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Current Awareness 2020: July

What's happening in South Africa

Unisa Coronavirus updates

Unisa Coronavirus disease update

Unisa provides regular Coronovirus (COVID-19) updates to students and staff on a dedicated page.


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

Websites of the month

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases is a national public health institute of South Africa, providing reference microbiology, virology, epidemiology, surveillance and public health research to support the government’s response to communicable disease threats.

The NICD serves as a resource of knowledge and expertise of communicable diseases to the South African Government, Southern African Development Community countries and the African continent. The institution assists in the planning of policies and programmes to support and respond to communicable diseases.


The World Health Organization's Coronavirus disease page.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health


Sustainable Development Goals Online (SDG Online)

Taylor & Francis’ Sustainable Development Goals Online collection is a carefully curated interdisciplinary collection of digital content mapped to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs Online collection includes more than 12,000 of the most important and relevant book chapters and journal articles, published under the Routledge and CRC Press imprints, in an online library covering all 17 SDGs. The collection also features new multi-format teaching and learning resources, including core essays, presentations, videos, case studies, teaching guides, and lesson plans.

Further reading

Copyright & Access to Knowledge Issues

This is a free online international Information Service covering various topics, including copyright, plagiarism and other IP matters, Open Access, open publishing, open learning resources, institutional repositories, scholarly communication, digitization and library matters, mobile technologies, issues affecting access to knowledge (A2K), particularly in developing countries; WTO and WIPO treaties and matters; Free Trade Agreements and TRIPS Plus; useful websites, conference alerts, etc.

Written and edited by Denise Nicholson

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.

Selected noteworthy days in July

Stay safe protect South AfricaHelp us fight the Coronavirus



National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)



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

Bubonic plague in Cape colony

The British Medical Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1586 (May 23, 1891), pp. 1145-1147
Ernest Hill, L. G. Haydon
The Journal of Hygiene, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Oct., 1905), pp. 467-484

Database Training Opportunities