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How to search: Search the Library's electronic resources

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

Find books

The Unisa Library has a vast print and electronic book collection. Search for books in the Library Catalogue by entering keywords or the title of the book.

Find e-journals

Search for the electronic availability of a journal by looking up the journal title, browsing for journals by subject or searching by the journal's unique International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) via the Find e-journals link.

Find legislation and case law


Primary Sources: Bills, Acts, Regulations, Ordinances, By-Laws, Reported Cases

Juta Online Publications (Legislation, case law, selected e-books and e-journals in full text.)

LexisNexis (South African Law) (National and provincial legislation and regulations, ordinances, by-laws, selected e-books and e-journals, reference works, e.g. The Law of South Africa (LAWSA) and RD Claassen's Dictionary of Legal Words and Phrases.)

Sabinet Legal Products:

  • Bill Tracker and Parliamentary Bills
  • Government Gazettes and Provincial Gazettes
  • Netlaw (South African acts and regulations, as amended, in full text - available off campus.)

Secondary Sources: Books, Dissertations andTheses, Journal Articles


Unisa Library Catalogue

Dissertations and Theses

National ETD Portal (Full text South African dissertations and theses from approximately 2000.)

Nexus Database System (National Research Foundation): Current and Completed Research Projects Database (References to South African dissertations and theses since 1919. A small percentage of references will include a link to the full text dissertation or thesis. Note that current research is not available because it is still in progress.)

Journal Articles

HeinOnline (Includes coverage of some important South African legal journal titles, e.g. South African Law Journal.)

ISAP (Index to South African Periodicals) (A multidisciplinary database that includes coverage of articles on law published in both scholarly and more popular periodicals from 1987 onward. Retrospective coverage is increasing. This is not a full text database.)

Sabinet Legal Products:

  • African Electronic Journals (SA ePublications) (Selection of South African law journals in full text.)


Several of the major international databases provide coverage of both primary and secondary sources within the same database.


HeinOnline (Among other things, this database offers the full text of US, Canadian and Australian statutes and case law, core US journals and international journals (including South African journals), constitutions of the world, a collection of United Nations publications, and the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals which is the exception in that it is not a full text database.)

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (This database, contained within HeinOnline, offers subject access to foreign law journals, collections of essays, congress reports and festchriften. It excludes Anglo-American journals and focuses on European and other countries of the world. It indexes English and foreign language journals.)

Justis Online Legal Library (Here you will find full text legislation and case law for the United Kingdom and Ireland, Europe and the European Union, and the Official Journal (OJ).)

Legal Source (Incorporates the Index to Legal Periodicals and Full Text database and provides partly full text coverage of well-respected Anglo-American scholarly law journals.)

LexisNexis Academic International (Full text coverage of foreign language news, US federal and state statutes, regulations and cases, Shephard's Citations, European Union parliamentary questions, legislation and cases, Canadian legislation and cases, Australian Commonwealth, state and territory case law, Commonwealth and Irish cases, GATT Panel and World Trade Organization decisions, International Legal Materials, New Zealand cases, Malaysia and Brunei cases, US Treaties in Force, among other publications.)

ProQuest Criminal Justice Periodicals (Partly full text coverage of US and international journals in the field of criminal justice and covers such subjects as criminology, law enforcement, family law and industrial security to name a few.)

Westlaw (Full text coverage of the case law of Australia, and the legislation and case law of Canada, the European Union, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. There is also some coverage of legal journals for these countries.)


Find e-resources


A wide range of electronic resources is available from our Library's Find e-resources link on the Library home page.

The e-resources have been grouped in three ways to help you find the resource you need as easily as possible:

Find prescribed and recommended reading as listed in Tut Letter 101

Find your prescribed and recommended reading as listed in Tutorial Letter 101 for each of your courses by clicking on Find e-reserves & recommended books on the Library home page and enter the relevant course code into the Search for material for my course: search window. Then click on Submit. (See the screen capture below.)

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. 

Find Unisa research in the Unisa Institutional Repository

Find theses and dissertations, research articles, conference papers and rare materials written by Unisa staff and postgraduate students in the Unisa Institutional Repository.

Find a specific article

Use the Find e-journals link on the Library home page when you have a reference to a journal article and need to find out if that journal article is available online in full text. For complete instructions on how to use the eJournal Finder please  click here.

Library Support

Can't find something?

If you cannot find a book or article in our own collections, fill out an Interlibrary Loan request (for books or articles). We will do our best to get it for you as fast as possible!

The items you request will be sent to the Unisa Library (Muckleneuk, Pretoria, Main Campus) and you will be notified by an email and a telephone call from the Interlibrary Loans section to let you know your interlibrary loan request has arrived. Depending on the method of delivery you requested, the item may be collected from the Lending Counter of the Muckleneuk Library or posted to you.

Click here for more information on Interlibrary Loans.