New Australian Report

From: Arthur Sale <>
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2007 10:37:49 +1000

The OAK Law project (Australia) has produced a new report: `A guide
to developing open access through your digital repository', ISBN
978-0-9802988-4-0, 121pp. You may be able to request a free copy from
the authors.


The report is also stated to be available online (OA) at The report is 121 A4 pages, and you
will need to print it to read it successfully. However this link was
down when I tried to check it. Instead you can get it from the QUT


[As an aside, I have often been surprised at how many OA participants
fail to practice what they preach, and don't put their major writings
into an open access (OA-compliant) repository, but opt for a website.
For example, the Australian Department of Education, Science &
Training fails this test. What this means in practice is poor
accessibility, poor searchability, poor version control, poor
preservation and survivability of links, and low levels of access



The Report is a good set of tips, advice and checklists regarding the
management of an institutional repository aiming to provide open
access to its contents. It presents a strong advocacy of universal
open access being provided by universities. As one expects of a law
project, the discussion is skewed towards legality, and especially
copyright; however that does not detract from its usefulness, as long
as you remember that the strictly legal position is promoted rather
than any pragmatic or risky option. The footnotes give many


Section 3 deals with deposit requirement, and as appropriate to
authors from QUT (one of the first mandate universities in the
world), it deals reasonably with the mandate vs persuasion issue.
However it does not clearly distinguish between deposit and making a
deposit `open access', which is a critical issue for both mandatory
policies and for capturing born-digital items. To be fair, this is
mentioned rather obscurely on page 38 (section 4.1 Copyright Issues
under the heading Repository-Depositor Relationship, instead of
taking centre stage in the deposit process.


Also surprisingly, it does not include discussion of the `request a
copy' feature often used for restricted items under `fair use
practice', or perhaps I missed it.


Another thing I missed was a discussion of the prior rights of a
university that mandated deposit, over the authority of an academic
to sign away subsequent copyright over which he or she did not
therefore have unfettered control.


Summary - certainly worth acquiring and reading if you are worried
about copyright issues. Just remember that its treatment of what
repository managers need to consider is incomplete.


Arthur Sale

University of Tasmania
Received on Sat Oct 06 2007 - 13:06:24 BST

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