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Research Skills

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


There are many sources you can use to obtain information for your assignments.  The library has many high quality sources of information for you to access. See also the sections on internet searching and evaluation.

Finding good quality sources of information

When researching and completing your assignments, it is important to look for reliable, high quality sources of information. The Library has options to help you find good resources such as:

Common information sources

Books  (print and e-books) 

  • Use for in depth and background information on a topic.
  • search for books and e-books in our Discovery catalogue, or search e-book collections from our databases page
  • Browse our shelves
  • Check your reading list and LibGuides for recommended and new titles
  • Beware : check the author's credentials, the publication date, if there is a reference list/bibliography, if the work is self published.                                                    

Academic journals   

  • Are an important resource for your study
  • Use for latest research and ideas, to get different perspectives on a topic, and to find further references and sources of information
  • Search for  journal articles in our Discovery catalogue, and  in subject specific databases,
  • browse our print journal collections,
  • or search Google Scholar  (see tips in this guide)
  • Beware : Check if the journal is peer reviewed. Also check the qualifications of the author and if the article has a reference list


 Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • Use to find facts, definitions and statistics
  • Get a brief overview of your topic
  • Search the catalogue or browse the shelves for dictionaries and encyclopedias
  • Beware : Check the date of information, especially statistics
  • Wikipedia is not suitable as a reference for your assessments.  You can use it to get an overview and find related terms for your topic. Instead use information from the quality resources listed on this page



  • These are not scholarly resources but can provide useful information on current affairs, local information, opinions and public comments or attitudes
  • Find newspaper articles in the Discovery catalogue : limit to source type "News" or search for the name of the newspaper in the Journal title/Source field
  • Search the ANZ Reference database
  • Check -if the article is an opinion piece rather than news, the reputation of the newspaper, if the article is by an anonymous author.                                           

Grey Literature

Grey Literature is information which is not commercially available or controlled. It may be published , or unpublished by industry, government or academics, and includes sources such as conference papers, theses, clinical trials, pamphlets, fact sheets, bulletins and government documents. Grey literature is usually not peer reviewed, so use the criteria listed in the Evaluation section to determine the credibility of the works.

Some places to find grey Literature include:

Government information

Goverment publications can be a good source of up to date, authoritative information.

Search for Theses and Dissertations


Search for publications available in Australian Libraries as well as other resources such as pictures and websites. To search for theses, limit your search to the category 'Research and reports' When your search results appear, limit the format (in the right hand toolbar) to 'Thesis' 

Company information

Company information may be gained from organisation websites.Check the sites for annual reports, publications, media releases or "About Us" sections.

The library's subscription to IBIS World is a great source of industry information:

Literature reviews

A llterature review assesses all the material that has been published in a particular area, evaluating and summarising each source in relation to your field of study.  These resources will help you to conduct, and write up your own literature review.