Friday, 31 October 2014

Citing the Spirit World

Not long ago, we discovered that the APA blog has some advice on how to cite books that were written by spirits communicating through earthly mediums.

We thought we would pass on that advice and elaborate on it slightly.

How do you cite a message from beyond the grave?

Well, that depends on whether the spirit spoke to you directly or if its words were written down by a human agent.

If you have a book, pamphlet or other piece of text that was written "by" a spirit, but dictated to a human, then you have to cite the human agent as the author.  The APA blog recommends citing the human agent as the only author, but you may include the spirit as well, if the publication details of the book (or what have you) includes the spirit as part of the official bibliographic details.

So, for example, the novels written by the ghost of Patience Worth, as dictated to Pearl Curran, could be cited as though Curran was the author, or it could be cited as though both were authors:

Curran, P. (1917). The sorry tale: A story of the time of Christ. New York, NY: Holt.

Worth, P. [Spirit], & Curran, P. (1917). The sorry tale: A story of the time of Christ. New York, NY: Holt.

In text you would have:  (Curran, 1917) or (Worth & Curran, 1917).

If the spirit communicated to you personally, you would just treat it like personal communication.  For APA, this means you would only cite it in text, and you would not include it in your reference list: (A. C. Doyle [Spirit], personal communication, April 1, 2014).

If the spirit spoke via a medium, it would be best to cite the medium in this case:  (M. Crandon [Medium], personal communication, April 1, 2014).

Why would you cite a message from beyond the grave?

This is probably a more important question to answer, before you go citing spirits in your assignments.

If you were writing a paper about spiritualism, attitudes towards spiritualism or works supposedly written by spirits, then citing a book "written" by a spirit would be perfectly legitimate.

If, however, you were writing about rotator cuff injuries in athletes (for example) - or any other topic where spirits are not normally considered to be reputable sources of information by the academic community - then you should restrict your sources to people who were alive at the time of writing.

And while citing "personal communication" delivered via a medium may also be relevant if you were researching spiritualism, it would be best if you always made it clear that the medium was your source of information, rather than citing the spirit directly.

If the spirit communicated with you directly, you probably shouldn't use that information in your assignment as most incorporeal sources are considered unreliable.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Poster Display: Critical Knowledge Gaps in Coral Reef Ecology

A poster exhibition in the Townsville Mabo library foyer this week showcases students’ interpretation of the major gaps in our understanding of coral reef ecosystems. The scientific posters on display each describe a proposed research project that aims to create new knowledge to resolve these critical information gaps.

Want more information? Contact, or find us on Facebook as Biology of Reef Corals JCU. This exhibition forms part of student assessment for MB3190 5190 Coral Reef Ecology.

Want to bind your notes for exams?

As we approach one of the more stressful periods of the year, it's a great idea to get your study notes organised and, once they're organised, it's important to keep them that way.  JCU Library can help.  One way of keeping your lecture notes, class handouts, prac reports, case summaries, and everything else together is by binding them.  This creates a nice, neat book that will hold and protect your documents for your revision, exams, and beyond.

Prices and more information are available on the JCU Library website.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

International Games Day @ JCU

James Cook University Library is hosting its first ever International Games Day this Friday the 31st of October.  With the aim of (re)connecting people with their libraries through games and gaming, IGD has been successfully run for six years!

Come along to either the Cairns or Townsville campus libraries for an afternoon of board games, card games, tabletop games, video games and pizza!

WHAT: International Games Day @ JCU
WHEN: Friday 31st October 2014
WHERE: JCU Libraries Cairns and Townsville

Donate your old textbooks

The end of the year is upon us and you may be moving on to your new career or just needing to make space on your book shelf. Most people have old textbooks that they would like to get rid of, but don't necessarily want to put them in the trash. What can you do?

The library accepts donations and to donate you simply fill out a form and drop your book off to us. Library staff will then check that the item is still suitable to be placed on the shelves.

Another option for cash strapped students is to sell your old textbooks. If you are sticking around locally, you can advertise textbooks online via the JCU student bulletins. Many students use Facebook to advertise as well, and of course Amazon and eBay. The newest place to sell your used textbooks is via the Bookshop at JCU which is now part of the Co-op chain.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Ten Fast Facts about Open Access

  1. An old tradition and a new technology and converged to make possible an unprecedented public good i.e the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds (Budapest Open Access Initiative 2002).
  2. Libraries are great supporters of Open Access. Contact your library to learn more and check out the Open Acess Publishing LibGuide.
  3. Green Open Access – deposit the Accepted Version of your publication in your Institutional Repository, ResearchOnline@JCU. Check the Publisher Copyright Agreement or to see which journals allow you to do this. NB an Accepted Version is equivalent to a Postprint version.
  4. Gold Open Access – publish in an Open Access journal which assigns a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) Licence to articles.
  5. Traditional publishers are making outrageous profits.
  6. There are 10 050 peer reviewed Open Access journals worldwide, including 114 journals in Australia.
  7. Authors can drive the future of open access by where they submit their manuscripts.
  8. Reviewers can drive Open Access by not reviewing journals with publishing policies that do not support Open Access.
  9. Editors can drive Open Access by reviewing the publishing policies of their journal.
  10. Complete this fact yourself – what will you do to support Open Access?

Open Access Week logo

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Maths and Statistics and Real World Applications

Dechant, M. (2011). Math Outside. [CC: BY NC SA]
A student doing research this week for her science degree spoke about how natural events from tree growth to cyclones have underlying mathematical explanations.

Interestingly enough, JCU lecturing and research staff member  Dr Yvette Everingham will give the 2014 Last Lecture The Math Lesson You Always Wanted But Never Had. The whole talk will be devoted to mathematical and statistical application in the real world.

You can seek out research by JCU staff on ResearchOnline@JCU or, if you are interested in applied mathematics, browse our collection for such titles as Applied Mathematics by J. David Logan (also available as an eBook).

Monday, 20 October 2014

It's heating up so cool off at the JCU Libraries

North Queenslanders refer to October as a spring month. However, for many students, staff and library community guests from the southern parts of Australia and other cooler parts of the world, October days in Cairns and Townsville feel like hot summer days.

October brought storms and snow in New South Wales while Townsville is starting to reach a cool (for a now acclimatised author) 30 degrees Celsius as indicated on the Bureau of Meteorology site (BOM).

So come in and enjoy the shade, the air-conditioning (the technical excuse is climate control) and in Townsville a gelato or thick-shakes from Juliette's.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

New Book: Homelessness in Australia

Each week recent purchases are made available for immediate use and placed on the new book displays or online as an eBook. You can subscribe to the New Library Books, Periodicals and Newspapers email or view the New Books list online.

This weeks selection:

Homelessness in Australia: An Introduction edited by Chris Chamberlain, Guy Johnson & Catherine Robinson. Call Number: 305.56920994 HOM

An extract from a Council to Homeless Persons' (who are acknowledged at the start of the book as the originators of the idea) media release states:

“This is the first book to provide an introduction to the complex causes and responses to homelessness in Australia.” 

“For those new to the homelessness sector or looking to understand the field, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to an issue that’s often overlooked and misunderstood".

Thursday, 16 October 2014

BrowZine for Android smartphones is here!

Available for download in the Google Play store!

 Keep up with your academic journal reading wherever you are.
What is Browzine?

Creating good searches

Major assignments are nearly due.

If you don't find anything to reference in the first 45 minutes of a search, come to the Library InfoHelp desk and ask for help. You may simply need to use a good search string and use a better Database or One Search instead of Google and Google Scholar. We are even there on weekends and until 9pm at night Monday to Thursday.

Say "I'm struggling to find references for my assignment, can you help me?"

Bring (but read before you come):
 Review the LibGuide
  • Info Skills Road Trip especially the Search Strategy page and learn how to make a search string using Boolean operators as the Librarians will teach this hands on. A search string using Boolean operators looks like ("higher education" OR "tertiary education") AND (SES OR "socio economic status") AND "digital divide" AND (student* OR learner*)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

LearnJCU Student Guides and Known Issues: Safe Assign & Assignment Drop Box

In some classes you are asked to submit your assignment on LearnJCU by uploading your work to the Assignment Drop Box or to the Safe Assign Drop Box. This can be the draft or the final copy of your work.  A draft Drop Box is only there if set up by your lecturer, so double check your subject outline or with your lecturer.

In these Drop Boxes your assignment is checked to see if it matches any other assignments or information resources. It helps the markers to identify papers that need to be double checked for possible plagiarism or for incorrect referencing or attribution of sources.

If you receive a high matching percentage, don't panic. Check the report as it highlights the sentences it has matched. Often it is a common phrase that other students may have used. Because your whole class is using the same readings and questions, this increases the chance that you will quote the same article or book as another classmate, so make sure you have referenced it correctly.

LearnJCU also has some Guides for Students which help to explain the process and other common queries in an Index of Student Guides and Known Issues. Some current issues include problems with Safe Assign and Word 2013, as well as some Safari or Firefox web browser settings. Links to these guides are located inside LearnJCU on the main Welcome page after you log in, usually towards the bottom left.

If you have trouble in trying to submit an assignment,  LearnJCU recommends that you: First email your Lecturer with your assignment advising them you are unable to upload it, then click on AskLearnJCU at the top of the screen to report the problem, providing subject site code, browser, file name and format information.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Privacy Alert for Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 Software

Library and Information Services is concerned about  the security and privacy implications of reports that Version 4.0 of Adobe Digital Editions (ADE 4.0) collects data about user reading habits and transmits this data to Adobe’s servers without encryption, meaning that, Adobe is not only tracking user reading habits, it’s making it easy for others to do so as well.

Some JCU staff and students may have downloaded this software for reading e-books that are provided as part of the Library’s collections. The library e-books that are affected are those from the ProQuest EBL and ebrary collections. These e-books can be read online; however, due to DRM (digital rights management) restrictions, if a user chooses to download a book to a device for offline reading, they must use Adobe Digital Editions software. This is a condition of purchase that has been unavoidable for all libraries providing e-book content.

We are consulting a range of organisations about this issue, including the providers of our e-book packages. We have expressed our concerns and have instructed these providers to also advocate on behalf of all users. 

If you are concerned about using ADE 4.0 to access e-books, you can take one of the following steps:
  1. Read e-books from the ProQuest EBL and ebrary collections online without downloading them, or
  2. Uninstall Version 4 of Adobe Digital Editions and install an earlier version. As far as can be detected, Digital Editions 2 and 3 are unaffected. You can download earlier versions from
Please note, this issue relates to Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 only. It does NOT relate to the use of Adobe Reader.

If you have any questions please consult your liaison librarian.

Heather Gordon, 
Director Library & Information Services 

Miles Franklin celebrated with Google Doodle

You may have noticed that today's Google homepage has an unusual picture on it.  The Google Doodle, Google's way of celebrating and commemorating past events through a new picture (and sometimes a game) on their homepage, has today been changed to celebrate Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin's 135th birthday.

Miles Franklin, who is best remembered as the author of 'My Brilliant Career' and through her eponymous literary award.

The scene depicted in the Google Doodle shows Sybylla from 'My Brilliant Career' gazing at her grandmother's house in rural New South Wales.

You can find Miles Franklin's books, letters, and diaries in the Townsville and Cairns Libraries under 820A FRA or by clicking here.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Need a sample essay

Major assignments are coming up and if you need essay examples some places to look are:
 Don't forget the Library buildings have the Learning Advice desk for assistance at Cairns and Townsville. At these points amongst other things advice on the form and structure of your assignment is available, just bring your subject outline.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Temporary Closure

Information Commons and iLearning Rooms will be closed from 6pm to 6.30pm on Friday 10th October for fumigation.

We apologise for any inconvenience

Group Room Bookings page issue

There is currently a problem with the online student group study rooms booking forms. IT are working on it. For the time being, if you would like to book a student group study room at Cairns or Townsville library, email, we apologise for the inconvenience.

New book recommendation

Each week recent purchases are placed on the new book displays. You can subscribe to the New Library Books, Periodicals and Newspapers email or view the New Books list online.

A selection for Mental Health Week reading is:

Handbook of Depression (3rd edition) edited by Ian H. Gotlib and Constance L. Hammen. Call Number: 616.8527 HAN 2014

The publishers Guildford Press describe this as "The authoritative reference on depression and mood disorders, this volume brings together the field's preeminent researchers."

A quick look through shows thirty chapters arranged in four distinct parts that are themed descriptive, risks and models, depression in specific populations by age and gender and a final on prevention and treatment.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Periodical in Focus: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

JCU research staff in collaboration have recently participated in a trial involving Necator americanus (hookworm) and their effect on people suffering coeliac disease. You can read a press release titled A wriggly solution to a first world problem.

The research article titled "Experimental hookworm infection and gluten microchallenge promote tolerance in celiac disease" and at present is available online as an Article In Press. It has been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology  which is available online for JCU students and staff through the JCU catalogue or via browsing the eJournal portal.

24 Hour Information Commons Survey: Mabo Library

In September 2014, Library and Information Services ran a survey to obtain student feedback on the 24 hour Information Commons (IC) in the Mabo Library, Townsville campus. 

The survey results have provided more detail about the type of students using the Information Commons, how they use it, what they like about it , and what improvements can be made.

We thank the students for the feedback  and the survey summary report, including our action plan, are now available online at

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Changes to CopyPrint charges

CopyPrint is now a whole lot cheaper!
Recent changes in the way JCU delivers printing mean that you now pay less per print job!

Image of a happy cat

Some of the changes:

A4 Black Single Side
Was $0.10
Now $0.07

A4 Colour Single Side
Was $0.65
Now $0.14

Scanning to USB/Email
Was $0.04

A full listing of all charges can be found on the ITR website.

While this is good news for those who need to print, we urge you to carefully consider your printing requirements and the impact your printing has on the environment.