Information research skills: getting started: Find resources

Search Strategy

[Megnut, ‘The Thinker’, CC BY-NC 2.0 ( ), source: flickr (]

Take a few moments to reflect on your question and plan before you start searching.

Think about:

  • What words from your question you can use when searching (e.g. your key concepts)
  • How you can put them together to form your search

Here is an example where we have highlighted the keywords from the topic.

'How does social media influence body image in teenagers?.'

See our guide on How to plan your search to better understand the planning process and find relevant information on a given topic.

Watch this short video to learn why keywords are important, how you can identify them, and how they can help you find better information for your assignments.


Search hints - keywords [Image source: UniSA Library]Now you have some keywords try to think about similar words, phrases or even different spellings that you could also use in your searching.
Mind maps can be a great way to brainstorm see the Your Question page of this guide for more information on mind maps.

For more help on defining your topic and connecting your keywords try the Library's How to guide Connect and combine search terms

Watch this short video to learn why keywords are important, how you can identify them, and how they can help you find better information for your assignments.



Search the Library Catalogue

Search the Library Catalogue

The Library Catalogue can be a good place to start. Use the Catalogue to search across much of the material in the Library's collection.

Depending on what you need to find, and how comprehensive you need to be in your search, you may also need to use specialised databases.

Browse UniSA’s subscribed journals and easily access PDFs


BrowZine™ allows you to easily access and browse journals available online via UniSA. Access via Catalogue > Journals

LibKey Nomad

LibKey Nomad™ is a Google Chrome Extension that makes it easy to access journal articles anywhere on the internet. 



For instructions on how to install BrowZine and LibKey, visit Library News

My Bookshelf is the place where you can organise your favorite journals and stay up to date in your field!  You may rename and organise your "shelves" and "bookcases" however you'd like! This configuration will automatically sync to your other devices when you use the same login.

See the video below to learn how to add a journal to My bookshelf (11 mins)


  • What is the BrowZine Account?

The BrowZine Account is the system used to provide personalization features throughout the BrowZine ecosystem.  Having a BrowZine Account is required for using My Bookshelf on all devices as it is used to tie together your different devices so you only need to configure My Bookshelf on one device and the configuration will sync seamlessly between them.

  • What email can I use to create my BrowZine Account?  Does it matter?

In most cases, you can use any email you would like!  For libraries using the BrowZine Pairing Service, you may be restricted to using only your university/company email address.  BrowZine will alert you to this fact if you try to use another email at one of these accounts automatically.

  • Do I have to have an account?  Can I use BrowZine at all without one?

No, you do not have to have an account to use BrowZine.  You can still browse the shelves, look up titles, read tables of contents, and download articles.  However, in order to use the personalization feature of My Bookshelf and My Articles, a BrowZine account is required so that we can synchronize and back-up your data across all devices and ensure that we keep your device accurately updated.

  • What if you can't find a journal in BrowZine?
    • ​You can try searching the name of the journal in the Library catalogue, e.g. Journal of advanced nursing.
    • For table of contents of the journal, search the web by journal title. Most publishers offer email alerts for the table of contents of the latest issue's.
    • Contact Interlibrary Loans and Document Delivery Service (Eligibility applied).
    • Remember there maybe free Open Access versions of journal articles - use the Unpaywall Chrome/Firefox extension to find them (about Unpaywall)

Other search tools

Google is a fantastic tool but it can be hard to find quality academic information.  Many of the top hits are commercial sites that Google is paid to advertise.

Google Scholar is better because it searches mainly academic sites and provides links to many full-text documents.  Unfortunately this can lead you to sites which ask you to pay.

Click on and complete the interactive Search Google Scholar tutorial: Learn to Search Google Scholar (10 minutes)

The good news is that there is a link to Google Scholar on the Library home page - this gives you free access to many documents through the Library.

Google Scholar Search

Pile of books [image source UniSA library]


Ebooks can be read online or 'borrowed' to read offline on a PC or mobile device.  Visit the Library's ebook guide for information about finding, accessing, printing and downloading ebooks.

  • Learn what software is needed on your device
  • Look up our FAQs
  • Give us your feedback about ebooks

Search tips

Quick tips to get you started:
  • Try a topic search e.g. "social work" by using the 'subject' drop down option
  • Use double quotes for phrases "..." e.g. "global financial crisis"
  • Narrow your search by Format type: Book/Ebook or Journal articles
  • Find scholarly journal articles by selecting Refine Search > Peer Reviewed or Scholarly Publications 
  • Find recent material by narrowing your search by a Date range