Hi. I'm June, your embedded librarian and I've created this guide to help you with your research for GER401. 

Each section introduces the steps you should take when researching for an assessment. You'll find links to videos and resources that will give you the tools to find great information. Use the activities on the test your knowledge tab to see what you need to revise.

Getting started with your assessment

The first thing is to make sure you clearly understand the task and what topic you are seeking information for; this is called topic analysis. Check your assessment task details in your Subject Outline.

In Assessment 1, you are to create a journal in Interact that showcases your skills in particular your ability to search for academic journal articles using keywords.

In Assessment 2, you will critically discuss a case study you have identified, that considers:

  • Identifying social determinants of health
  • Use academic sources to write a rationale
  • Provide examples of social barriers and their implications in later life.

In Assessment 3, you are asked to select a topic as a focus for your case study report on a particular community from:

  • Lifelong learning
  • Nutrition and healthy ageing
  • Physical activity and active ageing
  • Work, retirement and income in later life
  • Housing, transport and environmental issues in later life

With an understanding of your task you then need to plan how you will search for information. This starts with identifying and brainstorming keywords.

From your assessment tasks:

Keywords Synonyms or related terms
Age Aged, ageing, older person, elder, senior, older adult
social determinants of health socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, geographic location, transport, community infrastructure, isolation,
policy ageing policy

Does your task place any limits?

For guidance in topic analysis check out:

Choose the right place to search

Before you start searching, think about what types of information you need and where you can search to find those types of resources.

For your first assessment task, you will need to search the journal databases to find peer reviewed articles.

Primo Search

Primo Search is a good place to start as it allows you to use one search box to bring back results from most of our Library collection including books, eBooks, journal articles, newspaper articles and more. You may get a large number of results and some of these will be from outside your subject/discipline area. Check the content is relevant to your assessment task before you use it.

Library databases

Databases will help you find academic resources and are often subject specific. You will get fewer results than Primo, but they will be more relevant to your subject/discipline. 

I recommend trying the following databases:

The Gerontology guide has more databases you can search.


Learn how to search efficiently in Primo and Library databases:

Other Sources

Tip: Try searching Google using a phrase and site search e.g. "age friendly communities" Site:gov.au

Centre for Ageing Better. (2021). The eight domains of age-friendly. https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/age-friendly-communities/eight-domains

Municipal Association of Victoria. (n.d.). Age-friendly cities and communities. https://www.mav.asn.au/what-we-do/policy-advocacy/social-community/positive-ageing/age-friendly-cities-and-communities

Surf Coast Shire. (2022). Age friendly communities. https://www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/Community/Over-55s/Age-Friendly-Communities

World Health Organization. (2021). Age-friendly environments.  https://www.who.int/teams/social-determinants-of-health/demographic-change-and-healthy-ageing/age-friendly-environments

Create a search strategy

When you search using Primo Search or a library database use the keywords and limits you identified above to create your search. Combine the keywords with search operators, rather than searching with a whole sentence or question. Search operators tell Primo or the database how to search with your keywords.

For your assessment topic potential search strings could include:

  • aged AND (ethnicity OR "First Nations")
  • (aged OR senior OR "older person") AND ("socio-economic status" OR gender)
  • ("older person" OR senior OR elder) AND "First Nations"

Remember: you will need to try a range of searches. Don't stop after just one.

To understand how search operators work check out:


Using credible information will improve the quality of your assessment and may result in better marks, but how can you tell whether the resources you've found are credible and suitable for your assessment? Have you been asked to use peer reviewed, academic or refereed articles? Are you using authoritative websites?

The information below will help you evaluate the information you find, in books, journal articles, or online to make sure it’s reliable.

Keen for more?

If you're interested in finding out more, check out the following:

Reading, writing and referencing

The Academic Skills team can help you to build your writing, referencing and reading skills to be successful at Charles Sturt.

Explore resources from the Academic Skills team in the Learning Skills section of the Student Portal.

Here are some pages to get you started:

Using AI

Have you been asked to use Generative AI Tools (GAITs) in your assessment? Or are you thinking of using GAITs for research and study? 

Make sure you are aware of the risks associated with using GAITs:

  • Academic integrity
  • Plagiarism
  • Inaccurate content
  • Intellectual property
  • Privacy concerns.

For more information see:

Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft Copilot is a chat interface that uses ChatGPT 4 to generate answers based on questions or prompts that you write.

Copilot is free, does not require a login and provides real-time information and citations. To learn more check out the Digital Skills modules.