How to find specific articles and books

There are a few ways you can search to find specific articles and books. This is often called ‘known item' searching because you know what you are looking for, instead of browsing resources without a particular title in mind.

Finding a known journal or journal article

If you have a specific reference, or citation, to a journal article, you can search for it using Library Search.

Library Search includes articles from most databases the library subscribes to, so there is a good chance you will be able to find the article.

Understanding a Harvard journal article reference or citation

Search using the article title

  1. Once you've identified the article title, search for it using Library Search
  2. The link to the article will display in the search results. (If it doesn’t appear, see 'Search using the journal title' below)
  3. If the article is available, you can click on the links to access the full text.

You can save copies of journal articles to your computer by selecting the 'Save As' or 'Export' options. You can also bookmark or use the permalink option to save the link to an article.

If the article doesn't appear in Library Search, you could still find it by searching for the journal title.

Search using the journal title

  1. Once you've identified the journal title, search for it using the Library Search box
    TIP! If the journal you want isn't listed in the first page of your search results, change your search from a keyword to a title search
  2. Limit your search results to the Library catalogue
  3. If the journal is available, with the right date range, you can click on the links to access the database.
  4. Use the information from the citation to find the article. Start with the year of publication first, then the volume number (look under 'all issues', 'previous issues', 'archives' or similar)

Note: For journals that are held in print, check the campus location, call number and available issue dates before going to the shelf.

Finding a known book or book chapter

If you have a specific reference to a book or book chapter, you can search for it using Library Search.

Understanding a Harvard book or book chapter reference/citation

Using Library Search

Once you've identified the book title, search for it using Library Search.

TIP: If the title is not very unique, add the author's surname to your search (e.g. Macroeconomics Gordon).

Once you have found the title and edition you require, check to see which campus(es) the title is available from, and if it is available as an e-book.  See 'Finding books on the shelf' or 'Viewing e-books' for how to access the book.


Need help choosing where to start your search? See our helpful handout.

Finding unit material

You can access texts, reading lists, study guides and selected past exams by:

  • searching your unit code in Library Search on the Library homepage or in DeakinSync;
  • asking DeakinGenie for prescribed texts (if you've downloaded the app)
  • going directly to your Reading List
  • viewing your unit resources list in your unit site on CloudDeakin

Finding information online

There is a lot of information on the internet, however you can't trust everything you read.

When using an internet search engine:

  • Use specialist search engines such as Google Scholar
  • Use domains to limit your search to material on specific websites:
    • for educational websites
    • for Australian government sites
    • for Australian organisation websites
  • Critically evaluate the information you find, as quality can vary

If you use a website for an assignment, make sure you record the URL and the date you visited it. This information is essential for referencing in your assignments.