Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

Australian Higher Education Initiatives in e-Publishing

John Shipp.

This paper explores the work being undertaken in the Australian Higher Education sector to encourage the academic community to utilise new means of communicating the results of their research. While much of the activity has drawn upon international experiences, the Australian environment has provided an ideal testbed for national level initiatives.

The impetus for systemic change has been provided by the National Scholarly Communication Information Forum which was established in 1994. The Forum is a coalition of learned academies, library organisations and other stakeholder groups.

In 2002, the Australian Government commissioned the Higher Education Information Infrastructure Advisory Committee to provide advice on ways in which government support could be implemented. The Committee recommended a number of initiatives and $22 million was allocated as first stage funding.

Initial projects have included the acquisition of data for universities and funding for activities involving access and authentication mechanisms as well as institutional repositories and e-publishing. These activities will be coordinated through the Australian Research Information Infrastructure Committee.

The Committee is part of a wider infrastructure development committee being funded as part of a Government programme - Backing Australia's Ability. Other initiatives include extending and developing broadband connections between Australian research organisations and support for super-computing and e-science.

The Government support for information infrastructure is being used the assist institutional level activities. It is also underpinning the development of a systemic infrastructure which will match those emerging internationally.


John Shipp  (Australia)
University Librarian
University Library
University of Sydney

John Shipp has been a university librarian for 17 years. He has been at the University of Sydney for 7 years. He is also project director for the Australian Research Information Infrastructure Committee. ARIIC is funded by the Australian Government to advise on the development of research information infrastructure including changes in scholarly communication.

  • Information infrastructure
  • e-Publishing
  • Digital repositories
  • Institutional repositories

(Plenary Speaker, English)