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Finding sources


 Finding sources


Understanding primary and secondary sources  

Primary and Secondary sources are useful for different purposes.

Primary Sources

  • First hand accounts or individual representations
  • Created by those who witnessed what is being described
  • May be published or unpublished
  • Original documents 

Secondary Sources

  • Interpret and/or analyse primary sources
  • A step removed from what is described
  • Usually published

 Understanding primary and secondary sources


Locating journal articles


Journal articles can be found in a number of places including Library databases and on the Internet.

The Deep Web

No-one really knows how big the Internet is.  It has been estimated that, while Google indexes 26.5 billion public web pages, there are over 300 billion database pages that are invisible to Google and they make up a part of the trillions and trillions of pages in the Deep Web (Devine, J. & Egger-Sider, F., 2014).   


 What is the Deep Web?


Library Databases

Library databases are part of the Deep Web; they contain information from published sources, including scholarly journals, popular magazines, newspapers and encyclopaedias.

This video explains what a library database is:


 What are databases and why you need them


The Boolean Machine

The 'Boolean Machine' is a really simple, visual tool.  It will  help you to learn about the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT. 

This tool will show you how the use of these 'operators' will affect your searches; by either broadening or narrowing the results you will retrieve.

View the Boolean Machine here.

Articles on the Internet

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.

From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.

Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

(Description from Google Scholar)

Watch this video for a useful introduction to Google Scholar for school students: