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Researching Secondary Law Sources

Why use textbooks?

Textbooks are a good starting point for any assignment as they can provide the following information.

  • What the law is: an analysis of a subject area
  • What the law should be
  • Comparative material (ie. what the law is in various jurisdictions)
  • Information on relevant legislation
  • References to other books, reports and journal article

Using e-books

The library has help pages for using e-books. The easiest way to read an e-book is to access and read it online without downloading it. If you are going to be using the e-book when you have no internet access, you may wish to download the e-book. Each e-book platform can look a bit different, but most have similar features.

Library website

Watch Kickstart your Research for some great basic information about researching and how the Library can help.

The library website provides you with a gateway to all of the resources available to you as a student of Deakin University, including print and online materials.  The range of materials available when you search the library website includes (but is not limited to):

  • Books
  • Journals

Browse Server

  • Journal articles
  • e-books
  • Electronic materials
  • Audio visual materials

You may also find a range of Unit Material available in the library catalogue, including:

  • Study guides and readers
  • Prescribed text/s
  • Recommended text/s
  • Materials on Reserve
  • Selected past exam papers

As you find relevant print materials, you should note the call number so that you can find the item on the shelf.

Law Classification
In Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool, law materials are shelved with the general collection.

Law materials in Melbourne and Waterfront are classified and shelved differently from the rest of the collection. Law materials are arranged according to the Moys Classification Scheme and their call number begins with the letter K. Remember to note the complete call number so that you can retrieve the correct item.

For example:

KN 394.8 K1 Des/Lpp 2005 or 342.940858 Des/Lpp 2005

Match these details against the numbers at the end of the shelves and you should find what you are looking for.

As you examine materials it is useful to make a note of any footnotes, references, legislation or cases which may be useful, and you want to follow up later.