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Getting started with research

Use 'Library Search' to start your research. From here you can access books, DVDs, journal articles, newspaper articles and other types of resources.

Library Search


Sign in for access to full text and request options.

Use an encyclopedia for background research and to understand your topic:

Recommended databases

The databases you select for your research will vary depending on which course you are in, and which subject area you are searching. Find your course Library Guide to see specific recommended databases. 

Image databases

Find copyright-free and creative commons licensed images to use in presentations.

Boolean searching

Most databases and catalogues let you combine keywords when searching. This will help you get better results. Watch the Prezi below to find out how.


You can expand or narrow your search results by using connectors (or operators) to form a relationship between your search terms.

AND - connects your terms together. You will only retrieve results that contain ALL your terms

OR - expands your results. You will retrieve results that contain ANY of your terms

NOT - excludes terms from your results

More search operators

(brackets OR parentheses) - brackets groups terms together, particularly useful for grouping synonyms in an OR search

"quotation marks" - put terms in double quotation marks to search for the words as an exact phrase

You can use a database or search engine's 'advanced' search options to bring up the AND, OR and NOT connectors, and also to be able to choose which field is being searched for your terms. A regular or 'basic' search will search for your terms across any/all fields, but in an advanced search you can specify to only search fields such as 'title', 'author', 'subject' or 'abstract'.