Don’t travel without these apps…

travelapps_squareWhether you are trekking through mountainous Nepal or visiting the temples of Angkor in Cambodia, these travel apps can help.

XE Currency Converter
By Inc.
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes and Google Play

Convert every world currency with the XE Currency App – Free Edition. It offers live proprietary currency rates, charts, and even stores the last updated rates, so it works when the Internet doesn’t.

WIFI Finder
By: Jiwire Inc.
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes and Google Play

Quickly and easily find FREE or paid Wi-Fi when you travel with the JiWire Wi-Fi Finder. Download all of the locations offline, so you know how to stay connected when you are on the road. Using the GPS function on your iPhone, the Wi-Fi finder will tell you exactly where the closest Wi-Fi hotspot is, and how to get there.

Onavo Extend
By: Onavo Inc.
Cost: Free
Available: iTunes and Google Play

Get up to 5 times more out of your mobile data plan without changing the way you use your phone. Do this while using your favourite apps, sharing photos, browsing the web, and more. Even when you’re traveling abroad, Onavo Extend will help you stay within your roaming plan.

Cyber security: are you safe?

esmart_rectangleRaise your awareness of cyber safety during National eSmart Week, Monday 7 September to Friday 12 September. National eSmart Week encourages libraries, schools and community organisations to come together to celebrate digital inclusion and raise awareness of cyber safety in Australia.

Here are three tips to keep you cyber safe at Griffith:

1. Create a strong password

Use a combination of at least 8 upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols to create a strong password for your Griffith University account.

Don’t use names, birth dates, and names of friends or significant others, pet names or license plate numbers. Someone who knows you, or has access to this information (e.g. Facebook page, blog, LiveJournal), can easily guess a password based on personal information. There are also programs designed to guess a user’s password by using personal information found online.

2. Know the latest scams

Check websites such as SCAMwatch and Stay Smart Online to find the latest information on known scams. Also keep an eye on your Griffith email! Chief Technology Officer, Bruce Callow, sent out an email recently detailing the latest scams being sent to Griffith staff and students. ‘The first type pretends to come from Griffith’s library system and attempt to steal your Griffith username and password by directing you to a fake Griffith login page’ he said.

‘The second type of bogus emails is sent by criminals attempting to extort money from you using a type of malware known as “ransomware”. These emails have an attachment which, if opened, encrypts as many files as it can on your PC’s hard drive, any connected USB devices, and any network drives you might be connected to. You are then told you have a certain number of days to pay a ransom to get your files back,’ said Mr Callow.

And remember, Griffith University will never ask you to provide your password! If you are unsure if an email is valid or not, forward it to:

3. Check your anti-virus software is up-to-date

Symantec Endpoint Protection software should come as standard with your Griffith University virtual workspace (The Standard Operating Environment/Golden Image). This software is managed and updated centrally by Information Services. This means you will have always have the most up to date and secure computing environment possible.

Contact the IT helpdesk if Symantec Endpoint Protection is not installed, enabled or updating on your computer.

Are you an open data publisher?

An Open Data Publishers’ seminar series will be starting in mid-October. The seminars are aimed at open data publishers in government, research, academia, and the private sector.

The three-part series will be held at the Auditorium, 111 George Street, from 10:30am to 12:00pm. Each session includes a half-hour networking opportunity. Sandwiches are provided.

Thursday 15 October 2015
Introductory Session for Publishers

Thursday 29 October 2015
Open Data Pathways (Maturity Assessment Model)

Presented by Grace Hammond, Queensland Department of Main Roads and Transport

Thursday 12 November 2015
Open Data Certification Process

Presented by Stephen Gates, Queensland Department of Main Roads and Transport

For more information, visit the Open Data Institute Queensland web site.

Workshops and Training


Did you know, staff and Academics are also able to go to the Workshops and Training sessions offered by the library?  And they are free!

With a wide range from Academic Skills, Computing Skills, Library Skills and Higher Degree Research – there is always something to help you, and even better, something to offer your students.  These workshops are designed to assist the student with getting the most out of researching and their academic pursuits.

Week 3 (10-14th of August) was specifically dedicated to referencing workshops, to aid with the student’s knowledge and understanding of the importance of correct referencing.  The library has a self-help guide to referencing and a tool to help with basic referencing guidelines for AGPS Harvard, APA6, MLA and Vancouver.

As a staff member or academic, you are also welcome to book into one of these sessions to get tips and tricks to offer your students or even just to know what is being presented today through the library network.  Many of the Computing Skills workshops are about getting the most out of Microsoft Office, EndNote (both MAC and Windows) and the Research Survey Tool.  You can book a consultation with the ICT Literacy Specialists, but if you have just a quick question, there are always the drop-in sessions at both Gold Coast and Nathan libraries:

  • Gold Coast (G10_2.04): Thursdays 10:00-12:00 (year round)
  • Nathan (N53_1.50): Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 (year round)

Make sure you tell your students about Study Smart – an online tutorial  about researching, writing and studying at Griffith University.


Coffee tastes better when it’s free!

sustainability_squareThe first 500 staff and students to sign up to Griffith’s Sustainability Commitment during Sustainability Week 2015 will receive free coffee and a reusable cup.

Sustainability Week is being held from Monday 31 August to Friday 4 September 2015. Activities have been organised across all of Griffith’s five campuses. There are free pedal powered smoothies, Australian native plant giveaways and documentaries showing on the big screen at the Gold Coast.

Check out the activities on your campus, and come along and celebrate sustainability at Griffith.

Information Services will certainly be celebrating! We have worked hard to adopt the principles of sustainability and incorporate them into our decision-making processes and operational activities.

Our commitment to sustainability has led to a decrease in our carbon footprint and staff and student printing costs. Have a look at the Information Services Annual Report 2014 (Sustainability, pp.35-36) to read about our sustainability achievements over the last four years.

And we are still going strong! So far this year, we saved 98.38 tonnes of CO2e by staff choosing videoconferencing over traveling to meetings. In monetary terms, this has saved the University $903,882 and 6,064 hours in staff time.

We also ceased sending out print-based packages to students this year, except for accessibility purposes. Whereas in 2010, we sent out 26,661 packages! This is a substantial saving in costs to the University and the environment.

Information Services supports The Sustainability Plan 2013‐2015 and the Griffith 2020 goal ‘To be a sustainable university’. Sustainability is defined as: “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Brundtland Report, 1987).

For more information on sustainability at Griffith, visit the Sustainability web site.

Griffith Experts to be released in late September

researchhub_rectangleGriffith University was recognised globally for its innovation when it released the Griffith Research Hub in 2012.

To build on the success of the past, Griffith will launch the next generation in online discoverability of its excellence; contributing to increased engagement with industry, the media and cross-institutional collaborators.

Griffith Experts will replace the Research Hub and will be released for internal review by academic staff on 28 September 2015.

“I am excited to be stepping up our efforts in surfacing the contribution that all of our academic colleagues make to both research, and learning and teaching” said Linda O’Brien, Pro Vice Chancellor for Information Services and Sponsor of the Griffith Experts project.

All academics will be provided with a profile. This is an expansion of the current system and recognises that in addition to research, Griffith academics make immense contributions to learning and teaching, which drives student experience and graduate outcomes.

The key strength of Griffith Experts is it automatically updates a profile when information is changed or added in existing university systems. This means profiles are current and rich, without duplicating time-consuming data entry tasks.

Ongoing engagement through a diverse User Group has informed the development of Griffith Experts, including and enhanced profile edit interface to improve user experience.

Training sessions and system user help guides will be made available to assist all profile holders with the initial set up and ongoing management of their profile.

For further information, contact Change Managers Suchi Rao or Julie Toohey.

Protect yourself from publishing scams

publishingscam_squareHaving your papers published in quality journals is important for your research profile and building your academic career.

But academics are being exploited by ‘predatory publishers’ warned ABC’s Background Briefing Journalist, Hagar Cohen in August.

‘Predatory publishers are exploiting academics by getting them to pay fees—sometimes thousands of dollars—to publish their papers in low-grade journals, alongside anything from harmful junk science to flat out dangerous ideas,’ he said. Read the full Background Briefing article.

How can you protect yourself from publishing scams? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Read articles published by the journal and assess quality
  • Obtain details about the editorial board. Is it made up of recognised experts with full affiliations?
  • Check a reputable directory such as IE Ulrichs or Directory of Open Access Journals to see if the publication is listed
  • Consult Bealls List. Academic librarian, Jeffrey Beall, compiles a list of ‘questionable open-access publishers reported to have dubious practices’. Go to the Scholarly Open Access website and click List of Publishers.
  • Ask your colleagues and discipline librarian about the publication and look at indicators of journal impact.
  • Have a look at the Griffith University Library Get Published Research Guide
  • Learn more about academic publishing. Library and Learning Services offers a series of workshops targeted to support Academics and Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates along all stages of the research life cycle. Book into the Publishing your research: an introduction It will provide you with information on how to target strategic journals and provide an overview of both the traditional and non-traditional ways to get published.
  • Choose the journals you wish to submit to. Don’t respond to unsolicited emails.

This piece has been adapted from an article written by Roxanne Missingham. How researchers can protect themselves from publishing and conference scams (2015) Australasian Open Access Support Group.


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