How to research on Trove

Engage with the full research cycle
Profile picture for user KROSS

Since Trove launched in December 2009, it has changed how Australian research happens.

A multi-purpose resource, Trove supports social science and humanities research and digital humanities, along with interests, hobbies, community and family history. It is a rich resource for academics and researchers but also a mirror that reflects Australian living history and culture back to Australians and the world. Trove is available free of charge to anyone with access to the internet.

Today, 92% of historians in Australia use Trove.

Find out how you can engage with the full research cycle on Trove.


The Trove research cycle

graphic of the Trove research cycle - initial idea, cultural safety first, search, interrogate primary and secondary resources, manage searches and lists, cite to acknowledge sources, download search results or citations, deposit published research, make available to everyone in the national context in Trove, share and inspire new research

message stick iconCultural safety first

At Trove, we take cultural safety seriously. We aim to keep everyone informed by providing a cultural advice notice at the beginning of each browser session and using the message stick icon on culturally sensitive material.

You can inform Trove if you come across material that should be marked as culturally sensitive by using the cultural sensitivity feedback link that appears on Trove records.

A range of content and research relating to First Australians peoples, cultures and languages are showcased on Trove's First Australian's landing page.


icon of a laptop   Search 

The first step for any kind of research is building a search. Creating, evaluating, refining, adjusting and re-evaluating a search has always been at the heart of research.


Search in the Trove user interface

Searches can be built in Trove’s user interface, using the simple search, advanced search, filters and search commands. You will see a few examples to get you started below.

Be sure to explore searching in the Trove help pages for many more options and information.

Advanced search

Familiar with simple searching, but need to refine your search? The filters displayed on the right-hand side of your search results are a wonderful way to hone in on a decade, format, place, language and so much more. Find out more about search filters

To refine your search even more, use the Advanced search which you can find below the green magnifying search button in the search bar on the Trove homepage. The advanced search is available for each category.

In this video, we conduct a search with a specific date range. There are many ways to use the advanced search.


Search commands

Search commands are a quick way to use advanced search functionality. In this video we use quotation marks to search a phrase, but there are many more search commands you can try to speed up your research.


Search in the Trove Application programming interface

The power of Trove is the very large size of the data it aggregates. For this reason, research can also be conducted on the data at scale. The Trove Application Programming Interface (API) is a different way to create and refine a Trove search and export that search as a URL or in code that can be used with other tools to analyse the data or develop a new application.

To get started, you can explore the Trove API without an API key, in accordance with the Trove API Terms of Use. You will be limited to ten requests per minute. For ongoing use, log in to your Trove account and get an API key, agreeing to the Trove API terms of use. You can then construct your query with the Trove API. This will allow for 200 calls per minute.



clipboard list icon Create a list

Trove lists are a useful way to store and organise items you have found in your research. You will need to make sure you have a Trove account and log in to create or edit a list. You can make your lists private, public or collaborative, and you can connect with people with similar lists.


quotation mark icon Cite

Cite anything that you find and use through Trove, by correctly attributing works to their creators. Depending on the item category, citation formats available on Trove include:

  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • Harvard / Australian
  • Wikipedia
  • EndNote XML
  • BibTeX
  • URL format

We recommend that you use the Article Identifier rather than the URL since the URL is subject to change. It is also fantastic to cite Trove itself, including the date you retrieved the material or record online, as records are sometimes updated by librarians as more information is made available. Find out more on the Citing help page.

Download citations from a list 

You can create a Trove list of items relevant to your research, and then download the citations of all items in your preferred style in one go.

Log in to your Trove account and create your list. Select your preferred citation style to download. If you select BibTeX or EndNote, these will download in formats suitable for uploading into these applications. Find out more at Downloading citations from a Trove list.



download from cloud icon Bulk download search results

Download all of your search results in one go.

You will need to make sure you have a Trove account and once logged in, have applied for a Trove API access key. By using any Trove API functionality, including bulk download, you agree to the Trove API Terms of Use.

Once you have selected to bulk download, Trove will notify you that your download is queued and awaiting completion. The more results you have to download, the longer the download will take to complete. Your downloads will be .csv files and will be available under Downloads in your Trove account. Find out more at Bulk download.



books icon Deposit your publication

Once you have published your research, you can deposit it in National edeposit (NED) and its record will appear in Trove. NED accepts .epub, .mobi and .pdf formats for books, serials, music scores and government publications, and .pdf, .geopdf, .tiff and geotiff formats for published maps

You are able to set the access conditions for your publications so that they are either securely available only in the reading rooms of the Australian National and State Libraries, or freely available to everyone in Trove.

Find out more about the legal deposit requirements across all Australian jurisdictions and deposit your publication at National edeposit.


had with seedling icon Share your research with the public

Because every researcher uses different research methods, uncovers material and makes new connections, they are the best people to share how they used Trove to get there with the wider community and researchers of the future.

You will find blog posts written by Australian researchers on the Trove Research landing page, sharing their research and methods. 

We would love to share your research too!

Contact us to find out how you can share your work with Trove's large audience and inspire new research in turn.


Image of three ipads with a Trove researcher highlight on each

Enhancement of research help, features and tools received investment from the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). The ARDC is funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).