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Frequently asked questions
How do I start my search?
A good place to start your search is the Library Catalogue.
When searching for information, think about the keywords or phrases that describe your topic. You can combine your keywords to enhance your search using connectors such as AND, OR.
- "global warming" AND Australia
- "global warming" OR "climate change"
- To search for phrases, use double quotes. E.g. "global warming"
- To find variants of a word, use the * symbol. E.g. ethic* finds ethic, ethics, ethical etc.
- To find different spellings of a word, use the ? symbol in place of a letter. E.g. organi?ation finds organisation or organization
- To exclude words or phrases, use the connector NOT. E.g. Java NOT Indonesia
- In the catalogue, as well as many databases, you can use the advanced search option to search within specific fields such as title, author, keyword or subject term
For further information, have a look at the range of How To guides
- Plan your search [PDF]
- Save Time Searching Databases with Truncation, Wildcards and Phrases [PDF]
- Plan your Search [video, 2 minutes]
- Learn to Search the Library Catalogue [interactive tutorial, 15 minutes]
More help is also available under 'How do I refine my search?'.
I’m not sure where to start with my assignment
For help getting started with your assignment, check to see if an Assignment Help has been developed for your course.
You can also have a look at the Subject Guides for broader help in your area of study.
If you need further help with understanding your assignment question and how to get started, check out the range of Study Support resources and services offered by Student Support Services.
COVID-19 - When is the Library open?
The campus libraries and online services of the Library are operating, with the full commitment of its staff to provide high level support to the learning, teaching and research activities of the University.
Opening hours may change with little notice, so it's best to check times on our Opening Hours page.
Library buildings can only be accessed via UniSA Staff/Student ID card until further notice.
Our libraries have been reconfigured to adhere to the government's social distancing guidelines.
Particular measures adopted include the disabling of alternate PCs in computer barns, the removal of chairs, reduced study room capacity (limited to 1 person per 4 square metres) and increased cleaning across all facilities. Clear signage reflects the changes to our physical spaces.
If you are visiting the library, we ask that you:
For further information please see UniSA COVID-19 updates.
Can I borrow a laptop?
You can borrow a laptop if you are a UniSA student.
- There are NO requests or renewals
- Laptops are located in the self-service units. You can find them at the following campuses
- City West: Level 2 of the Jeffrey Smart building, near the Tech Zone
- City East: Level 3 in the corridor opposite computer barn B3-30
- Magill: East Wing, to the right of the entrance up the steps
- Mawson Lakes: Ground floor, behind the Ask the Library/IT Service Point
- They can be borrowed for up to 4 days
- A fine of $5 per day will be applied to your account if the laptop is not returned on time
- Charges also apply for lost or damaged laptops or missing parts
- Laptops are loaned with a charger (no mouse or bag)
- You can use your student card or barcode on the UniSA App to borrow/return
- Follow the instructions on the screen to borrow or return a laptop
- When returning, you must plug the charger (from the self service machine) back in to the laptop
For more information and software installed on the computer check out the Laptop Borrowing page
How do I print, scan, or copy my work in the Library?
Printing, scanning and photocopying facilities are available in each campus library and are managed by UniSA IT.
Printing quotas can be topped up through the student app. More information about printing and quotas can be found at Student Printing on Campus.
How do I find peer reviewed, refereed and scholarly journal articles?
What does this mean? These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not always the same thing. Scholarly or academic is an umbrella term for several different kinds of authoritative and credible sources including peer reviewed articles, some books and resources known as ‘grey literature’.
To find peer reviewed journal articles, start by searching the Library Catalogue using your keywords. When your search results appear, you can refine them to show only peer reviewed.
From the Refine Search options on the left-hand side
- Under Show Only select Peer-reviewed Journals and
- Under Resource Type select Articles
If you want to be sure an article is peer-reviewed, you can search for the journal title using Ulrichsweb: Global Serials Directory.
Can I book a Library study room for an exam?
Yes, you can book a room for up to 4 hours for exams (bookings available between the 7 Nov – 4 Dec). These rooms can be booked in advance. You can check the details of individual study rooms and make your booking at Book a room.
If a study room is not available we also have designated quiet spaces.
Refer to Study Spaces - Exams in the Library for more details.
Where can I find my course readings?
You can find your course readings via the eReadings link in the Course Essentials panel of your LearnOnline course page, or for UniSA Online, the eReadings link in the Resources menu of your course page.
These links take you to eReserve, UniSA's system for course reading lists.
Check out the short video below to see how to use eReserve. If you are having trouble accessing a reading, please let us know about it by phone, chat, or our contact form.
How do I book a study room?
Rooms can be booked for a maximum of 2 hours per student per day, up to 1 week in advance.
There are also a range of instructional videos that can help you to make the most of the technology in the study rooms.
How do I reference information I have found?
The Referencing Roadmap can help you reference a wide variety of resources in the Harvard-UniSA style.
If you have a difficult question, you can post it on the Referencing Forum and the UniSA Learning Advisors will provide assistance.
How can I get the Harvard-UniSA referencing style on EndNote?
The Harvard-UniSA style is not supplied by EndNote, so you will need to download and save it to the ‘Styles’ folder after you have installed EndNote but before you use it.
See the EndNote guide for instructions on how to download the Harvard UniSA style.
Can UniSA Alumni access the Library?
Yes, however there are restrictions to what you can access.
As a UniSA Alumni member you can borrow from our physical collection and have access to selected online databases. Visit our Alumni Membership page to see what you can access and search for resources available to you.
For information about viewing your current loans and renewing items see: What is myLibrary?