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Current Awareness Archive: Oct2016

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

Websites of the month

SPARC * (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)

SPARC is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. SPARC empowers people to solve big problems and make new discoveries through the adoption of policies and practices that advance Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education.


Open Access

Open Education

Open Data

Impact Stories


This day in history

October 1, 1908 - Henry Ford's Model T, a "universal car" designed for the masses, went on sale for the first time.

October 1, 1946 - Twelve Nazi leaders were sentenced to death at the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

October 1, 1949 - The People's Republic of China was founded with Mao Zedong as Chairman.

October 2, 1935 - Mussolini's Italian troops invaded Abyssinia, beginning an occupation lasting until 1941.

October 3, 1929 - Yugoslavia became the official name of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

October 3, 1932 - Iraq gained independence from Britain and joined the League of Nations.

October 3, 1990 - After 45 years of Cold War division, East and West Germany were reunited as the Federal Republic of Germany.

October 4, 1582 - The Gregorian Calendar took effect in Catholic countries as Pope Gregory XIII issued a decree stating the day following Thursday, October 4, 1582, would be Friday, October 15, 1582, correcting a 10-day error accumulated by the Julian Calendar. Britain and the American colonies adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1752.

October 4, 1830 - Belgium gained its independence, after having been a part of the Netherlands since 1815.

October 5, 1910 - Portugal became a republic following a successful revolt against King Manuel II.

October 5, 1938 - Czech President Dr. Eduard Benes resigned and fled abroad amid threats from Adolf Hitler.

October 8, 1993 - The U.N. General Assembly lifted economic sanctions against South Africa following the end of racial apartheid. The sanctions had been imposed since the 1960s.

October 8, 1996 - Palestinian President Yasser Arafat made his first public visit to Israel for talks with Israeli President Ezer Weizman at his private residence.

October 9, 1962 - Uganda achieved independence after nearly 70 years of British rule.

October 12, 1811 - Paraguay declared its independence from Spain and Argentina.

October 12, 1822 - Brazil became independent of Portugal.

October 14, 1964 - Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He donated the $54,000 in prize money to the Civil Rights movement

October 23, 1989 - Hungary declared itself a republic 33 years after Soviet Russian troops crushed a popular revolt against Communist rule.

October 23, 1990 - Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitaly Masol resigned after mass protests by students, becoming the first Soviet official of that rank to quit under public pressure.

October 24, 1945 –

The United Nations was founded.

October 28, 1636 - Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in America, was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was named after John Harvard, a Puritan who donated his library and half of his estate. Distinguished alumni include; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Henry James, and NAACP founder W.E.B. Du Bois

October 29, 1929 –

 The stock market crashed as over 16 million shares were dumped amid tumbling prices. The Great Depression followed in America, lasting until the outbreak of World War II.

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.


Should you wish to read Current Awareness guides of previous years, visit the Archive

Looking for Upcoming 2016 Conferences?

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

Golden Oldies

This month's golden oldies articles of choice are:

Water footprint assessment to inform water management and policy making in South Africa

Pahlow, M, Sonwball, J and Fraser, G. 2015. Water footprint assessment  to inform water management and policy making in South Africa. Water SA, Vol 41 (3), 300 -313.

One method to inform decisions with respect to sustainable, efficient and equitable water allocation and use is water footprint assessment (WFA). This paper presents a preliminary WFA of South Africa (SA) based on data for the period 1996-2005. Crop production was found to contribute about 75% of the total water footprint of national production. The total water footprint of crop production is mainly composed of five crops: maize, fodder crops, sugarcane, wheat and sunflower seed, which account for 83% of the crop water footprint. The average water footprint of a South African consumer is 1 255 m3/yr, below the world average of 1 385 m3/yr, and is dominated by the consumption of meat (32%) and cereals (29%). About one fifth of this water footprint of consumption is external to SA. While SA is a net virtual water importer, the virtual water trade analysis revealed that a large share of blue water consumption is related to export. Sustainability concerns are that the major river basins face severe blue-water scarcity for extended periods of the year, and that water pollution levels related to nitrogen and phosphorus were found to be unsustainable in all river basins in SA. Efficient allocation and use of water is investigated by means of comparing the consumptive water footprint to global benchmark values, as well as the economic green- and blue-water productivity and the economic land productivity of the crops cultivated in SA. Furthermore, crops with specific potential for biofuel production are assessed. Lastly, recommendations to address the identified issues are given.


Five challenges for disability-related research in sub-Saharan Africa

Swartz, L. 2014. Five challenges for disability-related research in sub-Saharan Africa. African Journal of Disability, Vol 3 (2),  6 pages.

Disability research in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa is developing rapidly, and this is something to be celebrated. This article reviews some contemporary developments and suggests that there are five central, and interrelated, challenges for the field. These challenges – experience, expertise, enumeration, evidence, and expectations – go to the heart of thinking about disability research in sub-Saharan Africa. An optimistic but appropriately critical approach to addressing these issues is suggested.