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Health Postgraduate Introductory Library Modules: Module 1 - Finding a known item

Health Postgraduate Library Modules 

Introduction to Searching Skills

Module 1 - Finding a known item

        This module is divided into 4 sections


       Prepare                                    How to begin and plan your search strategy.


       Run Run icon                                          How to put your search strategy to work. 


       Review review icon & Revise Revise icon          Not getting the results? Adjust your search strategy.                               


       Access                                       How to get into those useful resources.

Prepare 1 


Getting started with your study often means a list of readings and a jumble of citations.  Forgotten how to interpret a citation? This module will bring you back up to speed. 



Watch these two videos to unpack the elements of a journal citation or book chapter citation.

Here we are looking

at Harvard style citations, but you will find understanding citations from other styles is a similar process.

Journal citation Harvard style (2 minutes 42 seconds) 


Book chapter citation Harvard style (2 minutes 18 seconds)

It's so much easier to find a resource once you can identify citation differences! Knowing you are looking for a journal and not a journal article, or a book rather than a book chapter, means faster searching.

Understanding citations also helps with your referencing, which is invaluable when you start writing your assignments.                                                                                              .



Let’s recap by checking out examples of the main citation types that you’ll be using:

  • Books  
    Milchovich, S & Dunn-Long, B 2011, Diabetes mellitus: a practical handbook, 10th edn, Bull Publishers, Boulder, Colorado. 


  • Book chapters  
    Holt, T & Kumar, S 2015, 'Types of diabetes', in T Holt & S Kumar ABC of diabetes, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester West Sussex, pp. 7-10. 


  • Journal articles 
    Mulhearn, H, & Brown, C 2017, 'The Type 1 Kidz project. Part 1: Engaging Children and young people with type 1 diabetes in their own health and wellbeing', Journal of Diabetes Nursing, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 28-31. 


  • Government reports  
    Australian Institute of health and Welfare 2017, 'Diabetes compendium' AIHW, retrieved 5 April 2017, <>. 


Each citation contains particular elements such as Author, Title, Year etc. 

The Elements of a Citation activity goes through the different citation elements and provides a definition. 

Work your way through the 12 different citation elements.

There is a PDF copy available (below) of the citation elements and their definitions.

How did you go?

TIP: When you’re ready to reference, check out the help available from Deakin guide to referencing page.

Run 1


Once you’re confident identifying different citation types and their various elements, you’re ready to start searching for and retrieving resources.


Let’s unpack how to run a search in more detail. 

Where's best to search?

                                     Alfie wondering where is best to search


Start with Deakin Library search. It covers all of the Library’s physical and digital resources, making it your best tool to find known books and journal articles.

To search the Library go to the Library website.


Whether you’re looking for a known book or a known article you start running your search in the same way; identify the title, type it in the search box, and click search.


Recap by watching this quick example of running a search for a known title.


How to search the Library for a known item (56 seconds) 



Review  & Revise  1


What happens if you can't find the resource you are searching for?

You may have to review the search you have run.

Alfie looking confused

Alfie’s friend has told her about a great book to help with her understanding of her topic, but she can’t find it.

Time for Alfie to check.

Has she searched for the item's title only?

Has she checked her spelling?


TIP: Don't search for the whole citation.

This won't work in the Library Search and you may get zero results which is why you need to be able to identify the title.



What if you are certain you are searching the title correctly but the resource still isn’t listed in your results?

Here are a few things to consider:

Talk to your Library staff through the Chat option. chat now icon

Your Library team will help you check in case Deakin Library doesn't actually have this resource.

If Deakin Library doesn't have the resource you can try the following:

For books you may like to search our partner libraries using Bonus+.

For articles you can try Google Scholar.

TIP: Search Google Scholar through the library search page. That way you won't be asked to pay for access to what you find.

article title in library search box and select Google Scholar link option under the search box

For more tips go to the Library's help page on Google Scholar.

Access 1

Alfie has found her resource! Now she needs to find out how to access it.

Alfie smiling

If it's a print book; 

Does it say available? Does it say which campus library has it? 

Does it say "checked out" and have a return due date?

- The book says available and on the same campus as you – use the call number and the locate it button to find it on the shelf. 

- The book is checked out and has a due date – select the request itbutton so that when it is returned and comes to the library, it will be put on a hold shelf for you. 

TIP: Remember that if you are a Cloud campus student you can ask for books to be posted to you!


Need more clarification? Watch this video about finding a book on the shelf:

You will find that many of your resources come in easy accessible digital form for use anywhere any time. Let’s look at accessing an e-book and then a journal article

If it is an e-book;

Select the blue hyperlink under 'Status'.

Follow the steps to read online or download for a period of time.

Watch the video below to better understand the anywhere, anytime accessing of e-books

If you find you need more help using e-books we have more information on the Library e-Book help page.

You can also use the chat function chat now icon for troubleshooting. 

If you want an article;

  •  Look at your results list. You may notice that some have an HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text option. The HTML full text option is just the text of the article displayed on the page and is good for reading online. The PDF full text option is the copy of the article taken from the journal and is displayed in the same format as the original article and is the best option for printing or downloading and reading later. 

HTML Full Text PDF Full Text links

  •  Choose the option that best suits you.


  • You can now send a copy to yourself by clicking the Email icon (on the right of the screen). This is useful for keeping track of the article.
    screenshot of email icon on right side of screen

  • Type in an email address (it doesn't have to be your Deakin one) and select Send.

email option

When it arrives in your inbox the HTML text will appear in the body of your email and the PDF will be sent as a separate attachment.


  • Full text isn't available? Don’t forget that you can select the FIND IT @ DEAKIN button.
    Find it @ Deakin
    Scroll down to the Get full text options and then follow the full text link.

TIP: Sometimes there is more than one full text link. Always start with the first link and if it doesn't work try the others.

Find it @ Deakin image with Get full text options

Make sure you either email or download a copy of the article – the links at the top of the page are not permanent and you can’t navigate back to them by bookmarking.

TIP Still can't find an article? Remember to try Google Scholar.

TIP You can also borrow items from other libraries through Deakin. Have a look at the Borrow from other libraries page for more information.


Alfie smiling Well done! You have completed Module 1 Finding a known item.

How did you go? 


Remember you can always go back over the information in this module or move to another module whenever you like.          

         Module 1 Finding a known itemModule 2 Basic topic searching Module 3 Advanced topic searching

      Still have questions? Email the Health Liaison Librarians at