New Open Access Principles for Australian’s Collecting Institutions

Photo: Escher's Cabinet of Curiosities by fdecomite
Those who have been following open access activities for a while know that some of the most interesting and innovative work in the field, both in Australia and internationally, is being done by galleries, libraries, archives and museums. Collecting institutions are a natural home for open access activities – after all, the whole point of most of them is to provide material, information and resources to the public.

It is hardly surprising, then, that as digital technologies have developed collecting institutions have generally been in the forefront, delivering their material to users and connecting with the general public in new, creative and fun ways. And as the public seeks more and more to use and interact with these materials, collecting institutions are exploring how open access policies can increase their utility for the public.

Seeing this potential, in 2009 Creative Commons Australia’s sister research centre, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, established a research project aimed specifically at exploring and encouraging open access strategies within Australia’s collecting institutions.

After spending most of 2009 and 2010 consulting with representatives of the collecting sector in Australia, the Opening Australia’s Archives has now released its first output – the Open Access Principles for Australian Collecting Institutions.

Credits—Photo: Adaptation (crop and resize) of ‘Escher’s Cabinet of Curiosities‘ by fdecomite, CC BY 2.0 Generic.

Information Commissioner releases Draft Principles on Open Public Sector Information

Photo: Australian Population Estimations by Australian Bureau of StatisticsIt’s only been 8 days since the Australian Government launched the new Office of the Australian Information Commissioner but the new agency that encompasses the existing functions of the Privacy Commissioner and the new appointments of Australian Information Commissioner and Freedom of Information Commissioner is continuing to steer the discussion of access to Australian public sector information in the right direction with the release of their first issues paper, Towards an Australian Government Information Policy. Opening with a reminder that “information is a valuable and powerful resource and is at the heart of government,” the paper synthesises much of the policy work that has happened in this area in the past few years and serves to orientate where the new OAIC fits into Federal Government information management processes. It also signals areas of recommendation where the OAIC is seeking public commentary.

Credits—Photo: Screen capture of ‘Population Pyramid – Australia‘ by Australian Bureau of Statistics, CC BY 2.5 Australia.

“Yes, We’re Open!”: A Special Issue of Platform Journal – Call for Papers Reminder

Photo: Untitled by pheezyA quick reminder for all the commons-based postgraduate researchers out there – abstracts are due this Monday for the special “Yes, We’re Open!” issue of Platform.

The issue, guest edited by the ccAustralia and ccClinic teams, will focus on the mainstreaming of “open”. With Mozilla Firefox pushing towards a 25% share of the web browser market and the number of Creative Commons licensed works reaching more than 250 million in 2009, perhaps it is time to ask, ‘Is “open” the new black?’

Credits—Photo: Adaptation (crop and resize) of ‘Untitled‘ by pheezy, CC BY 2.0 Generic.

Show us the money! Oz Budget under CC

In the debate over the merits of last night’s conservative budget, there’s one thing we’d argue Swan did get right – the licensing.

The entire budget has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution licence. This means the material it contains – the deficit strategy, the fiscal aggregates, the government’s responses to the economic crisis – is all available for free reuse, by anyone, for any purpose, as long as the source is attributed.

A single document, even one that’s 350 pages long, may not seem like that big a deal compared to some of the other open government initiatives over the last few years – like the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s entire store of census data under CC. But as a public endorsement of CC as the licence of choice for the Australian Federal Government, it’s huge.

Following the strong support for open access in the government’s response to the Gov 2.0 report last week, this is a great show of the government putting its money where its mouth is (sorry, I couldn’t resist). In fact, the last week has seen the release of three major Federal Government reports – the Budget, the Gov 2.0 response and the NBN Implementation Study – all under CC licences. This seems to be a great indicator that the government really means what it says – open access is going to be the default position for the Australian Federal Government from now on.

Bring on the remixes, mashups and YouTube tributes!

Update: And for those interested, a couple of good articles on the budget’s CC licensing by Craig Thomler and Computerworld

Australian Federal Government Commits to Open Access


Design by Ben Crothers of Catch Media CC BY 2.5

Big news from the Australian Federal Government on the issue of access to public sector information (PSI).

CCau followers will remember the Government 2.0 Taskforce report released in December last year, which gave Creative Commons a very big tick as the licensing model of choice for Australian PSI. The Federal Government’s official response to the report was released yesterday and is generally positive, with the Federal Government agreeing (at least substantially) to 12 of the 13 recommendations to come out of the report.

“Yes, We’re Open!”: A Special Issue of Platform Journal

Photo: Untitled by pheezyJessica Coates and Elliott Bledsoe from the Creative Commons Clinic at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation are guest editing a special issue of PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication, a biannual open-access online graduate journal published by the Media and Communications Program at the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.

Credits—Photo: Adaptation (crop and resize) of ‘Untitled‘ by pheezy, CC BY 2.0 Generic.