Strategic Programs 2020-2022

From 2020 to 2022, CAUL's Strategy focused on four strategic programs:

  • Advancing Open Scholarship
  • Building Sustainable Leadership
  • Enabling a Modern Curriculum
  • Respecting Indigenous Knowledge.

On this page, you will find information about each of the four strategic programs and the groups, projects and other initiatives that were undertaken as part of these programs. 

Advancing Open Scholarship

Program Director: Catherine Clark (formerly Curtin University)

Open scholarship and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) scholarly practices support the efficient dissemination of knowledge to researchers, students, policy makers and the broader public, facilitate faster scientific discovery and problem solving, and underpin the integrity of research.

Open and FAIR scholarly practices are continually innovating. CAUL facilitates collaboration between libraries, funders, policy makers, publishers, and research communities to respond to the need for continual innovation.

The Advancing Open Scholarship program encompassed various initiatives, including advocacy work and projects designed to advance the open agenda through bodies of work with practical outcomes. The program built on CAUL’s earlier FAIR, Affordable and Open Access to Knowledge program. The program is succeeded by the Open Access Program (2023-2025).

The Advancing Open Scholarship program was led by Catherine Clark (formerly Curtin University of Technology).

Selected Publications and Presentations

Connecting the Dots: 20+ Years of Open in Australia

This poster and accompanying web page were presented at the 15th Berlin Open Access Conference in September 2021. The poster provides an overview of progress on open access in Australia over the last two decades.


Libraries and Open Publishing Case Studies

Completed | Project Lead: Tracy Creagh (Queensland University of Technology)

This project developed a series of case studies of university libraries’ open publishing initiatives and accompanying researcher case studies that demonstrate the value of these initiatives. The case studies are intended to be helpful within and beyond the library sector to support advocacy work. They also provide examples of open publishing practice from which others can learn.

Project brief.

View the Libraries and Open Publishing Case Studies.

FAIR and Open Non-Traditional Research Outputs

Completed | Project Lead: Dr Gary Pearce (Monash University)

This exploratory project will investigate current academic library practice related to FAIR principles are applied to research outputs such as software and other NTROs (e.g. film, creative writing, website design), including areas where there are opportunities to improve or expand practice related to the application of the FAIR principles to NTROs. The project will also explore how the CARE principles should be applied to these outputs. The project will situate the role of the academic library in the broader Open Research landscape and explore how the library’s work relates to the work of other bodies both within and beyond the researcher’s institution. The project will also produce a framework that provides guidance for CAUL Member institutions about how to increase the proportion of NTROs by Australian university researchers that are appropriately described, archived, preserved and made accessible. 

Project brief.

View the FAIR and Open Non-Traditional Research Outputs framework.


Open Research Toolkit

Completed | Project leads: Siân Woolcock (University of South Austrlia) for CAUL and Alison Matthews (Charles Sturt University) for ARMS

The ARMS/CAUL Open Research Working Group is developing an open research toolkit for use by universities to support open research. 

View the Open Research Toolkit.

Past Program Events

2020 Virtual Events:

Building Sustainable Leadership

Formerly Inspiring Sustainability.

Program Director: Gwenda Thomas (University of Melbourne)

This program was initially defined as ‘Inspiring Sustainability’, with the intention to focus on current and emerging challenges as part of the ‘new normal’ faced by university libraries in the short and medium term, as they recover, reset and reimagine sustainability. The intention was to define a program of work focusing on the three key areas of: empowering workforce capabilities; future-proofing scholarly information resources funding; and advancing the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The Building a Sustainable New Reality CAUL event in 2020 considered how CAUL might inspire member institutions to build sustainability for both individuals and university libraries in times of fast-paced change and disruptive influences. There was a strong theme related to building leadership capability and capacity within CAUL member institutions. Specifically, the discussion identified resilience, emotional intelligence, creativity and problem solving as key development areas for existing leadership and importantly, the next generation of university librarians. The discussion highlighted  a need to focus on senior leadership development and networking. For a summary of the discussion, see the slides from the March 2021 Council meeting, where an overview of the themes was presented.

Subsequently, the Board endorsed a revised, sharper  focus for the strategic theme to reflect the priorities identified in discussions at the event. By focusing on Building Sustainable Leadership, CAUL will support libraries to actively identify, empower and develop the next generation of leaders, and strengthen the network of senior leaders in academic libraries in Australia and New Zealand, thereby building resilient and sustainable leadership in the sector.


Learning from Bold Minds in Leadership Event Series

Complete | Project Lead: Kate Sinclair (University of Adelaide)

This project developed and delivered a program of seven online events focused on learning from bold minds in leadership for staff of CAUL Member institutions, which place between July 2021 and June 2022. 

Project brief [PDF].

Senior Leader Development and Networking Project

Complete | Project Leads: Philip Kent (University of Sydney) and Kim Tairi (Auckland University of Technology

The project investigated and made recommendations to the Board related to three key areas: 

  1. Leadership development
  2. Leader networking
  3. Leadership awards. 

Project brief [PDF].

Enabling a Modern Curriculum

Program Director: Fiona Salisbury (Western Sydney University)

As the role of education in society is challenged and redefined by changes in the global economy, the new nature of work, and rapid technological advances, enabling a modern curriculum is essential.

A modern curriculum is defined by lifelong learning, student success, digital dexterity, career readiness and new learning paradigms. University libraries are well placed to build national partnerships for innovation and to work with academics to lead the transformation of learning and teaching at their institutions. 

A modern curriculum can be achieved by re-imagining skill development, services, spaces and resources. Innovation can be driven through the development of sustainable, affordable and collective approaches to the provision of learning and information resources and the collective development of learning & information resources with access, equity, affordability, and diversity at their heart. 

By enabling a modern curriculum, CAUL is prioritising the needs of library clients and promoting the success and career readiness of current and future university students and graduates.

The Enabling a Modern Curriculum program focused on three key areas in 2021-22:

  • Enabling a Modern Curriculum through Open Educational Resources
  • Enabling a Modern Curriculum through Students as Partners
  • CAUL Conference.

Across these three areas, five projects were undertaken, with three projects related to OER.


CAUL Open Educational Resources Collective - Pilot

Ongoing | Project Lead: Tahnee Pearse (formerly University of Southern Queensland)

The CAUL Open Educational Resources Collective provides a shared OER publication platform for CAUL Member institutions (or member institutions who opt in to the Collective). The Collective provides infrastructure for Member institutions to publish a set number of titles of their choosing each year. This project developed the model for the Collective and implemented the two year pilot.

Project brief (PDF).

Find out more about the OER Collective.

Open Educational Resources Professional Development Program

Complete | Project Lead: Marion Slawson (Federation University Australia)

This project developed a proposal for and implemented a pilot OER professional development program, OER Foundations.

Project brief (PDF).

Program information.

Open Educational Resources Advocacy

Complete | Adrian Stagg (University of Southern Queensland)

This project had three objectives:

  • Develop an advocacy toolkit, including curation and/or creation of resources to support practitioner OER advocacy work.
  • Design and deliver an advocacy planning workshop for delivery at the CAUL Conference.
  • Undertake a stakeholder mapping activity to inform future strategic OER advocacy work.

Original project brief (PDF).

Revised project scope (approved by the Board in January 2022).

View the Open Educational Resources Advocacy Toolkit.

Enabling a Modern Curriculum with Students as Partners

Complete | Dr Mollie Dollinger (Deakin University)

The focus of this project was on understanding current practice related to engaging students as partners, and developing mechanisms to support CAUL member institutions in engaging students as partners. This project commenced with a review of current practice related to students as partners in academic libraries in Australia and New Zealand, and internationally. The review informed the development of an online toolkit designed to support CAUL Member institutions to engage students as partners.

Project brief (PDF).

Project outputs: 

  • Mollie Dollinger, Fiona Salisbury & Kate Davis (2022) Unrealised Potential: A survey of students as partners in Australian university libraries, New Review of Academic Librarianship, DOI: 10.1080/13614533.2022.2138477. Access the author accepted manuscript.
  • Students as Partners Toolkit.

CAUL Conference

Complete | Dr Nicole Johnson (Edith Cowan University)

This project planned and delivered a hybrid online and in person conference held in September 2022. The two day online conference featured more than 60 presentations including two outstanding keynotes, with more than 480 registrants spending more than 4,750 hours in conference sessions. Five workshops were run across five cities, with more than 180 attendees.

Project brief (PDF).

Conference website.

Respecting Indigenous Knowledge

Program Director: Constance Wiebrands (Edith Cowan University)

CAUL will lead a culture of respect, responsibility and reciprocity by developing a cohesive strategic approach to indigenous knowledge. The aim will be to embed a culture of respect and recognition for information and knowledge management practices, and develop strategic partnerships and relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Expected outcomes would be a greater understanding of indigenous knowledge as well as acknowledgement and promotion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language, knowledge, artefacts, documents and records in library collections.

Through a focus on respecting Indigenous knowledge, CAUL is demonstrating the role university libraries can play through partnerships and relationships for the preservation, management and discovery of indigenous knowledge for research, learning and teaching.

This program is succeeded by the From Decolonisation to Indigenisation Program (2023-2025).


Indigenous Knowledge Advisory Group

The purpose of the Indigenous Knowledge Advisory Group is to advise the Program Director, Respecting Indigenous Knowledge on matters of relevance to the work of the program, including the development of a work plan for the program.

Terms of reference.

Past Program Events

Indigenous Knowledges Symposium 2021

The online Indigenous Knowledges Symposium was held over two days, on 24 June and 1 July 2021.

The Symposium brought together practitioners from Australia and New Zealand to share good practice, discuss challenges, and prompt reflection on how academic libraries can work to embed a culture of respect for and recognition of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pasifika knowledge.

The program was designed to initiate dialogue about how academic libraries are responding and how we can work together as a community to embrace CAUL's strategic theme of Respecting Indigenous Knowledge.

Find out more.

Author Kate Davis
Last modified 25 October 2023