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Digital creation, innovation, and scholarship
Digital literacy involves more than simply being a well-informed, analytical consumer of digital information and technology. Ultimately, you'll want to become a confident creator of digital content as well.
This aspect of digital literacy is about bringing together the knowledge you gain in each unit of study with your analysis and ideas about a topic or issue, leading to the creation of innovative solutions and engaging communication. Technology can be with you every step of the way – as the well-known Apple slogan goes, "there's an app for that"!
Digital research and scholarship is a growing area of interest in universities all around the world. Often referred to as e-research (opens in a new window), digital scholarship is focused on using information and communications technologies to supercharge the research process and the dissemination of research findings. There's also a movement, facilitated by the Internet, towards open access (opens in a new window) to research data (opens in a new window) and publications, especially for publically funded research.
Data visualisation (opens in a new window) is also trending, especially for big data (this refers to massive datasets which may be added to incrementally and/or consist of very many pieces of information which would be impossible to analyse without the aid of computers).
- The DiRT Directory (opens in a new window) aggregates information about digital research tools for scholarly use.
- University Staff and Students have free access to the LinkedIn Learning online training library. You need to register with your Western account (opens in a new window). Once you have registered, try this playlist: Learn data visualization (opens in a new window)
- Drawing by numbers (opens in a new window) brings together free data visualisation tools from all over the web.
- The University of Edinburgh's 23 Things for Digital Knowledge (opens in a new window) is a self-directed course which aims to expose you to a range of digital tools for your personal and professional development as a researcher, academic, student, or professional.
- Western Sydney University has a range of fantastic technology facilities:
- 3-D printing (opens in a new window)
- Music & video production (opens in a new window)
- Construction testing (opens in a new window)
- Magnetic resonance (opens in a new window) technology for biological, chemical, and medical analyses.
Open access to scholarship
There is a vast range of free and open scholarship available on the web which supplements the Library's large collection of e-resources.
- Check out the Library Subject Guides (opens in a new window) and browse the e-resources organised by subject.
- Check out Western's online research repository, ResearchDirect (opens in a new window), which contains research and publications by Western researchers.
- Directory of Open Access Journals (opens in a new window) (DOAJ) is a service that indexes high quality, peer reviewed Open Access research journals and periodicals.
- Directory of Open Access Books (opens in a new window) (DOAB) indexes academic, peer reviewed books which are Open Access.
As a digital scholar, creator or collaborator you should plan for the long-term sustainability of the digital artefacts you produce. Your ICT proficiency will be important here as you consider appropriate file formats (opens in a new window), storage media, and documentation or metadata (opens in a new window), so that these artefacts remain accessible for future scholars.
- The Personal Digital Archive Toolkit (opens in a new window) provides steps to preserve your digital photographs, emails, recordings and documents.
Drop into a campus library (opens in a new window) and ask Library staff or chat with an Online Librarian (opens in a new window) or ask a study expert.