These guidelines for ethical publishing spring from Aboriginal Studies Press’ lived experience as an award-winning publisher. To date, there have been few rules of engagement for publishing Australia’s Indigenous writers, and much criticism of past practices. The guidelines are signposts that reflect what ASP has experienced as best-practice rather than being overly prescriptive (or proscriptive). Presented accessibly, they are enlivened by practical tips and illuminating case studies.
In this area you may be a cultural novice, however experienced you may be as a publisher. And, in the same way that there’s no one single Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identity, there’s no one approach to the many challenges and opportunities that present themselves. The goal is to publish material written by, or about, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and people in a way that is meaningful for them, while embodying the best qualities of good writing, rigorous scholarship, and the capacity to be saleable.
ASP’s hope is that by using the guidelines, writers and publishers can create new works that reflect the diversity and richness of Australia’s Indigenous histories and cultures.
The guidelines share a philosophical base with the AIATSIS Guidelines for ethical research in Australian Indigenous studies. Both sets of guidelines allow AIATSIS to fulfil its mandated role of encouraging an understanding and appreciation in the wider community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.