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Research Skills: Database searching

Information to help students find, write, evaluate and reference information for their assignments.


Each database works in its own way. Information on using some of Box Hill Institute's key databases are provided on this page.

If the database that you are interested in is not covered, you might find the general information under Search strategies useful. If that doesn't help, contact the library for help, or make a request below for us to include your database on this page.

Online resources

A brief overview of how to access online resources at Box Hill Institute and CAE Library


Click to move to Google searching

eBooks - Basics

You can search and read full text eBooks from a number of vendors:

Ebook Central - over 700 eBooks on various subjects.

EbscoHost eBooks - a small collection of individually selected eBooks 

Safari Tech Books Online - 50 IT related eBooks. (Only 3 users have access at the same time)

Informit eBooks - over 300 predominantly Australian eBooks.

Ebscohost eBooks - a wide range of eBooks via Ebscohost subscriptions

ScienceDirect eBooks - selected science related titles

Oxford Reference Online - over 300 dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference titles

Use following link to access all these collections. e-Books

For more information about using each of these collections, visit Box Hill Institute's eBooks Libguide

Benefits of using ebooks:

  1. Instantaneous access from any location with Internet access via StudentWeb
  2. Many ebooks are downloadable to your computer and/or smart phone/tablet device. 
  3. Ebooks are portable. Open them on a laptop, notebook or any device of your choice via Wi-Fi.
  4. Unlimited numbers of people can access eBooks at one time (except Safari books)
  5. Can contain audio, video, and animations which can  enhance understanding.
  6. Can search, copy and print

Usually ebook files will be available in either PDF or ePub format. 


Generally etext books have quizzes, interactive facilities and learning materials.So far many text book publishers do not licence etext books to academic libraries. This situation may change in future. 

EBSCOhost - Academic search premier


How to do a basic search in Academic Search Premier.

Academic Search Premier is a multidisciplinary database containing full text journal articles in areas such as science, arts and education.

When you click on Ebscohost Research Databases, you will find a list of databases that the library subscribes to that are particular to subject areas taught at Box Hill Institute. It is important to look over these databases, read the descriptions and think about which databases suit your information needs.

You can chose to search in one database, or you can tick and search in multiple databases. For now, we will just chose Academic Search Premier, and do a search.

Our search term for today is ‘sustainability’. You will see that we have tens of thousands of results. One of the reasons why there are so many results is because the results include abstracts or in other words summaries that do not link to the full text of the article. You will also see that we have articles as far back as 1902 which are likely to be out of date for your needs. So what you do to refine your results is click on full text, and change the publication date by clicking on the slider and moving it across with your mouse.

 Move the slider across to articles published in the last five years, and click ‘update.’ You can see that this has narrowed the results considerably.

Once you have found an article of interest, clicking on the title will link to a summary of the article. Included will be the full text. From the left of the screen, you will see that the article can be viewed in HTML or as downloaded as a PDF file.

For more information on using EBSCO databases, visit: Ebsco Support Tutorials


Science Direct

For help using Science Direct, try their online tutorials

Standards Online


Access to the Box Hill Institute subscription to Standards Online is limited to staff and students of the Institute. This also applies to any print copies made using the electronic access. Copies must not be made for people who are not students or staff of the Institute. 

The Box Hill Institute subscription allows access to two users at any one time. If there are already two people using the system, you will be able to get onto Standards Online, and search for titles, but you will not be able to view, print or save the content.  If this occurs, you will need to try again later. Please make sure you logout after use to make the resource available for others.

Click on Standards Online (the login page will open in a new window)

 Log in.

             Your Id is 's' plus your student number. (sxxxxxxxx) 
             Your default password is your birthday backwards (yyyymmdd)

            Use your normal PC login

The SAI Global Standards Online website should open

Enter your search terms in the box, and hit ‘Search'

If you know the number of the standard that you are looking for, that is usually the best thing to enter i.e. to get the plumbing standards, just enter 3500 in the search box.

Alternatively, you can enter key words, like ‘Concrete’ to see which standards contain that word.

Click ‘View document’ to go through to the document that you want.

From here you can hit:

  • Open document’ to read the standard on line, print it out or save it for later use
  • Save document’ to save the document for later use. Note that saved versions are only accessible temporarily. This will allow you to print the document out later, but not to access it electronically on a long term basis.

Contact the library for more information

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