How I’m using my library

Reflections from Caitlin Kuempel, winner of the Library Excellence Award in Research award

The Taylor & Francis Group Library Excellence Award in Research was created to reward a research higher degree student that demonstrated excellent use of the University of Queensland’s library resources. Caitlin Kuempel received the award this year for her outstanding use of the academic content available at her library. We asked Caitlin to share what she is doing, and how she used the various resources she has access to.

Caitlin Kuempel, PhD candidate in Biodiversity and Conservation Science 

I am currently a PhD candidate within the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science. My research looks at the effectiveness of protected areas at achieving global conservation targets. Protected areas help to control human extractive activities and are one of the most widely used tools in combatting the loss of habitats and species globally.

My thesis aims to tease apart the relationship and potential trade-offs between protected area expansion and other objectives, such as management of the protected areas or representing the full range of habitats and species, to determine how we can achieve greater outcomes for biodiversity.

“Answering these questions will allow us to optimize how we spend our limited funds for conservation […]”

[…] and there are many other socio-economic aspects that are dependent on protected area success.

“There are three library resources that have really helped me throughout my PhD candidature so far.”

First, the online archive of research higher degree (via my university’s e-space) has been invaluable, providing great research and templates. Second, the librarians have been especially helpful and have always pointed me in the right direction – whether that be in finding books to learn about certain statistical methods or global records of data which I used in my research. Lastly, I have taken up several of the training opportunities which introduced me to other resources that I wasn’t aware of. I found it fairly easy to locate all of these resources – once I realized the library is where I needed to look!

“Today, we are lucky that there is so much information available online but sometimes it is best to have the materials in your hands in front of you.”

University of Queensland (UQ) libraries has a great online database which makes it easy to see what is available and where, and the librarians are always helpful in pointing you in the right direction or letting you know when new resources become available. Don’t be afraid to ask and make sure you look at your library website for upcoming opportunities.

“As a PhD student, I am always looking for new skills and I find the training programmes very useful.”

More specialized training is always a bonus. I’m happy to see they are now providing training for R and Rstudio which would have been so helpful when I started. I have been wanting to learn python and just realized they offer online courses for that too. The UQ libraries go above and beyond in supporting RHD research, and I highly recommend taking full advantage of all that is available from your own library too.


At Taylor & Francis, we are proud to work with journals, institutions, and societies to provide support and recognition for researcher achievements. Find out more about our researcher awards and prizes.