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References for assignments

Where to search

Choosing which search tools to use to find information and when to use them is important to find relevant results.

Video length: 2 min 31 sec

Key points from the video

  • Different search tools cover different collections of resources
  • Search multiple places to save time and find better results
  • All resources need to be evaluated before using them

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Search using the Library Collection

The Library Collection is a good place to start your search. Books can be useful for getting background or an overview of your topic.

How to start your search (opens in a new tab)


Google Scholar

Google Scholar searches academic or scholarly sites, rather than the whole internet. Access from the Library homepage to see the 'Full text at UniSA' option. 

How to start your search (opens in a new tab)

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Search using databases

Databases are online collections of resources including articles, papers, book chapters and reports.

Some key databases

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Search using journals

Find additional resources

Grey literature

'Information produced on all levels of government, academia, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing' - 1997 International Conference on Grey Literature, Luxembourg - definition expanded in New York, 2004 

Why search for grey literature?

  • introduces alternative perspectives
  • minimises reporting bias
  • can be essential in changing research areas
  • contains more local information

More information on grey literature

Some key grey literature websites

News media

The Library's News Media Guide provides help searching and evaluating newspapers, television, radio and media releases.

Find Australian professional standards for teachers

Comprises of seven Standards which outline what teachers should know and be able to do at graduate and higher levels.

Watch this short video (2 min 14 sec) from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership:

Choose which references to use

As you find references, think about whether they are appropriate to use in your assignment. Evaluate all resources before including them, even if you found them through the Library Collection or Databases.

Video length: 3 min 17 sec

How to evaluate resources

CRAAP Questions to ask
Currency How current does the information need to be? Do you need to use information published in the last five years or are older, seminal works fine to use?
Relevance Does the information found answer your question? Do you understand the content and is it at the right level for your purpose?
Authority What are the author's qualifications? Are they linked to a particular organisation such as a university, research institute or government department?
Accuracy Is evidence given for the research undertaken? Can you verify the information presented by using other sources? Is there a bibliography or references given?
Purpose Is it trying to communicate research, persuade you or sell you something? Is it expressing an opinion, or is it balanced and objective?

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