Submission details for responses to the Australian Productivity Commission Draft Research Report

From: Colin Steele <Colin.Steele_at_ANU.EDU.AU>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 14:18:23 +1100

I contacted the Australian Productivity Commission yesterday and they have now put up on the web, the submission details for responses to the draft report at:

Selected extracts are as follows:

You are invited to examine Draft Report and to provide written submissions to the
Commission. (In addition, the Commission intends to hold a limited number of
consultations to obtain feedback on the draft.)
There is no specified format for submissions. They may range from a brief outline of
your views, to a much more substantial assessment of a range of issues. Where
possible, you should provide relevant data and documentation to support your views.
Written submissions should reach the Commission by Thursday, 21 December 2006.

Submissions may also be sent by mail, fax or audio cassette. Arrangements can also be
made to record oral submissions over the telephone.
By email:*


Colin Steele
Emeritus Fellow
Copland Building 24
Room G037, Division of Information
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200

Tel +61 (0)2 612 58983

University Librarian, Australian National University (1980-2002)
and Director Scholarly Information Strategies (2002-2003)

-----Original Message-----
From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
Sent: Friday, 17 November 2006 3:00 PM
Subject: Draft report from Australian government recommends OA mandate

Two Items from Peter Suber's Open Access News

1. Draft report from Australian government recommends OA mandate

 The Australian Government Productivity Commission has
 released an important study, Public Support for Science
 and Innovation: Draft Research Report (November 2,
 2006). (Thanks to Colin Steele.)


    Impediments to the functioning of the innovation system [:]....There
    is scope for the ARC and the NHMRC to play a more active role than
    they currently do in promoting access to the results of research
    they fund. They could require as a condition of funding that research
    papers, data and other information produced as a result of
    their funding are made publicly available such as in an "open
    access" repository.

    The Australian Government has sought to enhance access to the results
    of publicly funded research through the:

    - development of an Accessibility Framework for Publicly Funded
    Research; and

    - allocation of funding under the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative
    to build technical information infrastructure that supports the
    creation, dissemination of and access to knowledge, and the use of
    digital assets and their management (box 5.10)....

    In a recent report to DEST, Houghton et al. (2006) estimated net
    gains from improving access to publicly-funded research across the
    board and in particular research sectors (table 5.2).

    - The estimated benefits from an assumed 5 per cent increase in access
    and efficiency and level of social rate of return were between $2
    million (ARC competitively-funded research) and $628 million (gross
    expenditure on R&D).

    - Assuming a move from this level of improved access and efficiency
    to a national system of institutional repositories in Australia over
    twenty years, the estimated benefit/cost ratios were between 3.1
    (NHMRC-funded research) to 214 (gross expenditure on R&D)....

    Of interest, is whether funding agencies themselves could become
    more actively involved in enhancing access to the results of the
    research they fund....

    In their recent report to DEST, Houghton et al. (2006)
    made a number of suggestions to improve access to and dissemination
    of research including:

    - developing a national system of institutional or enterprise-based
    repositories to support new modes of enquiry and research; ...

    - ensuring that the Research Quality Framework supports and encourages
    the development of new, more open scholarly communication
    mechanisms, rather than encouraging "a retreat" by researchers
    to conventional publication forms and media, and a reliance by
    evaluators upon traditional publication metrics (for example, by
    ensuring dissemination and impact are an integral part of evaluation);

    - encouraging funding agencies (for example, ARC and NHMRC) to mandate
    that the results of their supported research be made available in
    open access archives and repositories;

    - encouraging universities and research institutions to support the
    development of new, more open scholarly communication mechanisms,
    through, for example, the development of "hard or soft open access"
    mandates for their supported research; and

    - providing support for a structured advocacy program to raise
    awareness and inform all stakeholders about the potential benefits
    of more open scholarly communication alternatives, and provide
    leadership in such areas as copyright (for example, by encouraging
    use of "creative commons" licensing) (pp. xii-xiii)....

    Several impediments to innovation should be addressed: ...

    - published papers and data from ARC and NHMRC-funded projects should
    be freely and publicly available....


    Comment [from Peter Suber]: It's important that this report was
    written by a government commission and important that it recommends
    an OA mandate.

    From the file of preliminaries:

        You are invited to examine this draft research study and to
        provide written submissions to the Commission. Submissions should
        reach the Commission by Thursday, 21 December 2006. In addition,
        the Commission intends to hold a limited number of consultations
        to obtain feedback on this draft.

        The Commission intends to present its final report to the
        Government in early March 2007.

    The Productivity Commission gives no address (and worse, no email
    address) specifically for comments, but it does give this contact
    info for its Media and Publications division:

            Locked Bag,
            2 Collins Street
            East Melbourne VIC 8003
            Fax: (03) 9653 2303

    [Peter Suber, Open Access News]

2. Another OA recommendation for Australia

    The Australian government has published the report, Research Quality
    Framework: Assessing the quality and impact of research in Australia:
    The Recommended RQF, October 2006, which has been "endorsed by the
    Development Advisory Group for the RQF". (Thanks to Colin Steele.)


    5.3. The RQF Information Management System is to be developed
    recognising that the Australian Government announced the RQF in
    conjunction with the Accessibility Framework in May 2004 as part
    of the Backing Australia's Ability - Building our Future through
    Science and Innovation package.

    The purpose of the Research Accessibility Framework is to ensure
    that information about research and how to access it is available
    to researchers and the wider community. This is particularly true
    of publicly-funded research; as a general proposition, it should be
    accessible to the public.

    There's an article about the report in the November 15 issue of The
    Australian, but it doesn't mention the OA recommendation.,20867,20758602-12332,00.html

    Comment [by Peter Suber]: This OA recommendation converges beautifully
    with the OA recommendation from study by the Australian Government
    Productivity Commission (blogged here yesterday). The odds that
    Australia will adopt an OA mandate for publicly-funded research have
    to go up as more official commissions deliver the same message.

    [Peter Suber: Open Access News]
Received on Sat Nov 18 2006 - 19:53:39 GMT

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