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Post-graduate students: General Information


General Information



Welcome to the training session !

Getting started

1. Sort out at Information Desk Level 3 or by Chat to a Librarian:

  • UP portal password
    • to log on to campus computers and wifi 
    • access library electronic resources
    • access your library account to renew books
  • TuksPrint 
  • Email - combine your email addresses

2. M&D students need to register for an ORCID id

3. Your computer:

  •  Google Scholar settings:
  • Bibliographic manager -  Endnote
  • Libraries – Choose  Pretoria
  • Download and install Endnote.

4. Familiarize yourself with:

  • Clickup
  • Cloud storage eg. Google Drive, Dropbox
  • Apps

5. Sign In / Create Accounts to all the databases you are regularly using.

Library Homepage

Please familiarize yourself with the Library Homepage:

  • Libraries and Units tabs: Branch libraries and library units information.
  • Services tab: Plagiarism, general library training etc.
  • Search tab: Where to find databases, electronic reference works, Subject Guides, etc.
  • News & Events tab: 
  • Find Help tab: Book a Virtual Appointment with you subject librarian

Scroll down to see shortcuts:

  • Library Hours
  • Using the Library: Seat and space booking
  • Borrow & Request: Renew your books
  • Find Help: Virtual Appointments, Subject Guides.
  • Most important ... the Search Box.

Find the Library social media at the bottom of the page.

Some Other Guides

Computer requirements, browser settings, etc.

and more ...

Know your sources

Types of sources

Primary:       original information;  eg. correspondence, diaries, research.
Secondary:  interprets primary information, eg. scholarly journals, books. This is where research is reported.
Tertiary:      interprets secondary information, eg. reference books, encyclopedias
Use for background information
Reference sources: overview of topic eg. encyclopedias, in print or electronic.
Books:                     analysis of topic, in depth background information.
Journal articles:       focus on specific subject.
Grey literature:        governments, organizations, think tanks – not publishers.
Web pages:             eg. government webpages such as

Search strategy

What will I be searching?

1. Analyze your research question in order to identify concepts

  • nouns and verbs; 
  • who – what – where - when – why.


Analyze your topic to identify concepts

  • nouns and verbs;
  • reformulate your topic;
  • who - what - where - when - why

2. Collect background information: handbook; reference books,  eg. encyclopedia, subject dictionary, what you learned up to now in your course.

3. Define keywords:

  • terms which describe what you are searching for;
  • remember to include synonyms, use a reference book (dictionary and thesaurus) to find synonyms.
  • British vs American English;
  • Subject Headings for books in the library system and thesauri of the databases [controlled vocabulary];
  • Hierachies - broader and narrower terms.
4. Search Strategy design
Concept 1 Concept 2 Concept 3 Concept 4
xx or yy or zz aa or bb or cc gg or hh or jj mm or nn or qq


5. Search systematically.

  • Write down, keep track of what and how you are searching. This is just an example.




  • Apply the search hints.
  • Search in all the fields - Title, abstract, subjects/keywords, fulltext, as applicable.
  • Some databases keep track of your search strategy.

Search Strategy Builder

Search Strategy Builder

The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into most databases' search boxes.

  Concept 1  and  Concept 2  and  Concept 3
 Name your concepts here    
Search terms Search terms Search terms
 List alternate terms for each concept.

 These can be synonyms, or they can be specific examples of the concept. 

 Use single words, or "short phrases" in quotes













Now copy and paste the above Search Strategy into a database search box.

The Search Strategy Builder was developed by the University of Arizona Libraries and is used under a Creative Commons License.

Searching With Keywords

Sharing with thanks to the Lehman College Library.

Worldcat Discovery Service


Remember to Filter !

Search for books, articles and more

Our library system is part of a worldwide system. The default setting is Libraries Worldwide.

Use this link

This is the Advanced Search Page. Format the page:

At the bottom, Choose University of Pretoria.

Enter the dates.

Format: Choose Books.

In the search boxes drop down menus, choose the fields of the records to search.

Enter your search terms.

Result list:

Filter on the left side of the screen.

Click on the book's title to see the library record of the book.

Click on Description to see the Subject Headings.

Take note of the relevant Subject Headings to add to further searches.

Scroll down to see the library holdings.

Click on View all editions to see the other editions of the book and if they are in our library collection.

Each record has the option to Share, Cite and Save.

Sign In to save lists.


The material you need may not be available in the Merensky library.

Filters: Choose Libraries Worldwide.

Locate the relevant record. [read the screen].

Click on the title of the book / journal / article / chapter to see the complete record.

Scroll down.

Click the Interlending Pre-Request button.

Complete the information boxes - difference between the Books Loan, and Chapter / Articles Copies option.


Know your databases

Databases - your Best Friends For 2022!


A more complete list is included on the Articles / Databases  tab of this subject guide.

Added value

Sign In / Create Accounts to all the databases you are regularly using. You will have access to more functions, eg. creating ALERTS, to be notified about new articles being published. You can SAVE your searches as well.

You can also create ALERTS in Google Scholar.

All databases have HELP functions.


In order to access UP electronic articles from Google Scholar, you need to adjust your Google Scholar Settings as follow:

Click on the three lines next to the Google Scholar logo.

On the Settings screen, adjust the following settings:

Bibliography Manager

  • Language
  • Library  

Search box: Pretoria

Choose and


Read more about Google Scholar 


Manage your references

How does it work?

Search > Results > Export > Organize > Write > Insert In-text references > Compile bibliography.


Complete this online form to immediately receive the Endnote download link. 

Library Training Material

Library Orientation