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Finding sources of information

Information to help you find books, articles and more to help you with your studies and research.

Plan your search

Planning your search is an essential step in finding academic and good quality sources for your assignments (see the InfoSkills five step cycle). It can range from a simple search plan to a devising a complex search strategy. The type of assignment you are undertaking will determine this. Ensure you consult your assignment brief for guidance before planning your search.

A more simple search plan may include deciding on the resources to use to locate the most relevant and reliable sources.  For example …

  • Start with the information sources on your unit reading list
  • Use Library Search to locate additional sources of academic information
  • Search specialist databases listed on your subject guide
  • Use the most relevant and appropriate search terms to ensure you find relevant sources
  • Use search techniques to make your search more effective


A more complex search may be required for assignments, particularly assignments that require locating a number of academic journal articles, for example a literature review assignment or dissertation literature review.  A systematic approach to searching for journal articles is the most efficient way to locate the most relevant articles for your research.

The Search strategy section of the Literature review guide provides guidance on how to plan your search effectively.


Book on to one of our workshops for help with planning your search effectively.

We recommend the following workshops which cover planning your search:

  • Finding academic sources for your assignments
  • Literature reviews: searching for articles and research papers effectively

Search techniques