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How to search: Sabinet Search Tips

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

Advanced Searching Tips for Sabinet

Sabinet Databases

The Sabinet database collections exlusively contains South African publications and articles.

Some of the databases include:


Sabinet Search Tips

When searching the SA ePublications collection, it is important to remember that the entire full-text of the documents is searchable.


Keywords: this option allows you to find keywords mentioned in any part of a document, e.g. the full text of the document (if present) or the title of the document, etc.

o If for example you are looking for information on the SKA project currently underway in the Karoo region, you could search with the following terms: ska astronomy.

o Keyword searching will locate any type of information that is typed in the Keywords search box, e.g. journal title, author affiliation, etc.


Exact Word/Phrase: this option is available on the right hand side of the keyword search boxes. This allows you to search for the exact version of a word, producing search results that contain only that form of a word or if you enter more than one word, find words typed in the exact order in your results.

o Please note that the double inverted commas (" ") can also be used for this purpose. You can check the Exact Word/Phrase box or enter the double inverted commas.

o Note that you can also use two sets of double inverted commas in one search string. For example, if you are searching for an article by a specific author in the SA ePublications collection, you can type in the keywords search field, the following search string: "francis galloway" "book history".

o Searching by exact word or phrase will result in fewer but more applicable results.


Boolean searching: this option allows you to combine words and/or numbers.

o AND: This is the system default, meaning that in your search strings in the keywords fields you do not have to type the word out. For example if you are looking for environment AND tourism you can just type in the words environment tourism in the search field. The system will look for the documents which contain both these words.

o OR: If you type in or select the word OR, you will get results with either one of the search terms or numbers.

o NOT: This will exclude certain keywords or numbers totally from your search. For example labour relations NOT unions.

NOTE: when using OR / NOT, the OR or the NOT should be typed in UPPERCASE.

Proximity: use the ~ to search for words within a certain proximity of each other. If you type "mining water"~4, or "mining water" ~ 4, or "mining water" ~4 or "mining water"~ 4 in the title field, the results will show articles with titles where these words appear either directly next to one another, or with one, two, three or a maximum of 4 words in between.


 Truncation: Truncation of words is possible by making use of the * at the end of a word, to replace any number of characters, e.g. communicat*

NOTE: All functionality associated with Proximity searching, Truncation and Exact Word/Phrase searching is only available on specific databases (not on WorldCat, SACat, SANB or the FirstSearch databases).

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