Skip to site navigation

Press Release: New FOI Handbook for Academic Researchers

27 September 2012

To mark Right to Know Day on 28 September, the Constitution Unit at UCL is publishing a new handbook for academic researchers on how to make FOI requests.

“Academics are educated and intelligent people” the Unit’s director Robert Hazell said. “But it is remarkable how stupid they can sometimes be when framing FOI requests. So we thought it would be worth producing an FOI Handbook specifically for academic requesters”.

The new handbook contains the Constitution Unit’s collected wisdom on the successes, pitfalls, tips and tricks to help academics make the best use of FOI. It is based on surveys and interviews with academic requesters, and with government officials who deal with their requests.

Dr Ben Worthy, senior researcher on the project, advises academic requesters: “Think about FOI requests early on. Be realistic: you are not going to get every response back in 20 days. So expect delays, and allow for that in your research timetable. And be realistic about what comes back: you may not get the information in the format you asked for”.

Notes for Editors

· The Constitution Unit’s handbook Making Freedom of Information Requests: A Guide for Academic Researchers is published on 28 September, and is available here. Hard copies can also be requested by emailing constitution@ucl.ac.uk

· It is the product of a research project on FOI and Universities, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

· The project also produced a report on the impact of FOI on universities: see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/research/foi/foi-universities

· Dr Ben Worthy is now a Lecturer at Birkbeck, and can be contacted at b.worthy@bbk.ac.uk

Join the Debate

Blog

News

Deliver us from EVEL?

Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:58 +0000

Bob Morris draws on the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure currently passing through Parliament to consider the viability of English Votes for English Laws. Yes, from EVEL (i.e. English Votes on English Laws), not evil as in sin. But, surely, now there is devolution all round except in England, it must be […]

Read more...

An English Constitutional Convention could benefit both main parties in the face of the UKIP threat

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:00:12 +0000

Last week Robert Hazell set out some of the options for a possible UK constitutional convention. Here Meg Russell proposes some more specific answers to the questions that he posed: for example on what a constitutional convention should be tasked to do, timescale, and membership. She suggests that a more limited convention than Labour proposes, […]

Read more...

Selecting the Justices: Four suggestions

Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:00:00 +0000

As the UK Supreme Court marks its fifth anniversary, Graham Gee and Kate Malleson reflect on how the process of selecting the Justices can be improved. Earlier this month the UK Supreme Court celebrated its fifth anniversary. There has been a flurry of vacancies, retirements and new appointments during the Court’s first five years, with only four of […]

Read more...
Mailing List

Connect with us

RSSFlickr

Footer menu