Thursday, January 14, 2010

Writing Up Indigenous researching: authorship plus more

I received another book in the mail this week mentioning the author had worked in three Aboriginal communities to develop the material for the book. There was nothing sacred in the work, but still, it appeared that the marketing department made sure everyone knew there was Indigenous involvement, without any recognition of joint authorship, substantial attribution or any evidence of shared royalties.

So might I suggest that if you are researching and writing in /about Aboriginal communities, then you get a hold of Terri Janke’s paper on ‘Writing Up Indigenous research: Are you writing down the results of Indigenous research?’ so you can get it right.

Writing and recording Indigenous knowledge systems creates copyright. Knowledge systems are integral to the living cultures of Indigenous people. If traditional knowledge is included it is important to follow protocols of informed consent, attribution, integrity and sharing of benefits of research. In this paper Terri explains copyright, old knowledge, authorship, sacred and secret material and the implications of research methods on Indigenous knowledge systems. The paper outlines the importance of considering authorship in academic research when writing up Indigenous traditional knowledge. Indigenous knowledge holders and their communities are entitled to be attributed and have their knowledge rights respected. The shortfalls of copyright and Intellectual Property laws are discussed and Indigenous cultural protocols and University IP policies are examined as a means of developing modern research methods and acknowledging knowledge holders. Copies are available for $22 (including GST). Please contact Lan Pham at Terri Janke & Company: Ph: (02) 9693 2577, Email:

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