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How to search: Nexus Professional Searching

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

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

National ETD Portal South African theses and dissertations

Using the Search function

Advanced search option

With the Advanced Search Option, you can create more complex, sophisticated searches to search.

Advanced Searching is available by selecting the Advanced Search link to the left of the home screen.


Search Fields

The searchable fields in the database include: Keyword, Title, Creator and Affiliation. 

Modify your query to narrow your search by making use of the AND, OR and NOT.

Use AND to match documents that contain two or more chosen terms existing anywhere in the text of a single document. This is equivalent to an intersection using sets. The symbol & can be used in place of the word AND.

Use OR to show records that have one or more of the chosen terms.

Use NOT to exclude documents that contain the chosen terms - this is equivalent to a difference using sets.


Guideline Example


All terms joined by the this operator must be present in the record

health AND substance AND abuse

finds records where all three terms are present in the same field in any order


Any or all of the terms separated by the operator must appear in the record.

medic* OR pharma*

finds records in which either medic* or pharma* is present in the same field in any order


The term that follows the operator must not be present in the record

(medic* OR health) NOT pharma*

finds records in whic either medic* or heatlh is present but do not include pharma*



You can browse the database by: