By treating universities like any large public sector institution, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and the Information Commissioner's current interpretation of it, risks causing significant damage to the research environment for which UK universities are justly famed. This risk arises from the failure of the legislation to distinguish adequately between universities' operational information, and information in the form of data that university researchers generate in the course of their research. The article discusses the cost of permitting public access to university research data under the remit of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It comments on the wide array of public authorities covered by the scope of the Act, including universities, and considers the Information Commissioner's decisions relating to freedom of information (FOI) requests made to access tree ring research at Queen's University, Belfast and climate research at the University of East Anglia. It describes the move in academia towards open research data as an alternative to FOI requests.
|Translated title of the contribution||Paved with Good Intentions|
|Pages (from-to)||28 - 32|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Computers & Law|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2011|