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Planning: Search for Information

How to search for and find information on planning

Finding books & articles


A good place to begin searching is in the Library catalogue. Use the Library catalogue to find books and journal articles on your topic. 

For instructions on using the Library catalogue, watch this video: 


A Library Catalogue search for the keywords: urban resilience Sydney found the following book & article. 

'Green roof retrofit' - book found in Library catalogue

'Managing complexity in Australian urban water governance' - article from the Library catalogue


When searching for journal articles, try restricting your search to peer reviewed articles. Because peer reviewed articles have been double-checked by academic experts, it's easier to be sure that the words and ideas you're using are of sufficient quality for a university assignment. 

Evaluating your results


Not all the information you get from a search will be useful. A successful search will show results relevant to your topic. If your results are not relevant go back and try different keywords in your search.

To evaluate whether your source is of sufficient quality use the C.R.A.P Test. Click on the letters of the acronym to learn more:

Advanced Searching

In this search we're looking for either Sydney or city, any one of three sustainability topics and finally the term case study. 

The full search syntax is: 

(Sydney OR city) AND ("urban resilience" OR "sustainable development" OR "water sensitive design") AND "case study"


  • Add a keyword if you have too many hits and they aren't focused enough on the topic. 
  • Remove a keyword or add more related terms if you don't get enough good hits. 

Notice that when you add the extra search terms it changes the top hits in the search? 

'Exploring sustainable development' - book found using Boolean search in catalogue

Other places to search


'Environmental reviews and case studies...' - article found in Proquest

Finally, you can try running your search in more than one database. The three databases linked below all contain useful literature. The above image is an article found in the Proquest database.