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Scenarios - Publications

Key Concepts

Supply - when controlled technology, or access to that technology, is provided to users located outside of Australia.

Publication - when controlled technology is placed it in the public domain.

Pre-publication - activities, such as supplying a draft publication to a publisher or a peer reviewer, that support the publication process.

Export - sending goods and/or technology from Australia to a place outside of Australia.

As a first step, it is important to understand whether the goods or technologies you are using actually trigger control thresholds. You can self-assess using the Online DSGL Tool on the DEC website.

The list of controlled goods and technologies (the Defence and Strategic Goods List) is split into two parts:

Part 1 lists munitions (or military) items. These items are more tightly controlled.

Part 2 lists dual-use items; that is, items that may be used for commercial purposes, but may be used in military systems or for weapon of mass destruction purposes.

Publication

Scenario One - Publishing in a journal

I plan to publish in a journal a scientific paper describing the results of my research, which is on technology listed in the DSGL. Do I need a permit to send a copy to my publisher abroad?

Is your technology listed on Part 1 or Part 2 of the DSGL?

  • If your paper includes only Part 2 DSGL technology you will not need a supply permit as sending a paper to a publisher is preparing for a publication and is therefore exempt as a pre-publication activity.
  • If your paper includes Part 1 DSGL technology, you will need a supply permit to send a copy to your publisher abroad. (There are no exceptions for pre-publications supplies for Part 1 technology).

Do I need a permit to send a draft copy of the paper to my co-author located overseas? Does my overseas co-author need approval to send the paper to the publisher?

If your paper includes only Part 2 of DSGL technology:

  • Sending a draft copy of the paper is a pre-publication activity and is exempt from controls.
  • If your co-author is located overseas, they do not need a permit to send the paper to the publisher as this is a supply activity occurring outside Australia. (Supply activities occurring wholly outside Australia are not caught by the supply offence).

If your paper includes Part 1 DSGL technology:

  • You will need a permit to supply it to your co-author.
  • If your co-author is located overseas, they do not need a permit to send the paper to the publisher as this is a supply activity occurring outside Australia.

Does it matter if I did the research in Australia or overseas? What if I want to publish while in Australia or overseas?

Where you did the research does not matter:

  • If your paper includes Part 1 DSGL technology that is not already in the public domain and no other DSGL exemptions apply, you will need approval to publish if you are in Australia or you are an Australian citizen or resident located overseas.
  • If your paper includes Part 2 DSGL technology you will not need approval.

The research I'm writing about is supported by an arrangements/grant from the Government. Does that make any difference under the export legislation?

Export controls apply regardless of research funding

Scenario Two - Publishing electronically

As a researcher, do I need approval to publish their thesis electronically via an institutional repository e.g. espace, which can be accessed by the general public?

Is your technology listed on Part 1 or Part 2 of the DSGL?

  • If the thesis includes Part 2 DSGL technology you will not need approval to publish.
  • If the thesis includes Part 1 DSGL technology that was not already in the public domain, then placing it on the repository will require publication approval.

Scenario Three - Ph.D. thesis

My Ph.D. thesis is on technology listed in the DSGL Part 2 and has never been published. However, the thesis is available at the institutional repository (e.g. espace) which is accessible by the general public. Do I need approval to send another copy to a colleague overseas?

No. This technology has already been published by making it available to the public via the institutional repository. Once published it is no longer controlled and no supply permits are required.

Scenario Four - Sharing bibliographic information

Do I need approval to share the metadata (e.g. bibliographic information such as author, title, publication date etc) of published or unpublished works on the Internet or in an institutional repository?

Simply mentioning the DSGL item does not make it a controlled activity.

The material is only controlled if it provides the necessary information to allow another person to develop, produce or in some cases, use the technology.

If the published material does not meet the control threshold then no approvals are required.

Scenario Five - Publishing research findings

Do the export controls restrict my ability to publish the results of my research?

Is your technology listed on Part 1 or Part 2 of the DSGL?

  • Research that includes technology listed in Part 2 of the DSGL will not require an approval to publish.
  • If the results of your research include technology listed in Part 1 of the DSGL you will require an approval to publish.