Hi. I'm Alex, your embedded librarian, and I've created this guide to help you with your research for INF404

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.

If you would like an introduction to our Library website and services, check out: 

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.

The example below is based on assessment 2, a report on understanding an information sector:

Keywords Synonyms or related terms

information sector

public library, national library, state library, special library, academic library, school library, archives, information agency, GLAM sector…
corporate information centre, knowledge management unit…
records, archives…

development of sector

historical context, origin, foundation, development, change, cultural change, landmark, milestone...

context of sector

current context, social context, political context, framework, recent, trend, development, technology, politics...

information type

collection, local history records, government or corporate information, fiction, non-fiction, research collection, multimedia resources…

information format

ebooks, databases, ejournals, hard copy resources, print resources, film, pictures, maps, artefacts, artworks…

stakeholder and client

customer, patron, member, student, teacher, funding body, management, leadership, board, community, colleague, researcher…

information professional

librarian, archivist, research support officer, data or information officer, repository manager, UX (user experience) specialist…
knowledge, skills, attributes, capabilities, research, projects, teaching...

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 & Library Studies list has more databases you can search.


Learn how to search efficiently in Primo and Library databases:

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:

  • archiv* AND Australia*
  • ("knowledge management" OR "information management") AND "public librar*"
  • "academic librar*" AND leadership

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.

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.

Professional journals

Some key professional journals in the library and information studies sector include: