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WEL427 Research Skills Guide: Searching other sources

Searching beyond databases

We can all agree that journal articles are the best source for academic, scholarly information. However they are not the end of the story. In Assessment 2 you have been asked provide a range of diverse perspectives.

To show diverse perspectives you will need to look beyond academic or research articles. The information below will help you find alternate resources to bring in new perspectives.

Grey literature

Grey literature refers to scholarly works and research that have not been commercially published. Grey literature is generally not subject to peer review however, it can often be a good source of up to date information. Alternatively, it can provide a valuable historical link to how things were done in the past.

Examples of grey literature include:

  • conference proceedings
  • theses
  • government documents
  • fact sheets and bulletins
  • annual reports
  • business papers
  • informal communication (blogs, podcasts)
  • reports
  • newspapers
  • statistics and census data

To find grey literature you can search:

  • Australian Policy Online
  • Trove to locate Australian publications from libraries, museums, archives and research organisations.
  • Web of Science indexes conference proceedings
  • Internet resources - make use of the Google search tips on the right.

Newspaper and Media Resources

For some assessment tasks you may need to access news items, newspaper articles, or documentaries. These resources can give you insight into public or political opinion and are useful for social historical views on some subjects.

Whilst you will be able to find some news articles in Primo Search, the best place to find news articles is in the Library's News & Current Affairs databases and some recommendations are listed below.

Google can also be used to find news articles published by local newspapers use the tips on the right to improve your searches.

Remember not to limit yourself to just using Google; try using the news databases and Google. The Library's databases include articles available only via subscription, which Google won't find.

Media Databases

Searching the internet

The Internet is a great place to locate background information and additional resources outside of scholarly publications.

There are some tips and tricks you can implement to make the most out of Google Search and improve the relevance and quality of your results. These strategies are slightly different to those offered in Primo Search and journal databases.

While Google Search does offer an Advanced Search, which you might like to use, you can use these strategies within the basic search box to provide you with the same control.

Search for an exact phrase or match

Put your search terms in quotation marks

"international trade"

Exclude a word from your search

Put a dash - before any word you want to exclude

customs -culture

Search within a range of numbers

Use two periods .. between the numbers to return results within that range

"international trade" 2013..2018

Search within a website

Use site: to search within a particular web address or to limit your results to a domain type

Limit by geographical area or time frame Use the Google Tools drop down options to limit to Australia results and/or select a timeframe for your results

Watch the video below to see even more tips in action:

Using Google effectively

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