Key concepts and FAQs

Key Concepts


when controlled technology, or access to that technology, is provided to users located outside of Australia


when controlled technology is placed in the public domain


activities that support the publication process, such as supplying a draft publication to an international collaborator for review, or to a publisher or a peer reviewer


sending DSGL technology in physical form from Australia to a place outside of Australia

As a first step, it is important to understand whether the goods or technologies you are using or developing actually trigger control thresholds.

A Self-Assessment tool has been developed to assist in determining whether your activities are controlled. Access to the Self-Assessment tool is available here.

Many of the following FAQs have been taken/adapted from scenarios posted on the Defence Export Control Office (DECO) website.



How do I determine whether my research is controlled?
I've completed the Self-Assessment but I have a question relating to my research.
My research is controlled and I need to obtain an approval or permit.


What is the difference between 'supply' and 'publication'?
I plan to publish a scientific paper describing the results of my research, which is on technology listed in the DSGL. Do I need a permit to send a copy to my publisher abroad?
Do I need a permit to send a draft copy of the paper to my co-author located overseas? Does my overseas co-author need approval to send the paper to the publisher?
Does it matter if I did the research in Australia or overseas? Or if I publish while in Australia or overseas?
Do I need approval to share the metadata (e.g. bibliographic information such as author, title, publication date etc) of published or unpublished works on the Internet or in an institutional repository?
I am undertaking 'basic scientific research', which could potentially have a dual use. Are there any concerns about publishing the research in journals or presenting the research at an overseas conference?
If the end user of my research is an Australian national security agency they already make sure any sensitive or classified information is removed from my draft publication before I can submit it for publication. Is this sufficient to allow me to publish?


I have been invited to present at a prestigious international scientific conference (outside Australia) on technology listed in the DSGL. Scientists in the field are given an opportunity to submit applications to attend. Invitations are given to those judged to be the leading researchers in the field, and attendance is by invitation only. Some of the attendees will be non-Australian persons. Do I need a permit to present?
Can I use PowerPoint slides containing DSGL technology at my presentation? Is this still considered an oral presentation?
I am an Australian researcher giving an oral presentation outside of Australia that contains Part 1 and Part 2 DSGL technology, and that presentation is to be podcast or recorded, do I need a permit?
Would it make any difference if the conference were to take place in Australia?

Research students and supervisors

As a research student, do I need approval to publish my thesis electronically via an institutional repository, which can be accessed by the general public?
My Ph.D. thesis is on technology listed in the DSGL Part 2 and has never been published. However, the thesis is available at the institutional repository which is accessible by the general public. Do I need approval to send another copy to a colleague overseas?
A student has completed their thesis and the supervisors have decided that the most appropriate examiners are based overseas. If the thesis contains information on the use of, or results obtained pertaining to technology listed in the DSGL, can the thesis be sent overseas for review?

Visiting researchers

My university will host an international scientist who is an expert on research in engineered ceramics and composite materials. Do I require a permit before sharing my latest, as yet unpublished, research results with the visitor in Australia?
My visiting scientist has returned to their home institution and we are looking to write up the results of our collaboration. Do I need a permit to exchange emails and data from our joint collaboration?
Would it make any difference if I were proposing to talk with my visiting scientist while they are overseas?

International collaborations

Could I do some work with an expert in their research laboratory overseas?
I would like to compare as yet unpublished research results with a scientific colleague from another country and discuss the results with them when they visit Australia. Do I need approval to do so?
Do I need approval to conduct a research project on DSGL technology with international collaborators?
Do I need a permit to undertake a research project for a US Defence Agency?
I am an international researcher working at a university in Australia for 12 months on a collaborative research project. As part of the research agreement, the universities have agreed that the data will be stored on the cloud service at my home university so I will be entering, analysing and downloading data and information from an international cloud service while I am located in Australia. I am working with DSGL technology. Do I need any permits?
I have a joint research project with a foreign university. At the beginning of the project, I did not foresee that any of our results will be relevant to the development of DSGL technologies (especially Part 1). However, the results obtained now jointly in Australia and in the foreign university can be used for such purposes. What should I do?
I work as a researcher at a publically-funded research agency in Australia. May I share the results of my unpublished research with foreign nationals without concern for export controls?
Do I need a permit for a foreign graduate student to work in my laboratory?

Research with/for multinational companies

I have undertaken research funded by a corporate sponsor, which includes technology listed in Part 1 of the DSGL, and while the funder is a registered Australian company, it has branches overseas. Do I need approval to provide reports to the company as I cannot guarantee they will not share with their other branches?

Travelling and working overseas

If I am travelling overseas what arrangements do I need to make regarding the DSGL Part 1 or Part 2 technology that is stored on my laptop and storage device?

Editing and peer review

I am a peer reviewer of an international journal and I am located in Australia. What should I do if I am asked to review a paper and the content includes DSGL technology?
A publisher/peer is reviewing my draft publication and has requested the raw data, do I need a permit to send the data?
I am an editor of a journal and I am located in Australia. What should I do if I need to send draft articles to peer reviewers located overseas?

Commercial consulting

I am an academic at an Australian university, with expertise in design and creation of submicron devices. I have been asked to be a consultant for a company in another country that wishes to manufacture such devices. Do I need approval to do so?

Patenting and patented information

What if I lodge a patent application containing DSGL technology?
Is the export of patented information fully disclosed on the public record subject to export controls?
I have an invention that can be related to a DSGL technology (Part 1). I lodged a patent application in Australia, which will not be made public. One year later, the patent will go to the Patent Cooperation Treaty phase when the patent will be published. What procedures need to be followed in going into the Patent Cooperation Treaty phase?


Would it make any difference if I were teaching at a foreign university?
I teach proprietary courses on design and manufacture of high-performance machine tools. Is the instruction in my classes subject to the Australian export controls?
I am teaching an online undergraduate unit at my university. The unit material draws on my research in DSGL technology. My face-to-face lectures are recorded and uploaded and are then accessed by enrolled students from all over the world, including from the international campuses that my university operates. Does the export controls legislation apply to my teaching activities?

Correspondence and sharing of information with UniSA colleagues

I wish to email my results and draft publication to colleagues within my organisation, but my organisation uses cloud technology for emails - is this an issue?


Records management

Do I need to manage my DSGL Part 1 or Part 2 information differently? Do I need to manage the records as protected with appropriate controls regarding cloud storage overseas?