Library

17 November 2017

Slip back in time to Edo culture in Japan

Are you a student of Japanese culture and history? Subject Librarian Ayako Hatta introduces us to books held at Monash  describing and illustrating life in 17th century Japan.



The book “Ichinichi Edojin 一日江戸人” is an introduction to the lifestyle of the 17th century Edo江戸, Japan.  Edo as it was then known, is now known as the capital city, Tokyo東京.

The Edo period (1603-1868) was led by the shogun Tokugawa Family, a period which was often known to be a peaceful and happy time which lasted over 260 years. One of the foreign policies that the Tokugawa Family implemented was the “closed-door policy” (sakoku = 鎖国) that restricts any information coming inside Japan such as Christianity, immigration, trading and communicating with the outside world. A very unique culture including kabuki (dance-drama = 歌舞伎) with fashion & designs, ukiyo-e (picture of the floating world= 浮世絵) & shunga (erotic art = 春画) had flourished and became very popular during this period.

The population was already over a million people by the late Edo period, which at the time was larger than the population of London or Paris. Half of the Edo population were samurai (= 侍) and monks (sō = 僧), while the rest were town people (chōmin = 町民). Up to sixty percent of town people originally came from the country side and were skillful craftspeople (shokunin = 職人) or merchants (shōnin = 商人). Only five percent of them were known as “the real locals” (Edokko = 江戸っ子). 

Edokkogo etoki jiten ; 江戸っ子語絵解き辞典
(2) Edokkogo etoki jiten ; 江戸っ子語絵解き辞典

The majority of the Edokko population were tenants  and eighty percent of the people lived in dwellings called nagaya (“nagaya = 長屋”). The nagaya dwellings have many small rooms, an indoor kitchenette and a shared well and toilet outside. There were nearby public baths that the Edokko used at least twice a day.  Generally speaking Japanese people love to take baths but taking a bath 4 or 5 times a day was typical of the Eddoko. It was not because the Eddoko had a passion for cleanliness but because of the humid climate and a lot of sandy dust in the area.

The front cover of Ichinichi Edojin (top right) illustrates the way people dressed and travelled in the Edo period. When travelling, walking was the main form of transport. To travel outside of Edo, the traveller would need a “travel ticket” (ōrai kitte = 往来切手) from the master of the area or from a temple, and also a “certificate” (tegata = 手形) from the magistrate’s office. This was a people's identification according to families and guarantee of identity. The certificate also contained other details such as religion, funeral arrangement, and a statement that the traveller was not Christian as Christianity was prohibited by law during this period.

This is only a brief overview of life in Edo, Many more examples of how the Edo people lived are explored in the book with lots of manga illustrations.

(3) Sugiura Hinako no Edojuku ; 杉浦日向子の江戸塾



The author of “Ichinichi Edojin”, Hinako Sugiura was one of the notable manga artists in Japan. She was also a researcher with many scholarly yet highly accessible publications of resource materials specialising in the Edo period,. The book is ideal for anyone interested in learning more about the cultural history of Japan.

You can find this book and others illustrated here in the Japanese Collection located on the first floor of the Matheson Library in the Asian Collections. For more information about the Edo culture in English, use the Library Advanced Search and type in “edo period” in the subject field from the Monash University Library homepage.

Call numbers:
(1) JAP 952.025 S947.I 2005 
(2) JAP 952.025 S252E 2010
(3)  JAP 952.025 S947S 2006





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13 November 2017

Celebrating the discovery of evolution

Associate Professor Martin Burd, from the Monash School of Biological  Science, has written this article for our blog celebrating the anniversary of the publication of the seminal book,  Origin of Species.



Sexual selection of birds was further
 examined in Darwin's, Descent of Man
This November marks the 158th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. Monash University holds a copy of the first edition volume in its Rare Books Collection, a true treasure from the history of human thought. This book stands with a handful of other great scientific works like Galileo’s Starry Messenger or Newton’s Principia Mathematica as a marker of our collective effort to understand nature.

The Origin of Species famously proposed that the diversity of species we observe in the world has been derived from ancestral species, now extinct, that differed from current forms of life. This idea of the “mutability” of species had been brewing among naturalists in Europe for decades at the time Darwin published his book. He turned the somewhat ill-defined notion of mutability into a science by proposing how it could happen through natural selection, a mechanism that would act automatically as a consequence of simple and observable features of nature. A century and a half of research since publication of the Origin has abundantly confirmed its central claims. The force of natural selection on populations has been observed and measured often, and even the natural formation of new species in historical times has been documented (it doesn’t always take millions of years!). Darwin’s ideas still form a core to evolutionary biology, but, following the blossoming of genetics in the 20th century, and the revolution provided by molecular genetics in this century, we are now aware of a richness and complexity to evolution far beyond what Darwin could have known.

Biologists still read Origin of Species, but the book’s influence has extended well beyond biology and even well beyond science. Its most important consequence has been on our conception of our own place in nature. Although Darwin gave only the slimmest allusion to humankind in the book, the implication that we had an origin like that of other species, proceeding from natural causes as a part of nature, was immediately apparent to readers in 1859, and to readers since. This has not been a comfortable thought for everyone. With our civilisation now facing challenges from climate disruption, it might prove to be a thought we need to embrace all the more.

You can see Darwin’s privileged education and social origins in his command of the language in Origin of Species: it’s a good book, easily read and elegant in a Victorian way. For anyone who wants to be acquainted with the ideas of the past that have shaped our world today, it is worth dipping into, or reading entirely.



Associate Professor Martin Burd completed his PhD at Princeton University. His main area of research focus is cvolutionary ecology. As an Evolutionary Ecologist, Martin investigates life-history evolution, behaviour, and reproduction in a variety of plants and animals. 


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2 November 2017

The latest experiments and procedures demonstrated on video

You can see biological and medical procedures being demonstrated while reading about the experiments, says subject librarian Jennifer Kain.


Lab researchers and students, did you know you can access online visual demonstrations of procedures and protocols?

One database available is the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE). JoVE is a peer-reviewed journal that combines high-quality video demonstrations of experiments with a detailed text protocol, allowing scientists, educators and students to see the intricate details of cutting-edge experiments rather than just reading them in text articles.

The Library currently provides access to the following: 
These journals are peer-reviewed, indexed in PubMed, Web of Science, and collectively present the work of more than 16000 authors, many from world-leading laboratories. 

Click on the links above to review the JoVE contents, or contact your Subject Librarian with any enquiries.  



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23 October 2017

Matheson Library extended hours during exams

Burning the midnight oil as you prepare for exams? Get more study done, with late night opening at Matheson Library. But remember to balance your study time with ample sleep and exercise!


From 23rd October to 16th November, the Matheson Library at Clayton campus offers extended exam study time.

Matheson is open till 2am (Monday-Thursday) while Fridays and weekends operate on normal hours. There is security and a security bus in operation until 2.30am on the days the Library is operating on extended hours.

Caulfield Library is open until midnight Monday-Friday and 10am-9pm on weekends.

Both libraries have been recently refurbished and offer excellent amenities for students as they prepare for exams, such as bookable study rooms for group work or quiet areas for individual study.

Group study areas are also equipped with AV facilities. Find out more here.

Should you need sustenance or caffeine, both Matheson and Caulfield libraries have a cafe within the building. Please check the opening hours for Flipside and Swifts.

More information on the opening hours for all libraries can be found here.

Check out great tips for exam preparation and how to succeed on exam day from expert Library staff.



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Remembering the Reformation

Five hundred years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg. This month we celebrate or remember that event as a starting point of the German Reformation and as a key event in the Reformation across Europe. Stephen Herrin (Rare Books Librarian), writes about this important movement in European history.

The Reformation was a religious movement that profoundly changed the face of Europe and established a religious alternative to the dominant Catholicism that had been in place for centuries. The widespread cultural change brought on by the Reformation affected not only the spirituality and devotional practices of Europe's inhabitants but also reverberated into the fields of politics, music, art and architecture.

The most iconic figure of the Reformation was Martin Luther, a German priest and scholar. Through his studies in theology and history at the University of Wittenberg, he formed ideas that gradually brought his beliefs into conflict with the established Church. One of Luther's key criticisms of the Vatican was the sale of indulgences, a document which could be purchased to ensure the forgiveness of sins. The proceeds, which were used to rebuild St.Peter's Basilica, in Rome prompted Luther to write in Thesis 86: "Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?" Read the entire 95 theses in English here


The Reformation and Print Culture 

The Reformation's great success was due in part to the new technology of printing. The printed word was not only important to Luther's development as a thinker but to the Reformation as a movement. The development of the printing press allowed for the rapid dissemination of reformers' ideas in the form of pamphlets and printed books.

A central tenet of the Reformation was the individual study of the Bible rather than reliance on the Church for guidance. This was achieved by translating the Bible into the languages spoken by lay people. Once again, printing was a key means of distributing these new vernacular translations of the Bible to a wider audience. 


The Geneva Bible at Monash

Monash's Special Collections includes a 16th-century copy of the Geneva Bible, one of the early translations of the Bible into English. The Geneva Bible was unique in that it contained illustrations, summaries of the books of the Bible, as well as cross-references and explanatory notes. All these features indicate that it was designed to function as a text for individual study. The Geneva Bible at Monash is heavily annotated, signifying that its owner or successive owners considered this Bible to be a personal possession as well as a tool for study.



Reformation items at Monash Rare Books

The Rare Books Collection aims to collect and make available the history of ideas through print. We hold many representations of the writers Luther would have consulted. The holdings are especially strong in primary source material relating to the Reformation in Great Britain, mainly involving the later developments regarding the Restoration and the Popish Plot.

For more information on Reformation related items in Monash's Special Collections, please contact us at rbinfo@monash.edu.




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17 October 2017

Where To Study for Exams - Your Library-by-Library Guide!

It’s Week 12, and exams are just around the corner! The good news is, you’ve still got time to get into a great revision routine before October 30th. And the even better news is, the libraries here at Monash have plenty of space for you to use. Subject librarian Romney Adams has put together your guide to exam revision spaces at Monash, library-by-library!

Caulfield



The refurbishment works at Caulfield have come to an end, and the seating capacity has doubled - which means plenty of spots across the four floors for you to knuckle down and hit the books, including seven bookable group study rooms! Those familiar with the old library will have memories of grey walls and artificial light - these have been replaced by a bright and airy space, with many examples of intriguing artwork...see if you can spot my favourite, Jeff Gibson’s Double or Nothing!


Caulfield Library


Sir Louis Matheson





With all the news about Caulfield, you may have forgotten the Matheson has been refurbished too. There are a multitude of bookable study spaces - some students like to add their personal touch to take the edge off of studying! - but you’ll need to get in early. If the rooms are all booked, there are no less than five levels comprising the behemoth that is Matheson, and there is seating available on each. What’s more, the Library will be open until 2am from Monday-Thursday during Swot Vac and the exam period, for all you night owls! If you need some sustenance, or perhaps just prefer to take a more relaxed approach to studying, you can relax with coffee and a sweet treat at Swift’s on the ground floor.


Group study rooms at the Matheson


Hargrave-Andrew





The Hargrave-Andrew can be a bit of a mysterious beast for those who aren’t familiar with its hallowed halls, and much attention seems to be focussed around the entrance: Why is it up a flight of stairs? What’s the story behind the babies halfway up the stairs? What’s this secret ‘basement’ level I’ve heard so much about? Some things will forever remain unknown, but to find out which areas of HAL are least busy, look no further than the snazzy Digital Wayfinders. And if a teaching space isn’t being used to run a class, you’re more than welcome to use it to study.


Hargrave-Andrew Library





Law



Traditional, compliant, and judicial - the Law Library may not sound exciting, but it really is a beautiful space. And what’s more, there are plenty of areas for study! Levels 2-4 are designated as Quiet Study areas, which is good if you’re going it alone. If you prefer to study as a group, there are four bookable discussion rooms - so all your bases are covered. When you’ve hit the study wall and need a well-deserved break, sink into one of the comfortable chesterfield couches...if you’re lucky, you might even get to meet Boof!


Law Library


Peninsula




Down by the seaside (well, almost), the Library at Peninsula has a variety of rooms available for you to notch up some hours of quiet study. Downstairs, there are large tables you can work at alone, or as a group. Known as a bit of a zen space, spaces on the first floor also boast sea views...on a clear day...if you squint…just don’t study too late into the night - you might be joined by one of the resident skeletons!


Peninsula Library


Parkville





It’s true - despite having the longest name, the CL Butchers Pharmacy Library is smaller than most - but thanks to some minor works earlier this year, it’s bigger than ever before! Out at 'The Pharm’, the quiet study area has increased in size by 42%, thanks to the addition of 16 private study carrels. The opportunity to hit the books has never been better!
Group study area at the Pharmacy Library.











Berwick



And last but not least, Berwick! It’s smaller and shares space with Federation University until the end of the year when we'll have to move out, but we’ve got lots to offer our students until then. We have plenty of quiet study carrels for you to make your own, and there’s also a separate group study room available for you to book. There’s also a beautiful courtyard space if you’d like to follow Isaac Newton’s lead and study under the shade of a tree - watch out for falling acorns!


Berwick Library Courtyard


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10 October 2017

Law Library services after semester 2 exams

With the scheduled closure of the Law Building over summer, the Library has made alternate arrangements to ensure Law Library users will continue to have access to materials.



The entire Law building will be closed for major construction works from 30 November 2017 through to mid-February 2018.

During this period, Law staff and students can:


  • use Search to request items held in the Law Library for pick-up at Hargrave-Andrew Library or Matheson Library at Clayton campus. Library staff will run a retrieval service once daily so please allow for some delay.
  • return items due at any library; after-hours returns available at Hargrave-Andrew Library.
  • access Summer Law unit texts on reading lists at Hargrave-Andrew Library.
  • find study spaces at the two other libraries on campus. Hargrave-Andrew Library will now be open until 9pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and 1pm-5pm on Sundays over summer.
  • get advice and ask questions at an Information point at any other library, through ask.monash or by telephone (03 9905 5054). Law Library research and learning skills staff can be contacted by email on lib-lawteam-l@monash.edu.


Due to the temporary closure, 'Law' will not be available as a pick-up location for inter-campus loans.

If you have any comments or concerns about Law Library services during this period, email Law Library staff on lib-lawteam-l@monash.edu.




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9 October 2017

China Reconstructs: A resource for researchers of 20th century China

The Matheson Library has an amazing collection of Chinese periodicals dating to the 1950s. Xiaoju Liu, subject librarian for Chinese studies, writes about how researchers can use this collection as an English language primary source to gain further insight into 20th century China. 

What is China Reconstructs?


China Reconstructs is an English language periodical, first published in China in January 1952. Although the first issues were in English the publication gradually expanded to Spanish, French, Arabic, German, and Portuguese between 1960 and 1980. The Chinese version was added in October 1980.

This is the only multi-language publication that was issued by the Chinese government during that time. It was published by the China Welfare Institute (funded in 1938 by Soong Ching Ling, the wife of Sun Yat-sen). The idea was initiated by a conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and Soong Qing Ling, as they were both looking for a way to introduce the achievements of modern China to the world. Soong Qing Ling named the journal China Reconstructs (中国建设) in memory of Sun Yat-sen, who started a short-lived periodical called Constructs (建设) in 1919.

What sort of information does this publication contain? 

This richly illustrated periodical covers various aspects of modern China, from economy and technology to social life, arts, sport, minorities, tourism, archaeology, infrastructure, and stories. Its special columns include Postbag, School life, International Notes, In the New Society, Language Corner and others. 

Language Corner was designed for foreigners who wanted to learn Chinese. It consisted of a short article with Chinese characters, pinyin (romanisation) and English. The column included explanatory notes on the use of key Chinese words and phrases as well as exercises.

International Notes reported on China's standpoint concerning international affairs. For example, in an article titled The Afro-Americans are fighting, the author noted that "Chairman Mao was voicing the mighty support of the 700 million Chinese people to the Afro-Americans. The world's people struggling against U.S. imperialism also saw in his statement the direction forward and were tremendously inspired."

School Life reported on what was taking place in China's schools particularly about how Mao Tsetung's principles were being implemented in education.

Why is this collection significant?


The variety of information present in this collection makes it a rich trove of material that can enhance research and teaching on various aspects of Modern China. In January 1990, the periodical was renamed as China Today (今日中国) and continues to function as a gateway into contemporary China. Researchers working on social and cultural life in the second half of 20th century China will benefit significantly from this great collection. For example, a special issue in February 1970 focuses on the Peking Opera Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, contains English scripts and various discussions about how proletarian heroes were created and how negative characters were depicted. 

How do I access this collection?

The Matheson Library holds copies of China Reconstructs issued in 1953, 1955-1956, 1961-1989 in the closed Asian Special Collection area. If you're interested in using China Reconstructs (中国建设) contact Xiaoju Liu (Chinese Studies Subject Librarian) or Hueimin Chen (Information Officer) for access to this collection.  

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5 October 2017

Getting to Grips with Citing & Referencing

Academic integrity is one of the key skills you need to develop during your university studies. This includes acknowledging the work of others and disclosing the sources of your research. Bei-En Zou, a learning skills adviser, writes about the importance of citing and referencing and offers some tips to mastering this skill. 

Before we talk about the importance of citing and referencing, we need a few definitions! Most people often use these terms interchangeably, but they do in fact refer to two different things.

Citations are sources that you mention within your research. They're accompanied by a footnote or an in-text reference. A citation can be a key piece of information that you've drawn from someone else's work or a direct quote from a text. 

Referencing, on the other hand, refers to a list of all the resources you've used in your research at the end of an essay or article. This is also known as a bibliography.

Why do we need to cite and reference?


You probably know that it's a requirement to cite and reference properly in your assignments, but why is it important? Citing and Referencing is important because universities want to train you in thinking originally, and to contribute your own ideas about your subject areas and to produce original work. It's therefore important to distinguish which is your work, and which is the work of others. 

Acknowledging the sources that you have used in your work highlights where you have contributed your own ideas and research. 

Citing and referencing have other important roles too! Referencing is a way of providing evidence to support the claims that you are making in your essay. You can use the work of experts in your field to lend weight to your own research, to show how your work is built upon previous intellectual endeavours or how your work challenges and deviates from the traditional understanding in your field. An essay or report with appropriate and accurate references is always more convincing and persuasive than one without any!

A good set of citations and references also enables your marker to track down all the material you used and get a sense of how widely you've researched. You are showing your marker that you are aware of the breadth and depth of your field. Referencing also gives you a chance to acknowledge the hard work of others before you. 

Using different citing and referencing styles. 


Harvard, Chicago, IEEE, APA... there are at least a dozen citing and referencing styles that are used at Monash. Each faculty has their own preferences, and even within the one course, you might find yourself using different styles for each of your subjects! You can usually find all the information you need about citing and referencing styles in the Unit Guide for your subject, or by asking your tutor, demonstrator or lecturer. The key is to maintain consistency and watch out for the finicky little details in the commas, italics and ampersands. 

Resources to help you.


Referencing can be a fiddly and frustrating process, as you come to grips with all the intricacies and variations among different styles. The library has created a number of excellent resources to help you navigate all elements of citing and referencing. 

Here are our top links:

This is your go-to place for all things citing and referencing. Bookmark it on your computer and refer to it frequently for all examples and explanations of all the referencing conventions for you to follow. 

If you're feeling a little unsure about citing and referencing, this is a great tutorial that will explain the basic principles, and you can test out your knowledge at the end with quizzes.

One of the most common citing and referencing styles used at Monash is APA (American Psychological Association). If that's you, APA Central is a great resource. It contains videos, quizzes, templates and quick guides for you to get on top of APA style. 

  • Research and learning point - drop-in sessions
Drop in without an appointment to see a librarian or learning skills advisor for some advice on researching for your assignment, including citing and referencing. You can find a list of session times here. 

(*) Please use either Firefox or Internet Explorer to complete this tutorial. 

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2 October 2017

#PhDshelfie: Encountering remarkable medieval women in the Matheson

Inspired by the #PhDshelfie movement, we asked a few Monash PhD students to share their 'shelfies' and reflect on the books that have become most meaningful to them during their candidature. The second piece in our #PhDshelfie series is written by Jennifer Lord, a doctoral candidate researching religious communities of lay women in 13th century Marseille. 


I have to admit, in response to Basil's article, that the books I borrow from the library aren’t like family! They are more like promising new acquaintances whom I enthusiastically embrace in the hope that we’ll soon get to know each other. This quickly morphs into guilt as they sit neglected on my desk because I haven’t made enough time for them in my schedule. 

Still, there are books on my topic that I have definitely enjoyed coming to know well, not least my main primary source. I’m researching a Beguine community established in Marseilles in the late thirteenth century. (Beguines were women who aimed to lead a celibate life of prayer and charitable work without permanently withdrawing from the world into a nunnery.) My community is described in a work written in old Occitan (Provençal) in the late 1200s, a work that was forgotten until the 1870s when its only known manuscript was translated into French. In 2001, it was published in English as The Life of Saint Douceline, A Beguine of Provence, and I was able to discover it in the Matheson. Trying to unlock the cultural and historical meanings of this text is at the heart of my research. 


To understand the heightened emotional and somatic spirituality of women like Douceline, I’ve also been exploring the Matheson’s collection of the Lives of other celebrated thirteenth-century women mystics, such as Lutgard, Margaret of Ypres and Christina ‘the Astonishing’. I’ve felt, though, that behind this handful of exceptional women must have stood many hundreds of ordinary laywomen/beguines whose deep piety was expressed in less remarkable ways. So I’ve really enjoyed discovering Partners in Spirit,  a collection of essays by Fiona Griffith and Julie Hotchins which shed light on numerous communities of less notable religious women in twelfth-century Germany, while also revealing the co-operation and collaboration of male clerics with these women, thereby challenging some received ideas about the workings of gender in medieval religious culture. 

The text I’ve found most useful for overall historical background on the beguines is Walter Simons’ Cities of Ladies, which puts northern Europe’s beguine communities into a social, economic as well as religious context. However, the stand-out, most rewarding encounter in my reading so far has been with Caroline Walker Bynum’s essay collection Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the Middle Ages, particularly her discussions of medieval religious conceptions of community and the individual. I’ve even bought my own copy because I know it will repay multiple readings.

And when I needed light relief but felt nervous about wasting time, I visited my topic as a tourist, via Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. Against the backdrop of the conflict between Empire and Papacy, Eco takes the anxieties of the men* of faith about the outcomes of reason, the desire of the men of reason to hold on to faith, the world of the scriptorium and the library, of scrolls and codices, and rolls them all together in a murder mystery in the early fourteenth century. Great tour guide!


*Sadly, yes. There is only one woman in the entire book, and she is there as voiceless object-of-desire/occasion-of-sin.


Jennifer Lord is a PhD candidate in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies (SOPHIS). Her research topic is Les Dames de Roubaud: Contextualising a community of lay religious women in thirteenth-century Marseille. She also has a Masters degree in sociolinguistics and is  a professional editor and writer of many years’ standing, with publishing and communications experience in the community, public and private sectors. 



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21 September 2017

#PhDshelfie: What books and libraries mean to me

Inspired by the #PhDshelfie movement, we asked a few Monash PhD students to share their 'shelfies' and reflect on the books that have become most meaningful to them during their candidature. The first piece in our #PhDshelfie series is written by Basil Cahusac de Caux, a doctoral candidate researching language reform in post-war Japan. 


The books I borrow from the library are like family. I pick them up and take them home with me, create a space for them next to my desk at university, and regularly take them out for lunch. I would find it difficult to live without them… though their very existence sometimes causes me to doubt myself as a capable individual. My family’s real home – for the time being at least – is in the library, of which my favourite part is the collection of Japanese language books and journals housed in the recently renovated Matheson Library (Clayton Campus), which serves as a sanctuary of intellectual wealth and comedy. There I pick up books on Japanese language policy, written by the very individuals whose testimonies and actions I study as part of my doctoral thesis on language reform in Japan.

There’s the book on the Romanization of Japanese by Kayashima Atsushi, which forces me to dig deeper in my analysis to produce more meaningful research findings. There’s the book on language policy in China, which helps me reflect on the potential impact of language policy and education. And of course, there are the National Language Council Reports, which form the bedrock of my thesis’ conceptual landscape. I find in these accounts of language and society, glimpses of the ideal language speaker, language as an efficient conveyor of ideas and vehicle of culture, mixed in with disgruntled criticisms of the past and its feudal characteristics – usually dominated by malicious power relations and hierarchies.


When I’m lost I often turn to Galan’s chapter on the changes and continuities that occur in the Japanese education system after 1945 in Japan’s Postwar (Routledge, 2011), perhaps due to my inability to fathom the totality of the postwar experience (in Japan or any other country). This chapter offers a window into the political makings of society in the aftermath of defeat. It teaches me the importance of upholding compromise and tolerance as principles, both in theory and practice; a unilateral approach to a problem unfortunately often results in the weakening of the standing of others. The chapter serves as a constant reminder of the need for balance and compromise – two attributes that are often missing in my writing.

When I read, I read through the eyes of my mind. I take the time to enjoy the spaces I occupy so that I can best internalise the books I discover. The ideal space in which to do this is the library, which embraces people from all walks of life. It is where our ideas and emotions are challenged, where introspection and interaction are encouraged. It takes us in and (if we’re lucky) learns from our mistakes. If knowledge had legs with which to walk, then the library would be an open park, green, silent, and welcoming, waiting for new faces and fashions to grace its grounds. Some people leave, while others remain, to age with grace. (If libraries were parks and knowledge the human race, what would that make us?)

Basil Cahusac de Caux is a doctoral candidate at the School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies (SoPHIS), Monash University. He has conducted comparative research on the intellectual history of early and mid-20th-century linguists in the United Kingdom and Japan and is now focussed on the cultures and politics of language reform in postwar Japanese society. In his spare time, Basil runs the Kontemporary Japan Reading Group, a cross-institutional initiative promoting the discussion of Japan-related social issues and academic works.


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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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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.

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