About the project

The Open Access to Knowledge Law (OAK Law) Project ran from 2005 until the end of 2009. The central aim of the project was to facilitate seamless access to knowledge in order to improve social, economic and cultural outcomes. It focused on how legal rights (especially copyright) can be best managed to facilitate wide access to and dissemination of research and knowledge outcomes such as peer-reviewed journal articles and monographs. The OAK Law project worked closely with academic authors, publishers and university librarians on issues relating to intellectual property management, publishing contracts and open access repositories.

The OAK Law Project was based at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). It was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), which later became the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). It was a Systemic Infrastructure Initiative (SII) funded project and part of the Commonwealth Government's Backing Australia's Ability – An Innovation Action Plan for the Future.

The OAK Law Project was affiliated with the Intellectual Property: Knowledge, Culture and Economy (IP: KCE) research program within the Law Faculty at QUT. Related projects included Creative Commons Australia, the Legal Framework for e-Research project, and auPSI.

The OAK Law Project produced several reports, guides and publications that were circulated internationally and which continue to be relevant and useful to researchers, authors, librarians and publishers who are grappling with open access legal issues. All publications are available under Creative Commons licences and are available for free download, distribute and use from the QUT ePrints repository.

The Project's most popular publications include:

All OAK Law Project publications can be accessed from the reports link in the left-hand side bar and from the QUT ePrints repository.

The OAK Law Project also developed the OAK List, a web-enabled, searchable database containing information about publishing agreements and publisher's open access policies. The OAK List was designed to be interoperable with the SHERPA/RoMEO database in the UK. The OAK List is still maintained and managed by the QUT Library under the supervision of Paula Callan, e-Research Access Coordinator.

Researchers on the OAK Law Project included:

  • Professor Brian Fitzgerald (Project Lead)
  • Professor Anne Fitzgerald (Senior Researcher)
  • Kylie Pappalardo
  • Damien O'Brien
  • Anthony Austin
  • Professor Mark Perry
  • Jessica Coates
  • Erin Driscoll
  • Scott Kiel-Chisholm
  • Benedict Atkinson
  • Cheryl Foong
  • Dilan Thampapillai
  • Maree Heffernan
  • Nikki David
  • Dr Amanda McBratney
  • Amanda Long
  • Emma Carroll
  • Helen Demack
  • Jill Rogers
  • Jimmy Ti

Scott Kiel-Chisholm was Project Manager (2006 – 2008) and Tanya Butkovsky was the Administration Manger.