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HCS221 & HCS532 Research Skills Guide: Library Databases

Journal articles

Journal articles go a step beyond the dictionaries and encyclopedias and will discuss and critique the law by coming at it from a specific view point. This can be particularly useful for research essays, and a journal database will help you discover the range of articles that are available for your topic.

AGIS Plus Text (Attorney General’s Information Service) is a great place to start your journal database searching. This database is Australian Law focused and contains both full text and citations of articles that are available.

AGIS has a couple of other features that aren’t available in other journal databases. Many databases have limiters that you can use to refine your results but in AGIS, you can also limit your search to:

  • Legal cases – helpful if you’re looking for a discussion of a specific case
  • Jurisdiction – helpful if you’re looking for articles that focus on a specific jurisdiction, e.g., New South Wales
  • Legislation – helpful if you’re looking for a discussion of a specific piece of legislation

Outside of Law Which Databases should I choose?

While this guide has a focus on legal research you will also be searching more broadly to understand the issues in your scenario from a human services perspective. Again journal articles are the best resource for academic, scholarly information, but it can be difficult to know where to start your searches.

Key Journal Databases are on the Human Services and Social Work Library Resource Guide and show a list of relevant journals and databases. 

Visit the Humanities, Social Work & Human Services library databases listing for all potentially useful databases in your area. Note that you don't have to use every database for every assignment - but nor should you restrict your search to one database only.

Don't forget, you can also use Primo Search and Google Scholar to locate journal articles.

Remember if you'd like further tips and strategies for database searching check out the SOC101 Research Skills Guide, or the HCS406 Research Skills Guide

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