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Current Awareness 2024: January

Request a Literature Search

Need sources for your literature review? Struggling to find sources for your assignment, research proposal or thesis?

The Library can assist with a literature search, which is a systematic and comprehensive search for published, academic material on your specific subject/topic. How do you request one? Simply go to Request a literature search .

If you are experiencing problems accessing the form, please use this link

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

Disability - World Health Organization (WHO)

Disability is part of being human. Almost everyone will temporarily or permanently experience disability at some point in their life. An estimated 1.3 billion people – about 16% of the global population – currently experience significant disability. This number is increasing due in part to population ageing and an increase in the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases.

Disability results from the interaction between individuals with a health condition, such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and depression, with personal and environmental factors including negative attitudes, inaccessible transportation and public buildings, and limited social support.

A person’s environment has a huge effect on the experience and extent of disability. Inaccessible environments create barriers that often hinder the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society on an equal basis with others. Progress on improving social participation can be made by addressing these barriers and facilitating persons with disabilities in their day to day lives.

For more information, see the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).


The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI)

The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) was established in 2011 under the National Energy Act, 2008 (Act No. 34 of 2008). The Act provides for SANEDI to direct, monitor and conduct energy research and development, promote energy research and technology innovation as well as undertake measures to promote energy efficiency throughout the economy.
SANEDI’s energy development agenda is a key part of our country’s energy journey


Database of the Month


Alternate Name(s) PsycTESTS

PsycTESTS, produced by the American Psychological Association (APA), is a one-of-a-kind database providing descriptive summaries, full text, and relevant citations on the development and assessment of tests and measures that can be used in research and teaching. Coverage dates from 1910 to the present.


Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print 

This database provides users with a comprehensive guide to over 2,700 contemporary testing instruments. Designed for an audience ranging from novice test consumers to experienced professionals, the MMY series contains information essential for a complete evaluation of test products within such diverse areas as psychology, education, business, and leadership.

Unisa Open

The following sites on Unisa Open contains useful information for Unisa staff.

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.

Selected noteworthy days in January

Why do we mark International Days?

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.

01 Jan Global Family Day


04 Jan World Braille Day (A/RES/73/161)

    History of World Braille Day


24 Jan International Day of Education (A/RES/73/25)


26 Jan International Day of Clean Energy (A/RES/77/327)

Clean energy: for all…

Energy lies at the core of a double challenge: leaving no one behind and protecting the Planet. And clean energy is crucial to its solution.

In a world grappling with climate change, clean energy plays a vital role in reducing emissions, and can also benefit communities lacking access to reliable power sources. Still today, 675 million people live in the dark - 4 in 5 are in Sub-Saharan Africa.


27 Jan International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust (A/RES/60/7)

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/7 that established the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, also designated 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust – observed with ceremonies and activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at United Nations offices around the world.


30 Jan  World Leprosy Day

World Leprosy Day is observed on the last Sunday of January to focus on the target of zero cases of leprosy-related disabilities in children. As we know disabilities do not occur overnight but happen after a prolonged period of undiagnosed disease.

In the media

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Catalytic niche areas

The university has identified ten (10) catalytic niches that will assist the institution in catalysing research, innovation and engaged scholarship These are as follows:

  • Marine studies,
  • Aviation and Aeronautical studies,
  • Automotive,
  • Energy,
  • Space study and Square Kilometer Array,
  • Fourth Industrial revolution and Digitalisation,
  • Natural Sciences (Biotechnological studies),
  • Health Studies/Medicine,
  • Feminist, Womanist, Bosadi Theorizations,
  • Student Support and Co-Curricular activities.

Click on the links below for information on Marine studies.


"Marine pollution control" AND "South Africa"

"Marine pollution control"

"Marine studies" AND “climate change"

"Marine ecotourism"

Dissertation/Thesis on “Marine studies”

Conference Proceeding on “Marine studies”

E-books on Marine studies

Google Scholar on “Global Trends in Marine studies”

Golden oldie


Bhakta, A., Brown, E. and Groce, N. (2024).  Clean cooking for every ‘body’: Including people with disabilities in modern energy cooking services in the global south. Energy Research & Social Science, vol 108, pp.103399-10399.


Clean cooking solutions, with greater access to cleaner and safer cooking fuels than traditional energy sources, are key to ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services for all. However, the needs of the 1 billion people living with disabilities globally who face disproportionate levels of poverty, poor access to nutrition, and challenges with buying and preparing food, have been neglected from discussions around the expansion of access to clean cooking across low- and middle-income countries. Drawing on academic and grey literature and informal discussions with disability and energy sector experts, this paper calls for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the transition to clean cooking, highlighting the potential benefits that this can bring. Including people with disabilities in clean cooking can improve the nutritional and economic status of their households, facilitate their independence, provide routes for inclusive technological innovation, and improve the health of people with disabilities. People with disabilities need to be included in the expansion of access to clean cooking. Engaging people with disabilities as champions of clean cooking, involving organisations of disabled persons, engaging disabled men and boys as well as disabled women, and linking to global resources such as social media are pivotal to widening access to clean cooking. Involving people with disabilities in clean cooking can ensure that every ‘body’ is part of efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7.

Further reading

Disability Inclusion Strategy

When launching the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy in June 2019, the Secretary-General stated that the United Nations should lead by example and raise the Organization’s standards and performance on disability inclusion-across all pillars of work, from headquarters to the field.  

To track progress on steps taken by the United Nations system to mainstream disability inclusion and implement the Strategy, the Secretary-General submits an annual system-wide report to the General Assembly. The report establishes recommendations for the system to do more, and lays down concrete steps to support to Member States to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, contributing to a more inclusive United Nations for all.

“United Nations Disability inclusion strategy” document,  launched in June 2019


The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy provides the foundation for sustainable and transformative progress on disability inclusion through all pillars of the work of the United Nations. Through the Strategy, the organizations of the United Nations system reaffirm that the full and complete realization of the human rights of all persons with disabilities is an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Strategy is the result of a process launched by the Secretary-General in April 2018 to strengthen system-wide accessibility for persons with disabilities and the mainstreaming of their rights. Its development was informed by an extensive institutional review led by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. The Strategy includes a system-wide policy, an accountability framework and other implementation modalities…….

Read the Secretary-General’s progress report on the implementation of the Strategy (October 2022)


Looking for upcoming conferences?

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


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