Support for researchers

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Support for researchers

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The Library has the skills and the resources to help you through every stage of your research journey.

The Library Research Support Strategy defines the Library's position as a strategic partner in USC research initiatives and identifies its role in providing resources, professional advice, training and management of the University's research output.

Services provided to research students and staff

Appointments with a Liaison Librarian

Liaison Librarians help research students and staff through:

  • assistance to identify, locate and access resources
  • help with literature searches
  • bibliographic software such as Endnote
  • tools to help you assess the quality and impact of research articles and journals

Training

The Library provides the following training to researchers:

  • Library help
    Get help using the online resources and learn about effective searching.
  • Specialist database training
    Covers specific subject-based databases relating to business, health, education, science and more.
  • Endnote
    Your Liaison Librarian can help with both introductory and intermediate training, as well as troubleshooting support.
  • Training videos
    Find how-to videos by the Library, including how to search DISCOVER and the Library Catalogue.

Guides

Research Guides created by Liaison Librarians cover each stage of research.

Keeping up to date

Stay up-to-date in your research area by subscribing to free Alerting Services available through most of the databases.

Depending on the format the database offers, subscribers may receive:

  • Updates on current publications
  • Tables of contents of selected journals (TOCs)
  • Articles containing nominated keywords
  • Notification when a particular paper is cited

Find USC Theses

The USC Research Bank is the institutional repository for research papers and other publications authored by staff and students of the university, including most University of the Sunshine Coast PhD theses.

Find Non-USC Theses

  • TROVE: Free search service providing resources such as books, conference proceedings, thesis, images, journals, digitised newspapers and web sites on content related to Australia. Includes Australasian Digital Theses and Australian Research Online (ARO). Provided by National Library of Australia.
  • Dissertations and theses: Full text and index database of doctoral dissertations and master's theses from graduate schools and universities.
  • OAISTER: Full text and abstract database of open access digital resources such as digitised  books, journals, newspapers, manuscripts, audio files, photographic images and datasets. Also includes thesis and research papers.
  • NDLTD: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) provides access to dissertations and thesis worldwide.
  • EThOS: Abstract and citation database provided by British Library. Contains UK higher education thesis.

Thesis writing

Search the Library Catalogue for books about planning and conducting research, as well as thesis writing. There are many websites that cover the research process.

Student Life and Learning and the Office of Research have workshops and online guides about research, thesis writing and referencing.

Research data management

Storing data makes it accessible—by the researcher who collects it, by collaborators and by publishers and funding bodies seeking to verify or replicate test results.

Along with research organisations and universities across Australia, USC is engaged in processes to develop more effective ways of managing the data which is produced in the process of research. We have developed a Library Guide for more information about Research Data Management at USC, including a link to the Research Data and Materials Management Plan.

Australia already has national guidelines on managing research data, The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (PDF 829KB). All applicants for NHMRC and ARC Grants must comply with the Code. In addition, many journal publishers require authors to provide access to their research data.

Data is the fuel of research—the tests, surveys, models, films and measurements. Research data may be produced with requirements of privacy, commercial security or confidentiality. It may be produced collaboratively and the results shared.

Research data management needs to be planned—before the start of a research activity consider issues such as confidentiality requirements and the amount of storage that might be required.

The steps to research data management:

  • Environment scan for what may already be available
  • Storage—how much, where, access
  • Security—backups, protocols, version management
  • Retention and preservation—privacy, re-use, destruction

The Commonwealth Government has a significant investment in Australia's research output and has funded Research Data Australia, an Internet-based discovery service. Research Data Australia is designed to provide rich connections between data, projects, researchers and institutions, and promote visibility of Australian research data collections in search engines.

The Library with the Office of Research and IT Services is developing guidelines and protocols which will enable USC researchers and collaborators to confidently manage and share their research data.

The Research Data Management at USC guide provides information and links to support best practice in research data management.

Citation searching

Following the pathways of citations is an essential component of your research. It is important to know:

  • What a researcher has cited?
  • Who has cited a piece of research?
  • Who has cited your own research?

How often research articles have been cited may be an indicator of importance. Citation is the most common way to measure research impact and quality, and is used by most funding authorities such as the Australian Research Council.

Citation tracking is an imperfect process and no tool will completely catch the impact of a published article.

Strategic decisions about where to publish can enhance researchers' career and advancement opportunities. Your Liaison Librarian can help or view the guide Publish Your Research, Measure Its Impact.

Citation databases
  • Web of Science: Collection of full text and citation index databases on information gathered from scholarly journals, books, book series, reports and conferences. Provides Citation Indexes such as Science Citation Index (SCI) and Social Science Citation Index(SSCI) as well as Chemical Indexes.
  • Scopus: Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature on fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences and arts and humanities. Includes books, journals, online tools, bibliographic databases and newsletters. Provides tools to track, analyse and visualise research.
  • Google Scholar: Search tool for full text and citations of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories and universities.
  • Publish or Perish: written by Ann-Wil Harzig, a Professor at the University of Melbourne, Publish or Perish analyses citations in Google Scholar, with the specific goal of helping academics measure the impact of their work.

Researcher Identifiers

Contact your Liaison Librarian for assistance with setting up your ORCID ID, Researcher ID in Web of Science and to make sure the citations attached to your Scopus ID are correct. Your Liaison Librarian can also assist you with other similar researcher tracking profiles such as Google Scholar metrics.

Open Access

USC encourages open access publishing. Open Access research is digital, online, free of charge, and free of copyright and licensing restrictions. Open Access is made possible by the Internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. Often in the university environment Open Access refers to unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly journals, rather than being locked behind journal subscription fees.

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