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Bibliography of clearinghouses in the social sciences in Australia
compiled by Anne Hugo, Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies.


A clearinghouse is an organisation or network which exists in order to carry out a clearinghouse function, as defined below. Sometimes an organisation might give its listing of new publications the label, 'clearinghouse' but that use of the term is the equivalent of 'list' and does not represent that organisation's prime function.

A working list of clearinghouses in the social sciences in Australia

Auseinet (Australian Network for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health)

Australian and Other Drugs Council of Australia: National Information Clearinghouse

Australian Clearing House for Library and Information Science

Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies

Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse

Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse

Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

Australian Indigenous Health

Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth

Australian Resource Centre for Healthcare Innovations

Clearinghouse for National Literacy and Numeracy Research

Closing the Gap Clearinghouse - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Family Studies

Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia

Diversity Health Institute Clearinghouse

DrugInfo Clearinghouse (Australian Drug Foundation)

Homelessness Information Clearinghouse:

Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse

National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre

National Child Protection Clearing House

National Homelessness Information Clearinghouse

National Vocational Education and Training Clearinghouse Network

Primary Mental Health Care Australian Resource Centre (PARC), Department of General Practice, Flinders University

Rural and Remote Allied Health Clearing House

Stronger Families Clearinghouse (2000-2004)

Women's Health Information Clearinghouse

Other examples:

Definition of a clearinghouse:

A clearinghouse aims to collect valuable information in a specific field and to make that information available to people and groups working in that field. As a central access point, a clearinghouse serves the needs of users of a specific body of knowledge. One of its functions is to prevent the duplication of effort by those users, by identifying, describing and evaluating information relevant to their knowledge area. Thus in some of its tasks, a clearinghouse is similar to a library, repository, or a warehouse in that it receives, organises and disseminates information.

EdNA's definition of a clearinghouse links it in with gateways, as 'a source that contains lists of links to varied online resource collections, including subject gateways'.,528 (EdNA Online is a service that aims to support and promote the benefits of the Internet for learning, education and training in Australia.) More definitions of clearinghouses are given below. 

Each implementation of a clearinghouse is unique:

  • A clearinghouse might exist only ' virtually' or online; another may focus only on print resources.
  • Its information might be located at external nodes within the clearinghouse structure -- a clearinghouse is always the central node of any such structure.
  • In many cases, a clearinghouse also acts as a publishing house for that information.
  • Some clearinghouses have been created by national organisations, others by individual researchers, librarians, teachers, specialists.

Note: a portal is not a clearinghouse:

  • A portal is 'a collection of diverse resources that are produced entirely by or managed by the host organisation', whereas
  • A clearinghouse is a systematic collection of resources -- which may be produced by a variety of organisations or sources -- that are made accessible through a single web site or resource; the authorship and responsibility for those resources is 'not solely or necessarily that of the host organisation'. (Adapted from file, Cataloging Consistency and Updates, DWEL Team Meetings, January 2003 by Holly Devaul at:

More definitions of clearinghouses.

More definitions of clearinghouses:

A clearinghouse is

"... a centralised repository of information and resources on a specific topic which can be accessed by interested stakeholders"
(Source: Auseinet

"... a managed process to facilitate the exchange of information between sources and users of a given scope of information."
(A definition taken from a Stockholm Convention/ United Nations Environment Programme document.)

" ... a central access point which aims to minimise the duplication of effort through identifying, describing and evaluating information on the internet.
(Source: University of Sunderland, Centre for Environmental Informatics; original source no longer online.)

For another scientific defiinition of a clearinghouse, see the US Federal Geographic Data Committee A 1997 document of theirs described a clearinghouse as: " ... a mechanism for accessing data. It links nodes ... Nodes are stores of data and information within the clearinghouse structure that have a function similar to a library, a repository, or a warehouse."

... a type of library that receives, organises, and provides information, or,
... a formal mechanism for the transfer of knowledge

... a large collection of resources, web sites, and online documents on a given topic.
(Source: Ch.6: Find What You Want, Fast, in: Web 101: Making the 'Net Work for You, by Wendy Lehnert, Addison Wesley, 2003, cited at: