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Transparency and credibility: presenting corporate publications online

Margaret L Ruwoldt, Information Division, University of Melbourne, Email:


Accessibility, web usability, PDF, publications, corporate governance, credibility, web publishing guidelines.


Corporate publications are an important marketing tool for a university, particularly in a national environment of increasing competition for non-government funding sources. Corporate publications such as strategic plans and annual reports can demonstrate an organisation's stability, prospects for growth and overall quality.

Nevertheless, a comparative study in June 2004 found that most Australian universities do a poor job of presenting their strategic plans, annual reports and other corporate publications online. The study comprised a literature review followed by visits to 40 Australian university web sites.

Based on the study's findings, I propose a set of good-practice guidelines for Australian universities. The guidelines could equally apply to government agencies and other public-sector organisations.

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