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Swinburne Library News

From little things, big things grow. Read how it all began in George Swinburne's diary, digitised by the Swinburne Commons team and transcribed by enthusiastic volunteers. In this issue, it's all about online: our collections, our activities, our services. Our community is growing: we're growing too.

Profile - Tony Davies

Tony Davies Tony Davies works in acquisitions and resource management at Hawthorn campus library. His experience spans 25 years at Swinburne. His current position is Manager, Information Support Services.

There's been a rapid expansion of the Library's online collections in recent years. What’s driving these initiatives?

We're responding to our users' needs, it’s that simple. Many people rarely, if ever, visit the Library. They may be researchers travelling and working overseas, sessional teachers or students studying online through Swinburne Online (SOL) or Open Universities Australia (OUA). But it’s not just about off-campus staff and students – online resources are popular with everyone. They are browsing the Library on their mobile phones, laptops and iPads – we want to support that.

We've seen the popularity of online journals grow and grow since the mid-1990s. In 2006 67,000 full text articles were downloaded from ScienceDirect. Six years later that figure had grown to 316,000. We wanted to build on that with our online book collections. We offer online books from several vendors. EBL EBook Library offers the broadest subject scope. We have about 200,000 EBL titles available online through Search the Library and we’re approaching half a million online books overall.

We know our users want quality resources. We also know they want comfortable and spacious study space on campus. Developing a robust online book collection alongside our print collections means we can offer both.

Tell us about the paper, 'E books down under' that you'll deliver at the Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition Annual Conference in Charleston, South Carolina on 8 November.

EBL invited us to submit a proposal about our experiences with online books. I am presenting with my colleague Michelle Morgan, from the University of Western Australia (UWA). We’ll talk about online book collection activities at Swinburne and UWA, in particular the demand-driven acquisition model.

Australia's online book purchasing market is well established; we are considered a leader in this field. It’s a privilege to be invited, because in 2006 Swinburne Library was the first in the world to launch the EBL EBook Library to its users through the catalogue and let our users decide which online books we purchase. We’re proud to share what we’ve learned.

Crowdsourcing Swinburne's history: George Swinburne's diary

GeorgeSwin In 2012 the Library digitised George Swinburne's diary. Early this year the Library called on Swinburne staff to help transcribe its handwritten pages in their spare time, to make the diary easier to read and the text searchable.

Written between 1882 and 1886, the diary starts on George's 21st birthday in Newcastle-on-Tyne. It covers his voyage from England to Australia on board SS 'Shannon' and includes descriptions of life on board, visits to ports en route and his first sightings of Australia. The project was a success, attracting around 20 volunteers who each transcribed a page (or more) of the 130 page diary.

The project used a wiki-based collaborative approach to transcribe the handwritten diary. This allowed volunteers to discuss the pages they were working on, including any difficulties they had with the transcription process. To retain the diary’s original character, volunteers were asked not to correct spelling or abbreviations.

In fewer than two months, the diary was fully transcribed and the text searchable. Read the transcript here. Would you like to be involved in future collaborative projects? Contact:

Transforming learning online: e-moderating and the Library

JaneODonnellOver a decade ago, Swinburne's Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning Transformations), Professor Gilly Salmon published a book, E-Moderating: the key to online learning and teaching The book helped online teachers ('e-moderators') develop and teach courses online.

Soon after Professor Salmon began offering courses that allowed teachers in the online environment gain experience, developing and conducting courses using a practical five stage model.  Swinburne offers its own e-moderating courses through Learning Transformations.

The Library is a crucial part of the e-moderating mix. Jane O’Donnell, Liaison Librarian for the Faculty of Business and Enterprise, agrees.
"We can help academic staff identify relevant, scholarly online resources that engage students," says Jane. "We can also assist staff with any technical issues they may have embedding resources into online courses. We can provide copyright advice or refer staff to the Copyright Office." Academic staff appreciate this level of support. “Finding the right resource is time consuming," said one. "The Library comes into its own when you need something scholarly and verifiable."

Last year Jane participated in a Carpe Diem course for an online business unit, Writing Support for Higher Degree by Research Students. The unit piloted this year. “Using the EndNote Web online tutorials I was able to build e-tivities (online activities) around them for an intensive, embedded week of the unit. When the course piloted I was a guest e-moderator for the module on referencing and EndNote.”

A one-stop shop: the Subject Materials Service

Typinghand"Wonderful." "Brilliant." "Fabulous." "Your help is much appreciated." Glowing reviews like these pack the email archives of the Library’s Subject Materials Service staff. "We lessen the burden on academic staff and they really appreciate it," says Lynlee Rutherford, Manager, Lending and Media Services at Hawthorn campus library. The service makes readings available to students in Blackboard and through the Library website.

"We're a one-stop shop" says Lynlee. "We check reading lists, find material and ensure copyright regulations are followed. We email academic staff links to book chapters and journal articles they can paste into their Blackboard units."

The service is popular – records show that staff have scanned or linked to almost 500 articles and book chapters up until August this year. Quality and usability is a priority. Book chapters are scanned with care – by single page – to ensure easy reading on mobile phones, iPads and laptops.

The service makes life easier for students. 'Deep links' in Blackboard that lead directly to the journal article or online book chapter reduce students' navigation time. And readings are available both on and off campus.

Are you a staff member interested in the Subject Materials Service? Contact the team at:

Making open access happen: Swinburne Online Journals

CIBGjnl The Faculty of Business and Enterprise launched a new open access journal last month. The Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government is the latest journal to publish with support from the Swinburne Online Journals service.

The service provides publishing support to Swinburne faculties and research centres who publish online open access journals. It provides hosting software and assists journal editors with the management of all stages in the issue creation process, from author submission through to publication. The Library provides technical support and advice, while editors look after the peer-review and editorial stages.

The journal, once subscription only, now open access is cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed. It aims to advance understanding of cutting edge issues in theory and practice that inform business decision making and/or government policy. The latest volume is a special issue on leadership.

Are you interested in starting up an online journal? Do you need more information? Contact the experts: Nyssa Parkes or Rebecca Parker

Reinventing online support: Swinburne Online

SwinburneOnline How do you provide research materials for 6000 students who never visit the Library? It’s an everyday challenge for Library staff supporting students studying through Swinburne Online (SOL).

Susan Roberts, Online Education Liaison Librarian, liaises with academic staff and learning technologists to source research materials for SOL students. "SOL provides all required material, including any prescribed texts," she says. "Students receive an access code to an online version of their textbook; they benefit from having access to their text right from the start of the teaching period."

All readings are linked from Blackboard at the point when the students need to read them. They include: scanned book chapters, compilations from textbooks or articles linked from Library databases links to websites or online reports, YouTube clips or streamed content. The Library's Subject Materials Service plays a central role, making scanned material available and readable on mobile phones, laptops and iPads. To assist students with referencing, each reading includes a cover sheet with complete bibliographic details.

The researcher's best friend: Swinburne Research Bank

ResearchBnkResearchers, do you know what the Library can do for you? Submit details of your work to Swinburne Research Bank and get a citation for each of your publications across your career (before and after arriving at Swinburne). Your research will be easy to find, manage and link to. Where copyright permits, Swinburne Research Bank will also make the full text of a publication available.

Swinburne Research Bank is the researcher’s best friend: research made available on open access is often more frequently cited than research published only through traditional scholarly media. Swinburne content is harvested by Google and other search engines, so scholars everywhere can discover your work without ever knowing about Swinburne Research Bank.

Have you recently published research? Contact Swinburne Research Bank at: Want to know more? Read the Swinburne Research Bank newsletter or browse the Library’s Research page.

From our Director

TeulaMorganTime flies. When I joined Swinburne Library in 2003 we were branching into the new world of online books. Now we’re approaching half a million titles, all accessible from the homepage. And that’s on top of the streaming video and thousands of online journal articles and conference papers already there.

Swinburne Research Bank launched in 2008. The database grew and grew. It is now a robust open access collection with 32,913 items and almost 30 per cent full text content. Add Swinburne Image Bank, the Commons and the Subject Materials Service to the mix and you’ve got research and teaching support across all formats, literally, at your fingertips.

We couldn’t bring it to you without the efforts of our staff. The work they do developing collections and liaising with faculties, teachers and researchers, is celebrated here.

Teula Morgan

Director, Information Resources Group


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