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Publications: guidelines

A large number of publications are produced each year by the Tasmanian Government and its agencies, some of which are produced for the public, while others are produced to provide guidance for staff in carrying out an agency’s business.

There are legal requirements for copies of ‘publications’ and ‘books’ supplied to the public to be deposited in libraries in the country in which they are published, and for agencies to maintain records of all publications they produce, whether they be for internal or public use.

The Tasmanian Government is committed to keeping a record of all publications produced, and enabling access to publications by staff and the public through legal deposit and, where appropriate, publication on an agency’s Intranet and/or Internet web site.

Images such as photographs and graphics are widely used in communications materials to enhance a message or the ‘look and feel’ of a publication, report, video, web site, etc. The Government has a policy position on the use of images in publications.

These guidelines have therefore been developed to ensure that:

  • copies of works published by agencies and supplied to the public are deposited as required by legislation
  • copies of all publications produced by agencies, whether for internal use or available to the public, are deposited OR RECORDED with the relevant agency’s Library/Records Service
  • an electronic copy of a publication, where available, is published (and therefore recorded) on the agency’s intranet and/or website
  • the format of publications complies with best practice
  • appropriate permissions and approvals are sought prior to publication
  • legal requirements relating to ‘copyright’ and ‘moral rights’, and policy requirements relating to information privacy, are observed.

Legislation and guidelines relevant to these guidelines include:

  • Archives Act 1983 (Tas)
  • Copyright Act 1968 (Cwth)
  • Freedom of Information Act 1991 (Tas)
  • Libraries Act 1984 (Tas)
  • Public Records Act 1943 (Tas)
  • State Service Act 2000 (Tas).

The Communications Website contains guidelines and templates relating to the production of publications, including purchasing communications services (see Publishing)


These guidelines apply to all employees of the Tasmanian Government, particularly those involved in developing publications.

Definition of publication

A work is deemed to have been published if reproductions of the work or edition have been supplied (whether by sale or otherwise) to the public.

This includes books, newsletters, brochures, pamphlets, booklets, reports (including annual reports), research papers, conference papers, articles for popular magazines and scientific or professional journals, protocols and policies, manuals, guidelines, videotapes, audiotapes, posters, fliers, photographic material, and electronic formats eg Web sites, disks and CD-ROMs.

Definition of book 

‘Book’ means any book, periodical, newspaper, printed matter, map, plan, music, manuscript, picture, print, motion picture, sound recording, photographic negative or print, microphotography, video recording and any other matter or thing whereby words, sounds or images are recorded or reproduced.

Deposit of publications

To enable access by staff and other interested parties, copies of all publications produced by staff of an agency are to be deposited with:

  • records/library service for that agency
  • web administrator (electronic copy)
  • communications unit (if appropriate).

Protocols for ensuring these requirements are met will vary from one organisation to another. It is the responsibility of each agency to establish procedures to ensure that the requirements are met.

Legal deposit requirements – State and Commonwealth

Legal deposit is a statutory provision that obliges publishers to deposit copies of their publications in libraries in both the country and state in which they are published. 

The Tasmanian Libraries Act 1984, s.22 requires that a book published in Tasmania be deposited with the State Library of Tasmania within one month of publication. Legal deposit is also required with the National Library of Australia.

Contact details for the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Legal Deposit bodies are included below. It is each agency’s responsibility to implement a process that will ensure that State and Commonwealth Legal Deposit requirements are met.

Bibliographic information

Publications are to include:

  • title of publication
  • author (the name of the Department, NOT the name/s of individual employee/s)
  • source (the Unit/Branch/Division producing the publication + contact details such as postal address, phone, email and website address)
  • date of publication (month and year)
  • corporate identity (Tasmanian Government logo)
  • volume / iissue number if the publication is part of a series
  • International Standard Book Number (ISBN) or International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) where applicable.

It is also good practice to acknowledge copyright with the following, in a bibliography or reference:

© Copyright State of Tasmania, <Year of first publication>

A photographer has a right under Part IX (Moral Rights) of the Copyright Act 1968 to be acknowledged as the ‘author’ of a work. Therefore, all images (photographs and graphics) should contain the following information in a prominent position:

‘Photo by <name>’ OR Illustration by <name>.

In some instances it may be appropriate to include acknowledgement of contributors to a publication eg sources drawn on, production and printing.


Copyright is the exclusive right to reproduce and publish a protected work.

Copyright is an economic right whereby the copyright ‘owner’ has the right to reproduce, publish, perform, communicate, adapt, sell the work etc.

Under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cwth) copyright protection is granted automatically in Australia from the moment of creating a work. The Crown in the State of Tasmania owns copyright in material if it is:

  • created by, or under the control of, the State
  • first published by, or under the direction or control of the State, unless there is an agreement between the State and another party which provides otherwise.

If material is to be incorporated into a publication from a source where copyright is not owned by the Crown, the correct copyright permissions must be obtained. The Australian Copyright Council publishes an information sheet on Government and Copyright (see contact information)

Moral rights

The Copyright Act 1968 (Cwth) has been amended (from 21 December 2000) to give authors of copyright works:

  • a right to be identified as its author
  • a right not to have its authorship falsely attributed
  • a right to object to it being subjected to derogatory treatments that are prejudicial to the author’s honour or reputation.

Moral rights are non-economic rights. They pertain only to the ‘author’ of the work and can’t be sold or assigned. They include the right to be identified as the author of the work, the right not to have authorship of the work falsely attributed, and the right not to have the work subjected to ‘derogatory treatment’ i.e. material distortion, destruction, mutilation, material alteration etc.

More information is available from the Moral Rights section of the Australian Copyright Council website (see contacts section).

Images (photographs and graphics)

Images such as photographs and graphics are widely used in communications materials to enhance a message or the ‘look and feel’ of a publication, report, video, web site, etc.

Legal requirements relating to ‘copyright’ and ‘moral rights’, and policy requirements relating to information privacy, must be considered when obtaining and using images. These are outlined in Images: Guidelines for use and commissioning

External publication

All material for external publication (eg articles in popular journals and magazines, conference papers, and scientific and technical journals for general readership) written by staff in their role as employees of an agency, or relating to the agency, is to be viewed by the relevant senior executive and, where relevant, approved by the Head of Agency.

Articles presenting research or scientific/technical material to a specialist professional/technical audience should acknowledge the contribution of the agency.


The ISBN Agency allocates ISBNs at the direct request of publishers (including self-publishers). An ISBN should be allocated to printed books and pamphlets, microfiche publications, book readings on cassette and educational videos, multimedia kits containing printed material, educational computer software, and online publications. In general, a publication must be ‘book-like’ to receive an ISBN. Websites do not qualify.

An ISBN should not be allocated to ephemeral material such as diaries, calendars, theatre and concert programs, advertising material or prospectuses, sheet music which is unbound and without a title page, or art prints and art folders without a title page or text.

Visit the ISBN Agency Australia website

It takes about 10 days to get an ISBN and there are charges.

Serial publications such as newspapers, magazines and annual reports receive an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number). The ISSN Agency has sole responsibility for ISSN allocation to serial titles published in Australia.

Visit the National Library of Australia website

The communications/marketing unit in your department may have a set of ISBN numbers. It is advisable to check with them before applying to the ISBN Agency.

The library in your department can also provide advice and guidance about ISBNs and ISSNs. The library is often the owner of ISBNs that can be allocated to a publication.

Roles and responsibilities

Agencies should allocate responsibilities to appropriate business units to ensure compliance with these guidelines. The following model is an example of how this may be achieved.

Communications/marketing units

The agency’s communications/marketing unit is responsible for maintaining, publishing and promoting adherence to these guidelines.

The communications unit is also responsible for:

  • recording and publishing electronic copies of publications on the agency’s Intranet and/or Internet web sites, where possible and appropriate
  • maintaining a register or record of all publications
  • making available the register of published works to the Director - Communications Policy, Department of Premier and Cabinet, on request.
Library and records service

Library and Records Service is responsible for receiving publications for deposit, keeping a record of all publications produced by the agency, and for providing advice on deposit. In the case of multiple volume publications such as operational manuals, Library and Records Service may keep a record but not a deposit of that publication.

Program managers

Managers are responsible for ensuring that their staff are aware of these guidelines and the legal requirement for deposit of publications.


Employees of the agency responsible for developing publications are encouraged to adhere to these guidelines.

Checklist for publishing

  • Required bibliographic information is included: title, author, corporate identity and unit/branch/division, date, copyright, ISBN or ISSN
  • Record made in register of publications
  • Web version published with embedded metadata
  • Deposit of publications - 3 copies deposited within agency; 1 copy to State Library of Tasmania; 1 copy to National Library of Australia
  • Copyright clearance is gained and recorded
  • External publications are approved and agency contribution is acknowledged.


Australian Copyright Council

Ph: 02 9318 1788


Australian ISBN Agency - Thorpe Bibliographic Services

Ph: 03 8645 0385



Australian ISSN Agency - National Library of Australia

Ph: (02) 6262 1213



Legal Deposit Officer - State Library of Tasmania

91 Murray Street

Hobart TAS 7000

Ph: 03 6233 7502


Legal Deposit Unit - National Library of Australia

Ph: 02 6262 1312