The Research Commons at La Trobe University Libraries provides a dynamic research environment with new technologies, spaces and support for all La Trobe’s Researchers at every stage of the research lifecycle.
The Research Commons is a key project in the University’s Future Ready plans for research excellence, serving as a central, accessible and expert consultation space for La Trobe scholars and higher degree research students and as a key facility to attract research funding and establish industry partnerships.
Enterprise Research Data Management System
The Library and ICT are working together to implement an Enterprise Research Data Management System, developing and building the University's capacity to collect, curate and disseminate research data underpinning research outputs.
An Enterprise Research Data Management System (ERDMS) will enable the University to better manage research data outputs, in line with its obligations to under the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, as well as anticipated future requirements of funding agencies to require researchers to provide a research data management plan and to publish research datasets in the public domain.
The system will also enable researchers to improve the management and tracking of their own research, collaborate more easily with internal and external research partners, and provide a safe, backed up and fully managed environment in which to manage their data.
Digitising La Trobe University PhD theses
The University has approved a 2013 Library project to digitise from print approximately 3000 La Trobe University PhD theses so they can be added to La Trobe University Research Online. The LTU Electronic theses collection currently includes only born digital theses from 2010, and this is the first systematic project to digitise pre 2010 theses.
Digitising our PhD theses will
- showcase our unpublished research,
- increase the visibility, exposure and accessibility of our research,
- facilitate collaboration within the research community and attract future staff and students
- ensure the preservation and secure storage of research outputs otherwise held only in deteriorating paper format.
About the project
As other universities have found that online use of theses diminishes with age, the project team intends digitising in reverse chronological order.
Consistent with practice elsewhere the Library will not be contacting individual authors to seek permission to place their digitised thesis online, but will immediately take offline any thesis should the author request it. A Copyright Takedown Notice will be accessible from the LTU website – linked on the footer of every page – which will ensure a quick response to any such request.
Please contact Eva Fisch, Collection Development Manager, if you have any questions about this project.
Research Materials Digitisation Program
The library's Research Materials Digitisation program aims to enhance the reputation of the University and its library to existing and prospective researchers, students and staff; expose its collection treasures; and link collections to academic research and teaching.
- The project is about digitising and communicating, e.g. making the works publicly accessible.
- Digitised materials will relate to the current and future research and learning of the University, and highlight collection strengths and special collections including:
- Early Australian literature
- Indian Government publications
- Latin American materials.
- The library may need to work with key academics to tag collections and assign appropriate metadata.
- To make stored content more discoverable to the researcher, the project will focus on La Trobe University Library stored special and collection strength materials (these may be in the Annexe, storage or Compactus locations).
- The materials will normally be government publications or monographic in nature.
- The project complements purchases of digitised collections such as Early English Books Online.
- Materials digitised will be out of copyright and there will be no impingements on their use in Australia.
- The project will not digitise high quality materials already scanned and available in Australia. If a work has already been digitised, to be excluded from our digitising efforts it will need to be available in full text, in Australia and of an acceptable quality (e.g. good quality PDF).*
- It is envisaged that:
- To brand and promote the project, 'digitised by La Trobe University Library' will be added to each digitised work.
- The items in the collection will be able to be tagged using a social media model to facilitate labelling and feedback about the collection.
- A 'La Trobe digitising project' virtual space will be developed in the repository with a link to 'suggestions for other works to be digitised' with links to the public Collections web pages. A name could be 'La Trobe University Research Collection Treasures Online'.
*Hathi Trust states that 'Because of differences in international copyright laws, access is also restricted for users outside the United States to works published outside the United States after 1870... it is estimated that 1869 is the earliest date foreign works may still be under copyright. Therefore, users accessing the volume from US IP addresses will have access to the works published outside the US between 1869 and 1923; however, users with non-US IP addresses will not.'
Healthy Communities Data Collection
The library is working with the Building Healthy Communities Research Focus Area on a project to release health data for the Bendigo region.
The project will develop the Healthy Communities Data Collection that includes health services data from Bendigo Hospital and GP data from the Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local (LMMML). The open data collection will consist of non-identifiable patient records, and will be stored in the La Trobe University research repository.
Health researchers have a major interest in looking at how to use clinical data to better inform and improve population healthcare in rural Australia. The data will focus on patients over 40 years of age that were diagnosed with cardiovascular health symptoms. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, being responsible for 33.7 per cent of all deaths in 2008 (ABS 2010).
The open data set and will be accessible to researchers interested in cardiovascular disease from a geographical population health perspective.