Hi. I'm Alex, your embedded librarian and I've created this guide to help you with your research for INF211 and INF406

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.

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 task:

Keywords Synonyms or related terms
information service library, archives, repository, academic library, public library, knowledge centre...
library user customer, client, patron, end user, member, borrower...
service provision, delivery, support, system...
model design, mode, type, structure, framework...

Does your task place any limits? These might be "in the last X years" or Australian content.

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.

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 database:

The Information and Library Studies list has more databases you can search.

Learn how to search efficiently in Primo and Library databases:

Additional resources

On the additional resources page of this guide you will find links to professional journals, and resources on:

  • User groups and service design
  • Reference interviews
  • Library guides, including writing for the web and using images online.

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:

  • (immigrant OR refugee) AND public AND librar*
  • ("First Nations" OR Indigenous) AND community AND archive
  • (elderly OR senior OR older) AND "information sector" AND (health OR well-being)

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.

Sources of information

Different sources of information can assist you with different parts of your research, but it can be confusing to figure out what is best to use where - and how to find them!

Resource type

Description Where to find them
Books and eBooks Written by experts, books and eBooks contain overviews of a topic and discuss relevant theories and research in a particular area. They are often written in plain or instructive language. 

Primo search

eBook collections in databases

Journal articles Journal articles usually have a narrower focus than book, e.g. they discuss a specific piece of research or aspects of a theory. They are based on evidence and research and, if peer-reviewed, have undergone review by other experts in the field. 

Primo search

Journal or citation databases

Google Scholar

Professional articles Written by and for professionals working in the field. They are not necessarily scholarly/peer-reviewed, but are a good source of current and practical information.

Primo search (by excluding peer-reviewed material in a search for articles)

Identify and browse relevant trade journals

Reports  Reports are not scholarly/peer-reviewed, but can contain policies and procedures and/or information on practical applications of theory. Look for reports published by governments or credible organisations.

Google search

Grey literature library guide

Websites  Great for background reading and an understanding of various industries. Look for credible websites - .gov or .org where possible - and evaluate websites rigorously.. Google search
News and media Reviews, feature articles, opinion pieces and explainers - these are not scholarly but are useful to understand public opinion and the cultural landscape.

Google search

News and current affairs databases

Reference resources Encyclopedias and dictionaries, great for definitions and background and/or subject-specific information.

Primo search

Reference databases

Your textbook

Good news!

Your textbook is available online through the library!

However access to your textbook is limited. Follow the best practice in the video below to ensure you have access to what you need without disadvantaging other students in your subject.

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.