A quick Q&A with Dr Campbell Fraser

Dr Campbell Fraser

Griffith University, Department of International Business and Asian Studies, Senior Lecturer, Dr Campbell Fraser discusses his career, research tips and organ trafficking.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
At the age of 4, growing up in Glasgow, Scotland, I wanted to be a “bin man”, what would now be known as a refuse collector. The reason – the Glasgow “bin men” drove around in big blue trucks. I befriended my local bin men and they used to take me with them on their rounds – so every Thursday I got to ride in the big blue truck. Would never be allowed now!

2. Tell us about a previous job (work experience/volunteer work) that you’ve had.
My first job was as a sausage maker. I worked with some really interesting characters in that job –  a real education!  From there I went into banking, before going on to uni full time.

3. Which 3 apps do you use the most on your mobile device?
The BBC news– that is where I first go to in the morning when I wake up, Gmail app, and Washington Post – I am now an avid follower of US politics since the 2016 election result.

4. Which 5 celebrities would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?
I’d love to see what great leaders of the past would make of today’s politicians. So I would have Winston Churchill, Robert Menzies and Mahatma Gandhi on one side of the table, with Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte on the other. Now that would make an interesting dinner party!

5. Tell us about your favourite fictional character.
Simon Templar – AKA “The Saint”, by Leslie Charteris. A great series of adventure novels adapted for TV in the 1960s. Escapism at its best.

6. What’s the best thing about your current role?
Without a doubt, it is the people I get to meet.  By investigating organ trafficking, I have the privilege to work with some amazing people – people who save lives day in, day out. Often working on a shoestring budget in some of the poorest and dangerous areas of the world; these are truly remarkable people.

7. What sparked your interest in human/organ trafficking?
A few years ago, I had kidney failure and spent a year on dialysis before I received the ultimate gift of a donor kidney. I met a number of people involved in the international organ trade at this time, and as they say, one thing led to another…

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would be very happy if I am still able to do exactly what is I am doing now.  My colleagues and I have made major progress in the fight against human trafficking, but much work remains to be done.

9. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
This year, I was invited by the Pope to the Vatican to present my work, and this has led to several invitations to speak around the world. While these are certainly highlights, the biggest highlight has been knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of some of the poorest people on our planet.  That is more important than anything else.

10. Tell us about your current research.
I’m currently investigating the links between organ trafficking in the Middle East and terrorism funding. I am working in collaboration with colleagues from the US government in Washington DC. This is taking my work in a whole new direction.

11. What wise advice do you have for new researchers?
Follow your nose and see where it leads you. Try to find a topic that is poorly understood, and that will maximise your scope. Never give up. If your research topic is important to you, then it is important, regardless of what others may tell you.

12. What’s the best resource you’ve discovered in your Griffith University Library?
Online journal access has fundamentally changed the way academics work. I can now be in a village in the Philippines and access the Griffith Library by VPN on my device. This is a huge timesaver. Griffith Library has online access to a vast number of journals relevant to my work, and I wouldn’t be able to function without it.

13. Can you give us your 3 best research tips

  • Be very cautious of information you find online – I would say probably 75% of reports of organ trafficking found online is false, and is written to promote political objectives. I always make sure I meet the people involved so I can obtain the information at the source. Understand the difference between truths, and reports which are based on a true story!
  • Remain courteous and professional when conducting investigations. On occasions, I have had to interview people-traffickers and their brokers, and no matter how much disgust I have for them, I have to keep a professional demeanour.  Always take the high road, you never know when you might need someone’s help in the future. You want to show Griffith University in a good light!
  • Always think of ways to increase your audience. The media is a great way to bring your research findings to a wider range of people who don’t read academic journals. Think about what would make a great story – and learn how to pitch it to journalists. This will increase the impact of your research, and get you noticed. Journalists are always on the lookout for exciting stories that their readers are likely to click on!

Does torture work?

Photo of hands in handcuffs

Well, you’ll have to read John W. Schiemann’s book to find out.

In his 2015 publication, Does Torture Work?, Schiemann ‘examines whether interrogational torture is effective in obtaining valuable information and at what cost in terms of torture’s brutality and frequency’ (taken from abstract).

According to the abstract, the book ‘draws on historical accounts, previously secret CIA documents in the war on terrorism, and the proposals advanced by torture proponents to build a game theoretic model of interrogational torture’.

‘Illustrating the model outcomes with narratives from Pinochet’s Chile to Algeria to the use of enhanced interrogation techniques against Al Qaeda operatives at CIA black sites, the book compares the results of the model with proponent benchmarks on information reliability, torture frequency, and torture severity’.

In his book, Schiemann shows that ‘interrogational torture fails to reliably generate valuable information but will be both more frequent and more brutal than proponents expect and are willing to accept. Having shown that interrogational torture is ineffective, the book then demonstrates just why and how it fails’.

You can read this book online via the Oxford Scholarship Online: Political Science database.

The database contains the full text and abstracts of classic and newly published Oxford books in the areas of political science – from Comparative Politics to Political Theory, International Relations to European Union Studies.

What can you do in June to become a better researcher?


You can attend our series of Higher Degree Research (HDR) Workshops. They are targeted to support you through all stages of the research lifecycle.

All staff and students are welcome to attend these workshops but preference will be given to HDR candidates. Once you have registered you will receive an email confirmation, please select add to calendar.

Study Week (29 May – 2 June)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
1/6 10:00am Copyright, plagiarism and publishing integrity G10 2.25 Gold Coast
2/6 1:00pm Track, measure and demonstrate impact G10 2.09 Gold Coast


Exam Week 1 (5 June – 9 June)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
7/6 10:00am Endnote G10 2.04 Gold Coast


 Student Vacation (19 June – 23 June)

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
21/6 10:00am Endnote N53 1.49 Nathan

Launch of the new Academic Integrity Tutorial

The new Academic Integrity Tutorial is coming…

It’s out with old, and in with the new!

Information Services is launching a new version of the student Academic Integrity Tutorial on Friday 16 June 2017.

Be sure to say your goodbyes to the current tutorial. It’s served us well, but we’re turning it off to make way for the new and improved version.

How has it been improved? Well, we’re glad you asked. The assessment has been simplified so you’ll no longer have to check the Mark Centre for student completions.

Students will see a certificate when they successfully complete the final quiz; it is similar to the process for the annual fire safety test.

You can instruct the student to submit their certificate by email or via an assignment submission point on their Learning@Griffith course site.

Access to the Mark Centre is still available to you. So if you need to download results for large numbers of students, the Mark Centre is still the place to go.

Giving your students access to the tutorial is easy. Simply, use the Learning@Griffith Organisation Enrolment Manager to automatically enrol students from any of your course sites into the Academic Integrity Tutorial organisation.

The Organisation Enrolment Manager can be found in your Learning@Griffith course site under the Control Panel:

  • Click Users and Groups
  • Click Organisation Enrolment
  • Choose Add Enrolment
  • Enter the Organisation ID: ACADEMIC_INTGY_A1_TUTORIAL.

Need help? Check out this handy Organisation Enrolment Manager guide.

We have also moved to a new version of Study Smart which you can find on the library website. The earlier version of Study Smart will not be available after June 16.

The Study Smart quiz is available on Learning@Griffith and will be updated for Trimester 2. There’s no need to update your bookmarks as the link to the quiz will remain the same.

Get wired!

Photo of colourful cables

Information Services has streamlined the process for Griffith staff to get connected. Griffith’s wired network now consists of over 33,000+ active network ports.

How do I request a network port?
Easy! Just use our new network outlet installation form to log your request. You no longer have to log a job through the IT Service Centre.

Once the form has been logged, the Network and Collaboration team will come chat to you about your needs, take a few photos of the site and work with a contractor to install your new outlet.

All requests must comply with University policies, standards, and design guidelines & procedures. You are entitled to a network port for your PC/workstation and phone. You also can use the wireless network if you have a laptop/tablet etc.

How do I connect my PC to a wired network port?
Before plugging your PC into the network, the PC’s MAC address must be registered. When a new PC is purchased, we will register the PC’s MAC address on your behalf using the Network Register Tool.

If your PC does not connect to the network, please contact the IT Service Desk so the MAC address can be registered.

How do I check if a network port is available?
You can use our GUPD (Griffith University Port Database) to check if a network port is available to use.

The GUPD lists all active network ports throughout the University and can help identify, monitor, modify and troubleshoot wired network connections.

You can use GUPD to:

  • Confirm your port details
  • Check other port details (which is really useful if you are moving location)
  • Request a port to be activated.

Want to know more about networking?
Find out more about the wired network services we provide, including network cable replacements (also known as a patch lead), firewall access and how we use Netreg to register your Griffith device.

Who won an award for information management?

Hand throwing confetti

Big congratulations to the Information Services, Information Management Portfolio, Business Enablement Team (BET)!

They were awarded the Harry Haxton Shield at the Records & Information Management Professionals Australasia (RIMPA) State Conference in May.

Our hardworking team was honoured to receive the award which recognises outstanding achievements and contributions to the records and information management industry.

So how does the Business Enablement Team contribute to knowledge sharing?

Well, they help academic and business units across Griffith University to effectively manage information through tools such as digital workflow and SharePoint.

The Business Enablement Team have successfully:

  • Set up a SharePoint site for a School to share their procedural documents, forms and other related information
  • Established a Compliments and Complaints register.
  • Created a team site for an Academic Group to share policies and procedures, as well as information about activities and events across all of the Group.
  • Worked with a business unit to create 25 team and community sites across their element to manage information.
  • Created a workflow to automate the University’s program approval process for creation of new and changes to existing programs.
  • Provided training and user support to assist the University community in effectively using these tools and systems.
  • Provided information management advice to Griffith-wide projects.

Do you need help with SharePoint? Check out BET’s SharePoint Master Class Blog for helpful hints and tips, or book into a drop-in session.

SharePoint drop-in sessions are run twice a week. You can book these sessions in 15-minute blocks for up to an hour. Come along and ask your tricky SharePoint questions.

Email the Business Enablement Team or request a job via the IT Help Desk on x55555.

How to measure scholarly impact with a donut

You already log in when you search the library catalogue on campus, but from Wednesday 21 June you’ll also need to log in when you search off-campus.

Why? Because we have some cool new features that only Griffith folk can see. Donuts. That’s right, our library catalogue now displays an Altmetric donut to highlight the impact and popularity of publications.

Hover over the donut to explore online shares, comments and discussion relating to publications.

Altmetric tracks:

  • influence on or use in public policy documents
  • mentions in news articles, blogs and YouTube
  • online reference managers such as Mendeley
  • social media shares, likes and engagement on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • citations in Wikipedia
  • and more.

Altmetric begins collating the online mentions and shares of your research as soon as it’s published. So you can get timely feedback on impact and engagement long before any citation data becomes available.

We also display traditional metrics including citation counts from Web of Science and Scopus.

You can use these features to measure the scholarly research impact of your own publications, follow a trail of research forward in time, or to identify seminal works.

For more tips on measuring scholarly impact, check out Module 11 of our Postgraduate Research Information Skills Modules. Read the rest of this entry »