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Exercise and Sports Science: Researching a topic

This guide provides information and links about resources relevant to Exercise and Sports Science in the ECU Library and other useful external resources

ECU WorldSearch

ECU Worldsearch is a search engine that searches across the Library's books (print and online) and some online journal articles. This is a good place to start searching for information on your topic.

ECU WorldSearch is a search engine that allows you to search the Library's collections of books (print and online), most online journal articles and other resources. You can enter you keywords/search terms into the search box provided. As this is part of a world catalogue, you need to select Edith Cowan University at the top of the left hand side bar once you've entered your search.

If you wish you can also use the Advanced search option to set up a precise search, using specific search fields.

From your search results you can link directly to the full text of journal articles and ebooks or to print books and other resources on the shelves. Access ECU WorldSearch from the Library Homepage. Use your normal ECU login, when prompted, to link to online resources.

Search tips:

Words entered into the search box will be automatically combined with AND. e.g. occupational health safety will search all of those words combined (occupational AND health AND safety).

Phrase search: Use quotes to search for words as a phrase. e.g. "Occupational health".

Truncation symbol * can be used to search all forms of the word. e.g. industr* will search industry, industries, industrial

Use the limit options in the left hand side bar to refine your search, for example:

Format: options to limit to Books, eBooks, journal articles, peer reviewed (journal articles)

Year of publication: select a date range or use the limits provided (e.g. last 5 years, 10 years)

Topic: options to further refine the search by topic

Planning Your Library Research


  • The literature search and review is the starting point for researching an assignment topic.
  • Analyse the topic and be sure you know the requirements of the assignment. Ask questions if you are not sure.
  • Use subject dictionaries to define terms or encyclopedias to obtain an overview of your topic. These reference sources may also provide alternative keywords that can be used when searching ECU Worldsearch and subject databases
  • Generally, you are expected to use research-based scholarly resources, books and journals, in preference to information found on websites or in newspapers.
  • Start your library research as early as possible to allow time to identify the resources you need and access print books. Key texts may be in high demand.

Types of publications and information sources

The scope of the literature search and type of information required will depend on the requirements of the assignment.

  • Books provide a useful starting point for an introduction to the subject. Books generally also provide an in-depth coverage of a topic.
  • Journal Articles: For current research or information on a very specific topic, journal articles may be the most useful, as they are published on a regular basis. It is normally expected that you will use some journal articles in your assignment.
  • Free Web Publications: Useful information can also be found in free web publications from government or research organizations. Any web publications should be carefully evaluated (see handout "Evaluating information sources"). You are also required to view the whole publication, not just the abstract, if using the information in your assignment.

Searching for Information

  • Use ECU Worldsearch to search for books, journal articles and other resources.  You can also search the subject specific journal databases to find journal articles on a topic.
  • Subject Guides or pathfinders provide an overview of library resources and relevant links for each subject.
  • You can access ECU Worldsearch and Databases from the Library homepage