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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 Library is operating with the full commitment of its staff to provide high level support to the learning, teaching and research activities of the University.
At this stage we continue to welcome visitors at our four metropolitan campus libraries. Opening hours may change with little notice, so it's best to check times on our Opening Hours page.
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, study room capacity reduced to 1 and increased cleaning across all facilities. Clear signage reflects the changes to our physical spaces.
All services – including Ask the Library will be delivered virtually – including at our service points.
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 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.
How do I access my ereadings?
This will take you to eReserve, UniSA's reading list management system.
Check out the short video below to see how to use eReserve.
For help accessing specific readings, please Ask the Library.
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 do I use EndNote?
To learn to use EndNote, start by looking at the EndNote guide. It provides useful information including step-by-step instructions for installation and use.
You can also register for an EndNote training session run by the Library. These workshops are run at each of the metro campuses and virtually.
Can I get help from the Library on my computer?
The Library can provide remote assistance to staff and students using TeamViewer software. This software allows Library staff to connect with and remotely control your computer to show you information or help troubleshoot issues.
Using TeamViewer, Library staff can help you with:
- searching the Library Catalogue, databases or Google Scholar
- finding and accessing online resources or eReadings
- using EndNote referencing software
- navigating the Library webpages
UniSA staff and students using their own computer (Windows or Mac) can access this service, either on or off campus. This service is not currently available on UniSA student pool computers, Library computers, or UniSA staff PCs.
To request remote assistance, please contact Ask the Library via phone, chat or email.
Please click this link to download TeamViewer: https://get.teamviewer.com/unisa
After installation, wait a moment as the software populates a unique ID number and one-time-only pass-number. Provide these to the Library staff member to start your session.