Where to research for your assignment

It is important to find high quality information for your assignments. Here are some key resources to help you get started with your research.

Course readings

Course readings are a great place to start when doing research for assignments.

Find your course Reading List in Learning@Griffith. It can be found in your course profile or in the Readings section of your course site.

Reading lists provide you with links to online resources (eBooks, journal articles, web pages), or to the Library catalogue so you can find print resources.

You can also find copies of your course readings in the Library catalogue. Simply search for the title of the journal article or book. Still can’t find the right item? Try including the author’s name in the search.

Library catalogue

The Library catalogue is a great place to search for resources. From books, journal articles and videos to conference proceedings, newspaper articles and online documents, the Library catalogue has it all and more!

It lets you search for a huge number of resources in one place – the search box on the library home page.

Databases

To find specialised information, you will need to use online search tools, like the Library databases. You can search databases to find specialised resources, such as:

The library also has databases for different disciplines. So if you require information on a business, law, education, health, science or social science topic, there is a database for you.

Not sure which database to search for your discipline? Check out our handy library guides.

Google Scholar

Now, you’ve probably used Google to search for information before. Whether it was for academic, work or recreational purposes, we all know how helpful the search engine can be.

But did you know Google has an academic search engine? Google Scholar is a search engine which searches a wide variety of sources including academic online journals, conference papers, dissertations, technical reports and books.

You can even use Google Scholar to find academic resources at Griffith University. It’s as simple as changing a setting. Head to Griffith’s Ask us page to find out how.

– Extract from Study Smart –


Where to start your research

While Wikipedia is great for giving you a quick understanding of a topic, we don’t recommend you ever use it in an assignment. Effective researching is a critical uni skill. But where should you start? 

Course readings

Course readings are great place to start when doing research for assignments.

Find your course Reading List in Learning@Griffith. It can be found in your course profile, in the Readings section of your course site, or by searching for your course here.

Reading Lists provide you with links to online resources (eBooks, journal articles, web pages), or to the Library catalogue so you can find print resources.

Library catalogue

The Library catalogue is a great place to search for resources.

From books, journal articles and videos to conference proceedings, newspaper articles and online documents, the Library catalogue has it all, and more!

It lets you search for a huge number of resources in one place – the search box on the library home page.

Databases

To find specialised information, you will need to use online search tools, like the Library databases.

You can search databases to find specialised resources, such as:

The library also has databases for different disciplines. So if you require information on a business, law, education, health, science or social science topic, there is a database for you.

Not sure which database to search for your discipline? Check out our handy library guides.

Google Scholar

Now, you’ve probably used Google to search for information before. Whether it was for academic, work or recreational purposes, we all know how helpful the search engine can be.

But did you know Google has an academic search engine? Google Scholar is a search engine which searches a wide variety of sources including academic online journals, conference papers, dissertations, technical reports and books.

You can even use Google Scholar to find academic resources at Griffith University. It’s as simple as changing a setting. Head to the About Google Scholar webpage to find out how.

– Extract from Study Smart –


Be a smarter Googler

Photo of computer and coffee mug

Search Google Scholar for academic literature

So it’s pretty easy to search Google, hey? Simply ask Googs what zero divided by zero is (which was the most asked question in 2015) and you’ll get an answer. With its fancy algorithms, the clever search engine can usually be counted on to provide super relevant search results.

But we sometimes need more from Google. Being the serious researchers that we are, we need scholarly literature. And most of all, we need to access full-text scholarly literature quickly, easily and cheaply (and by cheaply, we mean free).

Which brings us to Google Scholar. It’s Google’s academic, over-achieving sister who turns her nose up at Wikipedia (Sorry Wikipedia, we all love you but you have been known to tell the occasional fib).

Google Scholar retrieves scholarly literature from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, and universities.

One amazingly awesome feature of Google Scholar is you can search for academic information available at Griffith University Library. That’s right! The search engine kindly informs you which search results are electronically available in full text (for free) at Griffith. Regular ol’ Google, eat your heart out.

What does this mean? Well, let’s say Google Scholar retrieves a journal article that you absolutely must-have. Click the Full Text@Griffith link (located on the right-hand side of the search result) and voila the full-text article magically appears. Okay, so sometimes there may be a second click involved, but who’s counting?

Remember, the magic only happens when you are on campus. If you are searching at home, you will need to configure Google Scholar. See our helpful Google Scholar webpage for instructions.


Get more articles with Google Scholar!

  • Finding more journal articles for your next assignment is easy with Google Scholar, and you can even access these valuable resources on Library databases using Full Text@Griffith links.

Google Scholar searches for scholarly resources such as journal articles, conference papers, technical reports and even selected ebooks. Full Text@Griffith links appear next to a result when Griffith has access to the article, paper or ebook on a Library database. Setting up Full Text@Griffith links in Google Scholar ensures you get access to the best possible version of the article, without being asked to pay for it!

To set up Full Text@Griffith links:

On-campus?

Full Text@Griffith links appear automatically.

Off-campus?

Configure Full Text@Griffith links:

  • Go to Google Scholar
  • Select Settings
  • Select Library Links
  • Enter Griffith and click Search
  • Tick Griffith University – Full Text@Griffith
  • Select Save
  • Start searching!

Just remember that Google Scholar only searches for scholarly/academic resources. Lots of other resources relevant to Griffith students and researchers such as articles from trade journals, magazines or newspapers; videos, images, music, standards and much more is only available on the Library catalogue or Library databases. However Google Scholar searches for more Open Access articles than are available in the Library catalogue or databases, making it a great complementary search tool for finding scholarly information.

Just one more thing… check out these great Search Tips for advice on customising search results, setting up email alerts, exporting citations to your reference lists and more!


Have you seen the new Google Scholar feature?

  • If you use Google Scholar you’re going to be pretty darn excited about this new feature Google announced recently.

Late last year Google announced a new feature within Google Scholar allowing researchers to create their own personal collection of articles.

The new feature, called My Library, enables you to save articles right from the search page, organise them by topic and use Scholar’s full-text search to find what you are looking for. You can arrange your library exactly as you like, while still accessing all the usual Google Scholar goodies (citing articles, related articles, formatted citations). Pretty exciting stuff! Set up your Google Scholar Library now.

While you’re off exploring My Library, now’s a good time to ensure you have your Library Links also set up. Library Links allow you to set up Google Scholar to provide you with links to articles subscribed to by Griffith. Once setup, Google Scholar will automatically recognise your affiliation with Griffith and provide the appropriate links (you may be prompted to enter your Griffith username and password when accessing article fulltext).” Check your Library links settings now.

Need more help with researching or referencing? Attend one of our Earlybird Workshops.