Freedom of Information and HE researchers - second in a series of regional workshops

Added by Stephane Goldstein on 04 April 2011 11:56

Friday, 1 April 2011 10:30 - 16:00

Location: University College London

This was the second in a series of three regional workshops aimed at exploring the implications of Freedom of Information legislation for Higher Education researchers in the UK. The event was organised by RIN with the support of JISC, JISC Legal, the Information Commissioner’s Office, The National Archives, the UK Data Archive and the Information & Records Management Society, along with the Constitution Unit at University College London. Further details about the rationale and scope of these workshop can be found here.

The programme and the presentations made on the day are attached below. The meeting provided an opportunity for in-depth discussions about a range of relevant concerns, including:

  • the potential problems of responding to requests for data which may be deemed in commercial confidence, and the exemptions/exceptions that may be invoked for withholding such information;
  • addressing FoI requests where research teams are part of multi-institution collaborations, particularly those involving international partners;
  • the importance of effective records management to assist in the identification of older data;
  • the tensions between the need to comply with FoI and the consequences of premature disclosure with regards to impact of research;
  • the usefulness, in some circumstances, of dealing with FoI requests informally.

A report has been drawn up to summarise the discussions from the three events. This will provide an evidence base that will help to identify what might be appropriate to inform and support HE researchers in their approach to FoI, for instance training material, guidance, case studies… We will set out proposed courses of action in due course on the website.

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