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Trick or Treat?

By Curtin Library 31 October 2018 Databases Comments off

Curtin Library’s databases hold many treats and we would like to share one with you today for Halloween. Justis provides access to common law cases dating back to 1163. Amongst these treasures you can find trials reflecting the widespread belief of the supernatural including sorcerers and witches.

In 1616, Bishop Alexander Roberts, wrote about a local witchcraft trial of one Mary Smith in King’s Lynne, Norfolk[1]. Blogger Holly Kelsey summarises Robert’s description of Mary Smith’s trial[2]. The following is an extract from her blog:

Roberts introduces the maligned Mary Smith as a jealous woman who resents her neighbours for being better than her at her trade (cheese making). The devil supposedly appeared to her in the form of a ‘man’, who tempted her into renouncing God in exchange for gaining magical power over her fellow villagers.

Mary, like most people accused of witchcraft in this period, seems to have suffered from the unlucky combination of a natural ‘distemper’ and an exceptionally shrewd eye. For instance, after her first ‘victim’, John Orkton, hit her son, Mary ‘wished in a most earnest and bitter manner that his fingers might rotte off’. This rather specific wish did indeed come true: nine months later ‘his fingers did corrupt, and were cut off; as also his toes putrefied & consumed’. You wonder whether Mary might have had a talent for spotting future illness in people, or whether this was simply an exceptionally unfortunate development in John’s circumstances which happened to align to an old insult.

Others among Mary’s ‘victims’ were struck after petty neighbourly disputes. Mary believed one Elizabeth Hancock had stolen her hen, and grumbled at her, after which Elizabeth found she could not eat and began to waste away. Intriguingly, Elizabeth tried to counter the supposed curse put on her by baking a ‘witch cake’! Another woman, Cicely Bayle, quarrelled with Mary about sweeping the street. After this incident we get a fantastic story of Cicely becoming ill from a cat coming into her house which ‘sat upon her breast […] that she could not without great difficulty draw her breath’. It seems a bizarre image to us that a woman could become ill from being unable to get a cat off her chest, but at the time this would have corresponded with the common belief in ‘witches’ familiars’ – animals sent by a witch to do her dirty work for her.

The story ends badly for the unfortunate Mary. She confessed to the charges brought against her and was sentenced to execution. Confession to such outrageous accusations may seem inconceivable to us today, but was not uncommon – many of the accused had little chance of arguing their innocence in the face of mounting ‘evidence’, whilst a minority may have genuinely become convinced they had the powers ascribed to them.

To read the full trial of Mary Smith on Justis as published in The State Trials click here and log-in using your Oasis details.


[1] Alexander Roberts, A Treatise of Witchcraft (Project Gutenberg) <>.

[2] Holly Kelsey, ‘A Treatise of Witchcraft (1616) – Alexander Roberts’ on Shakespeare Trust Birthplace (August 15 2016) <>.

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Competition winners: Library Help Point Space Survey

By Curtin Library 31 October 2018 News & events Comments off

The Library is pleased to announce the winners of five $5 Curtin Student Guild vouchers. The vouchers were awarded for completing the recent Library Help Point Space survey.

Elise Francis

Elise Francis

Martin Wells

Martin Wells

Taylor Stone

Taylor Stone

John Pavlic - Adeline Jeremiah

John Pavlic & Adeline Jeremiah

Congratulations to our prize winners, and thanks to all that participated in the survey. We are currently analysing the results and considering your feedback.

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Silent on Six

By Curtin Library 30 October 2018 Facilities Comments off

From the 5th of November until 23rd of November 2018 the whole of level 6 in the Robertson Library (including the group study rooms) will be a designated silent study space.

Phone calls must be taken on levels 2, 3, 4 or 5.

Please keep this in mind when using the Library.

If you are seeking a place for discussion or group study there are designated areas on levels 2, 3, 4 and 5.

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Library Student Assistants Wanted for 2019

By Curtin Library 29 October 2018 News & events Students Comments off

Register now for Library Student Assistant positions for the Robertson Library (Bentley campus).

These positions are offered to current Curtin University students only.  A current police clearance and proof of citizenship/permanent residence or visa permitting work will also be required for successful applicants.

Successful applicants will be offered approximately 8 – 20 hours per week during semester, including exam periods. Limited hours may be available during semester break.

The current pay rate is $30.979/hour. This is a casual rate which includes a loading in lieu of sick pay and holiday pay. The same rate applies for any hours worked in the evenings or on the weekends.

Essential criteria:

  • Available for interview in person on the 26th or 27th of November 2018.
  • Available to attend training every day from the 11th to the 15th of February 2019.
  • 18 months or more left of study at Curtin.
  • Studied at Curtin for over a year.
  • Be available for 8 – 20 hours per week during semester including mornings from 7am, weekends, late nights and overnight shifts.
  • Be available during study week and exam weeks.
  • A level of physical fitness appropriate to the duties involved e.g. pushing trolleys, shelving.
  • Flexibility to deal with a changing workplace and work patterns.
  • An ability to accurately comprehend and follow instructions
  • Reliability and punctuality.
  • Good teamwork, interpersonal skills, and good communication skills.

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience using the Curtin University Library (e.g. printing, borrowing items).
  • Knowledge of computers and Curtin IT processes (e.g. wireless).
  • Some availability to work during semester breaks if required.

How to apply:

Students interested in applying can register an Expression of Interest on Unihub. Formal applications will open on Monday 29th October 2018. Lodge your application or EOI online through Curtin UniHub at and search jobs for “Library Student Assistant”. Applications close on Friday 9th of November. We reserve the right to close applications prior to this date dependent on the volume of applications. If you have questions about the position or the application process, please contact:

Emma Lovegrove
Curtin Careers Centre


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Winning with ORCID: Connect your ORCID through elements

By Curtin Library 26 October 2018 News & events Research Comments off

Congratulations to this week’s five winners of ORCID Prize Packs!

Christine Toye – School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Paramedicine
David Belton – School of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Philip Bland – School of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Liam Scarlett – School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Cameron Neylon – School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Enquiry

It’s not too late to win a prize pack. Create or connect your ORCID through Elements now for a chance to win a coffee voucher, an ORCID ceramic mug, sticker, and badges! Five winners will be drawn randomly every Tuesday until 23 November 2018.

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a persistent digital identifier for researchers that links together outputs and activities.

ORCID is now integrated with Curtin’s Publications Management System, Elements, enabling quicker and more accurate claiming of publications. Staff are strongly encouraged to connect their ORCID record through Elements, which takes less than 30 seconds.

Competition terms and conditions apply.

For more information about the many benefits of ORCID see this previous blog post.

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Suggestion: Monitoring Level 4

By Curtin Library 23 October 2018 News & events Comments off

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…

Can we have more regular checks on Level Four?

Particularly around the booths with the whiteboards, there is always a group of people making so much excessive noise even though there are clearly multiple quiet talking signs around. They are always laughing loud, and talking inappropriately and it really gets on everybody’s nerves.

Students themselves are telling these groups to be quieter but they continue on, and it is really just disrespectful to everyone trying to work, but prefer not to sit in the silent room because they may be sick, or have snacks.

The Library responds…

Thank you for the feedback and I am sorry to hear the noise is disrupting your studies. I have asked Library staff who monitor the areas to be alert to concerns about noise and remind people about considerate use of the Library.

It can help if you report problems like this as soon as they arise and you may like to email This email address is monitored all the time the Library is providing full service and issues will be attended to as soon as possible once they are drawn to our attention.

James Robinson
Curtin University Library

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Feedback: Issue with accessing Catalogue

By Curtin Library 23 October 2018 News & events Comments off

From the suggestion box@Curtin Library…

Can’t access library catalogue using my iPad . Any suggestions ??

The Library responds…

Thanks for your feedback.  If you are based at Bentley, please see a Library staff member, otherwise please submit any error messages you have via the following link and someone will contact you.

Colin Sinclair
Curtin University Library

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International Open Access Week 2018 (22nd October -28th October)

By Curtin Library 22 October 2018 Open Access Week Comments off

Open Access Week is an annual event focusing on advancing the foundations of open knowledge. It is an opportunity for academics and the research community to learn more about open access and to engage in ongoing conversations that help inspire and advance open access to research.

The theme for this year’s Open Access Week Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge‘ reflects the need to make research more inclusive, equitable and accessible to the global community. It calls for us to engage in conversations about providing free access to high quality research output, and enabling re-use of research data, analysis and findings. In doing so, addressing the barriers that exist in moving towards openly accessible academic output.

So join the community in celebrating this year’s Open Access Week to learn more about open access and the challenges faced by academics and researchers.

Curtin Library will be hosting the following events and we invite you to join us on the day.

Screening of the documentary ‘Paywall: The Business of Scholarship

A documentary which focuses on the need for open access to research and science and questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers. It also examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google.

Please feel free to BYO lunch.

Date: Wednesday 24 October 2018, 12:30pm-2pm

Venue: 401.001 Hollis Lecture Theatre


Beware the Publishing Trap!

Want to learn more about open access, publishing, copyright, and the evolving scholarly communications environment but don’t want to sit in another presentation? Come along and play “The Publishing Trap” board game with fellow researchers. Each character in the game need to balance the relationship between knowledge, impact, and money. It’s a fun way to learn how the choices you make throughout your academic journey might impact on your academic success.

Bring your friends or form teams on the spot. We hope to see you at one or both of the sessions!

Tuesday 23 October 1pm – 3pm Library Makerspace

Thursday 25 October 10am – 12pm Library Makerspace


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Curtin Conversations: Measuring Engagement – making (social) media work for you

By Curtin Library 22 October 2018 News & events Comments off

Join the Library for a conversation about how researchers can measure engagement beyond academia.

This year, as part of the 2018 ERA round, Australian universities were asked to show how they are translating their research into economic, social, environmental and other impacts. Researchers are increasingly required to provide evidence of their engagement beyond academia as part of applications for jobs, promotions and funding grants. How do you measure engagement?

Join the Library and our panel of expert engagers – Nikos Ntoumanis, Gretchen Benedix, Tama Leaver, and Katharina Wolf – as we discuss the art of engagement and how to measure your engagement beyond academia using tools such as Altmetric Explorer. Curtin Media Relations and the Research Office will also provide an insight into how their services can increase the visibility of your research.

Morning tea will be provided after the discussion to allow time for networking with fellow attendees and the panelists.

Event Details

Date Thursday 8 November, 2018
Time 10am to 11.30am
Venue Council Chambers, Level 3
Building 100, Curtin University
Kent St Bentley WA 6102
RSVP Thursday, 1 November 2018


Unable to attend? This event it will be streamed live and made available after as an iLecture.


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Your chance to win: Connect your ORCID through Elements

By Curtin Library 22 October 2018 News & events Comments off

ORCID merchandise-small

Create or connect your ORCID through Elements now for a chance to win a coffee voucher, an ORCID ceramic mug, sticker, and badges! Five winners will be drawn randomly every Tuesday between 22 October and 23 November 2018 from a list of ORCIDs connected in Elements.

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a persistent digital identifier for researchers that links together your outputs and activities.

ORCID is now integrated with Curtin’s Publications Management System, Elements, enabling quicker and more accurate claiming of publications. Staff are strongly encouraged to connect their ORCID record through Elements, which takes less than 30 seconds.


  • Is required by publishers for journal submissions and funders for grant applications
  • Distinguishes you and your research outputs from other researchers
  • Improves recognition and discoverability of you and your research output
  • Can be used throughout your whole research career
  • Can make it easier to generate publication lists and citation reports

Australian Research Council (ARC) grant recipients will be able to auto-populate their research output data into their Research Management System person profiles and application forms from November 2018.

Keep your ORCID record up to date to reap maximum benefits and save precious time. Visit our help guide or contact for assistance.

Competition terms and conditions apply.

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