The  Sciences Subjects Portal  project has taken nearly a year to emerge, with many ups and downs. Finally the Sciences users will have their own specific portal for library services and resources. Since early January the project (individual subjects portals and  supporting  information) started coming to life with many updates and changes.

The Sciences Librarian Portal and the Sciences subjects portals have been created on a “wiki” software, which allows collaboration between selected  members (currently the collaboration is not yet implemented). This portal was developed and is currently updated by Pavlinka Kovatcheva, Sciences Librarian at the Kingsway Campus of the UJ.  The Portal can be used by all Sciences users across Campuses.

The use of this social software platform serves as a library experiment, which implements various social tools (Web 2.0) into the academic library (wiki, blogs, IM, Taggs, Social Networking, Widgets, etc). In this way the Library tries to enhance its services to  its users and potential users, allowing  easy access to subject specific resources and  interaction with the library by using the Instant Messaging tool and the opportunity to comment on the blogs post.

The Sciences Portal also gives you direct access to the Top Sciences Resources.

Sciences subjects currently available through the Portals are: Apllied Mathematics & Mathematics; Astronomy & Astrophysics; Biochemistry; Biology; Botany & Plant Biotechnology; Chemistry; Information Technology; Energy; Environmental Management; Geography; Geology; Human Anatomy & Physiology; Microbiology; Physics, Statistics and  Zoology. Information currently available on most of the portals includes:

  • Support to Undergraduates and Postgraduates;
  • UJ Library services & resources links;
  • University & Sciences links;
  • Top Research Resources;
  • Top Subject Resources;
  • Electronic Reference works (some also have suggected prints);
  • Electronic books;
  • Useful websites;
  • Subject  specific full-text journals, abbreviations links;
  • Sciences journals;
  • How to find full-text journals, etc.;
  • Associations, Councils, etc. links.

Researchers will find support to their research needs on this portal. It will answer many of their library  and research questions, such as starting with their research proposal, conducting and managing literature review, submitting Theses & Dissertations to the library, finding the best academic journals for publication, etc. New updated information is coming soon.

For their teaching, lecturers will find a special section with relevant information on: how to place books on Reserve, how to obtain copyright, submitting previous exam papers; how postgraduates  submit Theses and Dissertations to  the Library, how to access Education Resources for their teaching needs, etc.

Students will find abundance of subject specific information to assist them with their preparation, study and assignments. The general information should  enhance their understanding of the library and its workings. Although the sections on Support to New Students and Undergraduates are still under development, it is neverthless a relevan source.

Library and Information Literacy skills are important to all users in becoming life-long independent information users. The Sciences portal gives you an opportunity to view various guides and tutorials, to set an appointment for library training with your subject librarian or just to use the services of the general librarians. Go to: Training Guides & Tutorials; Need help: Ask-a-Librarian (APK); Library User Education to Sciences: First year students; Undergraduates; Researchers for more information.

The content of these portals are updated regularly. Your contributions and suggestions are welcome.

To keep you abreast with the latest information about the UJ Library and its resources, you can make use of the Sciences Library News blog. Learn about trials, new and cancelled databases, library hours, library services and much more. To keep you current with the latest in the Sciences & UJ Research, the UJ Sciences Librarian blog will provide this and much more useful information.  These two Current Awareness tools are also embedded into the Sciences portal and soon will be available through the subjects portals.

Additionally the subjects portals have interesting embedded “widgets” or “gadgets”: Sudoku (Appl. Maths & Maths; Statistics), National Geographic News, GIS Search Engine (Geography), Energy Citation Database, Energy Search Engine (Energy & Env. Management portals); Astronomy Picture of the Day & Stars and Planets gadgets (Astronomy) and  many more comming. Why I’m using these tools? Because they visually entice users to participate in them in search for information for research and pleasure.

I hope that the hard work I put into this project  and the new skills I learned by creating and developying these portals will be of help to all of you. For any suggestions and contributions, please contact me: Pavlinka Kovatcheva, Subject Librarian APK,  pkovatcheva@uj.ac.za; tel: 011 559-2621



Springer Protocols on Trial until 30/04/2009.

As per request from Biochemistry & Health Sciences researchers, Springer has arranged a TRIAL for all Springer Protocols. Use this opportunity to access the protocols and to search for information relevant to your research needs. The Protocols can be accessed through two channels:

SpringerLink database: full-text is available REMOTELY. To access SpringerLink you need to log-in with Surname, Staff/Students number & PIN (don’t have one? It is easy to create, just follow the instructions)

Springer Protocols web page: full-text only ON CAMPUS. On Campus there is IP Authentication and no log-in is required. Just search.

Access more than 18,000 Springer Protocols
Your library has set up a Springer Protocols Trial until the end of April.You can access more than 18,000 Protocols online.

Springer Protocols contains more than 18,000 molecular biology and biomedical protocols, many from the classic series Methods in Molecular Biology™ edited by Dr. John M. Walker.

Other prestigious titles covered include:

  • Methods in Molecular Medicine
  • Methods in Biotechnology
  • Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Neuromethods


  • Unparalleled breadth and depth ensures that you can access the right protocol saving valuable time.
  • With quality, peer-reviewed content you can be confident the protocols you choose will be the most reliable for your work.
  • Flexible, collaborative features enhance your search process and provide you with additional information and context.

SUBJECTS: Biochemist, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Cancer Research, Cell Biology, Genetics/Genomics, Imaging/Radiology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, Molecular Medicine, Neuroscience, Pharmacology/Toxicology, Plant Sciences, Protein Science

View the TOUR  presentations and Source Title list.

If you have any further queries, please contact Pavlinka Kovatcheva, pkovatcheva@uj.ac.za.



The UJ and UJ Libraries will be closed on Saturday 21 March, because of the public holiday (Human Rights Day).

Libraries will close at the normal time on Friday 20 March.

9 April:  All Campus Libraries will close at 18.00h.

10-13 April: The UJ  and the Libraries will be closed during this Easter celebration.


World Competitiveness Online

The most comprehensive database on the competitiveness of nations. World Competitiveness Online is based on the leading annual report on the competitiveness of nations, the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, published since 1989, ranking and analysing how a nation’s environment sustains the competitiveness of enterprises.

To access the database you need User name & Password. Contact your subject librarian for assistance.


Chemical Abstracts Online

As from 5/3/2009 the Chemical Abstratcs (SciFinder Scholar) is available to the University of Johannesburg users ONLINE. If you are first time user, you need to REGISTER, before accessing the database. Various portals can give direct access to this database: Sciences Librarian Portal,  Chemistry Subject Portal, other relevant Sciences Subjects Portals and the Library “A-Z Databases“.

Chemical Abstracts is available ON CAMPUS only. Currently the access is for multiple users until 19/05/2009, afterwards the access is restricted to 1 user (at a time) as per license agreement.

For assistance contact the Sciences Librarian at APK, pkovatcheva@uj.ac.za, Tel: 011 559 2621 or your relevant Subject Librarian.

The Chemical Abstracts (SciFinder) is a research discovery tool that allows you to explore the CAS databases containing literature from many scientific disciplines including biomedical sciences, chemistry, engineering, materials science, agricultural science, and more.

To search successfully the Chemical Abstracts (SciFinder) database read the “SciFinder How to Guides” and learn how to search by: research topic; author name; journal or patent, substructure, etc.