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Starting Research in the Arts and Humanities (Baillieu)

A pathfinder for beginners. A brief introduction to the building, its collections and searching for information

Your library

The Baillieu library holds a number of collections including the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences collection. Please follow the link for floor plans and maps of the library.

In addition to the physical items held within the building the University of Melbourne library has a large collection of electronic resources which are available to staff and students through the Library website.


For further information on using the library please see the New Library Users LibGuide.

For more ideas on researching try the Beginning Research LibGuide.


Discovery is the Library's search tool. Through Discovery you can search the Library catalogue, digital repository and many databases, all at once. For more information follow the link to the Discovery LibGuide.


Discovery Search

Use Discovery to search across the: Library CatalogueDigital Repository and many databases, all at once. 

You can also access Discovery via the library homepage

Selecting specific databases

When deciding where to search you will need to consider a number of factors including:

  • Have you been asked by your lecturer or tutor to read widely on the topic or does the assessment piece require that you concentrate on the readings provided?
  • How specific is the topic? Will you need to look at discipline specific databases? Check the subject or discipline Libguide or ask a librarian for help finding these. Or will a more general database be sufficient? Some examples of general databases which contain articles from a range of disciplines are Expanded Academic ASAP, Academic Search Premier and JSTOR.
  • Do you need to included Australian content? The Informit databases contain specific Australian content that will not be found in international databases.
  • Do you need to restrict your search to peer reviewed (also known as referreed) articles? If so you can generally do this in the advanced search option in the database.
  • Will you need to use different sources such as newspaper articles or theses.

What is a peer reviewed or refereed article?

A scholarly peer reviewed or refereed journal is an academic journal that requires all articles published within it go through a process of review by other experts in the discipine prior to publishing. This process ensures that articles are of a high standard.

Your lecturer may require that you use a number of peer reviewed articles in an essay. Usually a database will have an option, often in the advanced search screen, to limit your search to scholarly peer reviewed or refereed articles. Another way of ensuring that the articles you find are peer reviewed is to look up the journal title in the database Global Serials Directory.