Library

Showing posts with label databases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label databases. Show all posts

19 September 2017

Broaden your research with grey literature


The internet has had a significant impact on the way that information is disseminated and used, allowing researchers to search more broadly than the formal, published academic sources to further their research. Tracey Whyte, a subject librarian, writes about how you can access 'grey literature' and incorporate it into your research

What kind of literature is considered grey?


Grey (or gray) literature “deals with the production, distribution, and access to multiple document types produced on all levels of government, academic, and business organisations in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body” [1].  This form of literature covers a whole range of formats including government reports, theses, bibliographies, case studies, conference papers, databases, legislation, interviews, patents, podcasts, posters, research proposals, standards, statistics, and clinical trials [2].    


Searching the grey way: How to find grey literature


Use a sound, thorough search strategy and refer to the Library’s developing a search strategy online tutorial for more advice about this. We recommend that you search Library databases for grey literature before searching government websites and search engines to retrieve grey resources.


Traditional Library databases and Search, the Library’s discovery tool, will retrieve grey resources including statistics, legislation, conference proceedings, theses, reviews,  as well as government documents from a range of disciplines both within Australia and internationally. 

Some databases like the National Library’s catalogue, Trove, will also retrieve sources from other Libraries outside of Monash that Monash staff and post-graduates can request. A comprehensive list of Library databases to search for grey resources follows this article.


How to evaluate grey literature?


There are many frameworks that can assist with evaluating information. Jess Tyndall, an academic at Flinders University and grey literature expert has created one such framework called the AACODS checklist, to appraise grey literature [3]. AACODS stands for:


Appraise
Authority
Accuracy
Coverage
Objectivity
Date
Significance.  

Library staff have created the resource Academic searching on the Internet to guide searching and evaluating internet sources. This resource provides information about why you might use the internet for research, effective ways to search, evaluation tips and ways to manage internet sources.

Library staff have also created Google tips links in Library guides to provide advice about searching search engines.


Sources of grey literature

The following Library databases, listed in no particular order, search grey literature beyond the capabilities of a Google search. 

ABS
APO (Analysis and Policy Observatory)
Trove: National Library of Australia’s catalogue
Cinahl
PsycINFO
Social services abstracts
Sportdiscus
SPIE digital library
Global health
Business source complete
Pandora
Open grey
Web of Science
Scopus
Sociological Abstracts
Ageline
Australian Indigenous Healthinfonet
Proquest dissertations and theses
Cochrane Central register of controlled trials
Dart-Europe
Informit


References

[1] GL ’99 conference Program. Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature: New Frontiers in Grey Literature. Grey Net, Grey Literature Network Service. Washington D.C. SA, 4-5 October 1999.

[2] GreyNet International. (n.d). GreyNet International 1992-2017. Retrieved from                

[3]  Tyndall, J. (2010) Aacods checklist. Retrieved from http://dspace.flinders.edu.au/jspui/bitstream/2328/3326/4/AACODS_Checklist.pdf


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13 September 2017

Knovel for engineering research

When researching projects, engineering students and researchers can be confronted with a deluge of information which may often be irrelevant. Subject Librarian Nhan Le writes about how students can use Knovel, an engineering database, to narrow their searches and enhance their research.



Knovel is an engineering database that provides a platform for e-books and gives searchable online access to books, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and technical reference books. The database provides access to material from leading publishers and professional societies like AIAA, AIChE, ASME, IEEENACE, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill, Earthscan, and Wiley. It is used by industry professionals as well as academics and can provide research material for the following fields:
  • Aerospace and radar technology
  • Earth sciences
  • Chemistry and chemical engineering
  • Electrical and power engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Mechanics and mechanical engineering
  • Environment and environmental engineering
  • Sustainable energy and development
  • Transportation engineering
  • Biochemistry, biology and biotechnology
The technical information available within Knovel covers materials properties, best practices, safety, corrosion and process improvement.


How to use Knovel

Users can perform keyword searching to locate search items in full-text documents and interactive tables. 

Search results can be refined by document types, for example, text sections, conference proceedings, interactive tables, and regulatory information. They are also ranked by relevance or date, and grouped by publication.

Data searching is a key strength of Knovel and allows you to find specific materials property information. Once found, search results can then be exported to another application (Microsoft Excel, HTML or ASCII Text). Citations can also be exported to EndNote.

How to access Knovel

Monash staff and students can access Knovel via the Monash databases page or via Search.

If you have any queries on using Knovel please get in touch with your contact librarians for Engineering.


Nhan Le is a subject librarian for Chemical, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. 

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7 September 2017

Resources for Korean Studies

Did you know that the largest university collection of Korean resources in the southern hemisphere is right here at Monash? Jung-Sim Kim, the Korean Studies librarian, tells us how to make use of this collection. 


The Korean resources at Monash consist of about 27,000 print items, over a thousand Korean multimedia items such as DVDs and more than a hundred sound recordings, as well as access to 15 Korean databases. Some of the electronic material in this collection has been partially funded by a grant from the Korea Foundation. 

Some of the Korean databases that you can access are:
  • KISS by the Korean Studies Information 한국학술정
  • DBpia by the Nurimedia 누리미디
  • RISS International by the Korea Education & Research Information Service 한국교육학술정보
  • Full-text databases by the National Library of Korea 국립중앙도서관
Korean databases are mainly in Korean interface, but some databases have interfaces in English or other languages.

Researchers or students who cannot read Korean can use various multi-discipline databases from the Databases and electronic resources guide to find articles related to Korea in other languages. For example, researchers can use the Web of Science platform to access the KCI-Korean Journal Database.

Researchers are also able to consult the Korean Studies Librarian, Jung-Sim Kim, who supports academics and students whose research areas are related to Korea.

HOW TO ACCESS THE KOREAN COLLECTION

  • Your first point of call is Library Search which will provide you with electronic and print resources relevant to the area you are researching.
  • You can also browse most of the Korean language print resources in the Asian Collections on Level 1 of the Sir Louis Matheson Library. 
  • If you wish to access electronic material you can visit the Korean databases  page at the Korean Studies Library Guide

NEED MORE HELP?

If you are unable to find a particular resource, use Document Delivery if you are eligible or ask the Korean Studies Librarian for help.

If you have any queries on Korean resources at Monash please contact the Korean Studies Librarian.



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28 August 2017

APA - referencing with style, especially for Education

Are you stressing with assignments? To get great marks it is also really important to cite works and reference them well, says Irene Guidotti.


One of the most used and required referencing styles is APA (American Psychological Association) 6th referencing style. At Monash it is also the preferred citing and referencing style for the Education Faculty. It is based on two parts that you have to learn and create: a reference list and in-text citations, but there are several little rules to follow, and when you are in a hurry they can be hard to remember.

Fortunately, the Library is here to help you and offers a wide range of resources to help students (but also staff!) in producing the perfect reference in APA style.

A wonderful - and authoritative - tool is APA Style Central platform, a learning answer for scholars, that also includes videos and a comprehensive range of tools you can use whether you are just getting started or more experienced. The following are just some of them:
  • quick guides to remember APA style rules easily (e.g. use of colons, italics and how to create a reference list)
  • quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding
  • samples of references and papers essential to check how you are proceeding
  • templates to improve your citing and referencing and also to manage easily your references within your writing
  • search and browse thousands of journals (where a researcher could submit a finished paper)
The following additional Library resources will help answer any further queries you have with using APA style and applying it to your Monash assignments. Have a look below and good luck with your assignments!

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8 August 2017

'Secret files from World Wars to Cold War' database

Librarians Anna Rubinowski and Melanie Thorn let us in on a little known story from the Cold War era, as an example of what can be found by researchers using this database of secret files, available through the Library.


Attaching a dispatch on a carrier pigeon during the Cold War
On 14 August 1947, in the third meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Carrier Pigeons, held at the Ministry of Defence in London, Flight Lieutenant Walker informed the Committee that civilian member Captain Caiger had “invented a form of box, by means of which to launch pigeons from high speed aircraft, and that he had constructed a prototype”. The Committee, made up of representatives from various areas of the British Armed Forces, agreed that the Air Ministry should arrange trials of this prototype in consultation with M.I.5 and report back to the Committee.

The minutes of this top-secret meeting are part of the British government secret intelligence and foreign policy files available through Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War. Sourced from the U.K. National Archives, the database centres around the Permanent Under-secretary Department’s files documenting British intelligence activities from 1873 to 1951 and their influence on foreign policy. All files are full-text searchable and point to related content, making it easy to discover the fascinating stories that shaped world history in the 20th century.

Following the trail of the carrier pigeons, the files tell the story of the Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee that was formed in November 1945 in response to General Menzies’ top secret memo summarising the use of pigeons in WWI by both sides (including that pigeons on parachutes were dropped over enemy-occupied zones with questionnaires for patriots, and that Abweher pigeon lofts were ‘contaminated’ by English pigeons disguised as German pigeons) and identifying a need to continue this work. The Committee’s role was to collect and circulate information on the latest developments in the area and to ‘be responsible for research, experimental work, and the training facilities required by personnel of the Intelligence Services’.

During its existence the Committee supported the publication of the ‘Pigeon Racing Gazette’ (through Caiger) in order to foster international contacts, tried to encourage pigeon racing from East to West as opposed to South to North, and mused whether experiments involving human powers of water-divining and coloured pieces of cotton on the face of a compass might be of interest in connection with the different coloured liquids in the eyes of pigeons.

Sadly, the Committee was unceremoniously disbanded in May 1950 because ‘the active use of pigeons was no longer contemplated by any of the potential user Departments’.

Caiger went on to publish ‘The secret of the eye’.

The purchase of the database was made possible through the Ada Booth Benefaction.








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27 July 2017

Factiva news database, and Fairfax newspapers digital editions

Find out what is happening in Australia and internationally with Factiva and/or Fairfax Media writes David Horne, Subject Librarian for Business and Economics.


Factiva is is a database of over 30,000 international news sources, encompassing print, electronic media transcripts and free Web-based publications. Content is added daily. It is an invaluable tool for keeping up to date with current and business affairs in a particular part of the world, for investigating past events, or for studying the way news is reported.

Australian coverage includes not only the major city and national papers, such as The Australian and The Australian Financial Review, but regional and local newspapers.

Search results can be readily sorted by date, or filtered according to a range of criteria, including source, article author, company, industry, and region. The articles from print publications do not include images.

While the key content is news, Factiva also provides brief company and industry profiles and global financial market data.

Complementing Factiva, the Library can now provide daily access to the full digital versions of the Fairfax newspapers: The Age, The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald.  
Click the links below to access each Search record, click "View It" , then "Fairfax Newspapers".














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13 June 2017

Covidence - streamline your systematic review

Our medical librarians, Penny Presta and Anne Young, recommend that researchers doing a systematic review use a new online application called Covidence which  streamlines the process.


Systematic reviews are often associated with the field of medicine, where their use fosters evidence-based research and informs clinical decisions and treatments. Covidence is a web-based program designed to assist the article screening and data extraction processes of a systematic review.

Those with a good understanding of systematic review processes will find Covidence easy to navigate. It can be used by reviewers in a variety of disciplines including health, education and the social sciences and it is a recommended tool for Cochrane authors.

Access:

Covidence is now provided free for Monash researchers. Monash users can request access using their Monash email.

Key benefits:
  • Invite multiple reviewers to work on your review in real time
  • Seamlessly “import citations” from EndNote, or other reference manager tools
  • Record screening decisions and notes so disagreements can be easily resolved
  • Simply highlight and comment directly in your pdf to automatically populate your risk-of-bias tables
  • Use customisable data extraction forms
  • Integrate with RevMan for export of data files, tables and references. Data can also be exported to Excel or CSV.
Help:
All questions about Covidence can be directed to support@covidence.org, or by clicking the “?” icon directly from Covidence. 

The Covidence Knowledge Base contains a range of online videos and resources useful for those getting started.

To find out more about Systematic reviews read our Library blog article

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9 June 2017

How do I use document delivery?

The Monash University Library collection provides you with access to over four million items, but did you know that as a staff member, honours or postgraduate student you can access even more? Read on to find out about document delivery and interlibrary loans… by Catherine Hocking




Does this situation sound familiar?

You are searching your favourite database and come up with a list of amazing articles that are just perfect for your literature review - but wait, no full text coverage! Luckily our document delivery service has you covered.

What do I need to know?

Document delivery is a service for Monash staff, postgraduate and honours students allowing you to access the materials you need for your research, whether they be articles, conference papers, books, audiovisual and other materials.


You can request a copy or loan of items not held at a Monash branch library, or items that are missing from our collection. Copies of articles, chapters etc. from items that Monash only holds in print can also be supplied.

How do I use Document delivery?

The easiest way to request an article or paper is right at the point of discovery - when you are doing your database search. Many databases will have a ‘Check for full text’ button when an article is not available. Using this will first check other holdings in the Library’s Search (remember to Sign in!), and if still not available can link you through to a document delivery request form with the article details ready filled. Check that the article details have populated correctly then submit your request - simple as that!


You can also fill out a request manually so you don’t have to go through a database. Access the form through the Document delivery and interlibrary loans website, select your request type then enter as much information as you can.

How long will it take?

Most articles are supplied within 1 week, loans within 3 weeks. This can vary depending on where and how we are obtaining material. Our recent collaboration with international institutions means that many article requests with full citation details can be delivered within two working days.

Tip - the more information you can give us, the quicker we can supply your request. Including an ISSN (for journals) or ISBN (for books) is particularly helpful.

Copies will be delivered to you by email, physical items such as books are sent to your nominated Monash branch library for collection. Off-campus registered students and staff can have items sent to their home address or department location.

If you do require materials urgently, you should contact Document delivery staff to discuss your requirements.

Want to find out more? Check out our Document delivery library guide or website.



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18 May 2017

Library educational resources on Indigenous cultures and histories


The Library's resources can assist student teachers and others to gain a better understanding of Indigenous culture, says librarian Zachary Kendal.


School visit to the Aboriginal tent embassy Canberra*.
Australia’s Indigenous history goes back tens of thousands of years. In our schools, how do we best engage with the current and historical richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and stories? Imagine you’re a school teacher, weaving Indigenous cultures and histories into your teaching—what resources could you draw on?

Fortunately for our teachers-in-training and educational researchers, Monash University Library's wide range of resources can be used to engage with our Indigenous cultures.

Consider these streaming video resources:
  • Informit EduTV: Indigenous Studies – This collection within EduTV contains a huge range of documentaries and TV series on Australian Indigenous studies, including the ABC Kids shorts Grandpa Honeyant Storytime, the ABC series Black Comedy, and the new NITV current affairs series The Point.
  • Kanopy: Indigenous Studies – This collection brings together videos about indigenous populations around the world. It’s also worth looking at Kanopy’s AIATSIS Ethnographic Collection, which focuses on Australian Indigenous cultures and histories.
  • Monash Country Lines Archive – A collaboration between Monash University researchers, animators, and postgraduate students, this project creates stunning 3D animations to assist in the sharing and preservation of Indigenous knowledge and stories. Take a look at this “Winjara Wiganhanyin (Why We All Die)” animation, which retells a Taungurung creation story.
If you’re wanting to do more in-depth research into Indigenous cultures and histories, you could explore some of the scholarly databases available through the Library, including
You can also take a look at our Indigenous Cultures and Histories Library Guide which includes links to these and other useful resources.



Monash University Library is developing services and programs that focus on improving access, participation, retention and success for students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds. The social inclusion-related programs are being implemented across campuses. Contact Zachary Kendal or Roland Clements to find out more.


*Photo Craig Hodges 2010  CC BY 2.0

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16 May 2017

Celebrate IDAHOBIT with the Library

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia is Wednesday 17 May, and the Library is celebrating by putting together some of our best LGBTQIA resources, says subject librarian Carolyn Jones.


May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). It was created to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by the LGBTIQA community, and encourage the global community to stand together. In honour of this day, Monash University Diversity & Inclusion is hosting a range of events throughout the week, so check them out and get involved!

If you’d like to do some of your own research around IDAHOBIT, look no further than Monash University Library.

The Law Library at Clayton campus, as well as the Peninsula Library, will have several key related resources on display throughout the week. At Law we will be showcasing law-related resources relating to LGBTQIA cases and legislation history, and Peninsula will have education and health resources available to explore.

The Library’s LGBTQIA resources reach far and wide, from our amazing new database Archives of sexuality & gender: LGBTQ history and culture since 1940, which we added to the collection last year, to extensive collections of LGBTQIA film and documentary material in all of our streaming digital collections. You can (and should!) spend hours on Film Platform and Kanopy, as well as Alexander Street Press learning about the history and the vibrant variety, struggles, and celebrations of the LGBTQIA community worldwide.

We also have special access to the Visual History Archive, a database with thousands of hours of interviews with Holocaust survivors, including many targeted throughout and following WWII due to their sexuality or gender identity. The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals tells the story of those in concentration camps that were marked with a pink triangle. They were not allowed to go free when Nazi Germany fell, and many continued to be incarcerated for years.

The Monash book and ebook collections have a strong focus on gender and sexuality issues and history from across many fields of study. Here is just a sample:


Keen for a soundtrack as you read? Smithsonian Global Sound Archive has a wide variety of music from around the world, from the iconically bisexual David Bowie to trans artist Rae Spoon to music from yesteryear, like 1973’s What Did You Expect...?: Songs About the Experiences of Being Gay.

Our fantastic eJournal platform Browzine also has an extensive collection of international journals to browse through, including GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies and Transgender Studies Quarterly, offering some of the best in LGBTQIA academic research and writing today. The resources available through our Newspapers Library Guide can help you dive into the up-to-date and historical happenings on the LGBTQIA community across the globe. Whether you’re interested in decriminalisation, public perception, or more recent news around marriage equality and Safe Schools, we’ve got you covered!

And, to round out our fabulous Library finds for IDAHOBIT, check out the many vintage items held in our Rare Books Collection! The brand new Special Collections Reading Room at the nearly-finished Sir Louis Matheson Library is open to all staff, students, and the public.



Blatant Lesbianism
Elaine Alinta
1978













     



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24 April 2017

Researching organisms? Try BIOSIS Previews

Information about any animal, bird, organism or other form of life can be found in this database of journal articles from emerging and traditional areas of  biological science, says subject librarian Madeleine Bruwer.



Are you a life scientist researching organisms? 

BIOSIS Previews allows you to explore the entire field of life sciences by providing access to journal content from Biological Abstracts supplemented by Biological Abstract Reports, Reviews and Meetings. 

Our BIOSIS Previews coverage dates from 1926 to present, and includes the traditional areas of biological sciences, such as zoology, botany, microbiology, as well as emerging areas like drug discovery, gene therapy, biodiversity and biotechnology.

Searching for an organism using the taxonomic data field

Biosis Previews uses a relational indexing system, which provides hierarchical access to kingdom, family and common genus species names. Knowing how to best utilise the taxonomic structure of the database will assist in targeting your search to retrieve records with the required organism as the primary focus of the article.

Start by performing a topic search, listing as many variations as possible of the organism name, either the formal scientific name, Latin name or the common organism name.



Select a relevant result based on title information and scroll down past the abstract to the taxonomic data table.

The taxonomic data table displays the following categories: Super Taxa, Taxa Notes, Organism Classifier, Organism name and Variant. 


The Super Taxa field refers to broad categories of organisms, in this instance Mammalia, Marsupialia. The Taxa Notes supply the common names of broad groups of organisms, for example Marsupials, Mammals and more. The Organism Classifier provides the controlled term for the taxonomic rank of family as well as the five-digit Biosystematic Code for an organism. Organism name refers to the organism name as provided by the author and this will assist users unfamiliar with the taxonomic nomenclature to easily search for an organism. The Variant name is also captured if the article provides this information. Other details on the organism such as gender, its developmental stage and role may also be supplied.

Once you have a clearer picture of the appropriate terms to use, you would narrow your search by entering the organism name in the taxonomic data field.

The Super Taxa terms or Taxa Notes are useful for broadening a search. To broaden your search to include both kangaroos and wallabies, use the Organism Classifier term “Macropodia“.

BIOSIS Previews is listed our A-Z database list and is available through Web of Science. Select BIOSIS Previews from drop down list on Web of Science Core Collection home page.



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29 March 2017

New architectural database: Explore by building type


Birkhäuser Building Types Online is a whole new way of searching for information on building types and specific projects, writes Romany Manuell, Subject Librarian for Art, Design and Architecture.


If you're an architecture student or researcher, you're probably familiar with many of the Library's database subscriptions. You've probably used Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, and you certainly will have found articles using JSTOR. But have you tried Birkhäuser Building Types Online? This new database by the publisher De Gruyter has articles (just like those other databases) but also includes vector-based drawings, architectural plans, photographs and much more.

The main feature of Birkhäuser Building Types Online is that it allows you to explore by building type or morphological type, rather than just by keywords. If you're looking to browse office buildings, you'll find 67 of them currently listed - with more coming every day! If you choose to view a particular office building in the list, such as VPRO Villa by MVRDV, you’ll see site plans, professional photos of the exterior, and a brief description of the project.

However, if you were to search for the architectural practice MVRDV, you’ll see all the entries for individual projects (including VPRO Villa, Villa KBWW and Mirador Residential Complex). You’ll also find excerpts from books in the De Gruyter collection that mention the architectural practice. This will give you an excellent starting point for your research into building types and specific projects. Explore and enjoy!


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20 March 2017

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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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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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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13 February 2017

Track the evolution of legislation

Did you know we have Law databases that will help you research the history of legislation? Subject Librarian Caroline Knaggs says it's handy and really easy to use.


Are you researching the history of legislation? TimeBase databases will help you with you research. Just select the area you wish to research and the date(s) you are investigating, TimeBase will do the rest!

TimeBase has point-in-time services in Australian corporations, competition and consumer law, employment, GST, income tax and intellectual property law.

You can:

  • Create complete legislation pictures based on the date you are researching at any date - past, present or future
  • Access comprehensive, date-sensitive related materials linked at the relevant date
  • Instant comparison of versions of provisions as they were at different dates
  • Access version history of all sections, across all versions, irrespective of legislative instrument
  • Search for legislative material related to a problem occurring at a certain date - past or future.

TimeBase also produces LawOne, which gives comprehensive national legislation coverage in Australia. LawOne has over 65,000 legislative items, access to full text legislation across all nine jurisdictions. It includes amending, subordinate and repealed legislation, Bills, Explanatory Memoranda and Second Reading Speeches along with detailed legislative histories.

These databases can be accessed through Library Search, and our Databases A-Z pages.

To discover more resources to research legislation go to the Law Resources Library Guide.


Please contact Law Library staff if you would like more details or need help in using these databases.




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1 February 2017

Women’s Letters and Diaries databases

The two resources featured here provide a valuable way to see into the past, says Melanie Thorn, Subject Librarian. 



Mary Queen of Scots is one of hundreds of writers whose
experiences are published here. 
British and Irish women's letters and diaries: 1500 to 1950, and its companion North American women's letters and diaries: colonial to 1950 are databases that reveal the personal experiences of over 400 British and more than 1300 North American women from various historical eras.

For example, the American database includes the story of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, who enlisted in the confederate army as Harry T. Buford in the 1870s. She wrote of her experiences in battle and as a Confederate spy, and her arrest for ‘being a woman in disguise’. "There was, evidently, something suspicious and mysterious about me; and, suspicion having once been excited, some lynx-eyed detective was not long in noting certain feminine ways I had, and which even my long practice in figuring as a man had not enabled me to get rid of." [1] 

Not only does the story point out that women fought in the Civil War, but provides insight into cultural and social understandings of women and femininity.

Gerda Lerner, an American historian who was involved in the creation of the first graduate program in women’s history in the United States, was unimpressed at the lack of interest in the topic when she entered academia in the mid 1960s.  “In my courses, the teachers told me about a world in which ostensibly one-half the human race is doing everything significant and the other half doesn’t exist.” [2] This was replicated in terms of research, with Lerner noting that the number of historians interested in women's history “could have fitted into a telephone booth”. [3]

Thankfully this has changed, but primary sources written by women can still be difficult to find and this is what makes these databases so valuable.

The search tool in these databases is incredibly powerful and allows you to easily search for very specific content, for example, content written by widowed women who lived in New York city in the 1860s, or for women who were writing about a particular historical event, like the bombing of Pearl Harbour. A good example of the latter is the American, Natalie Stark Crouter, who was confined in a Japanese civilian camp in the Philippines with her businessman husband and their two children throughout World War II.

She writes,  "After the children left for school, we turned on the radio about 8:15 -- and heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor. While listening, we heard planes and went out as usual to see them. Almost over the house, quite high, came seventeen big bombers in formation. We could see them plainly and thought they were American. I remarked, "Well, we probably won't be standing here looking up at planes like this much longer. As they passed almost opposite the house, we heard a long ripping sound like the tearing of a giant sheet and saw an enormous burst of smoke and earth near officers' quarters at Camp John Hay -- the first bombing of the Philippines before our eyes." [4]

In addition to the raw material like this, the database also includes biographies of many of the authors, providing the context of people who would otherwise be little known in history.

The two Diaries and Letters databases are available through Library Search, and the Databases A-Z. Please contact your subject librarian if you would like more details or help in using the databases: Melanie Thorn (Clayton) or  Rod Rizzi (Caulfield).

To discover more primary source databases for history see the Primary Sources library guide.






[1] Loreta Velazquez, The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Valazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieut. Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army, (Hartford, CT: T. Belknap 1876) 278,  [accessed 10 January]

[2] William Grimes, ‘Gerda Lerner, a Feminist and Historian, dies at 92’, The New York Times, 3 January 2013 [accessed 16 January 2016], (para 4 of 24)

[3] Grimes, New York Times

[4]Natalie Stark Crouter, Forbidden Diary: A Record of Wartime Internment, (New York, NY: Burt Franklin & Co. 1980) , [accessed 10 January]

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23 January 2017

Statista – a new source of data

Subject Librarian David Horne tells us in this article about an online statistics portal that can provide very useful information for many areas of research.  



Statista is a portal for data relevant to business, economics, media and social topics, with international coverage. Its content, ease of use and range of output options make it a key Library resource to consult when seeking data for written assignments, presentations and lectures.

The data encompasses statistics, forecasts, industry reports, dossiers (topic overviews), studies, and infographics. Statista’s intuitive search interface provides easy sorting and filtering of results, and links to the information providers for a given search result.  An example of the kind of clear information Statista provides is given in the graph below showing the change in the number worldwide Internet users between 2006 and 2016.

Data can be customised using Statista’s style options, and exported in PNG, XLS, PDF or PPT formats. This allows easy inclusion of images and data from Statista in presentations and documents.

Access Statista from its record in Search, or from the Databases A-Z menu. http://guides.lib.monash.edu/subject-databases


Can’t find the data you need? Consult your library’s Research & Learning Point or local Faculty Team librarian. http://www.monash.edu/library/skills/contacts


An example of a Statista graph, available to Monash staff and students.






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2 December 2016

ASTM online standards collection

Hilary Luxford, subject librarian, explains how to use the ASTM online standards available through the Library's databases.


Standards in  materials are important in construction 
A range of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) publications is available to staff and students. After logging in through the Library’s ASTM Digital Library, users need to create their own profile to use these particular collections, ASTM standards through 'IHS Standards Expert' and a wide range of other ASTM publications through the 'Digital Library' interface.

About American Society for Testing and Materials

ASTM, began in 1898 and has become one of the largest standard bodies with offices worldwide, now known as ASTM International, written by experts for experts. ASTM standards and allied publications main users are from the engineering fields which include: aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, environmental, geological, health and safety, industrial, materials science, mechanical, nuclear, petroleum, soil science and solar engineering but also used by other STEM disciplines.

Why do we need standards?

“Standards are documents setting out specifications, procedures and guidelines”.  Forty percent of ASTM standards are updated annually, and now Monash staff and students can access the latest standards 24/7, anywhere from lab or home. Formerly, researchers had to visit the Library to consult individual volumes, which because of their value, could not be removed from the Library, copyright law would not allow users to scan or photocopy the entire standard.

Users are now able to access the active standards online, and download a copy for their research and study purposes.

Two different platforms

ASTM standards (1931 to present) can be searched also from the 'Digital Library' interface which has useful features for searching exclusive to this interface. If searching for standards for a particular area, where the title/number is unknown, the 'Digital Library' search interface may be more effective, but also a reconnection to 'IHS Standards Expert' will be required to access the full-text of the 'active' standards. One of the peculiarities of this platform is that to access ‘IHS Standards Expert’ will require you to log out, log in again and go to the ‘IHS Standards Expert’ heading in order to access the full text of the standards.

About the ASTM Digital Library

ASTM Digital Library is accessed by choosing ASTM Digital Library, then Digital Library after logging in and registering. ASTM Digital Library provides full text to a range of publications including:
  • eBooks and manuals
  • symposia papers, and peer reviewed papers known as 'Special Technical Papers' which address the latest research from which the standards are developed
  • journals
  • data series
  • bulletins containing technical papers
  • retrospective proceedings (1909-1965).
Hover the mouse over these publications to see a description of the publication.

In addition, the ASTM Digital Library interface searches but does not provide full-text to the ASTM standards, but the search features unique to this interface such as the ‘Refine the results’ options may be advantageous if the user wants to explore standards by combining one or more of the following :
  • category such as materials, properties, test methods and the like
  • technical committee – these specialise in areas such as ‘Corrosion of Metals’ that produced the information in the publications eg. Corrosion of Metals, Concrete and Concrete Aggregates
  • topic eg. consumer product safety and evaluation
  • industry sector, such as ‘building and construction’, ‘mining and mineral processing’
  • date range.
These same filters/options for refinement can be combined to search for the other publication types available on this interface as outlined previously.

In addition to the ‘Refine your results’ options outlined, these filters can be combined or searched separately with the search box located above labelled 'ASTM Compass'. This enables search functions such as search for keywords within a type of publication or you may choose the ‘Advanced Search’ to search within Titles, abstracts or the full text

The ‘Advanced Search’ is useful for searching for known elements of a particular publication eg. DOI, author details, which can be combine with keywords

Searching ASTM standards accessed from the ASTM IHS interface


Here you can locate and access the ASTM standards in full-text for ‘active’ standards. Retrospective standards can be searched on this interface, but only the record will be provided. A search option for a known standard, "ASTM C1582/C1582M-11 Standard Specification for Admixtures to Inhibit Chloride-Induced Corrosion of Reinforcing Steel in Concrete” could be simply searched by the prefix ‘ASTM C1582’ in the document number box. After locating the record, you can view the ‘Document Details’ tab where you can view ‘Document abstract’, Document history which shows the earlier and
current versions. The full-text of active standards can be accessed by scrolling down to the ‘Document History’ and clicking on the blue page icon , or alternatively choosing the ‘View Document’ tab at the top of the screen. To locate standards that reference or relate to your standard, eg., "ASTM C1582/C1582M-11”, choose the ‘Related Documents’ tab.

Also from the ‘IHS interface’ you can also search within titles, abstracts, and within the full-text, referred to as ‘All document text’. Another key feature of this interface is the ability to alert users to the when a particular standard has been updated, referred to as ‘Watch list’.

Getting help

Please contact your subject librarian if you would like any further details:
  • Ms Nhan Le, subject librarian for Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering. Email: Nhan.Le@monash.edu
  • Ms Hilary Luxford, subject librarian for Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Materials Engineering. Email: Hilary.Luxford@monash.edu
To find out more about standards resources at Library refer to the Standards guide.

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About the Blog

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