Once you begin your assignments, you’ll require information and evidence to support your argument. The Library has a number of search tools to help you find what you need and our collections include a wide range of credible and scholarly information sources.
Find information sources
Use Library Search to search across many of the UniSQ Library resources in one step. This includes ebooks, physical books, articles and items in the library’s collections.
Find out what Library Search is and how to use it. Watch video >
Databases are the best source of academic quality information and provide an easy and effective method to search for discipline specific resources. Not all databases can be searched via Library Search. Consider searching subject specific databases individually to find information for your assignments. Use the Library eResources index to find databases relevant to your subject.
Learn how to access a database. Watch video >
Google and Wikipedia
When it comes to quick answers and instant information, in your daily life, Google and Wikipedia are familiar partners. University study requires the use of scholarly information which Google and Wikipedia cannot provide so easily. The main search tool we recommend for first year students is Library Search.
You, the Library and Google (PDF 528 KB).
Google Scholar provides a way to broadly search for scholarly information, such as conference papers, and research in other universities’ repositories.
Scholarly information and peer review
Scholarly information is high quality research written by subject experts to advance research and knowledge. Scholarly information may also be peer reviewed or refereed. This means that other subject experts have reviewed the publication to ensure the information it contains is reliable and credible.
Government reports and statistics
Government reports and statistics are published by specific government bodies, including government departments, institutes, and agencies. Reports may also be an authoritative source of information on a specific topic and can be cited in an assignment.
News and current events
Keeping up-to- date with news and current affairs in your field is important. You may also need to access news sources for research or assignments. UniSQ Library provides access to a variety of news sources.
Standards are created by industries and governing bodies. Standards set out procedures and guidelines for engineering and construction. The Library subscribes to a number of standards databases including Standards Online Premium.
Education and classroom resources
UniSQ Library includes resources to assist Education students prepare for teaching in school classrooms. This includes kits, models, puppets, games, curriculum and lesson planning documents.
Curriculum resources are available to students at each campus library, and to online/external students via our request service. Special extended loans are available by arrangement, to cater for rural and remote practicum.
From topic to search
We will use the following essay question as an example but you can apply this to just about every single essay question you approach.
‘What led to the extinction of prehistoric animals in the Australasia region?’
Step 1: Isolate your key words
Identify the key concepts in your topic. A key concept is an important idea in the question or statement.
In our example, the key concepts would be ‘extinction’, ‘prehistoric animals’ and ‘Australasia region’.
Step 2: Combine search terms
Rather than search for each separate concept, use AND to combine each concept in a single search. This is a faster and more effective way to search.
Place phrases within double inverted commas. This ensures both words will be returned together in your search results.
“prehistoric animal” AND extinction AND Australasia
Step 3: Use similar terms
Keyword searching only retrieves exactly what you search for so it’s important to consider what other terms could be used to describe your topic.
For example, Australasia could also be described as Asia-Pacific or Oceania.
Once you have identified similar words, you can combine them in your search by grouping them all with brackets and separating them using the word OR.
(Australasia OR “asia-pacific” OR oceania)
If you’re having trouble thinking of similar terms, use a thesaurus.
Step 4: Put it all together
Combine your keywords and similar terms into your search like this:
(“prehistoric animal” OR megafauna OR dinosaur) AND (extinction OR “ice age” OR meteorite) AND (Australasia OR “asia-pacific” or oceania)
This ensures that you will get a variety of sources for your assignment.