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Design Studies: Academic Resources

A guide for undergraduate & postgraduate design students on finding, evaluating and referencing academic and image sources related to the design areas.

What are academic sources? 


At university you're expected to support your work with high-quality scholarly sources. These include: 

  • Journal articles
  • Academic books
  • Book chapters

Where to find academic sources


The Library Catalogue & databases are two great places to look for academic sources. They gather books, journal articles and other resources together in one location for you to search. 

Watch the video to learn how search the Library Catalogue for academic sources. 

Databases are great places to go for more academic sources beyond the UTS collections. 

If you are focusing on a particular area of design, there are databases with more specific information. Take a look at databases listed on the study guides for the areas: 

  • Animation 
  • Fashion & Textiles
  • Product Design
  • Visual Communication

Search tips


What do you do when you're not getting the results you want from your search?

Searching in journals


Looking through journals is another way to find academic articles. Find a journal on a topic relevant to the area you're studying, and search within it to find articles.


Find a journal using our journal search

There are journals for general design articles, and also ones for more specific areas of design. 

Below are some general & specific design journal suggestions.

General design journals

  • Design issues
  • Design and culture
  • Design studies
  • Journal of design research
  • Design principles & practices
  • International journal of design

Specific design journals

  • Journal of interior design
  • International journal of sustainable design
  • Journal of art & design education
  • Journal of design history
  • Information design journal

Browse books


There are heaps of books that you won't find online. Browsing the shelves in the Library is a great way to discover books that you otherwise would not have found. 


The Library shelves are organised by Dewey Decimal Numbers, which means all the books on a subject are in one place!

Design Books are on Level 9

Table of Dewey locations for Design books
Dewey Decimal Number Topics covered in this number range
700 General arts (philosophy, theory & history)
710 Area planning & landscape architecture
720 Architecture
730 Sculpture, ceramics & metalwork
740 Graphic arts & decorative arts
750 Painting
760 Printmaking & prints
770 Photography, computer art, film & video



Remember to browse the Large size books area, as a lot of design books are too big to fit on the normal shelves, so are in a different section. These books will also have more images.