Disaster Recovery testing

While some very lucky staff are off on trimester vacay, we’re taking the opportunity to complete the annual IT disaster recovery test. We’re putting our Scouts hat on, ‘Be Prepared’.

For those fortunate enough to be on the beach in Bali, you can continue sipping your cocktail knowing we’ve got your covered. You can trust that we’re on the ball, executing a fail-over test in the case of a major disaster.

The disaster recovery test is a major activity to ensure the University’s key information systems can be recovered and continue to operate in the event of a major disruption.

This year’s testing includes

  • A major site fail-over test simulating the loss of all in-house hosted systems. During this test period, access to all systems and associated links including access to the Griffith home page and internet will be unavailable.
  • Testing the fail-over capability of our critical telephone systems, student printing system and SharePoint document repository. During this test period, access to these systems could be interrupted.


The date and times and subject to change (it’s always in the small print) but currently, the date and times are:

  1. Sunday 22 October 2017
  • In-house hosted systems (including internet and wi-fi access)
    8am – noon
  • Telephones, student printing and SharePoint
    8am – midnight

While this may cause some inconvenience, these tests are required and you will receive more information as the date gets closer.

For further information, please contact Sudath Wijeratne.  More information about scheduled maintenance for the remainder of 2017 is available in the Maintenance Calendar.

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.

You’ve been digitised!


Well, not you exactly, but your personnel files.

It’s taken well over two years, but Corporate Records & Digitisation Services recently completed a project to scan all the hardcopy files of active Griffith University staff members.

Yes, that’s right – all 10,371 files! Now, we don’t know how many swimming pools that equates to, but it works out to be approximately 1,300 cartons of records. That’s a lot of records (it would fill at least one swimming pool, right?).

And before we tell you about the awesome benefits of converting paper personnel files to digital, we need to give a massive shout out to a few staff. Big thanks to Aaron van Wyk, CRDS Information Officers, the Payroll team and Barb Keleher. The Director IM and Director HR recently hosted a celebratory morning tea to thank everyone in person for a magnificent effort.

Here are the many ways the digitisation of personnel files is benefiting the University. The move to digital files:

  • Reduces internal mail deliveries. Authorised staff can access a file from any location without having to wait for internal mail runs.
  • Provides faster access to records.
  • Improves the capture and access of records for staff new to Griffith. Previously, new hard copy files were only created manually on a monthly basis.
  • Eliminates the manual and time-consuming process of appraising hard-copy records and moving them to secondary onsite storage for long term retention.
  • Frees up onsite storage space for use by other corporate records.
  • Eliminates the risk of an entire file being lost/misplaced.
  • Eliminates the risk of records being accessed inappropriately while in transit or on location. Access to digital records is fully audit-tracked with regular reporting to HR possible.
  • Provides a better process for administering sessional/casual staff records which previously were day-batched and sent offsite by HR. The complete record set for personnel records can be accommodated in the one system.
  • Provides easier access to content. Records are now text searchable.

And very shortly will:

  • Eliminate the administrative burden of authorising access to staff files, with access being automatically rescinded when staff leave their authorised role.
  • Enable the transfer of recruitment records directly from the recruitment module in PeopleSoft to the staff digital file – digital to digital!

To find out more about CDRS and the services they provide, head to the Corporate Records & Digitisation Services web page.

4 free apps to help you search our databases


Griffith University Library subscribes to a gazillion databases (this may be a slight exaggeration) to provide you with the information you need for work or study. And you probably search them on a daily basis to write your essay, thesis or academic paper.

But did you know that some of your favourite databases have a mobile app? They make it super easy to access information on your mobile device, regardless whether it’s a smartphone or tablet; android or apple device.

We’ve rounded up 4 database apps to help you out.

1. PressReader

Available: iTunes and Google Play
Get your favorite publications and discover new titles that you’re sure to love. Choose from thousands of magazines and newspapers and read it from cover to cover, just the way the title was printed. See the PressReader page on the Library website for instructions on how to access publications from home.

2. EBSCOhost

Available: iTunes and Google Play
Whether you need eBooks, magazine articles, journal articles or newspapers, EBSCOhost has a database for you. And they cover a variety of subject areas – business, science, art, nursing, criminal justice. The list is endless. This free app ensures you get the most from searching EBSCOhost database content, provided courtesy of your library.

3. AustLII

Available: iTunes and Google Play
AustLII puts the power of Australia’s most popular online free-access resource for legal information right into the palm of your hand. Get access to law on your mobile device wherever you are. Browse legislation from the Commonwealth and from every Australian State and Territory, and cases from over 140 courts, tribunals and boards.

4. Bluefire Reader

Available: iTunes and Google Play
Download eBooks from Proquest’s Ebrary on your mobile device and read them on Bluefire Reader. With just a tap you can highlight, bookmark, annotate, look up a definition and share excerpts via email, Facebook and Twitter.

How we are improving climate change planning in the Pacific

The Pacific Climate Change Portal was launched in Samoa in June.

The Pacific Climate Change Portal was recently launched in Samoa.

The nations of the Pacific are amongst the least developed in the world. Climate change will exacerbate their problems; like the ability of millions of families to access enough clean water, grow enough food, earn an income and to stay safe from cyclones and flooding.

Learning from past projects and accessing the best available information is a valuable step in developing effective adaptation and development projects.   The inability to access these resources has been a major barrier to effective climate change adaptation planning in the Pacific.

Information Services (INS) are addressing this problem through our hard work on the Pacific iCLIM project.

Pacific iCLIM aims to support climate change resilience and adaptation planning in the Pacific, by working with regional partners to implement a regional approach to climate change information management.

We reached a major project milestone in June with the launch of the upgraded Pacific Climate Change Portal.

The Portal combines information records from a network of national information management systems across the Pacific, creating a one-stop-shop for practitioners in the region to find and access the resources they need.

It helps national governments, regional organisations and foreign aid programs to manage, share and find information across the Pacific.

Held in Samoa, the launch attracted a large audience; including climate adaptation practitioners, climate scientists, foreign dignitaries and aid organisations.

Presenters included Prof Brendan Mackey, Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, Dr Netatua Pelesikoti, Director, SPREP Climate Change Division and Rosemary McKay, Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Samoa.

Containing more than 1000 data sets and documents relevant to climate change in the Pacific, the value of the portal will continue to grow as new records are added.

One of the successes of the program has been working with local partners to ensure that the project is tailored to the needs of the Pacific.

At the moment, we are rolling out Information Management training to relevant government and non-government practitioners in Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga.

Information and Knowledge Management for Climate Change guidelines are available via the Pacific Climate Change Portal.

Information privacy: your rights and obligations

card with private written on it

Do you have access to personal or sensitive information through your role at Griffith University? You are responsible for keeping this information private; legislation says so.

It is important to familiarise yourself with the legislative requirements concerning information privacy to avoid a breach and possible disciplinary action.

No, we aren’t suggesting you read the entire contents of the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) and the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld). You can if you want to, but we have a much simpler, and less time-consuming option.

We have created a Griffith Information Privacy training resource for all staff. This helpful website summarises the legislative requirements and explains your obligations using a series of ‘real world’ scenarios.  

We encourage you to visit the site to gain a better understanding of what information privacy means for you and your role.

Also, check out the Griffith University Privacy Plan. It outlines the University’s plan for the responsible collection and management of personal information.

Are you ‘friends’ with your students on Facebook?

social media

Uh oh! You need to read the updated Griffith University Social Media Guidelines that were released in June. It has a whole section on the use of social media in learning and teaching.

The updated Social Media Guidelines recognises that Social Media are used as a communicative, collaborative and community platform in support of learning and teaching activities.

But it strongly suggests that you follow certain rules to avoid embarrassment, harassment, and other awful consequences.

For example, don’t accept requests from students to access your personal social media. This doesn’t just apply to Facebook; it applies to all your social media networks. Unless of course, the network is professional in nature (such as LinkedIn) and you are enhancing the student’s professional development and employability.

So why can’t you accept students as ‘friends’ on social media? Well, it can lead to some very difficult situations if the student subsequently takes offence to content on personal pages. And honestly, do you really want your students to see photos of the ancient swimsuit you wore on your last family vacay (um, over-stretched, worn-out spandex could be very NSFW).

The Guidelines recommend you use social media tools endorsed by Griffith University i.e Learning@Griffith.

They create a consistent student learning experience across all subjects and are typically accessible by a student’s number and password. Such tools have security protection for personal information and are copyright compliant.

Do you have questions about using Social Media in learning and teaching? Ask Griffith’s Information Policy Officer, Antony Ley.

Information Services has Social Media! Suggest content for our Library Blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter by contacting ins-comms@griffith.edu.au.