What is Student Publishing

“The only way to assert the right to publish is to publish” – Ben Bradlee, Executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968 to 1991

Student publishing involves any current or former student making their past work available for others to learn from.

The RSPA supports the rights of students as publishers and strongly believes that sharing and disseminating work and research is essential to the development and maintenance of knowledge. Past work may include anything from a set of subject notes to a past assignment or research paper.

For Students

Under the Australian Copyright Act, students have the legal right to publish work they create at university, and the RSPA advocates for this right. We also recognise that any student work must be published responsibly in order to not undermine the ability of a university to assess current work. As such we have provided the following strict guidlines that apply to all our student members and more broadly, are encouraged for all Australian students:

  • Only publish work that you have created.
  • Only publish work that you own copyright to.
  • Ensure your student work is published only after you have completed the relevant subject and received a grade.

For Industry and Academics

Importantly, we also aim to establish frameworks and guidance for the Australian higher education sector to ensure that students are aware of their rights and responsibilities when publishing their past work and research. Below are some of the association’s activities for these members:

  • Encourage universities to recognise the importance of student publishing and promote the responsible publishing of student work.
  • Encourage universities to establish clear guidance around how students can publish work responsibly.
  • Ensure all Industry Members are providing legitimate study assistance to students. We do not support providers of cheating services in any way (e.g. contract cheating, ghost writing, assignment writing) and firmly believe in educating students on the differences between sharing and cheating behaviours.
  • Encourage universities to work closely with RSPA in amending Intellectual Property Policies and Academic Integrity Policies to account for students legally publishing their past work.
  • Support publishing platforms in implementing mechanisms and measures that promote and support academic integrity.
  • Provide a forum for our industry and academic members to discuss, examine, initiate and support measures or other matters relating to student publishing.