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Cohort - Research Skills: Academic resource types

Academic resource types

What information should I use?

Finding the right information

Depending on your learning or assessment, you'll need different types of information throughout your learning journey. Knowing the right type of information, and how to find it, will be key to your success.

Learn about the different types of resources you can use to search for information. This helps you understand which resources will be the most appropriate to use when you are searching for information for your assignments.

Information types

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Academic Information


A library database is a collection of published literature, as shown in the image.
Can be subject specific or multidisciplinary, and subscription (purchased) or open access (publicly available).

Subscription databases
Libraries subscribe to relevant databases which are subject to licence agreements i.e.  only currently enrolled students and staff have access. 

Searching a library database is a good way to find scholarly information. Learn more 


Library Catalogue​

The Library catalogue contains records of most library's resources.

They can also link you to online content such as shown in the image.

Can be searched online from anywhere in the world, helping you discover what is in a Library’s collection.


 Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a fast, easy way to search for information, ranging from the very general to the scholarly. It is important to carefully evaluate any information you find through Google.

Not all academic material will be available via Google Scholar.

Searching library resources such as databases can be a more thorough way of checking the literature in a subject area, ensuring you don't miss key information.



Journals publish articles that provide scholarly information. Many journal articles are peer reviewed which means they are reviewed by experts in the author's field of research.

Journals are generally published regularly so information is more current.  

Subscribed journals
The Library subscribes to a wide range of academic journals for use by the university community. 


Institutional repositories

Institutional repositories archive online collections of a university's intellectual output or research, including articles, theses and administrative documents.

They assist in making the institution's research more accessible to the academic community and the public.