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

Purring – Mr Cameron, the Queen and the British Constitution

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:00:24 +0000

Bob Morris reflects on what the Prime Minister’s recent transgression might tell us about the constitutional status of the UK sovereign. Speaking recently to a former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg – the nearest to Yankee royalty – David Cameron spilled the beans on his own sovereign’s reaction to the Scottish referendum decision to stay […]

Read more...

The English Question comprises two broad questions, with half a dozen different answers

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:00:49 +0000

The Constitution Unit conducted a three-year research project into the English Question, with a team of ten people led by Robert Hazell. This blog post summarises their main findings and conclusions. For a more concise introduction to the English Question and the points discussed here, see Robert Hazell’s “Bluffer’s guide“. For their book, see Robert […]

Read more...

The English Question: A Bluffer’s Guide

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 09:00:39 +0000

Robert Hazell offers a quick introduction to all the different answers to the English Question. A more detailed explanation of the reasoning behind the answers can be viewed here.   Devolution to Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland throws up related questions about the government of England. These fall into two broad kinds: giving England […]

Read more...
Mailing List

Connect with us

RSSFlickr

Footer menu