Return of the Doctor

QUT Caboolture Library All Rights Reserved Queensland University of Technology

QUT Caboolture Library All Rights Reserved Queensland University of Technology

There were bleary eyes on Sunday morning as the dedicated fans of ‘Doctor Who‘ set their alarms for the 4:50am (Australian EST) premiere of the much awaited 8th Season. There is a much anticipated new Time Lord in town – the 12th incarnation- and there has been much speculation and chatter as to how Peter Capaldi will fit the shoes left behind by the much loved Matt Smith.

A Dalek may, or may not, have been spotted in the QUT Library using the self check-out machine to borrow books and DVDs (see above) or perhaps it was a mere hallucination of the sleep deprived?

If you’re new to this ‘Doctor Who’ business here’s some quick facts for you:

  • The show chronicles the  adventures of the Doctor, a Time Lord—a time-travelling humanoid alien. The Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.
  • 2013 marked the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. The first episode aired Saturday 23rd November 1963
  • In 2005 after a 16 year absence from the BBC, Doctor Who was relaunched and became an instant success with over 10 million people watching the first episode.
  • A TARDIS is a time and space machine that the Doctor uses to gad about the Universe and travel through time. There’s not a student around who doesn’t wish they had access to one at some point, especially at exam time.

So, catch up on previous Seasons available through QUT Library and get hooked. You’ll be a Whovian in no time!

Writing great assignments


"Maze Starts Here" by Michael Coghlan (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“Maze Starts Here” by Michael Coghlan (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The secret to writing great assignments is all about how you begin and end the process. Take the time to plan and edit to make your writing clear, logical, relevant and … great!


  • Plan your time carefully so that you will have time to edit before the due date. Aim to write at least one draft. This will remove the pressure to write perfectly and you’ll build momentum.
  • Know what type of assignment you’re writing. Reports, essays, critiques, annotated bibliographies, etc. have different structures, tones and styles. Know the difference before you begin.


  • Break the assignment into chunks and divide the word count by the number of paragraphs you plan to write. Start writing whichever paragraph you like: there is no need to write the introduction first!
  • Check regularly to ensure that your writing responds to the task sheet, the marking criteria and any other resources available on QUT Blackboard.
  • Take short breaks every hour and reward yourself when you reach the end of each section.


Edit and proofread by asking  these five important questions:

  1. Am I answering the assignment question?
  2. Do I use clear examples and good evidence to support my ideas?
  3. Is my assignment organised and carefully structured so a reader can follow my logic?
  4. Am I referencing correctly and consistently?
  5. Is my writing formal and free of errors? Am I using the scholarly language of my discipline: the technical terms, words and theories that are used by my lecturers and are relevant to my subject area?

For any help with writing assignments, come and see us at Study Solutions!


Look out, behind you! It’s some Bad Science!

As we all know, evaluating your resources is an important part of the research process. However, all resources aren’t created equal so how do you know whether what you’ve found is good or bad on the spectrum of quality?

Firstly you can attend a class in the QUT Library such as ‘Researching Made Easy’ or complete the STUDYSMART online Module on Evaluating Resources.

In celebration of National Science Week here’s some additional  tips for the Scientists amongst us for spotting ‘Bad Science’ when evaluating the quality of our information resources. Below are 12 key things to look for when evaluating articles in the areas of Science or Medicine – in a handy, colourful, graphic form – to make assessing the quality of your articles that much easier. Key steps in evaluation include: the size of the sample in any research; no control group used in experiments; and looking for possible author bias or a conflict of interest.

So now you can evaluate with ease and banish bad science from your research forever!

'Spotting Bad Science' by Compound Interest (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

‘Spotting Bad Science’ by Compound Interest (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Happy National Science Week!


“Don’t Try This At Home!” by Mark (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Gardens Point Library will be running a series of activities from 18-22 August to celebrate National Science Week. There is an amazing display in the entrance of Gardens Point Library that includes puzzles, microscopes, anatomy models and molecular models.

There will also be a number of challenges and special presentations at various times, including an egg drop challenge, unmanned aerial vehicles, solar observing (outside) and engineering challenges (towers and bridges). All things that you can’t (or shouldn’t) just do at home! Many of the activities are being run by the STIMulate Team (maths, science and IT support for learning).

So, come along and take part!

Program of Activities 

      QUTLibrary_NatScienceWeek_2014 (Click for full page view)


Forever young

"Where the Wild Things are, Maurice Sendak, Library of Congress, Washington, DC' by Photo Phiend (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“Where the Wild Things are, Maurice Sendak, Library of Congress, Washington, DC’ by Photo Phiend (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Discussions around beloved childhood books brings out the best in people. To-ing and fro-ing regarding the merits of Spot VS Clifford; whether the means to an end justified Harriet’s spying habit; whether the rabbit hole is equal parts philosophy and mathematics and indeed, did Hermione ‘settle’?

You never forget those characters or tales that brought joy, comfort, amazement and thrills to your small heart and sharing and discussing those love affairs now as adults allows you to relive the joy. Seeing those familiar book covers of the classics transports you back in time, makes the world A-OK  and I must say, there is no greater thrill than introducing your own children to those very same titles as you fervently hope that they love them as much as you did.

Every year since 1945,  the  Children’s Book Council of Australia has designated one week a year to celebrate all things reading with Children’s Book Week. Libraries and Schools around Australia organise extravaganzas, activities and competitions particularly acknowledging Australian authors and illustrators but generally rejoicing in the written word and teaching our children to do the same. This year’s theme is Connect to Reading and, through Children’s Book Week, little eyes, minds and hearts will be opened to the joy that is truly connecting with a story, its characters and exploring brave new worlds.

Children’s Book Week 2014 runs from August 16-22 and QUT Library will be celebrating with a display in the Curriculum Collection at Kelvin Grove from Monday 18 August. So, come along – if you want to come dressed in a wolf suit we won’t tell – and check out the fantastic displays and wonderful books on offer for the little people in your (rich inner) life.

Celebrate your right to be left-handed

Yearbook photo of the Left-Hand club, 1926 by North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Yearbook photo of the Left-Hand club, 1926 by North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Are you a southpaw? Celebrate your ‘sinisterness’ this Left-Handers Day on the 13th of August.

History hasn’t been too kind to the left-handed among us. Until pretty recently being left-handed carried a lot of negative connotations. Historically, left-handed people were forced from childhood to use their right-hands for tasks such as writing and eating. In many European languages, including English, the word for the direction “right” also means “correct” or “proper” where as “left” can be associated with awkwardness or clumsiness such as in the idiom to have “two left feet”. The Latin word “sinister” means “left” and also “unlucky”. And to top it all off many every day tools, such as scissors and can openers, are designed for use by right-handed people making their use by left-handers difficult, painful or even unsafe.

Despite this many of history’s great minds and great leaders have been lefties. Three out of the last four US presidents have been left-handed – Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush. Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Jimi Hendricks and of course, Ned Flanders, were also all left-handed. So if you’re part of the 9-15% of the population that is a leftie you’re in pretty good company.

If you’re left-handed, right-handed or even ambidextrous here are some ways to celebrate this Left-Handers day:

#MentalHealthMatters this International Youth Day

YouthInfographics_MentalHealth_F copyUnited Nations International Youth Day happens every year on the 12th of August with the aim of highlighting and addressing issues facing the world’s youth – and if you’re a uni student there’s a pretty good chance that includes you.

The theme of International Youth Day 2014 is ‘Mental Health Matters’, to draw awareness to the importance of reducing stigma surrounding youth with mental health conditions. Help raise awareness and reduce the shame by jumping on facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram. Use the hashtags #MentalHealthMatters and #UN4Youth to join the campaign!

And most importantly, if you’re struggling don’t be afraid to ask for help. Uni can be stressful for everyone but if you’re experiencing mental health difficulties there are people who can help. You don’t need to tough it out alone, get in touch with QUT Counselling Services for a private and confidential counselling session.

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…

'Breathe' by Rob (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

‘Breathe’ by Rob (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

It’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed at the beginning of Semester – particularly if this is your first semester at Uni. You’ve had your first lecture, seen the reading list (and freaked out); you’re still finding your way around campus (why is Z block next to C block?); You know there’s folders on the Blackboard site that have important info in them but you haven’t got to them all yet; you may be juggling paid work and family responsibilities; your first assessments are due soon…queue hyperventilating. It’s all pretty overwhelming stuff.

So, take a breath and come to the library for free mindfulness and meditation sessions run by QUT Counselling and calm your mind. They’re drop in, free and open to all QUT Staff and Students.

  • KG: Thu 2:15-3pm Library R403 (practical exercises for calming & clearing the mind; sitting on floor)
  • GP: Wed 12:30-1pm Library V4.08 (practical exercises for calming & clearing the mind; sitting on floor)

And when you’re calm and able to focus again, sign up for one of the Library workshops to help manage your study and we’ll have you swimming along in no time!

Know someone who is new to using computers?

Students in Computer Lab

Computers are used in every part of uni study – from enrolling in classes to finding information for assessments to submitting final work. If someone hasn’t used computers much before, it can be a steep learning curve.

Do you know someone who needs help with computer basics? If so, tell them about the free IT Skills Solutions appointments that run each day from week 2 to week 4. We’ll get them ready and confident!

Appointments can be booked online or in person at the Library Helpdesk. Remember, it’s free!


QUT part of a winning formula to break down the digital divide

MKnowledge Unlatched (KU), proudly supported and partnered by QUT, is the 2014 winner of the IFLA/Brill Open Access Award.

Together with 300 libraries around the world, QUT works with KU to fund the publication of high quality specialist scholarly books and make them open access. Anyone, anywhere can freely access the KU Pilot Collection of books from OAPEN, HathiTrust and the British Library.

The IFLA/Brill Open Access Award was created in 2013 for initiatives in the area of open access monograph publishing. This year the jury voted unanimously for KU, recognising it as the most outstanding and game-changing initiative in the field.

The jury said that they are ‘deeply impressed with the simplicity and elegance of the original concept, with the daring scope of the project, bringing together libraries, publishers and other organisations from around the world, and with the highly successful outcome of the pilot phase that tested the concept’.

Contact Paula Callan, Scholarly Communications Librarian, for further details on Knowledge Unlatched, and for support with scholarly publishing and open access.