Information Studies


Dissemination activities

The Freedom of Information Act and records management project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for 14 months (2008-2009).


The researchers will disseminate theoretical and policy findings to professional, academic and public policy communities through a variety of means including conference papers, discussions at professional meetings and publications.


FOI, Open Government and Transparency workshop 20 June 2008
Alice Stevenson spoke at a workshop for post docs and post graduate students, organised by LSE and the UCL Constitution Unit. The workshop aimed to create and foster a network of researchers and research students interested in FOI.

International Council on Archives Congress, Kuala Lumpur 23 July 2008
Elizabeth Shepherd gave a paper on Freedom of information and records management in a session entitled Archives and Communities: where are the boundaries?. The track was well attended with over 100 delegates and the papers stimulated questions and discussion.

Research Information Network 8 September 2008
Elizabeth Shepherd put together the programme and speakers for a workshop on researchers' use of freedom of information, which was hosted by rin. The workshop was part of the programme of rin's Library and Information Sciences Consultative Group.

iM@T online September 2008
The project is reported in Information Management and Technology online, the CIMTECH journal

Records Management Society London Group 19 November 2008
Elizabeth Shepherd and Alice Stevenson were invited to address a meeting of the RMS London Group, held at UCL. The meeting is an opportunity to discuss initial results with a group of professional information and records managers. The presentation is available here.

London Information Rights Forum 27 November 2008
Alice Stevenson spoke at the meeting of LiRF held at City Hall. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss initial results with a group of professional information managers, who seemed to think that our findings were in line with their experience and gave some useful feedback on the findings.

DLM Forum Conference 2008 10 December 2008
Elizabeth Shepherd and Alice Stevenson were invited to give a paper at the European DLM-Forum conference, sponsored by the Direction des Archives de France and the European Union. The paper, 'The impact of the UK Freedom of Information Act on digital records management in the public sector' was well received by the conference, which was attended by almost 400 delegates. The Conference Proceedings are published online: 'The impact of the UK Freedom of Information Act on digital records management in the public sector', in the Proceedings of the Vth DLM-Forum Conference, Information and Electronic Records Management in Europe: Achievements and new Directions, Toulouse, December 2008 Direction des Archives de France (2009)

High-level ministerial delegation from Vietnam visit UCL 18 March 2009
Elizabeth Shepherd and Alice Stevenson addressed a high-level ministerial delegation from Vietnam, including the Deputy Minister for Justice, on the question of freedom of information and records management. Vietnam is currently drafting its law on access to information, which is planned to come into effect in 2010. The delegation was on a week-long fact finding mission to the UK, including visits to the Ministry of Justice, the Information Commissioner's Office and a few academics who have specialised in the subject, in order to ensure that the national proposals for information policy and legislation in Vietnam are robust.

Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) 16 May 2009
Elizabeth Shepherd has been invited to give a paper at the ACA conference in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in a theme on privacy and access to information. The paper, 'What are the implications of FOI for practice in records management?' and the powerpoint slides are available from these links. 

British Library 21st Century Curation Seminar 8 June 2009
Elizabeth Shepherd gave a short paper at a seminar for staff at the British Library on the research process and the outcomes of the project. The slides are available here.

UK Society of Archivists annual conference 3 September 2009
Elizabeth Shepherd gave a paper 'Freedom of information and records management: the local government experience' reporting on the project findings at the annual conference in Bristol.

International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) Conference 9 April 2010 Berne, Switzerland accepted a paper in Panel 31, Transparency and Accountability, 'Freedom of information and records management: a study of local government authorities in England'

Scottish Information Commissioner's Office 18 June 2010
MacKay Hannah Public Policy conference, How can public authorities meet their FOI obligations economically, efficiently and effectively?, Edinburgh invited paper, 'Reducing the administrative burden of compliance: the importance of good records management'

Information and Records Management Conference 4 April 2011, Brighton
Paper 'Records management in English local government: the effect of freedom of information' and panel debate 'The future of information governance'

Updated literature review April 2011
Marie Laperdrix, at UCL as a post-doctoral student from INP, Paris, prepared an updated literature review on FOI which has been picked up on the blog Le regard de Janus

Related dissemination and public engagement activities:
AHRC funded doctoral research training programme led by Bangor University November 2008-May 2009
Andrew Flinn is co-organising, and UCL is co-hosting, a programme of training seminars for doctoral research students. Session 2 focuses on freedom of information. 

'Uncovering buried treasure' by Zoe Corbyn, Times Higher Education, 23 October 2008, on the use of freedom of information by researchers, reports on the project see THES article

Research Information Network Workshops September 2008, September 2009
RIN has promoted two workshops on Researchers Use of FOI for resource discovery, informed by the project findings. Elizabeth Shepherd planned the programmes. Papers and a podcast from the September 2008 workshop are available. A second workshop was held in Glasgow on 14 September 2009.

A new series of RIN regional workshops on FOI and researchers in HE is being held in 2011, including at UCL on 1 April. For details see rin webpages.

Councils have mixed record on FoI by Mark Say, Guardian Professional, 15 March 2011, on the impact of FOI on records management in local authorities, based on the study findings Guardian Professional

For further details please contact Dr Elizabeth Shepherd (Principal Investigator), e.shepherd@ucl.ac.uk