Open Access Guidelines

The Foundation Policies are implemented by adhering to, wherever possible, the following guidelines when making material available to the public. Note that these are intended to be guidelines only, and may be limited or overturned in certain circumstances. The Limiting Considerations section below aims to describe and set standards for some such circumstances.

  • Resources that have been identified as being in the public domain should be made freely reusable by the public wherever possible.
  • Resources that are entirely owned by State or Federal governments or their agencies (including publicly funded collecting institutions) should be made available for free reuse on as permissive terms as possible.
  • When dealing with orphan works, institutions should consider whether the flexible dealing exception in s200AB of the Copyright Act will allow them to be made available to the public.1
  • Website and institutional terms of use should not seek to limit the legal reuse of resources (eg by excluding fair dealing or educational exceptions).
  • While the legal position in Australia is unclear, as a matter of open access best practice copyright should not normally be asserted over verbatim copies of public domain resources which do not have independent originality, composition or creativity. Where copyright is asserted, the material should be licensed on as permissive terms as possible.
  • Institutions should avoid placing commercial and other limitations on reuse wherever possible and should always assess whether such limitations are appropriate or necessary in the particular circumstance.
  • Permission should not be required when others wish to link to an institution's website or resource.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License