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CUS401 Research Skills Guide: Searching other sources

Grey literature

Grey literature refers to scholarly works and research that have not been commercially published. Grey literature is generally not subject to peer review however, it can often be a good source of up to date information. Alternatively, it can provide a valuable historical link to how things were done in the past.

Examples of grey literature include:

  • conference proceedings
  • theses
  • government documents
  • fact sheets and bulletins
  • annual reports
  • business papers
  • informal communication (blogs, podcasts)
  • reports
  • newspapers
  • statistics and census data

To find grey literature you can search:

  • Analysis & Policy Observatory is an open access evidence platform for public policy and practice
  • Trove to locate Australian publications from libraries, museums, archives and research organisations.
  • Web of Science indexes conference proceedings
  • Internet resources - make use of the Google search tips and the recommend links below.

Useful websites

The following websites provide information about international customs law, including relevant treaties and international agreements, as well as internationally recognised standards and procedures. 

You can search within the websites, browse their resources/documents sections or use the Google site: search function to search the websites form Google.

Searching the internet

The Internet is a great place to locate background information and additional resources outside of scholarly publications.

There are some tips and tricks you can implement to make the most out of Google Search and improve the relevance and quality of your results. These strategies are slightly different to those offered in Primo Search and journal databases.

While Google Search does offer an Advanced Search, which you might like to use, you can use these strategies within the basic search box to provide you with the same control.

Search for an exact phrase or match

Put your search terms in quotation marks

"incident control"

Exclude a word from your search

Put a dash - before any word you want to exclude

emergency -hospital

Search within a range of numbers

Use two periods .. between the numbers to return results within that range

"emergency management" 2013..2018

Search within a website

Use site: to search within a particular web address or to limit your results to a domain type

site:.abs.gov.au

site:.org.au

Limit by geographical area or time frame Use the Google Tools drop down options to limit to Australia results and/or select a timeframe for your results

Using Google effectively

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.

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