• Professor Brian Fitzgerald

OAKList opens up knowledge sharing on the internet

06 February 2008

The digital publishing process for researchers and academics in Australia, and the world, has just got a whole lot easier with the launch of the online OAKList by the Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project hosted by QUT's Faculty of Law.

OAK Law Project leader Professor Brian Fitzgerald said: "OAKList gives Australian researchers, their funders, universities and libraries an historic opportunity to seize the opportunities presented by the new technologies to reach a broader worldwide audience and expand the pool of knowledge".

He said it also served to enhance the quality and impact of research as well as the potential for further collaboration.

The OAK List is a database of journal publishers which allows authors of journal articles to see, at a glance, publishers' agreements and their open access policies.

It will be launched at QUT's Gardens Point campus tomorrow and is accessible at

"OAKList is designed to enhance open access to knowledge and research innovation by making it possible to easily determine whether researchers are permitted by publishers to distribute academic publications via the internet - for example by depositing them into an online repository such as QUT E Prints," Professor Fitzgerald said.

"A key part of government policy across the world is to ensure that publicly funded research is available to the broadest possible audience in order to stimulate research innovation. OAKList will assist with this objective.

"Many publishers do not object to internet distribution but may impose conditions on the version of the article, eg pre or post refereeing, or the timeframe within which it may be uploaded onto the internet."

OAK Law project manager Scott Kiel-Chisholm said the list was a boon for managers of institutions' digital repositories who received articles from researchers for listing.

"They can instantly access the publishing policies for each journal without the time spent contacting the journal to ascertain the publishing agreements," he said.

"The OAKList is interoperable with the UK's RoMEO/SHERPA database of publisher agreements."

The OAKList was compiled after contacting 107 academic publishers in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and United States. A core sample of 95 publishing agreements, representing a total of 669 journals, was collected and analysed.

The OAKList is part of the Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project led by Professor Fitzgerald and hosted at QUT. The project is funded by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations with the aim of ensuring everyone, from the ordinary citizen to top-end researchers, can legally and efficiently share knowledge across domains and across the world.

The OAKList will be launched by John Wilbanks, executive director of Science Commons at Owen J. Wordsworth (OJW) Room in S Block on QUT's Gardens Point campus at 5pm on February 7.

Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT media officer, 07 3138 1841 or