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Research Support: Research Commons


Welcome to the Research Commons, the Unisa Library's virtual and physical gateway to library services for academic, graduate students, and researchers. 

The Research Commons is a high-level research environment intended for exclusive use by postgraduate students at Masters and Doctoral level, as well as researchers and academic staff.  The ultimate aim is to create an environment conducive to research exchange and production. 

The branch librarians staff on duty are:

To ensure a quiet space conclusive to research it is important to familiarize yourself with the usage guidelines and behavior guidelines applicable in the Research Commons.


Support services available to researchers include:

Subject-specific guidance by your personal librarian.

Referral to services supporting research, for example, Turnitin, the Unisa Research Office, the Funding and Bursary Office, and the College of Graduate Studies.

Literature search assistance to get researchers "started"

Training on library resources and databases

Awareness of Unisa Institution Repository for previous research:  Dissertations and Thesis

Advise on plagiarism and plagiarism tools.

Advise on the use of Mendeley, Refworks reference management techniques,

Bibliographic tools for referencing, such as Harvard, etc.

ICT troubleshooting

24/7 support via LibGuides

Services and Procedures


January to November Monday - Friday 07:45 to 16:00
 Saturday Closed
December Moday - Friday 07:45 to 16:00
  Saturday Closed

The Research Commons is closed on all public holidays.

Please consult  the Unisa Library's website  for extraordinary closing times.

Research Commons Guidelines 

The following facilites are available in the Research Commons:

  • 49 networked desktop end-user pcs
  • 5 networked desktop end-user pcs for disabled users
  • Networked printing and copying facilities next door to the Commons
  • Reading room where selected titles of the latest journals are displayed
  • Easy chairs for relaxing
  • Wi-fi for users using their own devices

The Unisa Library's Research Commons offers admission to Unisa Master’s, Doctoral, and Postdoctoral students as well as academic and research staff.

Access to the Commons is via your university card (staff card and student card).

There is WiFi connectivity in the Research Commons should you wish to bring you own devices.Please see the attached for details on connecting to the WiFi.

Academics, Researchers and Post-Doctoral students

When using the computers in the Research Commons, log-in with the username issued to you by the university and the password which you use to access your personal workstation at Unisa.


When using one of the computers in the Research Commons you will need your student number and myUnisa password to log-in.

Your student number must be preceded by the word students and the back-slash icon  \




Other log-in to the Research Commons computers:

Username:  Microlab  (use Capital M)

Password:  Microl@b (use Capital M)





Unisa Editors (staff members):

  1.  Dr Chokwe Jack:  Academic editing; copy editing; substantive editing; content editing; and development editing:
  • e-mail addresses:   OR
  • Telephone number:  +27 12 429 3327
  • Mobile:  +27 72 214 5489 OR +27 76 471 6881
  1. Dr Geyer EM (Lucia):  Academic editing; copy editing; substantive editing; content editing; and development editing:
  • Email addresses: 
  • Telephone number:  +27 12 429 4505 (w)
  • Mobile:  +27 81 368 9014


NB:  For other editors' information, please consult your supervisor in your college for more information.


Turnitin - Plagiarism Detection Software - for staff and students

Please consult your research supervisor with regard to the plagiarism detection tools at the University

 At Unisa, Turnitin is used.

Turnitin is an internet based anti-plagiarism detection software that is aimed at promoting quality academic writing within learning Institutions. This allows students to develop quality writing skills as it facilitates rich, significant feedback on their submitted work. Hence in this process, they are able to improve their academic writing.

Instructors/Lecturers require students to submit their written assignments to Turnitin. The system then checks the submitted document for non-originality (possible plagiarism) by comparing submitted papers to several databases/repositories on the world wide web. Instructors/Lecturers are then able to monitor a student's similarity index.

Make use of the Turnitin website for more information.

Queries regarding Turnitin

All queries regarding the use of Turnitin can also be emailed to

Please find the attached Turnitin guide and the Turnitin form for your information. 

The completed form must be sent to: if you are not able to access the Turnitin. 

Kindly note that the University does not support private email addresses.  You may ONLY use your myLife email account for Turnitin at Unisa. You can claim your myLife e-mail at :


What is iThenticate


iThenticate is designed specifically for publications and may be used for your own articles or conference papers without fear of undue conflicts in the originality reports.

NO student work whatsoever may be submitted to iThenticate!


Queries regarding iThenticate

Unisa Press preprint server called UnisaRxiv.  The “Preprint” is a format to share early-stage results with a larger community for immediate feedback, while retaining the right to publish formally in any scholarly publication (not only Unisa Press publications) at a later date.  The service provided through the preprint server includes originality checking of content and also reference checking and copyediting. 

If you would like to post your submission to the Unisa Press preprint server and it is not currently in submission anywhere else you are welcome to use the following link to UnisaRxiv - Publications – UnisaRxiv – ScienceOpen  

NB:  Please contact Unisa Press for more information about iThenticate



Unisa Press, a subsidiary of Unisa, has a separate account that validates the originality of all entries made to its publications, including submissions to the Unisa Press preprint site, UnisaRxiv - Publications -ScienceOpen.

This allows for the dissemination of early-stage data to a larger community, providing instant feedback on the paper while allowing for formal publication in any scholarly publication.  The preprint server offers services such as originality checking, reference checking, and copyediting.


Getting Started