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Library & Information Science

LIS updated guide

Arts and Humanities Librarian

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Janusz Skarzynski
Level 8, Main Library
Bellville, 7535
021 959 2907


“There is a social logic that emerges when we think about the whole collective enterprise of constructing new knowledge. The process starts, ironically, by looking at old knowledge. PhD [and MA] students are usually told to write a ‘literature review’ at the start of their thesis, where they summarize earlier research. Many wonder why. It may seem a pointless ritual; in fact it is vital. What research does is transform an existing state of knowledge into a new state. The more deeply the existing knowledge is understood, the better."  The Good University by Raewyn Connell (2019)

Citation Databases

Citation databases are databases that have been developed for evaluating publications. The citation databases enable you to count citations and check, for example, which articles or journals are the most cited ones. This can help you identify leading researches and journals in the your field. Just be aware, citation analysis and bibliometric indicators are based on citations and the amount of them. Citing in itself, however, is not a quality criterion and there can be many reasons for the citing (negative citations, ethnocentricity, self-citation).

Below are two that UWC subscribes to and Google Scholar 

Scopus is a multidisciplinary navigational tool that contains records going back to the mid 1960s, offering newly-linked citations across the widest body of scientific abstracts available in one place. More coverage of scientific, technical, medical and social science literature (14,000 titles) than any other database.

Web of Science is a multidisciplinary publication and citation database covering almost 1.9 billion cited references from over 171 million records. It provides cover-to-cover indexing back to 1900 across the world’s highest-quality and most impactful publications.

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Several important database providers/vendors (e.g. Ebsco) have not given Google a permission to collect data from their databases, which is why they are not included in Google Scholar search. If you search while using easy UWC easyproxy item available in the UWC collection or databases will display a  Fulltext@UWC next to the search result (on the right hand side of the screen)..


UWC Research Repository is a service that stores, distributes and displays digital copies of research output of UWC faculty. Search across the entire collection or browse amongst the research communities associated with your faculties. Researchers register for an account and are given authorisation to deposit files to relevant collections.

When preparing data for sharing, researchers should consider the legal and ethical issues involved in sharing, especially where human subjects and personal subject information is involved (e.g. the POPI Act). These issues are dealt with extensively under Research Ethics Policies of the University. 

Researchers can use any repository to store and publish their research data, although UWC’s institutional research data repository, Kikapu, is the preferred platform. 

Please use this link for more information on the UWC research data repository.

UNdata is a web-based data service for the global user community. It brings international statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single-entry point. Users can search and download a variety of statistical resources compiled by the United Nations (UN) statistical system and other international agencies. The numerous databases or tables collectively known as "datamarts" contain over 60 million data points and cover a wide range of statistical themes including agriculture, crime, communication, development assistance, education, energy, environment, finance, gender, health, labour market, manufacturing, national accounts, population and migration, science and technology, tourism, transport and trade.

Re3data is a global registry of research data repositories that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. It includes repositories that enable permanent storage of and access to data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers, and scholarly institutions. re3data promotes a culture of sharing, increased access and better visibility of research data. The registry has gone live in autumn 2012 and has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


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