Flinders University Library
Search Smart

Search Smart Orientation Online - Getting Started

This guide has all the information you need to get started using the library.

20 ideas to get you started with library research and a whole lot more!

Google doesn't have everything!

As the image to the right indicates, Google doesn't allow access to all resources on the Internet. Most of the academic or scholarly resources you need to use for academic purposes are hidden in the deep web behind pay walls. The Library pays for access to this material on your behalf.

You may be able to discover some academic resources through a Google Search but when you try to access the text you will often be asked to pay. We strongly recommend that you don't pay for anything but instead return to the library website to find the resource. Once you find it you are usually required to login with your FAN and password to identify as a member of the Flinders University community.

Because we are all so used to the convenience and ease of using Google it can be difficult to understand why it is so hard at times to find academic resources. It can take time to develop the knowledge and learn the skills to research the deep web just as it takes time to learn the skills of writing an essay or referencing the sources you use.

Learn more about better research tools than Google...


Get a Flinders ID Card

Generic picture of an ID Card for Jane Student

Use your Flinders University ID Card  to:

  • borrow books from the Library
  • photocopy and print on campus
  • get student concessions from transport and businesses (including those on campus)
  • access some Flinders University buildings (24 hour Hub and computer labs)
  • You can get your ID Card from Flinders Connect in person (Mon - Fri, 9am to 5pm) or order it online and it will be sent to your home address.

Order your card now...


Borrow Books

  • Students can borrow 100 items at one time from the Flinders University Library Collection.
  • High demand items such as text books are available for 2 hour or 7 day loan.
  • Usual loan period for books is 28 day loan.
  • 7 Day and 28 Day loans will automatically renew unless someone puts a request on your book. You receive an email from the library when your loans are due back.
  • You can also borrow 20 books at a time from the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia library. Take your Flinders ID Card to register. The University of Adelaide will issue you a Visitor ID card.

Find out more...

Get Help with Flinders Learning online (FLO) or basic computing?

The FLO Student Help Desk is located in the Central Library. You can also contact them by:



Check out the online support pages...



Use your student card to pay for printing & photocopying

Unicard Systems is now providing all student copy and print services throughout Flinders University Adelaide Campuses.

If you need any assistance with copying / printing / binding or if you need binding supplies, please visit the Unicard Copy and Print Services shop located inside the Central Library, level 1.



Visit the copy shop online...



About the LibraryMap of flinders showing the branch libraries

As members of the Flinders University Library you can access millions of books, journals and DVDs across our 4 branch libraries and the Universities Research Repository of South Australia (URRSA).

  • The Central Library is the largest with three floors. Find books about the Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences.
  • The Law Library is on level 3 of the Central Library building
  • The Sturt Library specialises in the fields of nursing, midwifery, disability and optometry
  • The Gus Fraenkel Medical Library is located behind the Flinders Medical Centre.
  • URRSA is where Flinders University, University of Adelaide and University of South Australia store items that are not in high demand, you can access URRSA Mon-Fri, 12-5pm.

Learn more about the library...

Visit when it suits you!

All our libraries have extensive opening hours. Most days you can get an early 8am start and work late into the evening if you choose. We are also open weekends and most public holidays. Oh and don't forget you can return books anytime 24/7 or use our huge online resource collection anytime from anywhere.


Check out our opening hours... 




Find textbooks

We have multiple copies of textbooks available for loan from the library.

You can find out what textbooks you need  from your Topic pages in Flinders Learning Online (FLO).

Click on the link below for more information and watch the short video on buying vs borrowing textbooks.


Get more info on text books...



eReadings are a great place to start your research

The scholarly sources you are expected to use for your assignments are sources that are written by academics for an academic audience. They are often written in some form of Academese which is according the to Oxford English Dictionary "the language or writing style of academic scholarship". This can be hard for a novice to the field to read and understand.

Also consider these academic journal statistics:

  • There are currently over 40,000 peer reviewed academic journal titles in publication
  • Each title probably publishes a new issue 1 to 4 times a year
  • Each issue may contain 10 or more articles

There is an estimated 50 million plus, peer reviewed articles are out there representing research in every academic field. How do you know what are the most important, useful, relevant ones for your subject?

Take the advice of the experts! While the academics who teach you may not know every article in their field they know the key ones. Usually they will suggest readings to guide you and help your understanding of the topic.

Find out more about eReadings...

Search FindIt@Flinders for books in the library

Most of the books in the library are scholarly. Just like journal articles they are usually written by academics for an academic audience. 

It is common for academics to write chapters in an edited work on a particular subject. We have thousands of these edited works in the library collection.

You can usually only find academic texts in academic libraries such as Flinders, Adelaide University and University of South Australia. State and local public libraries tend to stock other kinds of material. Google Books has quite a few scholarly texts but you can usually only access a small proportion of the book which can be frustrating.

Use FindIt@Flinders to find books in any of our libraries. FindIt@Flinders is the search box at the top of the library homepage and even this page. It searches across our book collections and online resources. Keep your searches simple and select the facets on the left of the screen to limit your search:

More information on FindIt@Flinders...


Use FindIt@Flinders to find academic articles

FindIt@Flinders is a great place to start your research for academic articles for your essays.

FindIt@Flinders searches across thousands of journal titles in every subject.

You can limit your searches to Peer Review to ensure it is of a high quality.

Searches can result in large numbers of results so visit the help pages through the link below for ideas on how to find what you need.

More Information on peer reviewed articles...



Complete the Search Smart Library Quiz

Practice using the tools that will make finding resources easier. It will only take 20 to 30 minutes to complete. At the end you should be able to:

  • understand how scholarly information is created, organised and disseminated in a modern academic library
  • recognise the limitations of using the internet for academic and professional research
  • choose the appropriate library tool such as FindIt@Flinders, Flex and research databases to locate textbooks, required and recommended readings, scholarly books and journals
  • understand the conventions of using the library space, locating books on the shelf, booking group study rooms and how to get assistance with library research​​.

Go to the Quiz now...


Can't get to Flinders?

It is worth the trip to visit and use the library for your research if you can make it. However, we know some of you work full time and live a distance from the University or in regional areas. 

SendIt - Off campus library services are available to Flinders University students who fulfil at least one of the following criteria:

  • Students studying fully online or fully externally. 
  • Students who live outside of the Adelaide metropolitan area. 

SendIt staff can provide you with loans of books delivered via StarTrack couriers. They can also supply copies of journal articles, book chapters and many other resources (within copyright) to your Flinders email address as pdf attachments, unless you can only receive via post (available for students with no internet, or very slow internet). You can specify your delivery requirements on the registration form.

Register here...


Find a space to meet your needs

Some people who haven't visited an academic library get a surprise when they enter our space. It is a lot noisier and more social than they expect.

There is a cafe, hundreds of computer work stations, group study rooms and it can be hard to find where books and journals are located.

There are books along with quiet and silent study spaces too!


Book a Room online...




Keep track of your borrowing

Logon to FindIt@Flinders with your FAN and password to manage:

  • Your loans
  • Check due dates
  • Renewals
  • Saved Searches or items
  • View your borrowing history (can be handy if you forget to write down a reference)

Login to your Library Account now...




Suggested resources from Flinders Librarians

Search Smart subject guides recommend the best tools to use to find resources in a subject area.

There are also guides to help you create better searches and understand how to find different kinds of resources.


Explore Search Smart Subject Guides now...


Postgraduate student?

Did you know as a postgraduate student you are eligible for the document delivery service? If Flinders Library doesn't hold the material you need for your research and studies the document delivery service can try to obtain it for you and have it delivered to the Flinders Library branch you nominate.


Login to Document Delivery service here...




Get help with writing assignments and referencing

The Student Learning Centre is available to all Flinders students and can help you to understanding and planning your assignments, structuring and writing assignments, English language, referencing and more. They have a drop-in Learning Lounge and free lunchtime seminars on study skills including maths skills and essay writing. Many of their resources are also available online.

More on the Student Learning Centre...




Still have questions?

Ask in person or visit the help pages online. It is our job to help you use the library and FLO effectively for your studies so please ask if you need to!



Help yourself...





Search all our guides.