Library

20 March 2017

Access to General Collection at Matheson Library

Beginning Wednesday 22 March, the South stairwell and lifts in the Sir Louis Matheson Library will be closed to users to allow the builders to speed up the internal works in this area.

Users can access the General Collection via the rear stairs (East). These stairs are located behind the computer area to the left of the Library's temporary entrance on the lower ground floor. You can access the ground floor up to level 5 via these rear stairs.

Users with a disability may request Library staff assistance at the Information point to retrieve items from the General Collection.

The quiet study spaces in the General Collection will be affected by noisy works. Please find alternative quiet spaces in the Matheson Library, or at either Law or Hargrave-Andrew Libraries on the Clayton campus.

The South stairwell and lift works are expected to be completed between 29 March and 4 April. We will provide updates as works progress.

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Using academic resources - what and how

Most units you undertake at Monash will have a research component - usually in assessments, where you will be asked to support your work with academic resources. Knowing how and where to find such resources can be tricky, says Romney Adams, Subject librarian.


The good news is the Library has plenty of expertise in the area of academic resourcesand can work with you to build your research skills. Read on to discover tips that will make your journey into the world of academic research a little easier!

One thing that confuses a lot of students is understanding what an academic resource actually is. Most of us will have had no reason to look further than a textbook prior to studying at university - but you can’t just rely on your textbook for research! Articles in academic journals will often be the type of resource you’ll be looking for.

Some academic sources undergo a process known as peer review - you can find out more about the peer review process in this dino-tastic video, but essentially it means the article has been verified by independent experts in the field. Peer reviewed articles are sometimes known as ‘refereed’ articles.

Books can also be considered as academic sources. Most books you find in the Library will be considered ‘academic’ in the context of your discipline, but if you’re ever unsure, you can always ask a Librarian at the Research & Learning Point.

Okay, so you know what academic resources are...now you just need to find them! While the Library has far less physical items than it used to, we have an abundance of academic materials online - including journal articles and eBooks. We recommend using Search, the Library’s resource discovery tool, as a launching point for your research - this will give you a great overview of the literature that’s available, and you’ll be able to find plenty of materials to get you started. Once you’ve used Search, it’s best to then look at some subject-specific databases. These databases contain even more materials - many of which you won’t be able to find using Search! The Library has a Guide to databases that are particularly useful for your discipline. Of course, there’s nothing quite like getting hands-on and browsing the shelves - if you have the time - you never know what gem you may stumble across!

Getting used to searching for academic resources takes time, patience, and practice. If you feel frustrated, confused, or just want to make sure you’re on the right track, chat to a Librarian at your Library’s Research & Learning Point, or book into a workshop. Together, we’ll ensure you’re finding the right kind of sources for your assessments as quickly and easily as possible.


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Citing and referencing - a guide for teaching staff

Citing and referencing is an essential academic skill that students enrolled in your teaching unit may struggle with, says Librarian Louise Micallef. She outlines some ways the Library can help your students.

Despite the fact that they have undertaken research for school assignments, work or personal purposes, for most students, the university is often the first encounter they have with academic literature. The need to reference their work accurately according to a prescribed style can cause some anxiety, particularly as it affects overall marks.

At the Library, we are experts at citing and referencing and can help your students to understand and apply this crucial skill, which is required in assignments at university level to:
  • demonstrate the credibility of their ideas 
  • validate their work 
  • give due credit to the research of others, and
  • allow readers to locate the original sources used for ideas and evidence in an assignment.
In my experience as a subject librarian, some of the most common citing and referencing mistakes made by students are:
  • incorrect use of commas, italics and ampersands
  • spelling inconsistencies
  • overuse of direct quotes
  • incorrect use of ‘et al.’
  • wrong order of multiple citations in a single parenthesis
  • failure to include a DOI for journal articles if appropriate for the style
  • failure to list all cited sources in the reference list and to do so in accurate alphabetical order
  • general formatting errors such as spacing and use of hanging indents
  • inability to correctly identify the resource type they are dealing with.
Evidently, the protocols and intricacies of referencing are often overwhelming and quite daunting for some students. So where can  you direct your students so they can learn the principles of citing and referencing  and how to effectively and accurately apply it to their work? The Library has created a number of excellent resources and opportunities for students to develop these crucial academic skills.

Five ways the Library can help your students with citing and referencing

1. Library Guides – Citing and Referencing and EndNote

We create Library guides to pull together useful resources on a variety of research skills topics or subject areas all in the one place. The Citing and Referencing Library Guide  covers the full range of citing and referencing styles used at Monash. Students can learn about why, how and when to cite and reference for their next assignment or research paper there.

Similarly, EndNote is a very useful reference management software that stores and automatically creates citations, references and bibliographies for assignments in the required style. Of course, EndNote is not foolproof, so we recommend that students understand how citations and references are used in academic writing when using the program to ensure accuracy. For a comprehensive guide to using Endnote, including "how to use it"  tutorials, see our EndNote Library Guide

2. Demystifying Citing and Referencing - tutorial

The Library has also created an online, interactive citing and referencing tutorial which includes activities and short self-assessment quizzes. It has been designed to teach the principles of citing and referencing, and understand how to avoid plagiarising when integrating source material. This valuable tutorial takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

3. Research and Learning Point – drop-in sessions

Students can drop in for a 15 minute consultation with a Subject Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser at the Library. At a drop-in session students can get advice on research for their assignments, academic communication and study skills including citing and referencing.

There is no need for them to make an appointment and students are seen on a first come, first served basis. This service is offered between week two to twelve at all Monash libraries. See session times here.

4. Library program, resource or activity embedded in curriculum

We can work with you to design and teach a particular segment, class or resource as part of the academic curriculum for your unit, to ensure that students know the principles of citing and referencing and how to apply them for your assignments and projects.

Contact our specialist staff  to discuss further

5. One on one consultations (postgraduate students)

Librarians and learning skills advisers have specialist knowledge of resources and publishing in various subject disciplines. Postgraduate students are entitled to make individual appointments with their subject librarian and learning skills adviser at any stage of their research. We can provide you with specialist advice about citing and referencing for thesis or journal article submission.

Contact our specialist staff  to make an appointment.

So, if citing and referencing evokes a sense of dread in your students, help is always available from the Library both in person and online!





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17 March 2017

High tech and emerging company and industry information

The Library has recently subscribed to two specialist databases which expand your options when researching rapidly evolving companies and industries, says David Horne, Business and Economics Librarian. 


Need in-depth intelligence on global pharmaceuticals, or other high tech markets?

BCC Research provides detailed market research reports covering the range of high technology sectors, including but not limited to, biotechnology, advanced materials, energy, food and beverage, health care and pharmaceuticals.

Need to have up-to-date news and data on Uber and similar emerging companies?

CB Insights
closely tracks emerging and evolving tech companies, including their performance, financing, industry trends and competitors. Once you have registered and accessed CB Insights, click the toolbar Help and view: “What can I do with CB Insights?” for a useful introduction.

The specialist focus and content of these new subscriptions complements the Library's existing key company and industry information sources including: DatAnalysis Premium, IBIS World, MINT Global, Passport and MarketLine Advantage.

Access them via the Company and Industry library guide: or via the Databases A-Z menu from the Library home page.

Can’t find the data you need? Consult your library’s Research & Learning Point or local Faculty Team librarian





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15 March 2017

Digital exhibition simulates medieval Angkor Wat

A dynamic simulation that shows how the metropolis of Angkor Wat in Cambodia might have operated in the 12th century is to be displayed at the Hargrave-Andrew Library from 16 March.


The project from the Faculty of Information Technology’s (FIT) sensiLab draws upon a wide range of archaeological and historical data and uses an immersive, 3D visualisation to test how historical assumptions about Angkor can be made more precise.

The FIT team coordinated by Tom Chandler includes 3D animators Brent McKee and Chandara Ung, games designers and programmers Mike Yeates, Elliott Wilson and Kingsley Stephens and archaeological advisors Martin Polkinghorne and Roland Fletcher.

Constructed by King Suryavarman II (1113 – 1150), the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia is a world famous heritage site and the largest religious monument on earth. In 2013, LiDAR archaeological surveys confirmed a grid pattern of roads and household ponds, suggesting a regular layout of dispersed and substantial wooden dwellings.

In the simulation, the paths of thousands of animated ‘agents’ are tracked as they enter, exit and circulate within the temple enclosure over 24 hours. The detailed virtual world depicted in the simulation follows the pace of daily life in a tropical, preindustrial urban centre from dawn through to nightfall.

Hear about the technology behind the exhibition from Tom Chandler, at a “Meet the researcher” event. Light refreshments will be served. No RSVP required.

Date: Thursday 16 March at 1pm

Venue: Hargrave-Andrew Library, 13 College Walk, Clayton Campus

“Simulating 24 Hours at medieval Angkor Wat” will be on show until the end of semester two, 2017.













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Your literature review - getting it done

Do you feel as if your literature review has a life of its own and you don't always know what it's up to? Anne Melles, a Subject Librarian and PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education, shares some of the insights she has gained (and is still gaining) from her experience of writing a literature review.



Writing a literature review is a bit like working with multiple pots on a stove that all need attention at the same time. Now, I know that there are too many analogies about the literature review out there, but I’m sharing this one as I found the concept useful when writing the literature review for my confirmation document, which I’ve just submitted. So, keep reading - you also might find it useful!

The idea of pots on a stovetop refers to the way that a literature review develops over time. This means that:
  • you don’t sit down and start writing the review at the beginning and work until you get to the end 
  • the review is a work in progress on multiple fronts (or a war on multiple fronts if you’re having a bad day!) 
  • the different sections of the review all speak to each other and so sometimes where your thinking ends up in one section means that things have to be rewritten in another section. 
Some sources that I had thought were significant at the beginning of my writing later turned out to be less important. I also found that I wrote about some sources with a completely different emphasis. This can sometimes be stressful and it may feel as if you’re trying to get your head around too many things at one time.

However, getting your literature review organised is a slow process. It helps to acknowledge and embrace the messiness of the whole business. Don’t try taming one section and then moving on to the next. Try to encourage conversations between the different parts of the literature review, and also between them and your research questions.

There are different ways of doing this. Sometimes when I found myself in a dead end in one section, I left it and looked at another section. I also found that drawing mind maps helped me get outside the writing and see a bigger picture. Looking back on previous mind maps also gave me an idea of the ways in which my thinking had changed. It also showed me how sometimes I’d just gone on a long wander in the literature wilderness only to end back at an idea I’d had months ago. This isn’t as bad as it sounds as I often found that I was then able to develop this more extensively and with more conviction.

So when it feels as if your pots are going to boil over or burn their contents, take a break: turn the elements on the stovetop off and try a different approach!


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13 March 2017

Stay ahead with Research and Learning Online

Want to get the best marks for your assignments? Worried you might not know how to write an academic essay or a lab report? Never fear! Check the tips in this article.



At Monash, you are independently managing your own learning. Arm yourself early on with the necessary skills to achieve your learning goals by using our online modules. Designed to help you keep on top of your studies, the modules have strategies, advice and examples of writing in subject areas.

Our learning skills advisers and librarians have been hard at work creating tutorials, guides and activities for the Research and Learning Online (RLO) website, providing you with the tools you need to stay ahead of the game.

These RLO e-learning materials cover effective study strategies including note taking in lectures, reading critically, and how best to tackle your labs to get the most out of them. There’s advice on brainstorming for assignments, thinking critically, communicating clearly and which citing and referencing method you’ll need. They also have heaps of tips on how to write academically, manage your time, and approach your exams with confidence.

See? We’ve got you covered.

Stuck on that BusEco essay? No worries! There’s a sample assignment for that for you to refer to, with lecturer’s comments and activities to enhance your understanding. There are guides for whichever field you’re in, with detailed instructions and advice.

For research and postgraduate students, there’s plenty of information about how to manage your research process, the trick to writing a great proposal, navigating copyright and demystifying the peer review process.

And the best part? It’s totally free, and accessible by you around the clock! Just visit monash.edu/rlo and find the help you need. Don’t forget that if you have any questions about your assignment or need some clarification, our learning skills advisers and librarians are available at our drop-in sessions.



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9 March 2017

Looking for advice on English grammar?

Are you looking for advice on English grammar for your assignments? Then come to a drop-in session with a Peer Support facilitator from English Connect!




Beginning week 3 of semester, these Peer Support sessions will be conveniently available alongside the Library’s Research and Learning point in the  Matheson, Hargrave-Andrew, and Caulfield libraries. This arrangement has been in place at Peninsula Library since 2016.


This means that you can drop in at the Research and Learning point for professional advice from Library staff on your research, citing and referencing and assignments, then visit the Peer Support table for all your grammar questions. Please note that neither the Library nor Peer Support offer proofreading services.


In the free 20 minute Peer Support session you can speak to a trained student-facilitator one-on-one. If you bring along one or two paragraphs of the assignment or essay you’re working on, you’ll be able to read through them together to get advice about your English grammar. You will also get tips and resources to help you in the future.


Drop-in sessions are available at the following times:
  • Matheson Library Monday to Friday: 11am to 3pm
  • Hargrave-Andrew Library (HAL) Monday and Wednesday: 11am to 3pm
  • Caulfield Library Monday to Thursday: 11am to 3pm
  • Peninsula Library Tuesday and Thursday: 1pm to 3pm

Visit the Peer Support website for more information.

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6 March 2017

New online lectures for 2017

Not only are lecture recordings easier to access now, the change to Learning Capture means you can do a lot more to participate in discussions, take notes, create your personal study guide and more. It's about your learning, not just the recording.


From 2017, online lectures are available to students through Moodle. Previously, online lectures were available through the Library website.

The new Learning Capture system is a more exciting system as it lets you view a class online while it is being conducted, and allows you to participate, take notes and bookmarks, and contact your lecturer.

By visiting the Learning Capture Getting started site you can find out how to:
  • Use the Dashboard
  • View classroom lectures and answer questions during class
  • Take notes on the material and bookmark locations to return to later
  • Participate in after-class discussions and Question and Answer forums
  • Review your class Study Guide, including your notes and bookmarks.
Lectures may be broadcast live, so that you can view the lecture from elsewhere and participate as if you were in the room. If it is a live broadcast, there will be a green icon.

Later, after a class is over, you can still participate in activities like Question and Answer forums and sharing materials with other students as well as downloading the lecture, notes, and other content, and maintaining your own personal study guide.

On the “all classes” list you will see earlier lectures and materials your instructor has posted for you to read for upcoming classes.

To download a lecture you have missed: 
  • go to your unit page in Moodle
  • click on “Learning Capture” 
  • select 'all classes' for your unit
  • click the class you wish to download
  • click on the video icon and selecting 'download original'. 
Please note, you will not be able to download a lecture if your lecturer has disabled downloads for your unit. If he or she has, the Learning Capture link will be “greyed out”. If this is the case, check with your lecturer whether online lectures will be available in the future.

Please check the Learning Capture help site if you have trouble downloading your lecture or using the features of the new system.



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Borrowing basics


Now that you’ve been to your first week of classes, you may be thinking about how to find a copy of your textbook for those pre-tutorial readings, or even for your first assignment. In this article, Clinton Bell takes you through the process of borrowing your first book from the library!



The refurbished libraries have new loans machines

How do I find the book I want?

Start by finding it in Library Search! You can get to it via the Library tile in your my.monash portal, or use the search box halfway down the library homepage. You can find most books just by typing in the title and the surname of one of the authors.

When you find a record for the book you want, there will be a “Get it” or “View it” tab underneath it. The “View it” tab will give you a link to an electronic copy of the book, if we have one. The “Get it” tab shows you how many physical copies we have, whether they’re available, and which library collection they’re in:



If the book you want is available at your campus, you can go and get it off the shelf. To find it you’ll need the call number, which is also shown on the “Get it” tab. A call number is a bit like the number in a street address - it tells you how far along the shelves your book will be.

If the book you want is only available at a different campus or all the copies are on loan, you can place a request, and we’ll send the next available copy to the library where you want to pick it up. Make sure you’re logged in (there’s a “Sign in” button in the top right), and then you should see a “Request” button near the top of the “Get it” tab.

If you’re having trouble finding what you want, just ask the Library staff!


Okay, I found it. Now how do I borrow it?

You can borrow books using the self-check systems around the library. You need to scan your ID card, then slide the book into the cradle until the barcode on the front (not the back!) is under the scanner. The machine will go “thunk!” and the book’s title will be highlighted in green on the screen when it’s ready - it does take a second or two, so don’t pull it away too fast!

There are some items which won’t work with the self-check, for example because they’re too big, a weird shape, or they don’t have a barcode on the front. If you have one of these items, or you’re just having trouble with the machine, you can also borrow at the information point.

One of the books I want has a coloured sticker on it.   What does that mean?

If we expect a book to be in high demand, we may place limits on how long some copies can be borrowed, so that more people have a chance to read it. The stickers pictured above mark books which have these restrictions.

If a sticker has a year on it, the restriction only applies for that year, so don’t worry about stickers from 2016 or earlier!

More questions?


If you have more questions about borrowing, you can view detailed information on our website, read the FAQs on ask.monash, or ask our friendly staff in person. Happy borrowing!










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3 March 2017

First in family – A world of opportunities

If you are the first in your family to start at Monash University, you might feel you are embarking on the most thrilling and yet frightening journey of your life, says Roland Clements, Learning Skills Adviser. In this post he shares with you the ‘absolute essentials’ that will help you during your first year at university.



You may be the first in your family to have ever thought about going to university. Whatever inspired you to want to study, you are here, which is wonderful - so make the most of it because education and learning can be joyous!

Until the early part of the 20th century, people went for higher education because their subjects fascinated them. They were passionate about what they were studying and intensely curious about the world around them. You are such a person, so don’t be scared or have any reservations.

I’m not going to give you an Alice in Wonderland-style tour of fascinating facts and tricks on how to get the most out of your studies. Our Library offers you a wide range of resources and services which can help you in many of these areas, and they have online tutorials to help you with your study and assignments. What I can share with you are the ‘absolute essentials’ that will help ease the stress of your first year at university. If you have these on hand you won’t feel like a castaway on a desert island (remember Tom Hanks and Mr. Wilson!).

Here are a few essentials you will need for your survival at university at the start of the year. 

1. Campus maps and Library opening hours - Good to have if you need to visit other libraries - Monash students can visit any of our branches.

2. Your Library - Get to know your Library and what it offers: computers, printers, photocopiers, physical items (such as books and DVDs), and online eResources (such as databases and academic journals). The Library staff are always here to work with you through any queries you have, no matter how trivial or complex.

3. Librarians and Learning Skills Advisers - They can work with you to build a number of skills that will be useful both during your time at Monash, and beyond! Librarians have expertise in selecting appropriate databases, searching for academic resources, evaluating sources and citing and referencing. Learning Skills Advisers can build your skills in understanding assignment tasks, structuring your work, academic writing, effective reading, and note taking.

4. Monash M-Pass -Your M-Pass is linked to an online account - you can use it to add credit, copy, print, and pay fines at the Library. You’ll also need it for exams as your student ID!

5. Your username and password - You’ll need this to log in to computers, your my.monash, and to access electronic resources (such as databases) through Library Search.

Throughout the course of a regular day at university, you will meet students and lecturers from various corners of the globe who bring their educational knowledge and experience with them. You will learn to work with people from various disciplines and how to work as a team member. No matter what stage in life or circumstances you find yourself, remember that we are all human beings and always learning. So think about the events that brought you to Monash University and make the most of it - persistence and perseverance will lead to success!

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1 March 2017

Solve agricultural and environmental problems with scientific knowledge


Science librarians, David Smith-Chitty and Madeleine Bruwer, introduce this new resource in the fields of agriculture and applied life sciences.




CAB Abstracts is the leading database for applied life scientists performing research in animal health and production, biofuels, biosafety and bioterrorism, climate change and environmental sciences, ecotourism, invasive species and horticultural sciences and more. With a focus on solving problems on a globalised but local scale, CAB Abstracts is a tool to find practical solutions for issues in the applied life sciences.

CAB Abstracts is produced by CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International), an international non-profit organisation, with development and research projects around the world. The database has an international focus with publications from over 120 countries, including developing countries, and in 50 languages.

CAB Abstracts contains more than 8.3 million records from 1973 onwards and keeps increasing with over 360,000 new abstracts added each year. In addition, Monash University has access to 1.8 million records dating back to 1910 via CAB Abstracts Archive.

Build a sophisticated search using the CAB Thesaurus, which allows users to utilise specific terminology for all covered subjects (including plant, animal and microorganism names), across different languages (Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish equivalents are available for most English terms). Filter search results by organism descriptors based on terms used, timeframe, location, full text availability and publication type.

Register for a MyCABI account to save your search history and receive email alerts for your favourite searches. Organise your searching with the My Projects feature which will sort your searches and results into separate folders based around specific research topics and focuses.

To access the CAB Abstracts database select the CAB Direct online platform from our A-Z database listing.

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About the Blog

Welcome to the Monash University Library blog. Whether you are engaged in learning, teaching or research activities, the Library and its range of programs, activities and resources will contribute to your success. Here you will find useful information, ideas, tips and inspiration. Your comments on any of the articles are welcome.

If you believe that copyright material is available on this blog in such a way that infringes copyright, please contact our designated representative

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