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Professor Julian Thomas

Director, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Professor of Media and Communications


Julian Thomas is Director of the Swinburne Institute for Social Research, and also Professor of Media and Communications. Julian's main interests are in digital media, information policy and the history of communications technologies. Recent publications include The Informal Media Economy (Polity, 2015), with Ramon Lobato, Fashioning Intellectual Property (Cambridge University Press, 2012), with Megan Richardson, and the co-edited collection Amateur Media (Routledge, 2013).

Julian is also Chair of the management committee of the website Australian Policy Online, and is a member of the Telstra CEO's Consumer Forum, the ARC College of Experts, and the Advisory Board of QUT's Digital Media Research Centre.

Research interests

New Media and the Internet in Australia; Media and communications policy; Histories of new communications technologies; Information policy

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Coordinating Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Digital inclusion and the digital divide: We welcome proposals on the following topics: digital inclusion and social, educational, and economic participation; the development of measures and evaluation tools for interventions in this area; other studies of policies and programmes designed to increase digital participation.

Piracy, copyright and informal media: We welcome proposals around any of the following topics: media piracy, pirate labour, streaming, file-sharing, social media distribution, theories and models of the informal economy (in relation to media), case studies of particular networks and infrastructure, field-based studies of informal media workers, especially in Asia or comparative studies of media systems.

Fields of Research

  • Media Studies - 200104


  • 2014, International, Best Information Website - Australian Policy Online, AuDA and Internet New Zealand


Also published as: Thomas, Julian; Thomas, J.
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Recent research grants awarded

  • 2016: Connecting the Australian Policy Online Collection *; NATIONAL COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE STRATEGY Australian National Data Service (ANDS)
  • 2016: Legal and social dynamics of ebook lending in Australias public libraries *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2016: Linked Data PolicyHub Stage II: Urban & Regional Planning & Communications *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2015: Cyber safety for remote Northern Territory Aboriginal people *; Telstra Cyber safety for remote Northern Territory Aboriginal people
  • 2015: Investigating the dynamics of digital inclusion *; ARC Linkage Projects - Grant applications for funding commencing in 2015
  • 2015: Telstra Digital Inclusion Index *; Telstra Digital Inclusion Index
  • 2014: Swinburne University Major Open Data Collections: Policy Online Research Data Citation (RDC) Project *; National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)
  • 2013: Linked Data PolicyHub - Connected Resources for Social Research *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2012: Grey literature, policy innovation and access to knowledge: realising the value of informal publishing *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2011: Australian policy online research infrastructure agreement *; Australian National University
  • 2011: Digital innovation pilot: applied research collaboration *; Convience Information Systems Pty Ltd
  • 2011: Home Internet for Remote Indigenous Communities *; ARC Linkage Projects Scheme
  • 2011: Housing for older, single women survey *; The Salvation Army
  • 2011: Informal economies and audiovisual industries: histories, dynamics, legal and policy responses *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2011: Safe from the start - Tasmanian Aboriginal project *; The Salvation Army
  • 2010: The determinants for success for home internet for Indigenous consumers in remote Australia *; Australian Communications Consumer Action Network Independent Grants Scheme
  • 2010: The YOUCOMMNEWS research and development project *; Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry & Regional Development
  • 2009: Digital futures *; Center for the Digital Futures USC Annenberg School for Communication
  • 2009: The Australian Policy Online Full-Text Research Repository and Thematic Gateways *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme
  • 2008: Amateur Hour: The sociolegal construction of amateur media *; ARC Discovery Projects Scheme
  • 2008: Australian policy online upgrade project *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme

* Chief Investigator