Searching: Skills and Techniques

Learn some useful search techniques, improve your search results and confidently undertake research using the Library Search or databases.

The purpose of this guide is to:

  • Help you learn some useful search techniques
  • Improve your search results
  • Confidently undertake research using the Library Search or databases

Where should I search?

Library Search

Library Search is accessible by using the search box on the library website. It searches across a variety of different sources, including some of our key databases, ebooks and physical books, and open access (free) articles.


Library website (basic search) Advanced search


The basic library search can perform surprisingly complex searches, if you're confident in using Boolean operators and other techniques to manipulate the search!

Databases for your subject

We've created subject guides which list recommended databases for your subject.


Subject Guides


Databases are repositories of published material, usually (but not always) based around a broad subject area. Some databases contain full-text articles, others just contain the abstract (a record or overview) of the research, which you could search and try to obtain from elsewhere.

Some databases allow to search by subject headings.