Reports, Guides and Publications




  • Building the Infrastructure for Data Access and Reuse In Collaborative Research: An Analysis of the Legal Context This Report examines the legal framework within which research data is generated, managed, disseminated and used. It provides an overview of the operation of copyright law, contract and confidentiality laws, as well as a range of legislation - privacy, public records and freedom of information legislation – that is of relevance to research data. The Report considers how these legal rules apply to define rights in research data and regulate the generation, management and sharing of data. The Report also describes and explains current practices and attitudes towards data sharing. A wide array of databases is analysed to ascertain the arrangements currently in place to manage and provide access to research data. Finally, the Report encourages researchers and research organisations to adopt proper management and legal frameworks for research data outputs. It provides practical guidance on the development and implementation of legal frameworks for data management with the objective of ensuring that research data can be accessed and used by other researchers.

  • The Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project, together with the U.S. Library of Congress National Digital Information, Infrastructure and Preservation Program, the U.K. Joint Information Systems Committee and the SURFfoundation in The Netherlands, released their International Study on the Impact of Copyright Law on Digital Preservation at the WIPO International Workshop on Digital Preservation and Copyright in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 July 2008.

    This study focuses on the copyright and related laws of Australia, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the impact of those laws on digital preservation of copyrighted works. It also addresses proposals for legislative reform and efforts to develop non-legislative solutions to the challenges that copyright law presents for digital preservation.

    The study was written by:

    The Library of Congress - National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) (U.S.),
    June M. Besek – Executive Director, Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts, Columbia Law School
    William LeFurgy – Project Manager, Digital Initiatives, Office of Strategic Initiatives, Library of Congress
    Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) (U.K):
    Adrienne Muir – Department of Information Science, Loughborough University
    Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project – Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Law Faculty (Australia):
    Benedict Atkinson – Research Officer, OAK Law Project
    Emma Carroll – Research Assistant, OAK Law Project
    Jessica Coates – Project Manager, Creative Commons Clinic, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, QUT
    Brian Fitzgerald – Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation, QUT Law Faculty & Project Leader, OAK Law Project
    SURFfoundation (Netherlands):
    Wilma Mossink – Juridisch Adviseur, SURFfoundation

  • OAK Law Project Report - A Review and Analysis of Academic Publishing Agreements and Open Access Policies (Version 1 - February 2008).

    This guide explains the methodology used to develop the OAKList. The general method used to ascertain publishers’ approaches towards open access has been to request and examine publishing agreements, and published statements or policies of the publisher, and then to contact them via email or over the phone to confirm details and a common understanding of those documents. After doing this a colour coding or category has been determined in line with SHERPA classification explaining what can be done (by author and repository) in relation to the online archiving of material published by a specific publisher. The methodology is described in greater detail in this Report.


  • A Guide to Developing Open Access Through Your Digital Repository

    This guide examines and explains the copyright issues involved in depositing and accessing material in
    digital repositories. The guide focuses on effective management and promotion of digital repositories
    and in doing so, examines the relationships between the parties involved in the deposit and access
    process. Licensing requirements and options are also considered in detail. Finally, the guide touches on
    more technical considerations, such as software and metadata.

  • Copyright Guide for Research Students: What you need to know about copyright before depositing your electronic thesis in an online repository

    This guide is designed to assist research students in managing copyright issues which they may encounter
    in writing and depositing their electronic thesis in an online repository. The guide provides a broad
    overview of copyright law and importantly addresses critical issues relating to the inclusion of third
    party copyright material in a students thesis. The guide aims to simplify these issues through the
    inclusion of two model third party copyright permission requests, which students can use to obtain
    permission from the copyright owner before including third party material.

  • Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors

    This guide aims to provide practical guidance for academic authors interested in making their work more openly accessible to readers and other researchers. The guide provides authors with an overview of the concept of and rationale for open access to research outputs and how they may be involved in its implementation and with what effect. In doing so it considers the central role of copyright law and publishing agreements in structuring an open access framework as well as the increasing involvement of funders and academic institutions. The guide also explains different methods available to authors for making their outputs openly accessible, such as publishing in an open access journal or depositing work into an open access repository. Importantly, the guide addresses how open access goals can affect an author’s relationship with their commercial publisher and provides guidance on how to negotiate a proper allocation of copyright interests between an author and publisher. A Copyright Toolkit is provided to further assist authors in managing their copyright.

  • Practical Data Management: A Legal and Policy Guide
    This guide is based on recommendations made in Chapter 10 of the OAK Law Project and Legal Framework for e-Research Project joint report, Building the Infrastructure for Data Access and Reuse in Collaborative Research: An Analysis of the Legal Context (2007). The guide considers, in a practical way, how copyright law, contract, privacy, the law of confidentiality and patent law can apply to datasets and databases. It then explains how research projects and organisations can strategically manage their data within this legal environment through the use of data management policies and principles, data management plans and data management toolkits. Model provisions for a data management plan are provided, as is a model data management toolkit for researchers. Finally, Appendix A to the guide is a sample repository deposit licence for research data that is being included in an open access repository or database.


  • Academic authorship, publishing agreements and open access: Survey Results The OAK Law Project has released the results of its 2007 nation-wide survey of the attitudes and practices of Australian academic authors towards the publication and dissemination of their research in its report, Academic authorship, publishing agreements and open access: Survey Results. The survey obtained evidence of author's experiences with publishing agreements, their perceptions of open access and commercial publishing, their understanding of copyright ownership in their research and their involvement with online repositories and open access journals. It is envisaged that the results will be used to enhance the strategic management of copyright in the Australian research sector, especially in relation to open access.

  • Legal Framework for e-Research: Realising the Potential contains papers from the Legal Framework for e-Research Project's International Conference held on 11 and 12 July 2007 in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia.

    “The recognition that increasingly sophisticated ICT techniques would need to be matched by increasingly sophisticated ways of thinking about some of the
    legal issues that might arise, particularly given the minefield posed just by conditions relating to the collection and availability of data across a wide
    number of fields, therefore led to the initiative represented by the contents of this report. We need skilful thinking about the legal context for all of the
    rapid and new, indeed scarcely definable activities that are mushrooming in this sphere. An early start on this was the July 2007 conference on the topic.

    It is my pleasure to commend the papers in this volume for those interested in considering the many interesting challenges posed for researchers, legal
    specialists and administrators in this area."

    Professor Tom Cochrane
    Deputy Vice Chancellor of QUT
    Chair of the Australian e-Research Infrastructure Council (AeRIC)
    Brisbane, 30 June 2008

    While not produced by the OAK Law Project, Chapter 12 of the publication is an abridged version of OAK Law Project Report No. 1: Creating a legal framework for copyright management of open access within the Australian academic and research sectors.