APO News

UN declares 28 September International Day for the Universal Access to Information

The 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, held in November 2015, has proclaimed 28 September as International Day for the Universal Access to Information, starting from 2016.

The proclamation:

National Research Infrastructure Capability Roadmap 2016 - APO submission

The Australian Government recently commissioned the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap to support future investment decisions in research infrastructure. This aim is to ensure Australian researchers can access world class major national research infrastructure.

Submissions for the issues paper closed in mid September. APO made a public submission which is available here. The submissions should be made public soon although they don't seem to be available just yet - check the consultation page for updates.

The issues paper asked about the types of research infrastructure to be supported and the benefits, ethical and procedural issues, data and subject specialisations etc. The APO submission did not answer all questions but did address quite a few given our very broad interest in policy issues across the social sciences, sciences, health, engineering and humanities disciplines.

The following is an extract from the APO submission to the opening question:

Many of the policy and research imperatives facing Australia in the coming decades are complex, multidisciplinary and beyond the capacity of any one sector – whether it is education, government, industry or civil society – to address effectively. Issues such as sustainable urban growth, regional economic development, social cohesion and national security, ehealth, Indigenous reconciliation, climate change adaptation, changing education and employment needs, transport, digital technologies and many more, involve researchers across the sciences, social sciences and the humanities and require engagement and participation from industry, government, civil society and the general public.

To undertake this work involves sources that are highly varied, existing in both digital and physical forms and in a wide range of formats, from historical and archival documents, artefacts and objects to large scale data sets and visualisations. Research data and primary sources may be produced or owned by researchers and institutions themselves, generated by machinery or located in institutions and archives around the world, or be scatted across federal, state and local governments, civil society organisations (CSOs), industry and business.

Grey literature is a term used to describe publications produced and disseminated directly by organisations, including government departments and agencies, academic research centres, NGOs, think tanks and industry – in academic terms ‘non-traditional research objects’ or NTROs. They are an essential part of the policy process, providing the evidence-base for many policy decisions. Grey literature is widely recognised as essential to the research process in health, criminology, archaeology, engineering, environmental science and many other disciplines. Recent research indicates that grey literature reports are the most used and important source of policy and practice related research1 and grey literature’s use value in Australia could be as high as $30 billion p.a1. One of the challenges presented by grey literature is that it does not flow through traditional publishing channels and is therefore dispersed and disaggregated across the internet, difficult to find and evaluate and often lost in what has been described as a digital black hole.

New Job Position at APO - Digital Product Manager. Apply today!

Working with the CRC for Low Carbon Living and academics at the Swinburne Institute for Social Research we are commencing a 2-year project to develop a Knowledge Hub for the sustainable built environment. We are seeking a dynamic Digital Product Manager to scope, consult, design and deliver this and related digital information projects and maximise the opportunities they present, with the aim of supporting better knowledge exchange and decision making on sustainable built environments and other public policy issues.

The Digital Product Manager position is responsible for the planning, design and implementation of the Knowledge Hub project (http://apo.org.au/content/low-carbon-living-knowledge-hub) which will be used by the policy and research communities across all sectors of society and be responsible for the successful end-to-end delivery of new products and services as well as integration with and continued development of related platforms such as APO and the Global Building Performance Network (http://www.gbpn.org/ (link is external))

This is a great opportunity that comes with access to all the benefits of a dynamic university environment at the cutting edge of research and technology. The successful applicant will work as part of a small team within Swinburne institute at Swinburne University Hawthorn campus, in a friendly and flexible work environment. We encourage you to bring your innovative ideas and enthusiasm for open knowledge projects to help shape one of Australia’s most successful open access, not-for-profit research platforms and develop new services to improve universal access to quality research and information.

Skills and Experience
To be successful in this role you will need to demonstrate the following:

  • Demonstrated experience in product management, business and strategic planning for websites, digital libraries or information services
  • Digital project management experience, including understanding user needs and working with a range of stakeholders and team members
  • A full list of the selection criteria is available within the position description.

Swinburne University of Technology has been promoted into the world’s top 500 universities in the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities. As a Swinburne staff member you will have access to many benefits such as career development opportunities including 50% study reduction and staff and management development programs. You will receive up to 17% employer contributions (pension) and various discounts on annual Myki cards, private health insurance and movie tickets. We also recognise the need to support the work/life balance and flexible needs of our staff. As such a range of flexible working arrangements including paid maternity/partner leave, onsite childcare, working from home and part time options are available.
To find out more about the extensive benefits offered to Swinburne employees please visit: http://www.swinburne.edu.au/about/jobs/why-work-at-swinburne/ (link is external)

The diverse culture within Swinburne is a source of strength. We have an inclusive working environment with employees from a variety of backgrounds. We acknowledge that diversity in the university workforce increases the effectiveness of teams and our capacity for innovation. We welcome applications from Indigenous people, workers of all ages, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

We are proud to be recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality 2015 and of key initiatives such as our Pride@Swinburne (link sends e-mail) Strategic Action Plan and our Reconciliation Action Plan which are integral components of our 2020 vision to be Australia’s leading university of science, technology and innovation.

How to apply

A renewed partnership and enhanced service in New Zealand


We are very pleased to announce that the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington is rejoining ANZSOG to support the collection of New Zealand content in this newsletter and in the New Zealand Governance & Policy Collection on APO. 

Professor Brad Jackson, Head of School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington is delighted to build on and deepen the relationship it has fostered with APO for the past four years. This initiative directly aligns with Victoria’s ‘Advancing Better Government’ interdisciplinary strategic theme, combining the School’s and the university library’s expertise in public policy research. He also acknowledged the support of the NZ State Services Commission through the School of Government Trust Fund in funding this initiative which will have significant benefits to state sector employees who are based in both New Zealand and Australia.

APO’s new New Zealand editor, Philip Worthington, is a Subject Librarian at Victoria University of Wellington Library where he supports the Schools of Government, Economics & Finance and Information Management. Philip holds a BA and Diploma in Librarianship. He has worked as a Librarian in a variety of NZ central government agencies supporting policy and research work and for the National Library and Parliamentary Library. During his time at the National Library Philip was an editor for Index NZ while overseeing a retrospective indexing project. More recently he was Information Manager for the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse.

Philip will begin collecting NZ content locally from policy, academic, NGO, media and other communities and will be able to talk directly with organisations interested disseminating their work to audiences in New Zealand, Australia and beyond.

Exciting new project about to kick off - the Low Carbon Living Knowledge Hub

The Low Carbon Built Environment Knowledge Hub project is a new project of the CRC for Low Carbon Living (link is external) being developed by researchers at Swinburne University in collaboration with APO.

The Low Carbon Built Environment Knowledge Hub project is intended to deliver a key goal of the CRC-LCL to increase the access and use of research and evidence by practitioners and policy makers, and to provide an enduring platform for CRC Node of Excellence and partner collaboration. It will do so by curating and providing easy access to a wide range of quality research and resources on Low Carbon Living.

 The objective is to establish an online resource that enables access to the outputs of the CRC, provides a collaborative platform for CRC Nodes, and aligns the significant existing Australian and international resources for industry, policy makers, researchers and the public. The Knowledge Hub project will facilitate collaboration between the CRC Nodes of Excellence and Partners to organize and align existing resources and knowledge networks to identify quality publications, data and other resources and make them readily available for reuse via a range of tools.

Project leads: Professor Peter Graham, CRC Low Carbon Living Node Leader, Swinburne University of Technology

Amanda Lawrence, Research and Strategy Manager, APO (alawrence@swin.edu.au)

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National Volunteer Week

... and we belatedly thank our marvellous volunteers who contribute to APO in so many different ways.  Current volunteer projects include finding new content, improving old content, analysing the site from different user group perspectives and making useful collections of resources.  Our current volunteers are: 

More on mini tag collections...

A few weeks ago we promoted APO's ability to host mini-collections of tagged content. Today we write to acknowledge two contributor collections: