Book Launch: Legal Framework for e-Research: Realising the Potential

On Thursday night 7 August 2008, I attended the book launch of Legal Framework for e-Research: Realising the Potential, edited by Professor Brian Fitzgerald and published by the Sydney University Press (SUP).

The book was launched in the new University of Sydney SciTech Library (with a delightfully space-age interior in all shades of green) by Dr Michael Spence, who has recently returned to Australia from Oxford University (where he was the Head of the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford, Fellow and Tutor in Law at St Catherine’s College Oxford, and CUF Lecturer at the University of Oxford.) as the new Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney. The book launch itself was quite lively and was attended by some prominent figures in the legal and e-Research space, including Professor Brian Fitzgerald and Professor Anne Fitzgerald, Dr Richard Jefferson of CAMBIA, Graham Greenleaf of AustLII, Professor Gillian Triggs of the University of Sydney Law School and Christoph Antons.

The book is a compilation of conference papers from the Legal Framework for e-Research conference that the Legal Framework for e-Research Project at QUT ran last year (2007) on the Gold Coast. It’s essentially a who’s who of experts in the issues surrounding e-Research and includes chapters from:

  • Dr Terry Cutler (who is currently chairing the Australian Government Innovation Review);
  • Dr Chris Greer (NSF);
  • Professor John Unsworth;
  • Paul F Uhlir and Peter Schroder;
  • Professor Paul David and Dr Michael Spence;
  • Claire Driscoll (NIH);
  • John Wilbanks (Science Commons);
  • Fred Friend (JISC);
  • Professor Fiona Stanley AC;
  • Dr Richard Jefferson (CAMBIA);
  • Andrew Hayne (Privacy Commissioner);
  • David Ruschena; and
  • Gaye Middleton.

I have two chapters in the book – one with Professor Brian Fitzgerald titled, “The Law as Cyberinfrastructure”, which also appears as an article in CTWatch Quarterly (Volume 3, Number 3, August 2007: The Coming Revolution in Scholarly Communications & Cyberinfrastructure) and can be accessed here, and one with Professor Anne Fitzgerald and Anthony Austin titled, “Understanding the Legal Implications of Data Sharing Access and Reuse in the Australian Research Landscape”, which is derived from our 2007 report, Building the Infrastructure for Data Access and Use in Collaborative Research: An Analysis of the Legal Context.

The book is highly comprehensive, coming in at over 500 pages, and looks fantastic – SUP has done an incredible job in putting it together. Hard copies can be obtained from SUP at cost (AU $59.95). A digital version will soon be available online under a Creative Commons licence, which means it can be downloaded and used for free. It is not up yet, but I will post a link when it is.