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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December's website of the month is:
Saide, the South African Institute for Distance Education, is a non-governmental organization based in Johannesburg but conducting projects throughout South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Saide's task is to contribute to the development of new models of open and distance education practice, that accord with and take forward the values, principles, and goals of the evolving education systems in the Southern African region.
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.
Selected Noteworthy Days in December 2015:
25 Nov - 10 December:
1 Dec World AIDS Day
10 Dec: International Human Rights Day
18 Dec: International Migrants Day
25 Dec: Christmas Day
26 Dec: Day of Goodwill
Geewax, Marilyn (2015) ‘Bill Gates and other billionaires pledge to take on climate change’ 30 November, available at: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/30/457900449/bill-gates-and-other-billionaires-pledge-to-take-on-climate-change
Phipps, Claire (2015) ‘Oscar Pistorius conviction upgraded to murder – as it happened’ The Guardian, 3 December, available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/dec/03/oscar-pistorius-appeal-court-guilty-murder-reeva-steenkamp-live. See also Director of Public Prosecutions, Gauteng v Pistorius (96/2015)  ZASCA 204 (3 December 2015), available at: http://www.justice.gov.za/sca/judgments/sca_2015/sca2015-204.pdf
Nikkah, Roya (2015) ‘Hidden portrait “found under Mona Lisa”, says French scientist’ BBC News, 8 December, available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-35031997
Pope declares the Year of Mercy: see ‘Pope Francis opens St Peter’s Holy Door to launch jubilee’ (2015) BBC News, 8 December, available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35037740
‘Oscar Pistorius granted bail after murder conviction’ (2015) BBC News, 8 December, available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35034292
Rogers, Paul (2015) ‘Islamic State’s Plan, and the West’s Trap’ Oxford Research Group Briefing, November, available at: http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/sites/default/files/ORG%20Syria%20Briefing%20Nov15.pdf
Shieber, Stuart and Suber, Peter (2015) ‘Good practices for university Open-Access policies’ available at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/hoap/sites/hoap/images/Goodpracticesguide-2015.pdf
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you cannot find what you are looking for.
December's Golden Oldie is a classic written in 1977 and now in its 23rd edition. The Library has two copies of this book:
ECO, Umberto (2015) How to write a thesis, translated by Caterina Mongiat Farina and Geoff Farina; foreword by Francesco Erspamer. Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA: The MIT Press (Massachusets Institute of Technology).
Shelved in the Pretoria Open Collection at 378.242 ECOU on the 7th floor.