Sports information in Australia is being integrated in a new online portal called the Clearinghouse for Sport. The open access and collaborative feature of the Clearinghouse promotes and shares sports specific information across the large, interdisciplinary, and decentralized components of sports studies.
The portal includes a knowledge base, a library catalog linking multiple sports collections in Australia, research databases, and a sports video library among other assets. The videos document training, oral histories of sports, lectures, sports conferences, webinars and podcasts. Just a few subjects covered are Athlete Pathways and Development, the Australian Sports Calendar, High Performance Sport Planning, and Sports Nutrition, as examples.
The Clearinghouse also allows international access with a free registration. Some content is restricted by licensing for international researchers. For example, abstracts may be available but not full text for some articles. Also, many of the networks linked in the portal are limited to Australians, such as the Australian Sports Research Network. Nevertheless, the content is impressive and growing. The Clearinghouse is in beta release and just a few years old so it is still evolving. (Crook, 2013).
Sports practitioners within Australia are the primary users of the Clearinghouse. It is managed by the National Sports Information Centre (NSIC) – the library arm of the Australian Sports Commission. The Australian Government funds all sports efforts by the NSIC. Collaboration comes from many organizations of the Australasian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN).
The Clearinghouse is definitely recommended for broad sports research and information specific to Australian sports. The focus is on current materials and issues of interest to sports professionals, although access to some of the archival collections of the sport database AUSPORT is included to members.
Most important, international sports researchers get a brilliant view of Australia’s sports effort in action.
R. Hudson, Assistant Professor, Librarian/Archivist, United States Sports Academy
Crook, E. (November 01, 2013). Sport and access to sport information in Australia. The Australian Library Journal, 62, 4, 295-304.
Clearinghouse for Sports is located at: https://secure.ausport.gov.au/clearinghouse/home (accessed 12/1/2014).