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Symposium: Managing Openness in Digital Repositories

Open Source, Open Access, Digital Rights, and Access Management

Preliminary program now available


Friday 3rd February, 2006.


University of Sydney, Australia


The possibilities of internet -based collaboration have encouraged people to accept new levels of openness. In the current digital repository world that openness manifests itself in two ways:

  1. the desire to disseminate knowledge with a minimum of restrictions (open access)

  2. an open approach to developing the repository software tools (open source software development projects)

However in both cases that openness needs to be managed carefully. In both cases a variety of structures, licences and agreements are possible to enable openness.

Managing appropriate access to repository materials is key to the success of the repository. Researchers and analysts want some parts of their work openly available to the widest possible audience but want other parts only available to their collaborators. Protocols are needed to clarify this spectrum, and systems are needed to enable it. The boundaries of open access need to be expressed by formal agreements.

Open Source software development projects also require some structure to their openness. A variety of licences give form to the open source agreements, and governance structures are necessary for large projects. Higher education communities are taking responsibility for their own software development needs in collaborative "community source" projects. Commercial models also live harmoniously with open source projects.

This symposium addresses the nexus between those legal, commercial, technical, and social structures that promote openness.

Open Source Software

  • Software development dynamics and intellectual property models

  • Governance, leadership, and legal structures of repository projects

  • Open source in higher education - community source

  • Integration with the commercial world

Managing Open Access

  • Copyright responsibilities for Open Access repositories

  • Creative Commons - national and international developments

  • Managing sensitive information

  • Computer enabled access management (XACML, SAML...)

  • Computer enabled digital rights (ODRL...)


The symposium will be a blend of presentations and panel discussions with international leaders in this field. There may be some specialised and/or technical aspects to the presentations.

Guest Speakers

Presenters and other participants are yet to be finalised, but some of the guest speakers include:

Intended Audience

This symposium is designed for information professionals primarily in the digital repository area, but more broadly those who work in the tertiary education sector. This might include:

  • information infrastructure policy makers

  • software developers

  • library and archive staff

  • repository system administrators

  • IT managers

  • electronic publishers


This symposium is collaboratively organised by APSR and MELCOE (MAMS and ASK-OSS). The Managing Openness in Digital Repositories symposium is one event in a set of interlinked events, called Open Repositories 2006 and sponsored by the Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories (APSR).


For general enquiries about this event, please email