Finding academic sources for your literature review
This page will help you identify appropriate search concepts, build a search using boolean operators and find academic sources for your literature review.
Remember, check the assessment details in your course website.
Planning your search will help you find information more efficiently.
A table or mindmap can be a useful strategy for doing this.
For example, if you are researching 'youth homelessness in Australia', you could do:
|Synonyms (similar concepts)||
Tip: As you search, you may come across more concepts or synonyms you can incorporate. Don't be afraid to change or modify your search as you go.
Boolean operators (connectors) are what you use to connect your search concepts together to form different search strategies.
The below table summarises how they work:
|Boolean operator||What it does||Example|
||homelessness AND Australia|
||youth OR teenager OR adolescent|
||youth NOT adult|
Watch or read the below to see how to put together a search using boolean operators:
Test your knowledge of boolean operators with the activity below.
For this assessment you will need to use academic sources. Academic or scholarly is an umbrella term for several different kinds of authoritative and credible sources including peer reviewed articles, some books and resources known as ‘grey literature’.
Watch or read to learn more:
Here is a search example using the keywords we brainstormed earlier:
Tip: You may find it easier to use the Advanced Search option. For help see:
Here is a example search in ProQuest Social Science Premium Collection.
Here is a example search in Scopus.
Tip: Use our How to save time searching databases cheat sheet for more help.