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Health Research Guide: Finding Resources

A guide to help you getting started with your research for Nursing and Health Sciences.

What are Resources?

There are a variety of resources you can use to find information for your studies and assignments. A resource is a source of information or expertise and comes in many forms, like books, eBook, journals, websites, etc. Resources can be accessed in various ways like through Library Search, databases, Internet, etc.

Click the icons below or check out the drop-down menu to learn more about the different resource types!

Books & eBooks


Journals Databases

Searching in the right place?

Where do I search? Benefits of various search tools.

If you have been asked to find academic, credible or peer reviewed information Library Search is a great place to start.


  • one place to find books, ebooks, journal articles, newspaper articles, theses, streaming video and much more
  • results can be filtered many ways - chose peer reviewed articles, full text online, narrow down by date range
  • advanced search allows easy combining of several search terms

Before doing anything uni related login to the portal - This makes it easier to access all your uni related tools with one sign in.

If you know the EXACT title of the resource, enclose it in quotation marks, e.g. "The road to social work and human service practice". Also, use quotation marks around an EXACT phrase e.g. "mental health".

If you are looking for books on a topic use keywords, e.g., "mental health" AND "social work".

Click below to try out searching with the CDU Library

Library Search is a simple way to search for information resources, including journal articles. But sometimes you will need to use the additional, discipline-specific features provided by specialist databases to find the information that you need for your assignments.

Click the image of CDU Library's A-Z Databases to check out the page

  • Not all of the resources in specialist databases can be found using library search

Subject-specific databases are ideal for searching the journal literature because they are tailored to a particular discipline, and therefore provide the ability to narrow your search in ways that wouldn't be possible in a general database or search tool like Library Search.

They vary from each other on subject area, coverage, content types, geographical location, etc - so consider which database/s will be most likely to contain the kind of information you're looking for.


Have a look at your Learnline and see if there is a Reading List attached to the unit. It should be available on the left-hand menu (BB Original) or within your unit content (BB Ultra)

Lecturers can use reading lists to organize and link resources and readings, to direct you to resources they think would be useful and relevant to your areas of study.

Google Scholar can be a handy tool to use to find additional information such as: scholarly literature, some of which can be found in the library collection and some freely available; conference papers or theses.

This tool will not search across the book and eBook collections at the library and may not give you full-text access to every journal article. You also cannot refine results by peer reviewed sources and may show articles that are published in predatory journals which have poor peer review and editing processes.

If you're unsure if an article you find in scholar is from a peer reviewed journal check in Ulrich's Periodicals Directory or the Directory of Open Access Journals or Publons

  • On campus? - links will automatically show "full text @CDU" for CDU-subscribed articles. Open link in new tab.
  • Off campus - you need to change your settings so that Find it @ CDU links automatically appear within Google Scholar in your search results:
    1. Click the three horizontal lines (top left) then go to Settings (the cog at the bottom of the list)
    2. Click Library links
    3. Type in Charles Darwin University and click the search button
    4. Tick Charles Darwin University - Find it @ CDU
    5. Click Save

To retain these settings, you must turn on cookies in your browser settings

If you send your citations to EndNote, under Bibliography Manager, select EndNote

Web Search Engines, like Google or DuckDuckGo can be used to find an overview of your topic, background information, keywords, similar terms or concepts, instructional videos and so much more, such as government and industry resources. Searching by keywords in Google will usually give a huge number of results.

Hints for searching in Google:

  1. try out Google advanced - add a site or domain, opt for search terms to appear "in the title of the page"
  2. use "..." around phrases
  3. if you want Australian statistics search the ABS site, or try adding after your search terms
  4. if you want something from an Australian Government site try adding after your search terms
  5. If you want something from an educational institution try adding after your search terms
  6. if you want a published report try adding filetype:pdf after your search terms

For more watch some videos on "Googling like a pro" or "search tips" in Google

Never cite or reference Wikipedia in an academic paper.

However, it can be a good place to start your search:

1. It's a good place to do background reading.

2. It can help you discover further keywords to use for searching.

3. You can find cited articles.

Watch this video to learn the pros and cons of using Wikipedia.

Helpful Links

CDU Library

The CDU Library homepage is your one stop shop for almost everything you need to succeed in your studies. Hosting Library Search, links to relevant databases, study guides, help and library services, as well as general information and frequently asked questions, this page is a must bookmark for your study needs.

Study Skills

A site containing a comprehensive range of study skills information to help you understand academic expectations and become a more confident student. Developing academic writing, critical thinking, and the ability to read and understand academic texts, is vital if you wish to succeed as a student and scholar.

Language and Learning Support

The Language and Learning Services team is here to support your academic development at Charles Darwin University (CDU). A free and confidential service to help you build skills including understanding assignments and work standards; how to get the grades you want; and developing your academic writing abilities.

CDU Student Homepage

Need some information or help about your time at CDU? Check out the current student's homepage, which has heaps of info about access to student services, how to find support and the services available and how you can explore your community and get involved!

Reading List

Reading Lists are a great way for your lecturers and unit coordinators to provide you with prescribed texts and recommended reading. Check out all of the Reading Lists you have access to here, and get a start on reading through your unit.

Distance Library Services

Distance Library Services are available to CDU students to help with accessing library services remotely. As a part of these services, you can request digitisation of chapters, or delivery of books to your home address. If you live near another university, reciprocal borrowing services are also available.

Recorded Workshops

Have a look at some of these recorded workshops by the CDU Library's Language and Learning team. These workshops are not live but can be played, paused, and rewatched to help you learn some key skills at University. You can book to attend live workshops through the library website.

Past Exam Papers

Using your CDU login, you can access past exam papers for your units to help prepare for upcoming exams. Exam papers can be searched for using the unit code. Not all lecturers choose to make exam papers available, please contact your lecturer if your exam papers are not listed.

Charles Darwin University acknowledges the traditional custodians across the lands on which we live and work, and we pay our respects to Elders both past and present.
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