23: library as a research tool

December 21, 2015 – 10:47 am


Well –  we’re finally at the end of 23 Research Things @ACU. For our final post we thought we’d take a look at the ACU Library itself and the services it provides for researchers. Over the past few months we’ve presented a range of digital tools and, of course, different people will find some tools to be of greater importance to their research than others. The Library, on the other hand, is pretty central to academic research: yes, as library professionals we might be a tad biased in that assessment but almost all researchers will at some point make use of the Library’s services and tools. The library has a lot of offer!

Getting started: Library Research webpages

The library research webpages cover information for the entire research life-cycle:

  • Beginning your research
    • Start here to find out about the library resources, and one-to-one support, available to researchers.
  • Managing your research
    • Get access to software to assist with various research activities, and discover tools for establishing a unique researcher ID.
  • Publishing and promoting your research
    • See how the library can support and promote your research publications, and find information on a range of publishing issues.
  • Measuring your research impact
    • Find resources to help navigate the techniques used for measuring the impact of researchers and their publications.

Getting started: Library Research Guides

These research guides are a series of guides designed specifically for researchers.

Individual guides:

These are all designed with ACU researchers in mind and link to databases and services to which the University Library provides direct access.

Research Consultations

Academic staff and graduate students are welcome to book a research consultation with a Liaison librarian. Liaison Librarians provide support for researchers and are available on all campuses.  They can assist you with:

  • Finding resources relevant to your research
  • Designing search strategies for your literature or systematic review
  • Setting up saved searches and journal alerts in databases
  • Answering your questions about library services

Getting hold of that book

Despite the increasing availability of research publications in digital formats, a lot of important work is still published only in print. If we don’t hold a copy of the book that you need, you can request it by filling out an online interlibrary loan form.


Bibliographic: for storing, managing and sharing references and citation details, and creating bibliographies in your chosen referencing style. Instructions for getting a copy of EndNote, or creating an account to access the web-based RefWorks program, are in the subject guides.

ACU Research provides access and support for the following software packages:

  • SPSS – statistical analysis software
  • NVivo – qualitative data analysis software

Keep in touch

Get to know your local subject specific Liaison Librarian.

We also provide 24/7 chat in semester if you have quick queries (chat box appears on all Library web pages).

Subscribe to Library News for current news, information and updates about Library services and events.

You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Question for Thing 22:

Is there more? If you had unlimited resources (time, money and staff) what services would you love the Library to provide for researchers at ACU?



23 Research Things is an initiative of the ACU Library, and is inspired by the University of Melbourne’s 23 Things for Research, the Bodleian Library’s 23 Things for Research, and the DH23 Things program at the University of Cambridge.  The original 23 Things program was developed by the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.

There is however, absolutely no way this program would have occurred without the inspiration and use of the the University of Melbourne’s 23 Things for Research,

Image credit: 23 https://flic.kr/p/gk2fY by https://www.flickr.com/photos/fraumrau/

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  1. 10 Responses to “23: library as a research tool”

  2. This is a tricky question – there is always more ‘things’ and more ways in which we could support researchers. When I was seeking advice and support with my research, a big factor was whether or not I trusted someone’s advice. I received lots of well-meaning suggestions and recommendations, however because my work was interdisciplinary I needed to do the testing/experimenting/exploring myself. For other participants working with researchers, I would ask how do you work with researchers that don’t fit neatly within the categories that the library or university uses to classify researchers and their work? Are they an exciting challenge, an opportunity to learn or too hard on time/resources etc?

    By Tatum on Dec 21, 2015

  3. Trust. How do we get trust?

    By ACULibrary on Dec 23, 2015

  4. I know this sounds very pie-in-the-sky but wouldn’t it be great to have an intensive workshop where all your researchers came and got an idea of how we, the library can help. I learned a lot from the library’s research pages but again, you have to have time to read through everything and also to have a play around the different tools.

    By Nica on Jan 11, 2016

  5. That sounds ideal and not pie in the sky at all. Getting it right between knowing all the tools, or knowing the tools when you need them!!

    By ACULibrary on Jan 13, 2016

  6. I would personally love more training in products such as NVivo and SPSS so that we could provide the same level of support that we do for EndNote.

    By Tracy Bruce on Jan 15, 2016

  7. Yes- it’s Research Services who offer training in NVIVO and SPSS. I know that there are ongoing discussions about support to researchers…

    By ACULibrary on Feb 5, 2016

  8. I agree with Tracy about SPSS & NVivo.
    As someone who’s never done any research, I would not feel qualified to give a researcher advice other than how to use the library’s resources. Lucky I’m not a Liaison Librarian!
    Given unlimited time & money, the library could offer interested staff the opportunity to do a research degree. Who better to advise a researcher than another researcher?

    By Gertrud on Jan 25, 2016

  9. I think if there were unlimited resources, researchers would love impact reports run and tailored to the research output of the discipline.
    This would possibly save researchers time for RPRP process?

    The other thing thing is to promote or have a website or blog category to promote edited or authored new books, book chapters etc of staff and students from ACU. These things take time to coordinate. But if there were unlimited resources…

    By Vicki on Jan 29, 2016

  10. Assistance for research has come such a long way since I did my Masters by research in the late 90s! I wish I had had this level of self-directed support for elements of the process such as determining a research methodology, undertaking a literature review, using referencing tools. There was nothing like RefWorks or EndNote back then. Products like SPSS were usually managed by a section of the University totally dedicated to data crunching your research data. The wonderful range of ways to present research so that it is far more exciting and of interest to the reader is so good to see in recent times with a great deal of software being freely available. I would highly recommend all the LLs undergo the 23 research Program as I see it as a critical success factor for their success in supporting researchers at ACU. A tool for knowledge sharing where new things are discovered would also be worthwhile sharing as we all have different opportunities to be made aware of different things in our own respective circles we move in. I believe the Library’s resources that already exist are a great start and can be enhanced as time progresses. It would be good to also hear from supervisors where they have see good examples of tools used to enhance research outcomes and the presentation of research output. ACU might also want to think about collaborating with other institutions by contributing to a Humanities Hub given the extensive range of research being undertaken at ACU in the Humanities.

    By Helena on Mar 9, 2016

  11. Yes- as you say the “wonderful range of ways to present research” is certainly something that we have looked at in 23Research Things- and so many of the tools are free (or there is a free version to at least explore). I think any development of this program needs to be with the Research area of ACU and research supervisor feedback as you say.

    By ACULibrary on Mar 10, 2016

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