Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of having my/our publication digitised by State Library of Queensland (SLQ)?

Authors and publishers participating in the Community Heritage Digitisation Offer will receive significantly increased exposure for their publications and as a consequence, the opportunity to share their work with a much wider readership.

Digitised works will be discoverable from within SLQ’s online catalogue, One Search. In addition they will automatically acquire a record on the Trove database whose contents are harvested by Google. There is a good chance that these records will appear in relevant Google search results.

In relation to the titles digitised through the Community Heritage Digitisation Offer it is expected that e-publication will offer a new lease of life for a number of out-of-print publications whose revenue stream has been exhausted. It is also likely to lift the profile of those publications whose initial distribution was limited to a small group.

What do I need to do to submit my/our publication?

Initially you need only complete and submit an Expression of Interest which steps you through the essential requirements for participating in this offer.

If you have answered yes to Question 1-6 in the form, your application will be assessed and you will be advised as to whether the title you have suggested is suitable.

If your application is successful we will ask you, as the copyright holder, to print out, complete and sign a Non-Exclusive Copyright Licence Agreement, and post it to:

Community Heritage Digitisation Offer
State Library of Queensland
P.O. Box 3488
South Brisbane QLD 4101
Attn: Libby Fielding

If the publication under consideration is held in a State Library collection you need do nothing further until we contact you. If the publication is not already held by SLQ we will arrange for you to provide us with a copy.

Our society has a publication which we’d like to have digitised. How do we establish who owns the copyright?

Copyright may reside with the author of your publication, a group of contributing authors or with the society or organisation who commissioned the work.

The default rule in the Copyright Act is that copyright in a work is owned by its creator or maker. However, this basic position can be changed in various ways:

  • Copyright owners can transfer their copyright in instances where an author assigns copyright to a publisher.
  • If a creator made the work as part of their job, the employer will generally own copyright.
  • For some commissioned items, the commissioner is deemed to be the copyright owner.
  • If a copyright owner dies, his/her copyright forms part of their estate and can therefore be bequeathed by will.
  • If copyright is held by an organisation or society, the current president is able to sign the licence agreement.

More information is available on our copyright for publishers page.

I'd prefer to submit the Non-Exclusive Copyright Licence Agreement form online. Is there a way to do this?

No. Because you are granting formal permission to SLQ to republish your work in a digital format we need to have your original signature on the form you submit to us.

What is a “non-exclusive copyright licence”? What rights would we be giving to State Library?

This form grants permission to State Library to digitise the full text of your publication and to provide online access to its content. The agreement allows for the not for profit use of material by SLQ in publication, reproduction and communication in a capacity limited to scholarship, education or promotion.

Because this is a non exclusive licence, the agreement does not prevent you from granting permission to any other person or organisation to reproduce your work.

A signed agreement does not involve any transfer of copyright ownership to SLQ and it does not imply any change to your status as copyright holder of the relevant publication.

Would I/we be transferring copyright ownership to State Library of Queensland?

No. Please see the previous question.

Are there any physical requirements applying to submitted publications?

The physical requirements for publications involved in the Community Heritage Digitisation Offer are determined by the capacity of our automated scanning technology. Considerations relating to scanning suitability include size, page margins, inclusion of inserts, binding, paper thickness and other factors.

Are newsletters and other serial publications acceptable for this project?

Probably not. In the majority of cases individual contributors are likely to hold copyright in the articles they have written. It will not be feasible for your organisation to obtain all of the necessary copyright permissions.  However if your organisation holds the copyright for a specific serial publication it may be considered for this offer.

What do the scanned publications look like? Do you have any examples?

Scanned publications are produced as a searchable PDF. SLQ’s one search catalogue provides access to a range of digitised publications and a number of scanning technologies have been involved in their production.

Examples of titles which have been scanned via the automated scanning technology which will be used for this initiative include Cherrie Nicholson’s: White wings on Waterloo Bay : a history of local sailing clubs in the 20th century and Lota - through local eyes : stories of a little-known Brisbane suburb and the people who call Lota home.

Are there any costs involved?

No the scanning and processing of publications associated with this initiative are provided free of charge by SLQ.

Who would have access to my/our publication? How would it be discovered?

The access available in relation to all publications involved in this offer would be SLQ’s default access option, described as "Open Access."  This means that, in contrast to a physical item held by the John Oxley Library which can only be accessed within the State Library building, the full text of your publication would be immediately available to anyone who discovers its record in SLQ’s One Search catalogue.

Your publication could also be discovered in Australia’s national online database, Trove and, because Trove content is harvested by Google, it has the potential to appear in Google search results.

Does the publication I/we nominate need to be held in a State Library collection?

It is anticipated, given our longstanding interest in obtaining any published work whose content relates significantly to Queensland, that the majority of publications assessed as being suitable for this initiative are likely to have been acquired by the John Oxley Library via purchase, donation or legal deposit. If you have authored a publication that is not held by us, we would be interested in acquiring a copy for the JOL collection.

Is this offer limited to out of print publications?

Not necessarily. However if your publication is available for sale to the general public, then the free access we would provide to its content through this initiative is likely to have a negative impact on sales revenue.

Are unpublished documents acceptable?

Regardless of their suitability in relation to subject content, unpublished documents are out of scope for this particular initiative which is limited to published works.

Our publication is currently on sale to the public. Would our revenue stream be affected if we took advantage of this offer?

Yes, there is a likelihood that sales revenue would be affected. Please see the response to the question above.

A PDF version of our/my publication already exists. Would it be suitable for the Community Heritage Digitisation Offer?

Not for this offer. The goal of the Community Heritage Digitisation Offer is to expand the audience reach of Queensland publications whose access to date has been limited to SLQ onsite visitors.

Born digital publications which have been published in Queensland are acquired by SLQ under legal deposit and are accessible via SLQ’s One Search catalogue. PDF documents with a legal deposit obligation can be deposited via our Legal Deposit wizard form.

Is the offer limited to one publication per author?

No there is no limit. Providing you hold the copyright, you may nominate any title which meets the requirements identified in the Expression of Interest form.

I have some additional questions about the initiative. How do I contact you?

If you need more information the number to contact us on is 07 3840 7852.

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