There are new copyright rules for exams

What is the Copyright Act?

The Copyright Act 1968 defines the rights of creators of creative and artistic works under Australian law, and provides rules which govern the use of such works. While it may seem long and tedious, it’s incredibly important to abide by.

Luckily, we have a University Information Policy Officer to provide us with relevant and timely updates, as well as specialist advice.

You’ll probably be most familiar with the Copyright Act as it pertains to the amount of a hard copy book you can digitise for your teaching online through Reading Lists – 1 chapter or 10% of the book. We hope that you’re also considering the Copyright Act when uploading materials for online exams. Gold star for you.

What’s new and what does it mean for you?

Under new changes to the Copyright Act, in 2018, staff are now able to copy, adapt and put on Learning@Griffith any kind of copyright material for online exams. This material can even include music, broadcasts, sound recordings and films. There is no limit to the amounts that can be used.

Please note however that this rule is for actual testing, not for practice tests (or for students viewing past exams).

These changes in the Copyright Act open new creative possibilities for online examination.

For more information on this and any other copyright issue, contact Griffith’s Information Policy Officer, Antony Ley.

A quick Q&A with Jeremy Wilson

PhD candidate Jeremy Wilson

Griffith School of Environment PhD candidate, Jeremy Wilson discusses his career, research tips and new Arachnid discoveries.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Like many kids I went through an early stage where I was obsessed with dinosaurs and wanted to be a palaeontologist. I’m still obsessed with dinosaurs…but as I got older I became more interested in the things I could see in the backyard, like insects and spiders.

2. Tell us about a previous job (work experience/volunteer work) that you’ve had.
For the last few years I’ve been involved in a long-term study on the Australian Magpie. Did you know that the magpies in Melbourne have white backs, while those further north have black backs? We travelled down twice a year to study birds in the ‘hybrid-zone’, where black-backed and white-backed magpies occur together. Hybrid zones like this are really good for studying natural selection at work. For example, in the magpies we could study how back-colour affects survival and reproductive success and relate this to selective pressures such as visibility to predators.

3. Which 3 apps do you use the most on your mobile device?
Audible to listen to books, Spotify to listen to music and CastBox to listen to podcasts…safe to say I have my headphones in quite a lot!

4. Which 5 celebrities would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?

  • Sam Harris — I’m a big fan of his podcast.
  • Richard Dawkins —To talk about evolutionary theory.
  • Yuval Noah Harari — He has written two fantastic books on human evolution.
  • Jennifer Doudna — She wrote the book I’m currently reading about gene-editing technologies and their ethical implications.
  • Jamie Oliver — I’d try and convince him to cook, but he also seems like an entertaining guy!

5. Tell us about your favourite fictional character.
That’s tough, but I think I’ll choose Pi Patel from ‘Life of Pi’. I loved the book and the movie.

6. What’s the best thing about your current role?
I’m a PhD candidate at Griffith. The best thing about this role is the freedom to choose what you want to study and make the project your own. This can be stressful at times, but makes good results so much more rewarding.

7. We hear you’ve recently discovered some new species of trapdoor spider in Toohey Forest (eek!)–can you tell us a little about this?
During my PhD work I’ve discovered a new lineage of trapdoor spiders which make really cryptic burrows. The burrows of these spiders have a hinged lid over the entrance to their burrow which is made of leaves and blends in flawlessly with the leaf-litter. The burrows of these spiders are so well camouflaged that we didn’t even know they existed in mainland Australia until now! There are over 15 undescribed species in this lineage, spread throughout eastern Australia. One of those species occurs all through Brisbane, including in Toohey Forest!

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I hope I’m an early career researcher doing work similar to that which I’m currently doing: finding new spider species and studying their evolution.

9. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career so far was getting great feedback from a good journal on the scientific paper I’ve just written. This paper, the result of extremely hard work, will be the first published from my PhD studies.

10. Tell us about a project/research you are working on at the moment. 
Currently I’m writing a taxonomic paper describing four new species of trapdoor spider. These four species are unusual even for trapdoor spiders, as they build strange palisade-like burrows which project out from the ground! All four species occur in south-eastern Queensland and are highly restricted, each occurring in a single national park.

11. What wise advice do you have for new researchers or young academics?
For potential PhD students–work on something you’re really interested in. A PhD is a big investment and you need to be self-motivated. If you’re lucky enough to have a particular passion, work on that!

12. What’s the best resource you’ve discovered in your Griffith University Library?
I use the online resources provided by the library the most. I constantly use the database to search for and access new papers. The library also provides great modules on a range of areas such as how to publish papers efficiently and how to increase the impact of your papers. A special mention also has to go to the Referencing Tool which saved me a few times back in my undergraduate degree.

13. Can you give us your 3 best research tips?

  • Make sure you invest in other areas of your life as well. Research has its ups and downs, so it’s important to have other hobbies which take your mind off your research for some time each day.
  • Prioritise your work each day based on difficult–do the difficult things in the morning when your brain is fresh!
  • Publicise your research. This is one I find particularly challenging. It’s becoming increasingly important for researchers to show the general public why their work is valuable. Most people don’t read scientific papers, so reach out to the media or use social media platforms to advertise your research to a wider audience.

How to write a tweetable abstract


Just when you have finally mastered how to write a coherent and concise abstract for your research paper, publishers have changed things up. A number of publishers also now require a ‘tweetable abstract’.


Tweetable abstracts should provide the main conclusions or the key message of a paper in a way that is easily understood.

A common mistake made by academics in writing tweetable abstracts is not using tags or hashtags. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Assistant Editor, Samantha Ponton said ‘very few authors use the symbols ‘@’ and ‘#’ in their tweetable abstracts, to refer to an author’s Twitter username or to tag a keyword, respectively’.

‘Hashtags can be used to increase the visibility of a tweet, as users can search Twitter for keywords using this symbol as a prefix, for example, #ecology or #statistics’ she said (Submission requirement aims to boost social media engagement, 2013).

Other common mistakes include using overly technical scientific jargon and superfluous hashtags, or exceeding the character limit (How Twitter Literacy Can Benefit Conservation Scientists, 2013)

Not sure how to write for Twitter? Check out this helpful guide from the University of Pennsylvania. Or the 2014 BRW article 14 tips for getting the most out of Twitter Audience Platform.

Further information
Social media library guide
This guide provides links to helpful social media resources online and in the library.

Griffith University Social Media Guidelines
These guidelines outline the University principles concerning the use of social media and provide advice that assists staff in establishing and using social media spaces. They are framed within the University policies relating to conduct, copyright and intellectual property, privacy, use of information technology and information security.

A quick Q&A with Professor Kathy Andrews

Professor Kathy Andrews

Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), Professor Kathy Andrews discusses her career, research tips and writing a children’s book.

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be so many things when I was growing up! An artist, an author and a scientist. In the end, I was able to mix some of these things together into one great job. Being a scientist is very creative and involves not only solving interesting questions but also communicating your findings to other scientists and the public.

2. Tell us about a previous job (work experience/volunteer work) that you’ve had.
My first job was wrapping presents at Christmas time in a department store!

3. Which 3 apps do you use the most on your mobile device?
iBooks (because I read constantly), Notes (to remind myself of things) and Twitter (still getting used to this one)

4. Which 5 celebrities would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?
That’s a hard one. If my daughter was involved, I would have to say five members of the Firebirds netball team!

5. Tell us about your favourite fictional character.
I don’t have particular favourites, but I am quite taken by the elven characters in Lord of the Rings.

6. What’s the best thing about your current role?
The best thing about my current role is the diversity of things that I am involved in. I work with fantastic staff and students on exciting research projects focused on developing new medicines for malaria, teach undergraduate students about infectious diseases and also talk to people in the community about how great science is.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope that in five years I will have developed a new type of antimalarial drug. Fingers crossed!

8. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career really is in seeing my amazing research students graduate and go on to do wonderful things with their lives and careers. Very rewarding!

9. You are involved in Griffith’s That’s Rad Science project. Tell us about that.
I have always been involved in science communication and in 2016 I decided to try something new that also combined my skills in project management and writing. I wanted to inspire as many children as possible by telling them about the amazing worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). I started That’s RAD! Science with the vision of producing a series of 12 books authored by Queenslanders working in STEM areas. The aim is to distribute the books widely to primary school children and interest them in STEM from an early age. I am authoring the first book about parasites (think pet poo parasites, scratchy head lice, and malaria mini-vampire parasites!)

UPDATE: Check out Kathy’s book launch.

10. What wise advice do you have for new researchers?
Make sure you find something you are passionate about to work on!

11. What’s the best resource you’ve discovered in your Griffith University Library?
The best Griffith University Library resource has to be the ability access online journal articles. When I started as a scientist, I often had to order articles and wait several weeks for them to arrive by post!

12. Can you give us your 3 best research tips?
Take detailed notes, set aside time to think about your research project what it means, and think outside the box as you never know what you might find!

Create your own learning and teaching video resources

Always thought you’d look good on screen? Fancy yourself the next host of YouTube’s SciShow? Well, you can create your own learning and teaching videos on campus!

Not sure you’re up for the task? Don’t stress. We’ve got some awesome resources to get you started.

For some vital skills, check out Develop Your Presentation Skills. Griffith University has unlimited access to this eBook in the Books 24×7 database. ‘Complete with anecdotes and expert input to help you avoid disaster, this practical toolkit offers step-by-step realistic advice to improve your confidence, prepare effectively and nail that presentation.’

It’s sure to give you some key pointers on writing, appearance, visual aids, and developing PowerPoint. Once you’ve got them down, Learning Futures provides you with access to the CYO (Create Your Own) Video Studios to become your own learning and teaching video star!

The CYO Video Studios are available for any staff member, in any element, to use free of charge to produce videos for learning and teaching.

Simply participate in their quick induction – available every week at Nathan on Tuesdays 11-12, or Gold Coast on Wednesdays 11-12 (email to book in) – and you’ll have access to six CYO Video Studios on four campuses.

  • Mt Gravatt M08 2.202
  • Southbank S03 2.31
  • Gold Coast G14 2.19
  • Gold Coast G42 4.04
  • Nathan N53 0.34
  • Nathan N55 2.04

They even provide you with support resources for preparing, presenting, using the studio, and trimming your media. Video resources for learning and teaching are invaluable, so start refining your skills and book into the CYO Video Studio.

What’s new with Lecture Capture?

Lecture Theatre

You may have noticed a recent switch between the old system for recording lectures – EchoCentre, to the new system – Echo360 (Active Learning Platform).

The Echo360 (Active Learning Platform) is now live at Griffith University, and all new Lecture Capture recordings henceforth will be uploaded to the Echo360 (Active Learning Platform).

Recordings that were in the previous version of the software, accessed via the EchoCenter, will remain available to students as per the Data Retention policy.   

Why are we telling you this? Well, it’s pretty important. If your Trimester 3 2017 course uses the lecture capture service, you will need to update your Learning@Griffith course site by adding and configuring an Echo360 link. This is necessary to allow your students (and yourself!) access to recordings. This link is also where you’ll head to view future recording schedules, as well as access other functions.

If you use Personal Capture to create videos from your computer, don’t forget to update your Personal Capture software as the previous version cannot upload recordings to the new Echo360 (Active Learning Platform) service.  

The new Echo360 (Active Learning Platform) provides opportunities for you to present content in new, more interactive ways, using presentation tools such as activity slides

Now, don’t fret, the process of recording lectures will continue unchanged. However your students will have access to a few new tools, including functions to take notes and bookmark key locations in recorded lectures

In addition, instructors will have access to an Analytics tool which will allow you to get a sense of how students are utilising the Lecture Capture service in your course.

If you’re after further information, the Echo360 – Active Learning Platform project website has links to all the information you need to know about ensuring that your recorded presentations run smoothly. You can also check out videos describing the new environment and functionality.

Feedback of any kind is welcome at the project email address

The benefits of Open Access: join the discussion

Have you heard of Open Access Week?

If so, you already know how marvellous this initiative it. However, if you haven’t, it’s time to get schooled!  Open Access Week is an opportunity for you to learn about the potential benefits of open access, share what you’ve learned with colleagues, and to help to make open access a new norm in scholarship and research.

Of course, you want to know more. To celebrate Open Access Week, Griffith Library is hosting a panel discussion. It will focus on the 2017 theme, “Open in order to…”

Now, if you’re thinking ‘in order to what?’, then you obviously have to come along – as we’ve prepared a panel of experts to answer this question for you.

They’ll discuss their experience in open research, explore what tangible actions Griffith academics and HDR candidates can take to enhance their research and deliver social dividends, and examine how we can balance this with our research performance in ranking schemas.

You’ll also be invited to join the discussion too, as we want to hear your views and insight (hey, Griffith hired you for more than just your good looks!).

Thursday 26 October 2017  |  11:00am – 12:30pm

Refreshments to follow

Environment 1 (N55), Lecture Theatre 0.06, Nathan Campus
Videoconference: Science Engineering and Architecture (G39), Room 4.27, Gold Coast campus
Videoconference: Webb Centre (S02), Room 7.16, South Bank campus

Register here. Registration is essential and will close on Tuesday 24 October 2017.

Check out the full event website for more information.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Remember to get involved in the conversation using #OAWeek.



More events to celebrate Open Access week. 

Other universities are jumping on board to celebrate too. We’ve listed some below but you can check out all the events on the Open Access website.

Open Educational Resources: Open in order to… transform education

  • Wednesday 25 October 2017, 8:15am – 10:00am
  • The Terrace Room, Level 6, Sir Llew Edwards Building (Bldg 14), UQ, St Lucia
  • Register now

Open Access Week 2017 webinar presented by SPARC’s Heather Joseph

The Power of Open: International policy and practice

  • Friday 27 October 2017, 10am – 11:30am
  • Z-1064 (The Gibson Room), QUT, Gardens Point
  • Register now

Be visible, be open: Strategic publishing for impact 

Interactive workshops for Griffith academics, HDR, researchers only

  • Register: Wednesday 25 October 2017, 1:00pm -2:30pm, Nathan campus
  • Register: Friday 27 October 2017, 11:00am – 12:30pm, Gold Coast campus