Information Systems: INFS 5073 Academic Skills for IT Professionals

Where to search

Once you have your search strategy you can use it to search for information in the:


Think of other similar keywords or phrases (synonyms), for your main concepts. Use a thesaurus if you need help.

Here are some examples of keywords and phrases you could use, can you think of others?

**Click on "more..." to see alternative keywords**


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Some databases to start searching:


Multidisciplinary databases may also be useful:


Global Serials Directory

When you select one of the database titles above you will be linked to information about the database, including subjects it covers. Select the link under Access to search the database.

Tip - some databases have a feature that limits your search results to conference proceedings only (e.g. Compendex, Inspec, IEEE Xplore).

Refer to the Find articles and conference papers page in this Subject Guide for further databases and search tips.

Is it useful? Evaluate!

Once you have found information for your assignments it is important to think about whether or not the information is of a good quality and useful.

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For help watch or refer to:

Referencing help

Visit the Referencing Website or the Referencing Forum (Learning and Teaching Unit). There is information about referencing and plagiarism.


Software to help you - EndNote and RefWorks are the two bibliographic management software products available for UniSA staff and students.

What you need to do

For this course you are required to find academic literature (e.g. articles, conference papers), evaluate them and decide if they are useful for your annotated bibliography and team conference paper. 

Plan before you search

Video icon by no real name given CCLicence Attribution 2.0 Generic, Image source: flickr by watching this short video on using keywords in your searching: 
Think. Plan. Discover. Why keywords matter (1 min. 30 secs)

Before you start searching identify the main concepts/topic words - the keywords you use to search for information. For example:

"How can individuals protect their privacy on the Internet?"

Once you have your keywords you can combine/connect these keywords or phrases into search strategies using the AND or OR connectors. These are used in the Library catalogue and databases to help you find the most relevant results for your topic. Here is one example:

Internet OR web
protect OR security                

- OR combines concepts with similar meanings to broaden your search.
   Find results with either one or both words.
- AND combines difference concepts to narrow your search.
   Find results with both words.                  

or more help see the Library's guide on Connecting and combining search terms.

Search examples

Library catalogue search example: privacy internet social networks

  • Tip: Narrow results by Format (e.g. book/ebook, journal article), Date and a relevant Subject.

ScienceDirect search example:

ScienceDirect search example

         Too many results? Use a date range, search within results or refine your search further using the
         Refine Results menu. Need help finding the full text? See this Library guide.

The IEEEXplore database contains many full text conference proceedings and ALL conferences in IEEEXplore are
peer reviewed. To find conference papers only you can either:
Browse by Conference Publications or do an Advanced Search and limit your search to Content Types - Conferences.

IEEEXplore advanced search example:

IEEXplore search example

Use the truncation symbol * to find the stems of words e.g secur* finds secure, security.

Need more help?