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Merensky 2 Library: Research Commons

Research Commons

About the Merensky Research Commons


The Merensky Research Commons was developed as part of the national Research Libraries Consortium (RLC) Project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This project aims to contribute to the development of dedicated facilities, shared technologies and well-trained librarians to increase library support for researchers at the beneficiary institutions. This project has three core components that are considered significant and important for the development of researchers in South Africa:

  • The design and location of a Research Commons in each of the libraries
  • The development of a corps of librarians who are equipped with the appropriate understanding of and skills for the support of postgraduates and researchers
  • A collaborative initiative to develop and jointly manage a web-based research portal


Situated on the fourth floor of the Merensky 2 Library on the University of Pretoria's (UP) Hatfield campus, the Merensky Research Commons is a dedicated, advanced space for fully-registered Masters and PhD students, postdoctoral scholars, and UP staff. It combines research and social space that contributes to social dialogue, scholarly exchange and intellectual development. This facility enhances the Library's commitment to supporting postgraduates, academics, and researchers in their research endeavours. It also contributes to the University's research output. The space includes workstations, seminar and group discussion rooms, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a separate lounge area that provides for relaxation.

Facilities at the Merensky Research Commons



All seats must be booked in advance here.

  • 5 closed cubicles with individual seating
  • 1 closed cubicle with 4 seats
  • 8 open cubicles with individual seating
  • 28 other seats with individual seating


Computers and software
  • 39 computers for individual use
  • All computers have the following software:
    • Microsoft Office
    • EndNote
    • ATLAS.ti
    • IBM SPSS
    • SAS
    • R


Group facilities

All rooms must be booked in advance here.

  • Seminar Room 1
    • 20 seats
    • 2 large screens
    • Projector
    • Conferencing and collaboration capabilities
  • Seminar Rooms 2 & 3
    • Each with 10 seats
    • Each with a large screen and laptop connectivity
    • Each with whiteboards* for discussions and collaborative work

* Markers are available from the Merensky Research Commons office.


Social space
  • A social lounge that is an attractive and relaxed area with a variety of seating for individual or group needs
  • Couches, arm chairs, and coffee-shop-style furniture make for a welcoming space within the Research Commons for relaxation, conversation or introspection

Services at the Merensky Research Commons


In keeping with its commitment to actively support the research endeavours of the University, the Department of Library Services (DLS) offers the following services at the Research Commons:

  • Access to all electronic resources
  • Skilled staff who are familiar with the research process and its requirements according to the University of Pretoria
  • Support services in all software on Research Commons computers

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