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Publishing toolkit - Factsheet 3

Publishing checklist

This checklist covers issues to consider in producing and publishing a resource. These can include a variety of formats including factsheets, books, DVDs and websites.


  • Write in plain English. Checklists of plain language principles are available on the Plain Language Law section of the Foundation's website.
  • Test a draft of your resource with the target group. How to find out if your document really works is a useful guide to user testing and is available on the Foundation's website.
  • Use an accredited translator. Some legal documents may require advanced translator qualifications. A list of accredited translators is available from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters — Test your translations with the target audience.

  • Have the content checked by a lawyer with expertise in the area.
  • Obtain permission for the copyright or moral rights for any work done by someone else, including illustrations (see the Australian Copyright Council's Copyright information at
  • Plain language publications can provide a useful starting point for more in-depth research. Include references to relevant legislation and case law so that readers can follow this up.
  • Where appropriate, provide information on how and where to obtain legal advice or further information. The Foundation has a list of commonly used legal assistance agencies in NSW that can be downloaded from the Plain Language Law section of our website and used in your resource.


Information to include at the beginning of the resource
  • A disclaimer indicating that the resource is providing information not advice, e.g. This publication is intended as a guide to the law and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.
  • Clearly indicate the date of the information so that readers can assess its currency, e.g. The law as at 1 March 2003.
  • The jurisdiction of the information, e.g. This information applies to people who live in, or are affected by, the law as it applies in NSW, Australia.
  • If the resource is in a language other than English, include an English translation of the title, language of publication, publishing and supplier details, and a brief description.
  • Clearly indicate the person(s) or organisation(s) responsible for the information.
  • Contact details of how the resource can be obtained, e.g. address, phone (including TTY), fax and email.
  • An ISBN (International Standard Book Number), a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products. Contact the ISBN Agency ( to obtain one.
  • A statement of copyright. e.g. This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in part or in whole for educational purposes as long as proper credit is given to the [insert name of your organisation] and its contributors. © [insert name of your organisation]
  • Include cataloguing-in-publication details. This increases the accessibility of your publication as it is then listed in the National Bibliographic Database which is accessed by libraries and the book trade. Contact the National Library to obtain cataloguing-in-publication details —
  • Lodge legal deposit copies of the publication with the following libraries:
    • National Library, Parkes Way, Canberra ACT 2601
    • State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000
    • Fisher Library, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006
    • NSW Parliamentary Library, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Layout and design
  • Designing your document and Designing Forms, provide guidelines for good design and are available on the Foundation's website.
  • Accessibility guidelines recommend 12-point type minimum. See the Royal Blind Society's Guidelines for producing readable text for other simple ways to increase the accessibility of your resource.
  • Check that your website is accessible to vision impaired users.
    See the Foundation's factsheet, Creating an accessible website for users with vision impairment.