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Find books and journal articles

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Watch the short video below to get started:

select to watch the video: choosing where to search

  • Knowing where to search is just as important as knowing how to search.
  • Not all search tools will give you access to the same information.
  • Understanding why and when to use different search tools will save you time.
  • The Library Collection:
    • is a good place to search for scholarly material.
    • provides free access to a variety of resources types across a range of subject areas.
  • Databases:
    • help focus your search and have more advanced searching options.
  • Google Scholar:
    • provides access to a wide range of resources, but not all of it is scholarly. 
    • use the Google Scholar link from the Library website for best access to full-text references.
  • Some types of specific information are best found using a search engine or specific website.
  • All resources need to be evaluated before using them.


Why use books?

Academic or scholarly books are written or edited by people with subject expertise. Books provide:

  • background knowledge
  • more comprehensive coverage compared to websites
  • definitions of treatments, conditions etc.
  • step-by-step guides

It is important to evaluate books you find, this guide from QUT will help you to evaluate:

Search for books

Search by title

If you know the book title and author surname(s), you can also search the title using double quotation marks (to lock the words together in a phrase) and include the author's surname to narrow your results:
e.g. "An Introduction to Language" AND Fromkin

Notice AND is capitalised and used to separate the author name and the title.

If there is a book available, you will see the option Online access or borrow a print version.

Search by keywords

You can also search with keywords, for example, "speech therapy" AND teenager*. The asterisk is the truncation symbol which broadens your search to include different word-endings, e.g. singular and plural endings. 

Narrow your results further by using the filters on the left-hand side menu. Go to Resource Type > Books, then Show Only > Full Text Online

image example of 'show only' filter


Note: Before you purchase a textbook for your course, always check the Library Collection to see if an ebook version may be available.

Why use journal articles?

Scholarly journal articles contain highly focused and current research information. They provide:

  • up-to-date information 
  • answers to highly focused research questions
  • an easy-to-digest structure: abstract, introduction, methodology, findings etc.
Note: Not all articles are peer-reviewed, below is a table that contains different types of journal articles. Click on the + symbols to see more information.

Key journal databases

Search example: MEDLINE

You can take advantage of the Advanced search to build up combinations of terms by:


  • Untick Map Term to Subject Heading
  • Search all the keywords and synonyms using OR in your first concept.
  • you will see your first concept displayed in Search History above.

STEP 2: Repeat this step for other concepts

image example: the third concept search in Medline

STEP 3: In Search History, tick all your concepts and combine them with AND.

Search example: Emcare

Emcare uses the same Ovid search interface and you can search the same way as you search for MEDLINE.
If you already have a search strategy in MEDLINE, you can simply switch the database to Emcare or PsycInfo:

STEP 1: Above the search bar, select Change
image example: stwich database to Emcare

STEP 2: in the pop-up window, select Emcare or PsycInfo, then select Run Search.

[Link to Library webpage databases catagories]

Medicine and drug databases