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

Behind the surge: Who are Green Party’s parliamentary candidates?

Fri, 01 May 2015 09:00:49 +0000

A surge in Green Party support over the last year has the potential to impact the outcome of next week’s election. Sally Symington explores how the candidates put forward by the party reflect their supporters and contrast with other parties. The surge in support for the Green Party in the 2015 general election has not […]

Read more...

Designing a Constitutional Convention for the UK: Getting the details right really matters

Thu, 30 Apr 2015 08:10:34 +0000

Following the Scottish referendum, most of the main political parties committed to holding a citizen-led constitutional convention to deal with questions over the future structure of the UK. Alan Renwick welcomes these commitments, but argues that a convention will only be effective if it satisfies certain key requisites. The prospects for a citizen-led constitutional convention […]

Read more...

Could tactical voting dilemmas in 2015 revive calls for AV?

Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:00:11 +0000

The growth in minor party support in the 2015 general election looks set to create very difficult tactical voting dilemmas in some constituencies. Meg Russell reflects on how a move to the Alternative Vote (AV), which was rejected in a referendum in 2011, might have eased such dilemmas – suggesting that a messy election result […]

Read more...
Mailing List

Connect with us

RSSFlickr

Footer menu