Counselling, Human Services and Social Work

Use the Catalogue to find material in the University of Auckland Library’s collection of books, journals, theses, television programmes and conference proceedings.

Legal databases | Courts | NZ Government | Statistics

Legal databases

  • Lexis Advance
    Includes legislation, case law, the New Zealand Law Reports, Laws of New Zealand (legal encyclopedia), legal texts and journals and Linxplus (case law and journal indexing database).
  • Westlaw NZ
    Provides legislation, case law and legal texts and journals.

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  • Courts
    Includes information about the Youth and Family courts, decisions and publications

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Government websites can provide links to policy documents, research publications and statistics.

Search for other government websites.

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Websites of non-government agencies, research centres, private organisations and professional bodies can provide links to research on your topic.

Non-government organisations | Research centres | Professional bodies

Non-government organisations

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Research centres

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Professional bodies

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How good is the information you find online?

  • Evaluating websites
    Use this guide to help you check the quality and reliabilty of web resources.

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Guide to evidence based research for social work

Read Finding the Evidence for general information about evidence based social work practice and the process for researching evidence based literature in library databases and Internet resources.


Use these databases and websites to start searching for evidence for effective interventions. For additional databases, refer to the guide above.

  • BMJ Best Practice and OvidMD Advantage
    Provides access to evidence based guidelines, books, journal articles, drug information and patient education.
  • Cochrane Library
    An excellent resource for evidence based social work practice providing information on the effectiveness of healthcare interventions.
  • Trip Database
    Allows you to search across multiple evidence-based sites. This database has a medical focus with only some relevance to social care or social practice.
  • Campbell Collaboration
    Contains several libraries which allow you to search either for systematic reviews and protocols or randomised controlled trials in areas including education, crime and justice and social welfare.

Plan your search strategy

  • Analyse your research question. Consider rewriting your topic into a sentence or question to make it more manageable.
  • Identify the words that convey the main ideas or concepts in your research question.
  • Think of synonyms and related terms for the main concepts. Use a concept map or table as below.
  • Formulate your search by selecting a word from each column (concept).
  • Try searching various combinations of the keywords/synonyms, e.g., adolescent cannabis intervention, youth marijuana prevention.
My concepts are:
adolescents addiction intervention
teenagers marijuana approach
young people cannabis prevention

Where to search?

The Catalogue finds books, journal titles, theses, multimedia and images.
Use Articles and more, Google Scholar or Databases to search for articles.

Building on your research

Use a literature-searching strategy that builds on information that you already have. Start with a book or article that is relevant to your research topic and try some of the following:

  • Look at the reference list  for more material on your topic.
  • Take note of the words used in the text of your book or article. They may provide useful new terms to use when searching for more literature.
  • Find your book or article in the library catalogue or a database. Use the subject headings (sometimes referred to as descriptors or keywords) in the catalogue or database record to find similar material.
  • Look up other works by the author(s) to check if they have written more on your topic.
  • Search for citations to your book or article on Google Scholar or another database.

Choosing a methodology

Consult your supervisor about methodologies to use in your research. These resources are helpful for understanding and evaluating methodologies.

Finding books

Look for these Subject Headings in the Catalogue to find books on methodologies.


  • Use topic searches to find methodologies in digitised theses at the University of Auckland and other tertiary institutions.
  • To find theses which use a particular methodology you can use
  • Enter your chosen methodology into the search box, then use the filters to choose doctoral or masters. Read the abstract to ensure the thesis has the methodology you are searching for. This is because a keyword search is not a methodology-only search.

A list of exemplary theses completed recently at the Faculty of Education and Social Work.

Faculty of Education and Social Work resources

  • Research strengths
    Describes Faculty of Education and Social Work research strengths to help guide your choice of Education methodologies.
  • Finding a supervisor
    Research interests and preferred methodologies of particular supervisors.
  • Quant-DARE
    Quantitative data analysis and research support at the Faculty of Education and Social Work.

The Faculty of Education and Social Work uses the American Psychological Association APA style.



  • Referencing
    Access a range of tools and support material to assist your referencing work.


  • Quick©ite
    Use this interactive tool to view examples of references.
    Covers a range of styles used at the University of Auckland.

Last updated : 19 April 2021
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