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Finding scholarly sources for your short academic paper

1. What you need to do

This guide will help you find scholarly literature for your assignment. 

You have been provided with two journal articles but required to find one additional scholarly paper. 

Before you start, make sure you clarify the assessment requirements by reading the assignment instructions and marking criteria supplied on your course website. 

2. Plan your search

Before you start looking for information, use the following steps to plan your search:

  1. Define any unfamiliar terminologies.
  2. Identify the key concepts in your assignment topics. These will form the foundation of your search.
  3. Make a list of any synonyms or related keywords for each key concept.
Note: a table can be a useful strategy for organising key concepts and alternative concepts or synonyms.

Example topic:

The engagement and participation in supporting quality of life in older people within aged care homes and the community.

Example table:

Key concepts
Synonyms / alternative concepts

Concept 1: Older people


concept 2: Quality of life

Life quality

Concept 3: Aged care

Nursing home
Retirement home

Aged care facilities

Concept 4: Community

Community dwelling
Living at home

This table is not comprehensive, you may find more concepts as you begin to search.

Watch the video below to learn more about how to plan your search.

3. Searching the Library Collection

The Library Collection can be a good starting place to search for scholarly information.

Library collection search example

  1. You can start by putting the main concepts into the search box.
    Make sure you select the Library Collection tab

Search example images

Tip: use "double quotes" to keep concepts together as a phrase.

  1. Use the Refine my results menu (left side) to apply filters to your search.
Tip: you can swap each concept to different alternative keywords and search again.

4. Searching Google Scholar

You can search Google Scholar in the same way as a Catalogue basic search.

Search example in Google scholar

  • Select the Google Scholar tab on the Library website
  • Search your keywords
  • Select Fulltext at UniSA to access the resource or download PDFs

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If you need help, just ask!

Navigate to the Ask the Library webpage. Navigate to the UniSA study help pals webpage. Navigate to the Studiosity webpage. Navigate to the Learning Advisors' webpage.
Contact: Ask the Library Ask: the Study Help PALs Use: Studiosity Talk to: Learning Adviser