Creative Writing and Literature: Find information


Books can provide:[Horia Varlan, 'Hardcover book gutter and pages', CC Licence: CC BY 2.0 (, Image source: Flickr (]

  • definitions
  • overviews
  • step-by-step guides
  • in-depth information on a topic

...and much more comprehensive coverage of a topic than a webpage targeted at the layperson.

Many books in the Library's collection are written or edited by people with expertise in the relevant field.

The Library provides access to hundreds of thousands of ebooks.

To find ebooks, search the Library Collection and limit (refine) your search by selecting Format: Books and then Show Only: Full Text Online.

Whether you can download an ebook to use offline, or copy or print sections, can vary from book to book.

The Library Catalogue is the best place to begin your search for relevant books.

The Library continually purchases books to support all disciplines and research areas. Many of these are available online.

Catalogue search tips:

  • If you know the exact title type it into the search box and select Title from the drop-down list e.g. routledge dictionary of literary terms (you only need enough of the title to distinguish it from others)
  • If you are searching for a resource with a common title try adding the author's surname to your search
  • Do a keyword search to find information on a particular topic e.g. hamlet*
  • Use the Refine Search options to narrow your search e.g. by Format (e.g. book)
  • Use an asterisk * to find alternative word endings  e.gshakespeare* will search shakespeare, shakespeare's, shakespearean, etc.
  • Use double quotes for phrases e.g. "literary criticism"

[johnny_automatic, 'open book', CC Licence: CC0 1.0, Image Source: Open Clip Art Library]

Other sources for books:

To determine if a book is scholarly, look:[Andrew Fitzsimon, "Thumbnail", Image Source: Open Clip Art Library, CC0 1.0]

  • for a bibliography and references
  • at author qualifications and affiliations (e.g. are they affiliated with a university or other institution?)
  • for a reputable publisher (e.g. a university press or well known academic publisher)
  • at the scope or depth of the book - is it what you need, and expected at an academic level?
  • research, statistics or data to back up findings

Browse the shelves

Subject heading Call number
Language 400
English and old English languages 420
DVD film collection 791.4372
Literature, rhetoric and criticism 800
English and old English literatures 820
Drama 822

Journals and journal articles

Journals enable you to keep up to date with the latest - research, trends, published writing, events, conferences, projects, theories...and to gain an historical perspective by accessing material published in previous decades.

Examples of journals [image source: UniSA Library]


Journal articles usually focus on a very specific aspect of a topic, and may be the only source of information on that aspect.

UniSA Library subscribes to thousands of journals on behalf of UniSA students and researchers. Most are available as fulltext online from your desktop, laptop or mobile device.

How to find journal articles on a topic[Andrew Fitzsimon, "Thumbnail", Image Source: Open Clip Art Library, CC0 1.0]

  • Browse journal issues (can be interesting, but takes time, and you won't find everything written on the topic)
  • Search the Library Collection
  • Search a database

The Library Catalogue lets you search inside many journals, but not all. It also covers every discipline.

Go beyond the Catalogue and explore databases when

  • Catalogue search results are irrelevant - if you're looking for something specific to a discipline, it can be faster to go straight to an appropriate database just covering publications in that discipline
  • you need to conduct a more comprehensive search (e.g. for a literature review)

Catalogue search tips:

  • To find articles on a subject, type in your keywords and then refine by Format > Articles e.g. creative writing australia
  • To search for articles from a specific journal, try Advanced Search or type the journal title in the search box and select Title from the drop-down menu. Refine by Format: Journal if there are too many confusing records and follow links through to any online access
  • Use double quotes for phrases e.g. "south australia"
  • Use an asterisk * to find alternate word endings e.g. adolescen* finds adolescence, adolescent and adolescents

It is important to evaluate the articles that you find.

At University there is the expectation that you will use scholarly material to support your arguments. You may be asked to use peer reviewed journal articles. To check if an article is peer reviewed (refereed) use Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory

For further help see:

Top tips

  1. Follow-up on the recommended resources - find and read/view materials referred to in your course information

  2. Go beyond your set readings - in your references, show your knowledge of the broader literature available on the topic, including awareness of a variety of viewpoints/interpretations

  3. Use the most appropriate search tool for what you need to find

  4. Use the terms of others in your searches - what subject terms (also known as 'subject headings' or 'descriptors') appear in Catalogue/database records (and usually under 'refine' on the results page)? Also look at the terms used by authors of relevant publications that you find. Could some of these be useful in future searches?

  5. Try different combinations of search terms

  6. Scan reference lists - if you find a useful publication, does the reference list or bibliography include further relevant material to locate?

  7. Searching takes time! Don't expect to find all of the information you need for a more in-depth assessment - such as an essay - in one session. Typically you will search, read, and then search again, with new ideas and terms to direct your searches

  8. Always evaluate what you find - is it relevant? Scholarly?

Browse UniSA's subscribed journals and easily access PDFs


BrowZine™ allows you to easily access and browse journals available online via UniSA. Access via Library Website > 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 LibKey extension, watch this short video (1m20s).

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 on the library website, 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.
    • you can get items from other libraries (Eligibility applied).
    • Remember there maybe free Open Access versions of journal articles - use the Unpaywall Chrome/Firefox extension to find them (about Unpaywall)