In summary

  • The Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) at Swinburne is celebrating its 20 year anniversary in 2022
  • APO is a trusted open access evidence platform making public policy research and resources accessible and useable
  • Calls for open access research are getting louder, with recent moves made by CSIRO and the US Government

Swinburne’s Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) is celebrating 20 years of providing open access to information, battling misinformation and supporting evidence-based policymaking.

Just a year younger than Wikipedia, APO offers curated public policy research and resources that you can trust.

It's just good policy

APO is a trusted open access evidence platform making public policy research and resources accessible and useable. They help nearly 1 million users cut through the noise each year with over 38,000 resources from more than 26,000 authors and 5,000 publishers curated daily and sent to subscribers in weekly emails.

"Thank you for providing such an unbiased and informative service. In a world of social media, clickbait, fake news, deepfakes, corporate owned news giants and decline of expertise, APO is a light at the end of the tunnel for me."

Subscriber survey respondent, Oct 2019

There are many people who need timely, trustworthy, accessible information that cuts to the crux of an issue. APO believes in making research and other resources available to those people – and all who want to use it.

Chancellor of University of Western Sydney, Professor Peter Shergold AC, will host the APO’s 20th birthday celebration. He reiterates the importance of the APO and people committed to open access.

“It is imperative that the work undertaken by academics in the field of public policy has more opportunity to influence the decision-making of governments,” Professor Shergold says.

“We often talk about the importance of ‘evidence-based policy’, but the sad reality is that too much of the knowledge that sits within universities gets lost in translation.”

Good information should be free

Good information shouldn’t be locked behind paywalls if we’re to fight the rise of misinformation and if we expect government policies, laws, services and programs to be informed by evidence, whether that be collations of lived experience or peer-reviewed research.

A spotlight is being shone on the importance of open access, with CSIRO taking steps towards removing paywalls to enable unrestricted access to its research, and US President Joe Biden announcing that all US federal agencies must make papers related to taxpayer-funded work freely available to the public.

This discussion is gaining momentum and will continue to emerge.

APO celebrates 20 years

APO’s 20th anniversary celebration is on Wednesday, 7 September 2022 and will feature a panel discussion on how a new Federal Government presents an opportunity for Australia to embrace more inclusive, democratic and evidence-informed decision-making and policymaking processes.

Director of APO and academic at Swinburne University of Technology, Associate Professor Brigid van Wanrooy says she hopes a new government signifies a move towards policy that is informed by lived experience and evidence.

“A lot of lip service has been paid to incorporating lived experience and rigorous research evidence into the policy development process, but governments are still struggling to get it right,” she says.

“More recently, growing misinformation, populism and distrust in government have presented new challenges to listening to the research experts and the lived experience of people affected by decisions made by government.

“APO will continue to champion open and public access to research and policy, combined with increased advocacy, to enable policies and services that work better for the people they are designed to serve.”

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