Researcher spaces

Each major campus library has zones or areas for higher degree research students and researchers, acknowledging that they have different needs to undergraduates.  These include single study spaces, group study spaces, training rooms, and access to computers, wireless access and power.

Research Commons

The Melbourne campus library also has an ultra-high definition (4k) visualisation wall and creative studio in the new Research Commons, Level 2.  We provide access, booking and familiarisation for specialised equipment in these spaces.

Book a Research Commons space

Bookings for:
  • 2.10 Viz Lab
  • 2.11 Creative Studio
are made via Book La Trobe.

Note: these spaces are for research purposes - open to HDR students & staff working in research. Conditional approval will require you to have a familiarisation session before access is granted. Bookings not available for T&L events/meetings or non La Trobe events.


The Research Commons at La Trobe University Library provides a dynamic environment with new technologies, spaces and support for La Trobe’s scholars at every stage of their research.

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 academics and higher degree research students and as a key facility to establish industry and government partnerships and attract funders and sponsors.

It provides a place to:

  • Access data visualisation, GIS/mapping and text-analysis tools
  • Connect and collaborate with researchers across disciplines and campuses
  • Host workshops and presentations
  • Showcase La Trobe’s research
  • Meet with research partners and sponsors from business, community and government
  • Get support from experts across the disciplines


The Research Commons is located in the Borchardt Library, at the centre of the Melbourne Campus of La Trobe University.

Spaces within the Research Commons are intended as collaborative zone for University higher degree by research students, academics and professional staff doing and supporting research. It can also serve as a showcase and focal point for future and current research partners and sponsors from business and government.

This dedicated space can host La Trobe University research programs or speakers, with research support & collections, and can accommodate groups of 50 with breakout spaces.  It also has casual seating to facilitate small group discussions and interdisciplinary interactions.

Key features of the Research Commons include:

  • a large, glass enclosed workspace with a high-definition visualisation wall
  • a creative studio
  • project and break out rooms
  • flexible spaces for consultations and collaborative work
  • BYOD (bring your own device) enabled


We provide:

  • Consultations, workshops and training programs:
    • grant support
    • research metrics and impact
    • where to publish
    • research data management
    • open access
    • copyright
    • the University repository
    • publications data collection
    • general training support (Endnote, SPSS, NVivo)
  • Hosting of your research and research training events
  • Access to specialised software in a visualisation environment
    • ArcGIS
    • Chimera
    • Cygwin
    • GoogleEarth
    • MeshLab
    • ParaView
    • PuTTY
    • VLC
    • WinCoot
    • Worldwide Telescope
    • Matlab 2014 B

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the Research Commons?

The Research Commons spaces are provided for University higher degree by research (HDR) students, academic and professional staff doing and supporting research.

It is not available for Learning & Teaching activities, undergraduate use, or recurring meetings.

Where is the Research Commons located?

The Research Commons is located at the northern end of the second floor of the Borchardt Library, Melbourne (Bundoora) Campus.

Can I eat and drink in the Research Commons?

Snacks and covered beverages are permitted within the Research Commons. We do ask that you clean up any spills right away, and properly dispose of all food, trash, and recycling.  For scheduled meetings and events, all food waste must be taken out of the building immediately following the event.

Are there computers in the Research Commons?

You are required to bring your own devices to the Commons.  The Visualisation Lab and the Creative Studio do have computer equipment dedicated for use of the specialised screens.

When can I get assistance in the Research Commons?

Support and familiarisation is available between 9-5 Monday to Friday. The Research Commons staff can provide basic level help in using the Visualisation screen, however we do not have expertise in the specialised software or analysis. We can help you locate an expert and facilitate a meeting with them.

Can I book rooms/areas within the Research Commons?

Bookings can be made for all Library opening hours by staff using Book La Trobe.

Do I need training to operate equipment in the Research Commons?

You are required to sign a Conditions of Use form and attend a familiarisation session to be able to use the equipment in the Visualisation Lab and the Creative Studio. This can be arranged via form or by emailing

Can I access the Research Commons virtually if I am based at another campus?

If you are an eligible user, you are welcome to use this facility when visiting the Bundoora campus. It is a good idea to make contact prior to your visit so we can organise a formal tour and access for you.

Can I remotely log in to the visualisation wall?

At present full functionality of the visualisation wall cannot be accessed from remote locations.

Can I access the Research Commons outside standard working hours?

The Research Commons is available for use during all library opening hours.

What are the capabilities of the visualisation wall?

The Vizlab has DCI 4K resolution standard, which has a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels (256:135, approximately a 1.9:1 aspect ratio), but only available via installed PC.

How can I provide feedback about the Research Commons?

We value your feedback, and you are encouraged to email with your feedback, or discuss with your Senior Research Advisor.

Our regular client surveys will also provide you with an opportunity to share your thoughts.

How many people fit into the visualisation lab?

The Commons can provide lecture style seating for up to 40 people.  Regular seating with tables in place comfortably accommodates 20.

Can I host a research event in the Research Commons?

You are welcome to host a LTU research-related event in the Research Commons.  Please provide as much notice as possible to ensure availability and organise familiarisation.

Bookings can be made for all Library opening hours by staff using Book La Trobe.

Is there any recording capability in the Research Commons?

There are no specific recording capabilities in the Commons.  There are a number of other facilities and resources available at the Bundoora campus which include:

More information

Contact us to register your interest or ask a question:


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