Informit launches new Policy Database via APO partnership

Media release from RMIT University Newsroom – see the original here

5 March 2019

Informit is thrilled to announce the addition of a new Policy database as part of an ongoing partnership with the Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO). Informit customers will now have access to over 35,000 public policy records including research reports, articles, papers, policies and other grey literature. The new database expands Informit’s range of hard-to-find Australasian content, located in one place.

Informit APO Policy record

In 30 years of service to the information management industry, Informit has firmly established itself as the go-to place for Australasian research content. It provides access to unique specialist content through its collection of over 100 databases, across a range of subject matter.

The new Policy database is an extension of this offering and part of the next phase of Informit which includes significant platform upgrades and enhancements.

Michael Tully, Informit Director, said,“What makes this partnership so exciting is that Informit and APO are working together to deliver on preserving and providing access to high quality content and towards a common goal of delivering the most value to Informit customers.”

Michelle Zwagerman, APO’s Digital Product Manager commented, “This collaboration enables us to expand the reach of our policy content through Informit’s well-established Australasian network and helps Informit customers discover our hard-to-find Policy content quickly and easily.” 

APO provides access to digital policy and practice resources, making them visible, discoverable and usable. Established by and hosted at Swinburne University of Technology since 2002 and supported by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and the Australian Research Council, APO is highly regarded in the policy space and well known for curating top quality content.  

Karen Mahlab from Pro Bono Australia praised APO’s content and its practical applications in her role, “I use APO to find evidence for issues I’m interested in. Every week, it becomes more authoritative with the papers pulled together from thousands of sources.”

The Policy database is now available via Informit and will soon be searchable through all major library discovery services. Customers who are interested in subscribing to the Policy database are encouraged to contact us [Informit] for a trial or quote.

For more information about Informit or to start searching, visit or to find out more about APO, go to

APO for students

APO has produced a handy new guide for students studying public policy and social issues – as well as tools for lecturers and librarians to introduce students to APO.

Discover your policy studies ‘secret weapon’

With ‘toga, toga, toga’ echoing around Swinburne University Campus, you can be sure that we’ve once again encountered that very special time of year… O Week. Meanwhile, university staff madly prep their course materials for the rest of the semester.

With this in mind, APO is making it easier than ever for staff to introduce students to their new policy studies ‘secret weapon’ – and for students to discover APO’s vast repository of digital public policy resources.

Steve Urkle in a toga – he looks like a BIG public policy fan to us!

Guides for students and lecturers

Students who are studying public policy or social issues at any level are invited to access our new student page at Make sure that you view our Student How to Guide to learn how to search APO for resources for your assignments. You can also Subscribe to our free Briefing service for regular updates from the policy sphere.

If you’re a university course coordinator or lecturer you can download our Lecture Slide to introduce your students to APO. Or, if you’re a tutor or librarian you can download our Tutorial Exercise Slide to use in class. 

Download our quick guides for students, lecturers, librarians and tutors

Tell us what you think

Here at APO, we hope that we can make your studies just that little bit easier – once you finally stop wearing that toga and decide to knuckle down! Haha, just kidding. Seriously though, we’re always looking for ways to help our student community, so please feel free to contact us with your questions or feedback.

Swinburne names APO a ‘Change Maker’

Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) was recently named as one to watch by Swinburne University of Technology’s Professor Aleksandar Subic in a publication featuring 15 impact case studies – from research as diverse as astrophysics to homelessness.

Professor Aleksandar Subic, Swinburne University

‘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,’ announced Professor Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development).

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

Professor Aleksandar Subic

Better information for more people

APO was named as one of three digital providers of ‘better information for more people’. These three enterprises (APO, Inside Story and UniPollWatch) were all ‘born digital’ and collect and organise information to make it more discoverable and usable in new ways.

The case study traces the evolution of APO (originally named ‘Australian Policy Online’) from its launch 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 the case study, 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, academic research centres, think tanks, civil society organisations, consultants, and research companies and academic publishers from all around the world. Many organisations have also joined as partners, APO Collection sponsors and APO Briefing subscribers.

Change Makers case study booklet

Presented alongside APO in this case study is Inside Story – an online magazine on current affairs and culture from Australia and beyond, authored by academics and journalists. UniPollWatch – established for the 2014 Victorian state election to provide innovative coverage of current events through the eyes of young Australians – is also highlighted in the same category.

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 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 team movements 2018

APO Team 2018: (L-R) Tim McCarthy, Michelle Zwagerman, Amanda Lawrence, Emily Silvester, Camilo Jorquera, Penelope Aitken, Adam Scott, Craig Burton and Les Kneebone (absent: Claire Kelly and Ian Muchamore)

Over the years the APO team has been remarkably stable, but it is inevitable that some people will leave while new people arrive – and with big new projects the APO team continues to grow, which is very exciting. The main team is based at Swinburne University of Technology, with collaborators based at partner universities and organisations including University of South Australia (UniSA), RMIT University, and the University of Melbourne. 

Continue reading “APO team movements 2018”

LSP for Social Infrastructure Project – update

The objective of the APO-led  ARC LIEF grant  Linked Semantic Platforms (LSP) for Social Infrastructure Project is to develop the next generation of decision-support tools for interdisciplinary research on critical public policy issues through linked open data, knowledge graphs and collaborations across existing research infrastructure projects.

The project expects to achieve significant benefits for evidence-based policy research by creating open linked databases and innovative analytical tools for the diverse data and documents available. This will support researchers in universities, industry, government, and NGOs to find new solutions to critical public policy issues in social care, public health, work and wellbeing, transport, built environments and digital inclusion.

Research team

The team of researchers and positions that have been filled are as follows:

Team chart
Continue reading “LSP for Social Infrastructure Project – update”

APO 2018 wrap up

The staff and board of APO would like to thank all our readers, researchers, contributors, advertisers, Major Partners, Collection sponsors, collaborators and everyone else who has worked with APO in 2018.

We wish you all the best for the festive season and the New Year!

The APO team gets into the silly season spirit (L-R): Michelle Zwagerman, Tim McCarthy, Emily Silvester, Penelope Aitken, Amanda Lawrence, Craig Burton, Camilo Jorquera, Les Kneebone and Adam Scott (front). 

APO best of 2018

Every year at APO we prepare the Top 10 list of most viewed content across all major subject areas. View the full Top 10 list overall, or filter for the Top 10 in each of our 13 broad subject categories.

The year in review

It always seems to be a big year for APO but this year we have really grown significantly thanks to a large ARC infrastructure grant, the support of our APO Major Partners and an increasing number of special projects and collaborations. 

Technology is changing so rapidly, the database continues to grow, there are new ways of connecting and operating knowledge infrastructure, and  more demands and expectations of services and functionality. Now more than ever APO needs to work with other systems and organisations to ensure we can thrive as a public knowledge service in such a dynamic and exciting environment. 

Most people know that APO provides an excellent alert service, with daily, weekly and bi-monthly New Zealand Briefings updating readers on the latest research reports and papers. But APO is much more than this – we are also a publisher and open access repository of full text policy reports, papers and data, organised and available for the long term. Both services are essential if we are to have productive and democratic access to quality research and information on public interest issues.

Continue reading “APO 2018 wrap up”