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Research and resources for public policy and practice: new models for using and managing grey literature and other 'non'traditional' objects
Public policy work relies on a wide range of resources — some are traditional scholarly publications, but the majority are 'non-traditional' - reports, discussion papers, briefings, reviews, data sets, videos etc produced by government departments and agencies, academic centres, NGOs, think tanks and industry. These are heavily used and highly valued in policy and practice work, forming a key part of the evidence base. Yet they lack recognition and effective systems and business models for long term access and management. As a result, access and curation of policy resources is dispersed, inefficient and inadequate, leaving frustrated users and a digital black hole of resources being lost from online access. There is much that can and should be done to provide efficient access to these resources such as linking non-traditional publications and data sets, apply text mining technologies and other innovations. Advocating for changes to the way research is measured and rewarded and copyright law is also a major issue. As an open access digital archive Policy Online ( is addressing many of these issues by providing an open access, full text repository for policy and practice grey literature and other resources. The database includes various aspects of linked data standards and other technologies including, FAST subject headings, Geonames, Wikipedia entries, Digital Object Identifiers, and an API. This paper will describe the context, use cases and the tools we are applying now and into the future to achieve our goal of supporting discovery, access and management of public knowledge resources. It will briefly explain the complex role of grey literature across all sectors of society – government, education, NGOs and industry – and almost all disciplines, drawing on recent research completed as part of an Australian Research Council funded project.
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Swinburne University of Technology