Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Australian innovation report recommends Open Access to research outputs, Creative Commons for government documents, open standards for publishing

The Australian government has just released a report "Review of the National Innovation System Report - Venturous Australia". Given the similarities on size and nature of our economies, innovation, higher education and R&D environments, this report should be examined by Canadians interested in our own national innovation system.

The Australian minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (just having a ministry so named is a Good Thing!), Kim Carr spoke about this report in a speech released yesterday and talks about - among other interesting things for those interested in national innovation and R&D strategy - Creative Commons and Open Access to research outputs:

It is embodied in a series of recommendations aimed at unlocking public information and content, including the results of publicly funded research.

The review panel recommends making this material available under a creative commons licence through:
  • machine searchable repositories, especially for scientific papers and data

  • cultural agencies, collections and institutions, which would be funded to reflect their role in innovation

  • and the internet, where it would be freely available to the world.

...The arguments for stepping out first on open access are the same as the arguments for stepping out first on emissions trading – the more willing we are to show leadership on this, we more chance we have of persuading other countries to reciprocate.
This speech reflects a number of recommendations in the report:
  • Recommendation 7.7: Australia should establish a National Information Strategy to optimise the flow of information in the Australian economy. The fundamental aim of a National Information Strategy should be to: ·utilise the principles of targeted transparency and the development of auditable standards to maximise the flow of information in private markets about product quality; and ·maximise the flow of government generated information, research, and content for the
    benefit of users (including private sector resellers of information).

  • Recommendation 7.8: Australian governments should adopt international standards of open publishing as far as possible. Material released for public information by Australian governments should be released under a creative commons licence.

  • Recommendation 7.9: Funding models and institutional mandates should recognise the research and innovation role and contributions of cultural agencies and institutions responsible for information repositories, physical collections or creative content and fund them accordingly.

  • Recommendation 7.10: A specific strategy for ensuring the scientific knowledge produced in Australia is placed in machine searchable repositories be developed and implemented using public funding agencies and universities as drivers.

  • Recommendation 7.11: Action should be taken to establish an agreed framework for the designation, funding models, and access frameworks for key collections in recognition of the national and international significance of many State and Territory collections (similar to the frameworks and accords developed around Australia's Major Performing Arts Companies).

  • Recommendation 7.14: To the maximum extent practicable, information, research and content funded by Australian governments ­ including national collections ­ should be made freely available over the internet as part of the global public commons. This should be done whilst the Australian Government encourages other countries to reciprocate by making their own contributions to the global digital pubic commons.


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