Skip to main content

How to search: Start here

This guide will show you how to search in the different Unisa Library resources to find relevant information for your research needs

Library Support

A word about copyright

In accordance with the Unisa Policy for Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism, you are personally accountable for respecting copyright and licensing requirements. Violations of any of these restrictions could result not only in the loss of your own access to the information resources, but in the loss of access for the entire Unisa community. Disciplinary action may also be taken in terms of any applicable policy or disciplinary code, for example, the Unisa Student Disciplinary Code.

Be conscientious about copyright. 

Basic Search Tips

Use this section to familiarise yourself with the basics of searching:

Boolean Operators                     Use AND or OR to specify multiple words in any field in any order. Use AND NOT to exclude words.
Example: stocks and bonds
Example: (alaska or canada) and (adventure and not vacation)
Searching for Phrases When a phrase is enclosed by double quotations marks "    ", that exact phrase will be searched.
 Wildcards Words may be truncated (from the right-hand side only) using an asterisk (*) in place of other characters. The question mark wildcard may also be embedded in a search string. You may use the question mark (?) to replace a single character anywhere within a word.
Examples: environment*, polic*, wom?n
Limiting  search results to certain publication dates, peer reviewed journals and certain languages


Date Published – Use this option to search for articles within a specified date range. Create a range by using the drop-down lists to specify the months of the range and enter the last four digits of the year in the entry fields to specify the years of the range.

Peer Reviewed – This option allows you to limit search results to articles from peer-reviewed journals. Peer-reviewed journals are publications that include only those articles that have been reviewed and/or quality controlled by a selected panel of acknowledged experts in the field of study covered by the journal.

Languages Use this option to search for articles written in a specific language

Looking for a specific journal article in a known journal Use this option if you have the citation to an article. See the Unisa Library e-Journal Finder.