National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

NFOIC Freedom of Information Paper Competition Call – new!


News Release 

December 3, 2018


CONTACT: Daniel Bevarly · 352.294.7082 ·


NFOIC Freedom of Information Paper Competition Call – new!

Do you have research in freedom of information (FOI) that will make a difference? Then submit your proposal to the National Freedom of Information Coalition’s first research paper competition for presentation at the national FOI summit April 12-13, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.

The top-three papers will earn cash prizes and the best paper will be guaranteed publication in the new online Journal of Civic Information, to be launched spring 2019 by the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information.

Authors are invited to submit a one-page paper proposal, which will be reviewed by a panel of FOI researchers. Proposals should include a one-paragraph abstract/summary, a paragraph outlining the proposed methodology, and a paragraph explaining the relevance of the potential findings for government agencies, FOI advocates, and access practitioners (e.g., journalists, citizens, record custodians).

Proposals may encompass any research methodological approach (legal, survey, experimental, content analysis, etc.), and should provide insights of practical value for those who work day-to-day in access to government information. Topics may include issues regarding access to public records and meetings, court transparency, access to public employees and elected officials, open data and technology, and other related matters.

Proposals should focus on civic information at the state/local levels, but topics regarding U.S. FOIA and international access also will be considered if they have relevancy or application to state coalitions for open government (e.g., the spreading of the “Glomar response” from federal agencies to state/local agencies, or the effects of technology or policies on agency transparency in a federal agency or other country that can be applied to any government agency). Because the primary purpose of the Journal is to furnish actionable information to professionals, an article’s usefulness to a lay audience will weigh in the publication decision; we encourage authors to consider audience accessibility in decisions of presentation style and depth of treatment.

All submissions must be submitted via email by no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, January 21, 2019. Email your one-page proposal as a Word or pdf to paper competition chair Dr. David Cuillier, University of Arizona School of Journalism,

Those whose proposals are accepted must submit a finished paper by March 18, 2019 and present their findings in-person at the summit, scheduled for April 12-13, 2019, to freedom of information practitioners from throughout the United States. First place will receive $500, second place $300 and third place $200, provided by NFOIC. The top paper will be guaranteed publication in the forthcoming online Journal of Civic Information. Graduate students are especially encouraged to submit their work.

NFOIC, based at the University of Florida, is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to assist state coalitions of open government. The intent of this new paper competition is to link research with those who could apply that knowledge for the betterment of government and democracy. The convening also will provide a venue for scholars to interact with practitioners to gain new insights and ideas for future research that can make a difference.


You can find details about the summit, submission rules, links and more at: NFOIC.