Become a book in our Human Library!

Calling all staff and students with an interesting life story to tell!

The Griffith University library is gearing up for its second annual Human Library event on 21 March 2018 and we want you!

If you missed last year’s Human Library, you might be wondering… what exactly is a Human Library? Human Libraries are part of a global movement to break down social barriers, and challenge prejudice and stereotypes through conversation. We believe we can help spark social change through encouraging positive conversations with people who may not ordinarily have the opportunity to speak with each other.

How does the Human Library work?

In a Human Library, readers borrow people instead of books. If you sign up as a human book in our Griffith University Human Library, you can expect to be loaned out up to three times during the two-hour event. The loan period is for approximately 20 minutes, giving you enough time to share your story, answer questions from your borrower and engage in positive and real conversation.

We will provide a safe, conversational space for our books and readers with the aim to create a positive experience for all involved.

Who can be a human book?

Human books are often people who have faced discrimination and prejudice in their life as a result of occupation, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, cultural background, health, social status, lifestyle or disability.

Our selection of books in last year’s Human Library included a homeless person, a refugee, an adopted person, a widow, a Muslim woman, a Muslim man / prisoner of war, a lesbian, a gay male, a Maori, an Indigenous person, a woman in IT, a veteran and assistance dog, an author, a person with tattoos and a person with dreadlocks. 

How do I register as a human book?

If you are willing to give people insight into your life with stigma, discrimination or prejudice in the hope to create a more tolerant and understanding community, we’d love to hear from you!

Register your interest via our online form now. Feel free to contact Renee Wilson or Brigitte Braddock at for more information.

Want to see a Human Library in action?

The 2017 Griffith University Human Library was a huge success with 20 human books loaned out to borrowers. Check out our wrap-up of last year’s Human Library event.

New features with ClinicalKey Health Database

Do you use Elsevier’s ClinicalKey Health Database for research?

It’s a fantastic resource to find information on conditions, procedures, drugs and more. However, just like Griffith University is committed to continually developing and growing, so is Elsevier.

In January 2018 new features were added to the ClinicalKey Health Database, however users will need to register for a personal account in order to access these features. They include:

  • Download full-text books or book chapters in PDF.
  • Access your Search History.
  • Access Saved Searches.
  • Access Saved Content.
  • Access ClinicalKey remotely.
  • Use the Mobile App.

Please note that users are not required to register, they only need to register to access the abovementioned features.

Now, you may notice some small changes when you go to use ClinicalKey.  Specifically, if someone goes to download or print out a PDF (book chapter), a pop up box (see below) appears that will inform the user that they need to log in or register for a free account from your institutional subscription. Simply follow the steps outlined, and you’re good to download!

Read the rest of this entry »

Dimensions: The next generation of information discovery

Have you heard of Dimensions? No, not like the dimensions of your bedroom or lego blocks.

Dimensions is a new discovery and analytics platform for researchers.

The research landscape has significantly evolved over the past decade, however the ways impact is measured and the channels for discovery have remained relatively static. Dimensions has been developed to address this disconnect.

Product development began in 2017, when a group of Digital Science portfolio companies partnered with over 100 leading research organisations around the world–including Griffith University.

Together, they developed a next-generation discovery and analytics platform that combines data from across the research lifecycle. This platform breaks down information barriers, ultimately making it easier for researchers and research organisations to discover, access, analyse, report and inform.

This infographic gives an overview of Dimensions and how it was built.

Dimensions was launched at the Wellcome Trust in London on Monday 15 January 2018, and is already gaining positive press coverage, including through various academic and research news platforms such as Digital Science, Inside Higher Ed and STM News.

However, the launch is just a starting point. Over the coming weeks more features will be released, and data will be continually improved and broadened.

Dimensions is structured in a way that means it will be improved in a continuous process with the research community as key stakeholders–because a vendor can and should not do this in isolation.

Take a look at Dimensions for yourself–you can access the Dimensions website or the Dimensions app directly.

Griffith Library is proud to be a development partner in an initiative that Dimensions has as its core value a broad cooperative approach to providing ‘… a more collaborative place for scholarly search, one that is closer to the academic environment than the current client-supplier environment.’

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.

New year, new Griffith App

We love our smartphones, our students love their smartphones, and we’re sure you love your smartphones too (most of the time…)

Well, possibly not when your students are preoccupied texting rather than listening to your awesome lecture… But the rest of the time, right?

However, they can also be pretty handy for your students – just get them to download the Griffith App, and they can have Griffith in the palm of their hands (quite literally, with their smartphones!).

A new and improved Griffith App is was released in January for iOS and Android. It includes improved design and stability, enhanced navigation, and improved Single Sign-On.

With features such as campus maps, myGriffith, Learning@Griffith (via the Blackboard app), email and PebblePad there should be no more excuses for students arriving 15 minutes late after getting lost, or missing that last-minute room change notice.

With the Griffith App you can even customise the navigation to favourites – so if you are new to Griffith or simply super prone to getting lost, you may like to download the app too and stick campus maps up the very top!

The Griffith App is free and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play

Trimester 1 orientation activities for your students

While you’re preparing to start a new year of trimesters and teaching, we have a new influx of students preparing to start the university experience.

To help, the library is offering a range of orientation activities to ease their transition into uni-life. These include:

Earlybird workshops

We are running workshops across all campuses on:

  • Writing university assignments
  • Getting started on an ePortfolio with PebblePad
  • Researching and referencing for your assignments

Orientation tours

These 15 minute tours run throughout O Week at each Griffith library and give students an opportunity to see what’s where and how it all works. We also have online virtual tours for students who miss the on-campus library tours.

Market days

You’ll find our Griffith Library team at each campus Market Day, ready and willing to share everything we know about Library and IT at Griffith. We’ll be able to help students:

  • Set up their Wi Fi
  • Navigate the Griffith Uni app
  • Access workshops to get uni-ready

Find out more information on the Library’s orientation activities at the Library Orientation webpage.