Breaking New Ground via Signal Source Publishing

Helen Thompson,
Andnrew Macleod,
Paul Feely
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Many community sector organisations face similar challenges when seeking to provide efficient and effective access to content which is ‘locked up’ in books, reports and other information resources. In 2004, the Victoria Law Foundation decided to make the Rural Law Handbook, an extensive 400 page paper-based publication providing practical, plain-language information covering more than 75 areas of law, available online. Within its mandate of making law accessible, the Foundation called for proposals to support it in ensuring target audiences including Victorian framers, rural information and support services and people living and working in rural communities, would have greater access to the Law Handbook. Delivered services would also need to support the Foundation in supporting a large, geographically dispersed and largely voluntary team of contributors, in easily maintaining the currency of the Law Handbook content. After conducting extensive research and exhaustive trials of open-source and commercial systems the University of Ballarat was able to recommend an innovative approach to publishing the Rural Law Handbook online. The recommended approach would facilitate the collaborative editing and publication of large documents and books. A recognised XML format would be utilised for storing book content in format that could publish to the web just as easily as hardcopy. In addition new technologies would be developed to provide a user-friendly and intuitive method for content editing. The learning and technologies generated through the very successfully Rural Law Online project ( have since been transferred and extended through a variety of additional community sector projects. Through the presentation of case studies, this paper will describe the technology appropriation model which is emerging. It will also explore evidence of benefits which are being generated for participating organisations and the often disadvantage individuals they seek to support.

Keywords: Single Source Publishing, Plain Language Resources, Online Publishing, Technology Appropriation
Stream: Publishing, Information Society, and Print and Electronic Texts
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Helen Thompson

Director, Centre for eCommerce and Communications, University of Ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Helen is responsible for the achievement of all Centre for eCommerce and Communications organisational objectives in respect of research, project management, client service, business development and financial management. Helen has extensive experience in the delivery and management of online service initiatives. She is engaged in research into the use of ICT as a mechanism for community development, and is involved in a range of activities where her personal and professional skills contribute to the economic and social development of regional and rural Victoria. Before commencing with the CeCC in 1999 Helen was employed as a Business Services Accountant and spent nearly ten years in the banking sector. She is currently completing a Doctorate of Business Administration at the University of Ballarat where she is investigating why some regional and rural communities thrive whilst others fail. More specifically she is examining the benefits that regional and rural communities can secure through community informatics initiatives.

Andnrew Macleod

Technical Manager, Centre for eCommerce and Communications, University of Ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Andrew has extensive experience in project planning and control and in the implementation of major information technology projects. With a strong understanding of eCommerce and portal technology and strategies, Andrew’s technical skills include web development and programming (PHP, XML/XSLT and JavaScript). Previous projects have ranged from database design and implementation to community portals and web pages. Andrew has worked extensively with regional and rural communities to implement effective web-based services. Andrew completed a Bachelor of Computing degree at the University of Ballarat followed by an Honours degree in Applied Science (Information Technology). Andrew has been with CeCC since 1999 and has been the technical manager for the past six years. Andrew achieved certification as a Zend Certified Engineer (ZCE) during 2006.

Paul Feely

Programmer, Centre for eCommerce and Communications, University of Ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

Paul has expertise in programming (PHP, XML/XSLT and JavaScript) and in web development. He completed his combined degree of a Bachelor of Computing and a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Ballarat in 2001. He also completed his Honours in Computing during 2003 while working part-time at the Centre for eCommerce and Communications. Paul is now a full-time member of the CeCC team.

Ref: B07P0135