While AustLit's mission relates to Australian literary, print, and narrative cultures, what counts as ‘Australian’ and ‘literary’ is influenced by current debates and changing reading, teaching and research patterns. While AustLit is as inclusive as possible, and responds to researchers’ current interests, our scope policy draws boundaries for reasons of both cohesiveness and resource limits. These boundaries are explained here.
AustLit defines 'Australian' authors as:
International authors are included in AustLit, if their works:
AustLit records comprehensive information about Australian organisations such as publishers, funding agencies, and other organisations that support our literary culture.
AustLit also records information about international organisations that have a relationship with Australian literature.
Contact us if you believe you are eligible for inclusion in AustLit or if there is information missing from your record.
Does your work qualify for inclusion?
To be included in AustLit as an author, illustrator or translator, your work must have been published either in book form, or in a journal, magazine or newspaper. Playwrights and screenwriters who have had their work produced are also eligible for inclusion. The kind of writing you do must fall within AustLit's scope for inclusion.
AustLit aims to include the bibliographic history and, where possible, links to the full text of creative Australian literature: fiction, drama, poetry, children's and young adult literature, travel writing, autobiography, memoir, biography, essays, Indigenous life stories and oral history.
AustLit also covers critical material on Australian literary works, creative writers and critics, on Australian literature in general and biographical material about Australian writers and other significant figures in Australian literature. Material is also included about organisations concerned with the development and production of Australian literature and its distribution such as publishers, distributors, literary agencies, magazines, journals and newspapers, writers' groups, writer's festivals and the Literature Board of the Australia Council.
Information relating to Australian awards, prizes and literature funding, and manuscripts can also be found here.
Selective or minimal coverage
If it is 'non-literary', non-fiction by Australian authors is either not included in AustLit or is covered only minimally. Examples of minimally covered material include:
International works are either not included in AustLit or covered minimally.
Examples of minimally covered material include:
Works written by authors before they arrived in Australia or after they left Australia (especially authors who were born in a country other than Australia) may appear inconsistently across the database due to changes in policy across AustLit's lifetime. Please contact us if you want further information about a particular author.
AustLit covers organisations that publish, represent, and financially support Australian authors:
AustLit aims to provide access to high quality online resources such as web-based journals and texts. Sites by and about Australian authors, publisher sites, and organisations relevant to Australian literary and print culture will be indexed. We also link to the National Library's PANDORA project.
While we cannot vouch for the longevity or validity of the contents of indexed websites or e-publications, online resources recorded on AustLit conform as far as we can ascertain to the following standards:
AustLit indexers and bibliographers gather information from current and retrospective sources including:
AustLit's coverage is stronger in some areas than in others and some publications are indexed selectively. Some specialist areas are rich and virtually complete, while others continue to evolve. We welcome contributions. Please see our Participate page for ways you can add to our content.
AustLit currently indexes relevant content published in hundreds of journals and major Australian newspapers, but not exhaustively. Journals and newspapers are much more comprehensively indexed from 1988 onwards than for earlier years although a major retrospective indexing project was undertaken between 2009 and 2011 which led to a vast increase in coverage.
Records comprise two main types – Agent and Work. Agent records are also of two types – Individuals and Organisations.
Agent records (person) provide:
Agent records (organisation) provide:
Work records provide:
Because of the evolving nature of literary and cultural studies and AustLit's value to researchers within these areas, the inclusion policy for AustLit material is subject to change over time. Some examples are:
Retrospective coverage will inevitably be incomplete in these areas.