Deakin University Library

Deakin University Library

Search and review literature

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

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

The library resource guide: Research methods and literature review links you to Deakin books covering topics such as doing a PhD and writing theses.

The presentation: How to find theses provides a quick overview of the basic search tools and databases to help you find theses quickly.

How to borrow from other libraries

Explore your options to find resources and material that Deakin may not have access to by:

  • accessing the interlibrary loan service
  • using BONUS+ to access the collections of 13 Australian and NZ libraries
  • taking out CAVAL membership to be able to borrow from Victorian University libraries
  • by joining ULANZ (University Libraries Australia and New Zealand) which allows you to borrow from other Australian academic libraries.

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 the HDR study support pages:

Additional library resources are available at:

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.

Watch Research Methods Mini-Lectures

Please follow these links to watch the ten chapters of the lectures and download presentation slides:

  1. Quantitative and qualitative methods; Research questions
    iLecture recording(12mins)| slides
  2. Independent and dependent variables; Correlations, associations and relationships
    iLecture recording (7mins)| slides
  3. Sampling; Probability sampling
    iLecture recording (12mins)| slides
  4. Non-probability sampling
    iLecture recording (7mins)| slides
  5. Reliability and validity
    iLecture recording (17mins)| slides
  6. Concepts and constructs(1)
    iLecture recording (13mins)| slides
  7. Concepts and constructs(2); Surveys
    iLecture recording (23mins)| slides
  8. Content analysis
    iLecture recording (11mins)| slides
  9. Participant observation; Depth interviews
    iLecture recording (13mins)| slides
  10. Focus groups; Case studies
    iLecture recording (15mins)| slides

Stay up to date with new research

It is vital to keep up to date with the latest literature, trends and developments in your research area. This task has been made easier by new communication technologies, and the increasing availability of alerting services from publishers and database providers.

This page includes a series of tutorials designed to assist you to keep informed of newly published research using RSS feeds and alerting services.


Watch Tutorials

Please follow these links to watch embedded videos and download presentation slides:
  1. Introduction to alerts and RSS feeds
    Watch video (3 mins)| Slides
  2. Using Microsoft Outlook to view your alerts
    Watch video (3 mins)| Slides
  3. Introduction to RSS readers and Web portals
    Watch video (3 mins)| Slides
  4. Creating a saved search alert in EbscoHost
    Watch video (7 mins)| Slides
  5. Creating alerts in Google Scholar and Deakin Research Online
    Watch video (5 mins)| Slides
  6. Creating a Journal TOC alert via Library catalogue
    Watch video (3 mins)| Slides
  7. Creating a citation alert in Scopus
    Watch video (4 mins)| Slides


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28th February 2013