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

“A good place to work?” What Commons staff think of House governance

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:00:46 +0000

Barry K Winetrobe examines one aspect of the current committee inquiry into House of Commons governance following the Clerk appointment fiasco. Evidence submitted by House staff reveals much which may be unsettling for House managers and MPs, but is ultimately good for the House itself. ‘We seek to ensure that the House of Commons is […]

Read more...

English votes on English laws: much ado about nothing?

Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:00:34 +0000

Robert Hazell writes that if English votes for English laws were introduced, the impact would most likely be limited. He highlights that there are relatively few English laws, and that few votes in the past would have had different outcomes if EVEL had been in place. The sound and fury generated by the debate on […]

Read more...

Are quotas for judicial appointments lawful under EU law?

Fri, 14 Nov 2014 10:00:37 +0000

A recent report laid out recommendations for improving diversity in the judiciary, including a quota system for women and BAME candidates. Kate Malleson and Colm O’Cinneide explore the legality of such measures under EU law, and specifically whether the quotas could be brought in under EU employment law or EU gender equality law. In April 2014 Sadiq Khan, Shadow Secretary of […]

Read more...
Mailing List

Connect with us

RSSFlickr

Footer menu