Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
USC logo
Library Guides

Research skills tutorial

Step 4 - Find information

Congratulations, you are half way through this tutorial.  By now you have:

  • Defined your topic and identified alternative keywords (Step 1)
  • Created a search strategy (combining keywords with search boosters) (Step 2)
  • Selected appropriate sources of information (Step 3)

Now you need to use your search strategy with your selected sources to find the information you need.

Finding resources at USC Library

Many of the sources you need can be found via the library website.

The table below outlines where to look on the USC Library Website to find the specific sources.  Sometimes a source can be found in several places.

What do you want to find? DISCOVER Journal Titles Databases Course
A reading from your Course Readings Search the Library Catalogue Search Journals & Newspapers A-Z   Use the Course Reserve Search  
A reading from a Reference List or Bibliography Search the Library Catalogue Search Journals & Newspapers A-Z      
Books and eBooks Search the Library Catalogue        
A particular journal article Search the Library Catalogue Search Journals & Newspapers A-Z      
A particular journal   Search Journals & Newspapers A-Z      
Journal articles on a topic Search the Library Catalogue   Search Articles in Databases    
Databases for your course     Search Articles in Databases   Look at your Course LibGuide
Online videos Search the Library Catalogue        
Help with finding information for your course         Look at your Course LibGuide

Reading List or List of References

You may have a list of readings or a Reference List with sources you want to find.  A reference should include the:

  • author/s
  • year or date of publication
  • title of the book or article
  • title of the journal or newspaper (this will be the second title)
  • volume number and issue number
  • page numbers
  • URL for a website
  • DOI for a journal article

Learn more about finding resources from a reading list

DISCOVER: find books, videos, journal articles and more

Discover lets you search the majority of the Library's collection in a single search. Go to the Library website and select Login for Full Access. Select USC Students and Staff and enter your username and password is prompted. Type your keywords in the DISCOVER search box. Remember to use your search strategy (combine keywords with Boolean operators, phrase searching and truncation).

Learn more about searching DISCOVER for books, videos, journal articles and more

Library Catalogue: find books, eBooks and videos

Go to the library website and select Login to search. Select USC Students and Staff and enter your username and password is prompted. Select the Catalogue tab and type your keywords. This is an Advanced Search.

Select the field you want to search (Title, Author, Subject or Any).

Learn more about finding books, videos and other printed materials

Journal Titles: find Journals and journal articles from a reference

Go to the library website and select the Journal Titles link. Type the title of the journal (may appear in italics in a reference list) into the search field.

N.B. Do not type the title of the article.

Select Check for availability and select the database that includes the appropriate year range.

N.B. Some databases don't include this year's articles.

Once in the database, select the specific volume and issue number for the article you need to find.

Learn more about using Journal Titles

Databases: find journal articles on a topic

Go to the library website and select the Databases link. Databases are listed by title, subject and type.

Learn more about finding journal articles in the library databases

Course Readings: find books chapters, articles and more

Course readings have been selected by your Course Coordinator. Login to Blackboard, select your course, then select Course Readings. Readings may be organised by study weeks or topics.

Guides: find research tips and information about your course

Go to the library website and select the Library Guides link. You can choose from:

  • Subject Guides related to your course (e.g. Accounting, Biomedical Science, TPP101)
  • How to Guides to help with resources (e.g. I'm new to the library, I'm doing an assignment)
  • Research Guides for researchers and academics (e.g. Endnote, Research Data Management, Open Education Resources)

See how Step 4 relates to Digital Literacy - linked to Apply Technology (Graduate Attribute)


Back to Step 3 - Information Sources See an example of Step 4 Go to Step 5 - Evaluate Information
© University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia | ABN 28 441 859 157 | CRICOS Provider No. 01595D