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Research Fundamentals: Step 2: Search tools & sources

Beginning that assignment...

What is FindIT@

FindIt@ lets you search the Library's digital and hard-copy collections from a single point.
Find out
more about FindIt@  

Why should I use FindIT?

Tips for getting started

  • Identify the types of resources you will need i.e. peer-reviewed articles, case studies, books etc.
  • Use your Reading List to find relevant books, journal articles etc.
  • Find one good journal article and identify potential resources from the list of references.
  • Ensure that you understand the citation detail i.e. journal article, book chapter, web page.
  • Develop search terms using the keywords identified in Step 1. Consider synonyms etc.

Choosing resources for your assignment

Selecting resources to back-up your assignment will be governed by the type of information you require.  The quantity of resources needed will depend on your level of research, the conditions set by your assignment question, and the complexity of your assignment topic.  For questions about the number and types of resources required, check your assignment sheet or clarify with your teacher.


  • Useful for understanding a topic
  • Can provide in-depth analysis & discussion 
  • Check the publication date to make sure information is current

Journal articles

  • Check for scholarly/peer-reviewed
  • Find current research
  • Narrower in focus
  • Reference lists & cited source

Conference papers

  • Papers presented at discipline specific conferences
  • Current research


  • Commentary or opinion
  • Overview current events/topic


  • Useful for defining a topic & background information