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School of Chemistry and Physics: Research support

What is Research?

"Research is to see what everyone else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought." - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi


Research and communication books in print and online

Print sources

1.  001.4 and 300.7... are the core numbers for books on a wide range of research methods, methodology and research design etc.

2.  507    Research methods in science

3.  808....    Writing dissertations and scientific papers and referencing

  Some print books:

 Walker. Reliability in scientific research : improving the dependability of
measurements, calculations, equipment, and software 2011.   507.2 WAL  (Pmb main library)

Cargill. Writing scientific research articles : strategy and steps. 2009. 808.0666 CAR (Pmb main and Life Sciences and Westville libraries)

Glasman-Deal. Science research writing for non-native speakers of English.   808.0665 GLA (Pmb main)

Lebrun. Scientific writing : a reader and writer's guide.   808.0665 LEB (Pmb main)

Macrina. Scientific integrity : text and cases in responsible conduct of research. 2005. 174.95 MAC (Pmb); 174.95072 MAC (W/ville)

Hofmann. Scientific writing and communication : papers, proposals, and presentations 808.0665 HOF (Pmb main library)

Existing theses are an excellent source of theory and application of research methods, research design etc.



UKZN has a license to the Endnote software. This programme is loaded in all lans and can also be downloaded from the UKZN software library onto private laptops and computers. Endnote allows you to create your own library of references as well as create a bibliography in a range of styles. Whilst writing a Word document it is possible to create the intext references and at the same time create the bibliography. Endnote X7 is the latest version. There are tutorials and useful 'frequently asked questions' on the Endnote site:

Research cycle

Identify the research area
What kind of research are you doing and what is the research question/s and / or hypothesis that you wish to answer?
Design the research study
There are various broad types of research in Chemistry and Physics and each requires a particular methodology.

  Undertake a preliminary literature review and draw up a research proposal for your supervisor. Complete ethical clearance.

Carry out research
Know your library collection in both print and electronic, know the tools for searching for information and understand how to evaluate resources. Situate your research within current research. Collect your evidence to answer your research question. Click on the Books, Journals, Databases and Theses tabs above for more information on sources of information and tools. A very useful  brief guide to aspects of the literature review and types of reviews etc has been put together by Chimene Tucker of the Unviersity of S California.
Analyse research results
What does your research / data collection tell you and in relation to your research question?
Publish research results
In what format / style must your thesis be written; ensure your referencing is correct and you have avoided plagiarism (click on the Referencing tab above)


When you have finished your thesis.....

...... don't forget that Higher Degrees requires a pdf copy for the Library. The pdf copy will be uploaded onto the UKZN ResearchSpace.


Turnitin is an internet based tool used to check and detect plagiarism in an essay or any kind of academic related document. Its a licensed based software which universities and schools obtain through subscription. You will need to register.

RIG - Research Information Gateway

RIG is an online research information system that manages all UKZN research outputs, ethical clearance applications and other research-related activities.

UKZN Research Office

NRF: National Research Foundation

Mandate of the NRF
"The NRF receives its mandate from the National Research Foundation Act (Act No 23 of 1998). According to Section 3 of the Act, the object of the NRF is to:
promote and support research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge, and thereby to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all the people of the Republic."

Research integrity

Singapore statement on research integrity

This statement was the outcome of the 2010 international conference on research integrity.
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