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Current Awareness Archive: Apr2015

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.

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Website of the Month

April 2015's website of the month is:

Harvard University's Woodberry Poetry Room (last updated on 23 March 2015).

The Woodberry Poetry Room is one of the most substantial audio-visual archives for poetry in the United States of America, and the Poetry Room also serves as a venue where many readings, seminars, oral histories and lectures are held. At present, 51 recordings of these lectures, etc., are available on the site and you may find many of them rewarding. See, for example, no. 41, 'The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope-Poems' presented on 4 October 2012 by Jen Bervin, poet and visual artist, and Marta Werner, renowned Dickinson scholar, with an introduction by Christina Davis, Curator of the Woodberry Poetry Room (54:43).

The Unisa Library has the later published book on which the lecture is based:

DICKINSON, Emily (2013) The Gorgeous Nothings, by Marta L. Werner and Jen Bervin; with a preface by Susan Howe. New York: Christine Burgin/ New Directions in association with Granary Books. The book is shelved in the Pretoria Open Collection at 811.4 DICK DICK.

About the Monthly Current 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.

April 2015

Selected Noteworthy Days in April 2015:

2 April:         United Nations World Autism Awareness Day: Theme for 2015 is Employment: The Autism Advantage

3 - 6 April:   Easter Long Weekend

3 - 12 April: The Rand Show, Johannesburg Expo Centre, NASREC   

7 - 9 April:   State Visit by H.E. Robert G. Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Chair of the African Union, to South Africa

22 Aprl:       International Mother Earth Day    

23 April:      World Book and Copyright Day 

25 April:      World Malaria Day. Note the upcoming conference: Translating Malaria Research to the Field, 26-31 July, 2015, Girona, Spain

26 April:      World Intellectual Property Day: Theme for 2015 is: Get Up, Stand Up. For Music

26 April:      World Veterinary Day: Theme for 2015: Vector-Borne Diseases with a Zoonotic Potential

27 April:      Freedom Day. Read the following article: South African Tourism (2014) '27 Articles You Should Read on Freedom Day Weekend'

In the Media

US Supreme Court Justices Kennedy and Breyer address Congress on prison overcrowding. See 'Justice Kennedy's Plea to Congress' (Editorial), The New York Times, 4 April 2015

By contrast, read the following article on the Norwegian penal system: Benko, Jessica 'The Radical Humaneness of Norway's Halden Prison' The New York Times Magazine, 26 March 2015

Green energy from platinum fuel cells: 'Chamber of Mines Turns on Africa's First Platinum Fuel Cell' posted on on 8 April 2015

Pan Macmillan to publish sequel to Long Walk to Freedom in 2016 based on 1998 manuscript - will cover the presidential years. See Hawkes, Rebecca 'New Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom will be "a Rallying Cry"' The Telegraph, 24 March 2015

Minister of Arts and Culture joins transformation debate surrounding statue of Rhodes at UCT. See Mthethwa, Nathi 'No Application Received for Removal of UCT Rhodes Statue' (Statement), 25 March 2015. May also find the following open access article interesting background reading (will need to click on download and then close Facebook message to view article): Ndlovu, Ndukuyakhe (2011) 'Legislation as an Instrument in South African Heritage Management: Is it Effective?' Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, vol 13, no 1, pp 31-57

Republic of South Africa, Department of Higher Education and Training publishes Research Outputs Policy, 2015. See Government Gazette, no 38552, Notice No 188, 11 March 2015. (Note that this replaces the Policy for Measurement of Research Outputs of Public Higher Education Institutions, 2003, in its entirety.)

An opinion piece on high-protein diets. See Ornish, Dean 'The Myth of High-Protein Diets' The New York Times, 23 March 2015 

Fareed Zakaria, author, journalist and host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS (Global Public Square) reminds us of the value of the humanities in his latest book In Defense of a Liberal Education, and has sparked off a debate in the media. See, for example, Altschuler, Glenn 'W(h)ither the Liberal Arts?' posted on The Conversation on 8 April, 2015 and Strauss, Valerie 'What the "liberal" in "liberal arts" actually means' The Washington Post, 2 April 2015

Innovation is of campus-wide interest. See perhaps International Development Research Centre (Ottawa, Canada)  (2015) Developing National Systems of Innovation: University-Industry Interactions in the Global South, edited by Eduardo Albuquerque ... [et al.]. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing

Each year Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, publishes its Technology Vision. See the 2015 Technology Vision: Digital Business Era: Stretch Your Boundaries 

Cyber-attacks are on the increase. See Nolan, Andrew (2015) 'Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Legal Challenges and Solutions' (Congressional Research Service)

Libraries and archives welcome report by United Nations Special Rapporteur. See Report of the Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights, Farida Shaheed: Copyright Policy and the Right to Science and Culture (24 December 2014)

Functional literacy still an issue in the UK. See United Kingdom, Department for Education (2015) Reading: The Next Steps: Supporting Higher Standards in Schools

A recent paper assesses homeopathy, a branch of complementary and alternative medicine. Australian Government, National Health and Medical Research Council (2015) NHMRC Information Paper: Evidence on the Effectiveness of Homeopathy for Treating Health Conditions. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council    


Should you wish to look back and find something you remember being posted here, visit the Archive to find what you are looking for. Note that Dec 2014/ Jan 2015 were archived together. The months from February 2015 onward will remain here until they are archived at the end of the year. 

Do not hesitate to contact us at if you cannot find what you are looking for.


Looking for Upcoming 2015 Conferences?

If you are looking for 2015's forthcoming conferences, the following websites are helpful:

Golden Oldies

As it is the holidays, we thought you might enjoy some Golden Oldies for recreational reading. We recommend:

A novel by Sigrid Undset, a Norwegian author awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. This book is available from the Unisa Library:   UNDSET, Sigrid (1936) Kristin Lavransdatter. [S.l.] : Knopf. The book is shelved in the Pretoria Open Collection at 839.82372 UND.

See also Berguson, Claudia (2010) 'Arrested in Parody: The Performance of Erlend Nikulausson in Kristin LavransdatterScandinavian Studies, vol 82, no 3, pp 287-312. To view this article, staff will be prompted for their Unisa Network username and password, and students will be prompted for their Unisa student number and myUnisa password.

George Eliot's novel, described by Virginia Woolf as 'the magnificent book which with all its imperfections is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.' ELIOT, George (1973) MiddlemarchLondon: Pan Books. The book is shelved in the Pretoria Open Collection at 823.8 ELIO.

See also Andres, Sophia (1996) 'The Unhistoric in History: George Eliot's Challenge to Victorian Historiography' Clio, vol 26, no 26, pp 79-95. To view this article, staff will be prompted for their Unisa Network username and password, and students will be prompted for their Unisa student number and myUnisa password.

Another interesting book linked to Middlemarch is the following brand new addition to our Collection: MEAD, Rebecca (2014) The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot. London: Granta. 'At the age of seventeen, Rebecca Mead read Middlemarch for the first time, and has read it again every five years since, each time interpreting and discovering it anew. In The Road to Middlemarch she writes passionately about her relationship to this remarkable, much-loved Victorian novel, and shows how we can live richer and more fulfilling lives through our profound engagement with great literary works.' [Descriptive content supplied by Bowker's Syndetics service.] The book is shelved in the Pretoria Open Collection at 823.8 ELIO MEAD. Note that this book is out on loan at the moment, but you may nevertheless request it.