[LINK] ICT Predictions 2009 - little OT (gov't reports example)

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Tue Jan 13 09:51:18 EST 2009


At 11:16 AM 9/01/2009, Anthony Hornby wrote:
>... My library is free issue member of the Federal Library Deposit 
>Scheme as are all universities ...

There does not appear to be any legal requirement for government 
agencies to send paper copies of reports to libraries. Changing to 
electronic copies would save about two tonne of paper per year*.

If the electronic version of a report is the "Best copy" (the 
technical term for the most complete version of the work), then that 
would be acceptable to supply. Instead of actually mailing, or 
e-mailing, electronic copies, it should be sufficient to put them on 
the web and tell the libraries where they are.

AGIMO could change the procedures to encourage electronic 
distribution, with the paper option retained for the few items where 
this is not suitable. If the agencies put some metadata in the 
reports to identify them, then specialized crawlers can find them 
(such as the NLA and AGIMO ones). The obvious identifier to use is an 
ISBN in the appropriate Dublin Core element. The agencies would then 
not need to send any report forms or any printed, or electronic, 
copies anywhere: just publish to their own web sites and let the 
crawlers find them.

Agencies could help the process by improving the quality of their 
reports, making them easy and efficient to read online, instead of 
just facsimiles of printed documents. This would reduce the cost of 
production and distribution.

>All government reports should also be released under a creative 
>commons licence to allow us to copy and preserve them with ease. ...

The Queensland Government seems most willing to consider this, 
perhaps because the Australian CC experts are at QUT in Queensland. 
Jessica Coates talked about it at the Open 2020 Summit last year: 
<http://tomw.net.au/moodle/course/view.php?id=9&topic=11>.

---
* CALCULATING THE WEIGHT OF GOVERNMENT REPORTS: There are 104 
agencies required to send reports 
<http://www.finance.gov.au/financial-framework/fma-legislation/docs/FMA-Agencies-List.pdf>. 
Each agency is required to provide 39 copies of each report 
<http://www.finance.gov.au/e-government/service-improvement-and-delivery/publishing-information/lds.html>, 
making 4056 copies in total. Assuming each agency produces 500 pages 
of reports a year, that is 2,028,000 pages (1,014,000 sheets of B5 
paper). A B5 page is 0.044 m2 
<http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-paper.html>. So if 50 gsm paper 
is used, a sheet weighs 2.2g and the total weight of the paper will 
be about 2,231 t.



Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  



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