Hi. I'm Yasmine, your embedded librarian and I've created this guide to help you with your research for JST409. 

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.

Lets take a look at some of the possible topics used across your assessments in this subject:

Keywords Synonyms or related terms
Anonymisation tools Data identification, data transformation, metadata management, privacy measures
Advanced surveillance techniques Cyber intelligence gathering, digital intelligence collection, technology operations
Sensitive information Confidential information, private data, classified, privileged, restricted
Media outlet News media, broadcast journalism, electronic journalism, press, channel of communication
Social media Social network, social platform, internet community, social networking website, social media channel
Serious crime Major crime, grave offence, felony, violent crime
Negative victim engagement Victim sensitive approach, victim support, survivor protection, victim blaming, secondary victimisation
Trauma informed (TI) approach TI care, TI practice, TI service system, human oriented
Interpersonal violence Interpersonal abuse, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, family violence

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 Emergency Management, Policing & Public Safety list has more databases you can search.


Learn how to search efficiently in Primo and Library databases:

The Internet

Searching the Internet can be a great place to search, but it can be overwhelming, and you need to be sure you're using the best sources.

Learn how to search the Internet effectively:

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.


Search Operator Example
Use AND to retrieve results that contain both of your search terms. Investigation AND victim
Use OR to retrieve results that contain any or all of your search terms. social media OR social platform
Using NOT to exclude irrelevant results. social media NOT TikTok
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase. "victim engagement"
Group terms or equivalent keywords with parentheses to create complex searches. (police OR policing) AND "information sharing"
Search for terms with different word endings using an asterisk. Inform* = informs, information, informative
A question mark can be used to replace a single letter within a word. analy?e = analyse, analyze

For your assessment topics, potential search strings could include:

  • "criminal investigation" AND (victim engagement OR survivor engagement)
  • investigations AND (trauma-informed approach OR trauma-informed practice)
  • (police OR policing) AND "information sharing" AND (social media OR social platform OR social network)

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.

Watch this video for an overview of the library services and how to search for information.

JST409 Research Skills Demonstration

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: