Library Search

Find journal articles on a topic

You can use Library Search and Library databases to find articles on a topic.

This example uses Library Search.

  1. Go to the Library home page.
  2. Type your keywords into the Library Search box. Start with the main topic. You will add more terms later.

Example of keywords in the Library Search bar

  1. Click Search.
  2. Look at the results in the list to see if some of them are useful.
  3. Add the keyword for the next idea to your search. This will help to narrow your search. You don't need to type the AND between the terms.

Example search: interpersonal skills and graduates

  1. Click Search. The results should be closer to your topic.
  2. Keep adding the keywords for the different ideas in your search.

Example search using three terms

  1. You'll find that the number of results is smaller each time. You can broaden your search using synonyms and related terms. You will need to use brackets to keep groups of synonyms together. And you have to type the OR, e.g. ("interpersonal skills" OR "personal skills")

Example search with groups of synonyms in brackets

  1. When you have a results list that looks like it matches your topic well, you can start to limit by year and source type. Select Peer reviewed under Show only to limit to articles in scholarly / peer reviewed journals.

Peer reviewed journal limit in right hand menu

  1. Scroll down the right hand menu to find the Publication Date filter. For this example I'll limit to the last 5 years. Check your assignment topic for the year range you need to use.
  2. Type the start year into the left hand box.
  3. Click Refine.

Example of publication date limit

  1. Click on the article titles to open the records and read the abstract to see if they are going to be useful for your assignment.
  2. Use the full text links to open the articles that you want to read.

Example of search results showing full text links


Watch the Using Library Search video to see a search like this in action.

Find a specific journal article when you have the citation details

You can use Library Search to look for a specific article when you have the reference details.

For example:

Jewell, P., Reading, J., Clarke, M., & Kippist, L. (2020). Information skills for business acumen and employability: A competitive advantage for graduates in Western Sydney. Journal of Education for Business, 95(2), 88-105.


  1. Go to the Library home page.
  2. Type the article title into the Library Search box.

Example of article title in the Library Search bar

  1. Click Search.
  2. Use the full text links to access the article if it is available in the Library collection.

Example of search results for a known article