Swinburne names APO a ‘Change Maker’

Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) has been named as a ‘Change Maker’ by Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne) in a publication featuring 15 research impact case studies. APO is highlighted as digital provider of ‘better information for more people‘ in case studies covering diverse research areas, from astrophysics to homelessness.

Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic

The release of the publication was announced by Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic.

‘I am pleased to let you know that we have published Change Makers – a compilation of 15 diverse stories of research impact from across Swinburne that showcases some of our most inspiring and transformative outcomes,’ said Professor Subic.

‘These case studies showcase how innovative research and strong partnerships can create positive real-world change in industry and the community,’ he said.

Better information for more people

APO is featured as one of three digital providers of ‘better information for more people’ alongside current affairs publication Inside Story and youth election coverage monitor UniPollWatch. These three enterprises were all ‘born digital’ and collect and organise information to make it more discoverable and usable in new ways.

Originally named ‘Australian Policy Online’, APO began at Swinburne in 2002 as an open access database for policy research. Awarded the ‘Best Information Website’ at the 2014 Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards, APO has grown from humble beginnings to having more than 4.2 million users from around the world, with 16.4 million page views.

At the time of writing, APO hosted an impressive 38,928 policy resources in 1,264 subjects, contributed by more than 6,000 institutions and almost 27,000 authors – numbers that continue to grow steadily year on year.

APO’s comprehensive array of policy contributors includes government departments and agencies, research centres, think tanks, civil society organisations, consultants, research companies and academic publishers from all around the world. Many organisations have also joined as partners and APO Collection sponsors.

Change Makers case study booklet

Change Makers is a compilation of 15 diverse case studies of research impact from across Swinburne University. This research is in line with Swinburne University’s Research and Innovation Strategy – ‘Transforming Industries, Shaping Lives and Communities’, and the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Engagement and Impact Assessment agenda. Enquiries about this publication can be made to Swinburne Research.

APO goes HTTPS!

APO recently upgraded its website to use HTTPS, which is the web standard for secure traffic. This means that your use of APO is now encrypted and more secure. With this improvement, users logging into APO are offered better protection when they key their passwords in. 

These changes shouldn’t affect your experience of the APO website. However, if you have saved bookmarks or have cited APO resources with ‘http’ links, these will need to be updated by 1 January 2020.

‘Overall, the website now responds more quickly, as confirmed by our post-implementation testing. This increase in speed is often due to the removal of third-party security testing examining web traffic that is not encrypted – which can add delays. Instead, encrypted web traffic is not vulnerable to having malicious content inserted into it,’ said Craig Burton, APO Development Manager.

‘APO resources uploaded by contributors will also be listed higher in Google search results, because Google prioritises web based resources served over HTTPS.’

Craig Burton, APO Development Manager

In addition, any resource downloaded from APO’s website can now be proven to have come directly from APO because the HTTPS certificate our website provides is strongly associated with APO.

Please feel free to contact us if you require further information on this upgrade to our website.

APO holiday closure and Briefings break 2018

With 2018 drawing to a close, we would like to wish all our readers, contributors, supporters and partners a safe and happy holiday season.

Office closure

APO’s offices will be closed from Monday, 24 December 2018 and reopen on Wednesday, 2 January 2019. The website remains open and content posted during this time will be included in the January or February Briefings.

Briefings break

The newsletter Briefing service closure dates are as follows:

  • Daily Briefing: The last update will be sent on Friday, 21 December – service resumes on Monday, 4 February.
  • Weekly Briefing: The last update will be sent on Wednesday, 19 December – service resumes on Wednesday, 16 January.
  • New Zealand Briefing: The last update will be sent on Tuesday, 18 December – service resumes on Tuesday, 15 January.

Happy holidays!

APO Forum 2018 – videos and slides

Redesigning the Public Knowledge System

This year’s theme: ‘Redesigning the Public Knowledge System: New Tools and Strategies for Research, Policy and Practice’ addressed the global crisis in the production, use and management of publicly funded research and information across all industries.

For those who were not able to make the APO Forum 2018 – or those who did but can’t get enough – we captured the day on video so you can watch the presentations from our public knowledge luminaries at your convenience. You can also find the run of the day in the APO Forum 2018 Program and see our picture gallery in the APO Forum 2018 Wrap Up.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Prof Jane Farmer, Director of the Social Innovation Research Institute at Swinburne University

Keynote Presentation: The Four Waves of the Evidence Revolution

Dr Howard White, The Campbell Collaboration: The Four Waves of the Evidence Revolution – Howard White slides
Continue reading “APO Forum 2018 – videos and slides”

APO Workshop – Systematic Reviews for the Social Sciences

APO held its first workshop following the APO Annual Forum in October at Swinburne University of Technology. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Julia Littell, Professor of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College (US) who also works with the The Campbell Collaboration, an organisation dedicated to evidence synthesis for evidence-based policy and practice. 

‘It was wonderful to see such highly engaged participants from a broad range of sectors at APO’s first workshop. The diversity in the room allowed for unique sharing of experience and ideas – not only by our knowledgeable workshop leader Julia, but from the participants themselves.’

APO Director Amanda Lawrence
Dr Julia Littell

Dr Julia Littell’s Systematic Reviews for the Social Sciences slides are now available to view. We’d like to thank Julia for her brilliant systematic reviews thought leadership on the day and for allowing us to make this resource publicly available. 

Continue reading “APO Workshop – Systematic Reviews for the Social Sciences”

Congrats to our 2018 work placement students

Work placement student Grace Coleman filming APO Director Amanda Lawrence at the APO Forum 2018

APO is delighted to report that several of our 2018 work placement students have recently gone on to find fantastic professional roles. 

Grace Coleman accepted a Policy Analyst role at FPL Advisory in November. She joined APO in July when she was completing the final semester of her Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at La Trobe University and worked under the guidance of APO’s Marketing Coordinator, Emily Silvester.

Grace worked on a range of projects, including the creation of a ‘What is Policy?’ article and video, a ‘How to Contribute a Resource to APO‘ video, analysis of the APO’s most popular reports from 2017, as well as interviewing, filming and producing APO Forum 2018 testimonials. 

‘Grace was a fantastic addition to our small team. We quickly released that she had a talent for both policy analysis and producing media. She has an extraordinary ability to understand complex ideas quickly and was very motivated to create outputs that could be utilised by APO in our Marketing activities. All while maintaining a contagiously upbeat attitude,’ said Emily. 

Julia Pham, who started her APO work placement in February, has accepted a role at multinational engineering firm AECOM. Julia – who was in the final year of her Arts (International Studies) and Commerce (Economics) degree at Monash University while she was at APO – said that she applied because she had found the APO website useful during her studies. ‘I applied for an APO placement because I have found the APO site incredibly helpful in the past,’ she said. 

‘I’ve recommended APO to my fellow colleagues and we’re all using it now!’

Julia Pham
Continue reading “Congrats to our 2018 work placement students”

APO attends Oceans and Islands Conference

Oceans and Islands Conference : APO Collections Editor Penelope Aitken, Dr Jackie Tuaupiki and Prof. David Robie

In late November APO Collections Editor Penelope Aitken travelled to speak at the New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research’s Oceans and Islands Conference in Auckland.

While she considered the niche and nerdy topic of ‘The catalogue as a cultural practice’ she was delighted to share a panel with the ‘impressively young’ senior lecturer, Dr Jackie Tuaupiki from Waikato University discussing the reclamation of ancient Māori navigational knowledge as well as the extremely eminent former Rainbow Warrior crusader, Prof. David Robie speaking of the Pacific Media Centre and a concerning turn against media freedom during Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) being hosted in Papua New Guinea.

‘These and many other speakers were inspiring to learn of and to seek out for inclusion in APO’s Pacific Research Collection as it navigates into its second year on APO,’ said Penelope of her trip to New Zealand. 

APO Collections Editor Penelope Aitken