Skip to Main Content

Find information

Where to search

Knowing where to search is just as important as knowing how to search. The following video (2 min 14 sec) will help you to understand why and when to use different search tools.

Key points from the video

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

The Library Collection

The Library Collection is a good place to start your search. You can use it to find eBooks, journal articles, reports, videos and more. Using the "refine my results" menu, you can refine your search to find exactly what you need.

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

More help

Learn to Search the Collection

Key databases

Databases are online collections of resources including articles, papers, book chapters and reports. Databases have advanced search options, helping to focus your search and find more relevant, scholarly references quickly.

Planning databases

More help

For a complete list of planning databases the Library subscribes to, click on the databases tab located under the 'Search the Library Collection' box on the Library homepage. Then select: Natural and Built Environment > Planning.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar searches only within academic or scholarly sites, rather than the whole internet. By accessing Google Scholar from within the library website, you will be able to link directly to articles that the library has access to by clicking on the Full-text at UniSA link.

Want to know more?

Google Scholar search tutorial

Planning journals in Browzine

LibKey Nomad

With the Nomad extension activated, you can access direct links to eBooks, online articles and PDFs on websites such as PubMed, publisher websites, and Wikipedia using the following icon:

Download PDF icon

Benefits include:

  • Ability to access relevant Library content conveniently and instantly via the open web
  • Completely anonymous – no user data is shared with or by LibKey
  • Simple browser extension that can be set up in seconds without training

Download and installation help

Find more information


The South Australian Government's PlanSA contains legislation, development plans, building policy and more.


"Standards are documents setting out specifications, procedures and guidelines. They are designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistent." (Standards Australia).

Techstreet provides full-text access to all current Australian Standards, Joint ISO/Australian Standards, Joint NZ/Australian Standards, current Draft Australian Standards, amendments to Australian Standards and most Standards Australia handbooks.

For more information, please see the Standards page on the Patents and Standards Guide.

Australian Building Codes

The National Construction Code (NCC) comprises the Building Code of Australia (BCA) volumes 1 and 2 and the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA) as volume 3.                             

The NCC sets the minimum requirements for the design, construction and performance of buildings throughout Australia. It is developed to incorporate all on-site building and plumbing requirements into a single code.

BCA + Standards includes the entirety of the NCC in addition to 150 referenced Australian standards.

Select appropriate references

While you are finding references, you need to think about whether they are appropriate to use in your assignment. You may be asked to use scholarly or peer-reviewed material to support your arguments. 

You should evaluate all resources before including them in your assignment - even if you found them through the Library Collection or databases.

More help