Skip to Main Content

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.

Recommended databases

Use these databases to find more information for your assignments. Resources you find in these databases will be different from what you find in 'Library Search.'

Background research

Use these to find more information about a concept, or to provide a definition of a concept in your assignment. 

Academic databases

Use these to find academic journal articles and books on your topic.  

Image databases

Browse the ABS by topics (a more detailed list).

Finding international statistics

How Do We Find Statistics Internationally To Compare Against Australia?Here is a list of statistics websites from various countries, with similar types of information to the ABS:


Reference your sources (including statistics, datasets, images and tables) using the APA guide. 

You can use operators in a Google search to help refine your results.


This tells Google to return results from specific types of websites. For example, if you want to find information from Australian Government websites on ageing populations you could type: 

"ageing population" 

into Google. All of your search results will be from sites that end in - meaning they are Australian government websites. 


You can also use this operator to search within certain websites for information. Sometimes this works better than using the website's own search feature. Example: 



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'.

Searching for information in the library