumley, Sarah and Armstrong, Patrick "Some of the Nineteenth Century Origins of the Sustainability Concept" Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol 6, 2004, pp 367-378.

Purvis, Ben, Mao, Yong and Robinson, Darren "Three Pillars of Sustainability: In Search of Conceptual Origins" Sustainability Science, vol 14, no 3, 2019, pp 681-695.

Seefried, Elke "Rethinking Progress. On the Origin of the Modern Sustainability Discourse, 1970-2000" Journal of Modern European History, vol 13, no 3 (Theme: Politics and Time from the 1960s to the 1980s), pp 377-400.