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e-Journals and how to use the e-Journal Finder? : What are e-journals?

What are e-journals?

Electronic journals, or e-journals as they are commonly referred to, are scholarly and/ or peer reviewed journals that are available online. 

Remember that with an e-journal you do not have to come to the Library shelves to find and read  an article. You can read, save or print the journal article from wherever you are as long as you have access to the Internet.

The Unisa Library subscribes to thousands of electronic journals and provides easier access to their content through the Unisa Library e-Journal Finder which serves as a type of catalogue of all the e-journals  available from the Unisa LIbrary (with a few exceptions).

Therefore, the e-Journal Finder is the tool we use when we wish to find out if a particular journal is available electronically from the Unisa Library.

How do I access e-journals?

You will find the e-Journal Finder on the the Unisa Library home page at:


  • Library Homepage  click on

  • Find e-Journals

  • type in the title of the journal and click on Search
  • the results will show in which databases the journal is available and the years of coverage will be indicated
  • click on the relevant database (you will be prompted at some stage to enter your student number and myUnisa password, and staff will enter their Unisa Network username and password) to access the journal’s home page where the volumes are displayed by year, volume number and/ or by issue number within the volume, and finally by page number

Can I access e-journals when I am off-campus/ at home/ at work?

The good thing with e-journals is that yes, access is possible both on- and off-campus. With e-journals, you do not need to be physically in the Library.

In fact, access is available from any device that has an Internet connection. You will be prompted to authenticate yourself by entering your student number and myUnisa password. Without the password which you created when you joined myUnisa as a registered student, you cannot have access to the e-journals available through the Unisa Library. Unisa staff members will use their Unisa Network username and password.

What are the benefits of using e-journals to Unisa students and staff?

Firstly, e-journals save you the reader time. You bypass the need to request and wait for a copy of the article from the Library. Keeping in mind that you are one among many students sending requests to the Library and that students are served on a first-come-first-served basis, the turnaround time for the queue of requests is naturally slower than accessing the e-journal directly and downloading it yourself. You should only make use of the request service for journal articles  when you are unable to find the e-journal  from the e-Journal finder (e-journal catalogue) or when you do not have convenient access to the Internet.

Secondly, you will obtain the articles you need in good time so as to prepare your assignments and research projects.

Thirdly, you will be able to get related articles that are equally useful to your task as you have the opportunity to browse tables of contents and evaluate the  results you retrieve for relevance.