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Search and review literature

Effective search planning

Planning is the key to successful research

  • Directs your research
  • Enables you to develop strategies to systematically organise and record information
  • Saves time and reduces frustration by keeping your search for information focused
  • Ensures your literature search is comprehensive
  • Facilitates the process of recording or documenting information searching and strategies over time
  • Prompts you to think critically about your topic and can contribute to the quality of your thesis, article or literature review


The following resources outline helpful preliminary steps in preparing to search the literature, and provide tips and strategies to help ensure your search is successful.


These presentations form part of the HDR training and are designed to help you search literature effectively



Finding Deakin theses

Deakin University theses may be found via:

Finding Australian theses

Trove (Libraries Australia) is the national database of material held in Australian libraries. To find theses, type keywords from author, title, and/or institution and add thesis in the keyword search box.

Finding international theses

Europe, United Kingdom, Ireland
  • DART European Theses - full-text theses from more than 70 European and United Kingdom universities and research institutes
  • Index to theses - a comprehensive listing of theses in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
North America
General Search engines

Also search for theses within scholarly search engines such as Google Scholar.

Library databases also index higher degree by research, postgraduate coursework and honours theses. Check with your Liaison Librarian for the most appropriate databases for your area of research.

How to write a thesis

Staff in the Division Student Life, Deakin University, have developed resources that focus on aspects of writing and editing a thesis.

Deposit your thesis

Deakin University has an online thesis submission process.

Past students can deposit a digital copy of their doctoral or masters thesis for preservation purposes.

Additional library resources

Research methods and literature review Library Resource Guide links you to Deakin books covering topics such as doing a PhD and writing theses.

How to find theses (PDF, 994KB) provides a quick overview of basic search tools and databases to help you find theses quickly.

Interlibrary loans

How to borrow from other libraries

Options to find resources and material that Deakin may not have access to:

  • your Interlibrary Loan service
  • use BONUS+ to access the collections of 13 Australian and New Zealand libraries
  • take out CAVAL membership to borrow from Victorian University libraries
  • join ULANZ, allowing you to borrow from other Australian academic libraries.

Literature review

Literature review

A literature review is generally undertaken as part of a thesis requirement and as part of the initial investigation to demonstrate the feasibility of undertaking research.

It generally involves comprehensively searching relevant literature and critically analysing and synthesising the information found so that the author may confidently state the justifications for their new research to be undertaken.

Specific information to assist with writing and understanding of literature reviews is available at Study Skills HDR resources.

Additional library resources are available at:

Research methods

Research Methods Mini-Lectures

The Research Methods Mini-Lectures provide an overview of the research design process and research methodology across disciplines with an emphasis on social sciences.

These mini-lectures have been made available primarily for Honours and HDR students, but are accessible to all students undertaking research.

The lectures are presented by Dr. Brad Warren, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University. They address aspects of research including:

  • What are quantitative and qualitative methods?
  • How to define a clear research question?
  • Key elements in research design processes
  • Key research methods, e.g. survey, content analysis, depth interviews, and focus groups.

Research Methods Mini-Lectures downloads

Download presentation slides from 10 lectures:

  1. Quantitative and qualitative methods; Research questions (PDF, 196KB)
  2. Independent and dependent variables; Correlations, associations and relationships (PDF, 130KB)
  3. Sampling; Probability sampling (PDF, 305KB)
  4. Non-probability sampling (PDF, 167KB)
  5. Reliability and validity (PDF, 157KB)
  6. Concepts and constructs(1) (PDF, 211KB)
  7. Concepts and constructs(2); Surveys (PDF, 343KB)
  8. Content analysis (PDF, 204KB)
  9. Participant observation; Depth interviews (PDF, 128KB)
  10. Focus groups; Case studies (PDF, 153KB)

Stay up to date

 Stay up to date with new research

You can set up email or RSS feed alerts to be notified of:

  • New publications by topic or author
  • New issues of a journal
  • Articles or journal citations
  • New books acquired by the Library
  • New funding announcements
  • Website updates

See our stay up to date guide to create alerts.

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