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Killara High School

Killara High School

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For assistance accessing the online resources below please email the library team at:

Are you beginning a research project?

Here’s what you need to know.

There are many sources of information available to you, and thus, it is important to know where to access resources for your academic research that are reliable, accurate, objective and current. The purpose of this guide is to point you in the right direction and introduce some invaluable tips and resources to get the most out of your online research.

What are RELIABLE sources?

Reliable sources may include:

  • Professional journals / articles
  • Edited books
  • Government websites / reports
  • Professional association websites
  • Historical society websites
  • University websites/articles
  • Newspapers

Unreliable or non-academic sources may include:

  • Wikipedia (however, references at the end of Wikipedia pages can be useful)
  • Popular magazines
  • Blogs
  • YouTube channels

Online Search Tools and Tips


An online database of academic articles, journals, images and news. 

Click here for a short video overview of how to use EBSCOhost

Using EBSCOhost

Step 1:

Click here to access EBSCOhost

  • Username: ask library staff for username
  • Password: ask library staff for password

Step 2:

  • Enter your search terms (taken from your research question)
  • You can then start to drill down into your results by filtering the search results

Step 3:

To filter your search results;

  • Tick the Peer Reviewed checkbox to see only articles that have been rigorously reviewed by other academics
  • Tick the Full Text checkbox to see only full articles
  • Change the Publication Date range to narrow your search to more recent articles

Australia-New Zealand Points of View Reference Centre

Search this database for a current issue (eg: COVID-19, refugees, gun control, etc), and find resources that present multiple viewpoints. 4 main essays are presented for each topic, along with supporting full text from journals, newspapers, etc. Great for research projects, and debates.

Click here for a short video overview on how to navigate AU-NZ Points of View Reference Centre


An easy-to-navigate academic database especially geared towards secondary school students.

Click here for a short video overview of how to navigate Explora

Using Explora

Step 1:

Enter your search terms into the search bar or click on one of the listed categories or topics.

If you click on one of the listed categories or topics, the first search result will be a Topic Overview which may be useful for your research

Step 2:

Filter your search results;

  • Tick the Peer Reviewed checkbox to see only articles that have been rigorously reviewed by other academics
  • Tick the Full Text checkbox to see only full articles
  • Change the Publication Date range to narrow your search to more recent articles

Found the article you want?

  • Click on the article’s title to open the file
  • You can then save, share or print articles using the options on the ‘Tools’ menu on the right of the screen
  • You can also export the reference (citation) for the article, to add to your reference list, by using the “Cite” button in the ‘Tools’ menu, and choosing your referencing style from the list


JSTOR – is a highly selective digital library of academic content in many formats and disciplines. The collections include top peer-reviewed scholarly journals as well as respected literary journals, academic monographs, research reports from trusted institutes, and primary sources. Ask the library staff for login details

Click here  for an introduction JSTOR.

JSTOR provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articlesbooks, and primary sources in 75 disciplines. JSTOR helps you explore a wide range of scholarly content through a powerful research and teaching platform

Google Scholar

Search for academic articles through Google

Step 1: Go to Google Scholar

Step 2: Enter your search terms

Step 3: Look for articles with a [pdf] link in the right-hand column

Step 4: Change the date range to narrow your search to more recent articles

How to find License-free Images using Google

You can only use online images in your work if they are freely available and are not restricted by copyright.

To locate unrestricted images:

Step 1: Go to ‘Google Images‘ 

Step 2: Search using keyword/s

Step 3: Click on ‘Tools’

Step 4: Usage Rights

Step 5: Select the option that best suits your needs

*You may need to check whether your teacher requires images to be referenced in your work

Online Search Tips Using Google

Watch this YouTube video “How to Google like a Pro” for some excellent tips on effectively targeting your online searches

Research – Getting the Best Results 

Academic Articles – a close-up look

Once you have found an academic article, read the abstract (summary) to see if it is related to your topic or focus question.  If so, save it to your preferred online place, and then use the references at the end of the article to lead you to more related resources on your topic.


  • Your teacher will tell you which referencing style to use for your assessment
  • Find an online referencing guide for that style – university guides are often good
  • eg:
  • Be consistent (use the same referencing style throughout your assessment)
  • Reference all of the sources you have used in your assessment
  • Avoid plagiarism (neglecting to acknowledge your sources) by making a list of your sources as you use them
  • Reference as you go

Using Microsoft Word to Reference your Work

  • A huge time-saver
  • You can easily insert references, footnotes and citations into your work, and create an instant Reference List (bibliography/works cited), using Microsoft Word. (NB:  Microsoft Word only supports certain referencing styles)
  • Click here for instructions

Academic Misconduct / Malpractice (Plagiarism, cheating & collusion)

Academic Misconduct / Malpractice may include:

  • Copying or building upon ideas or quotes from a source without acknowledging the author (plagiarism)
  • Copying another student’s work and passing it off as your own (cheating)
  • Collaborating extensively with another student on an individual task (collusion)

The Killara High School Assessment Policy states:
Students determined to have been involved in malpractice in relation to any assessment task, including exams, may expect to receive a zero mark for that task.

Note: Teachers at Killara High School often submit assessments using Turnitin (the Internet-based plagiarism detection service).  Any plagiarism will be automatically picked up by the Turnitin service.

Join public libraries to access quality resources for free

You can broaden your research by using the huge variety of resources available at many libraries, rather than relying on the Killara High School collection. You can easily join all of these libraries and access all of their resources for free. 

National Library of Australia – Trove
Find and access Australian and online resources: books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.

State Library of NSW

The State Library of NSW has amazing research and other HSC resources on their website.  Just search for “State Library HSC Base Camp” and “State Library NSW eResources

The State Library also holds free ‘HSC Help’ sessions for English, History and Society & Culture twice a year.  The library employs specialist Research Librarians ready to help you with your research questions.

City of Sydney Library  

Join online to access a huge range of electronic titles to support your research.

Your Local Library

Your local library will have a selection of HSC and other resources in print and online, and may give you access to online subscription databases for academic research.

Search for your local council library on Google:
Eg:  “Ku-ring-gai Council Library or Hornsby Council Library”