NFOIC Sponsored Research

NFOIC White Papers

Invisible Incentives: How Secrecy Impedes Evaluation and Accountability of Economic Development Subsidies (November 2020)

Blueprint to Transparency: Analyzing Non-compliance and Enforcement of Open Records Laws in Select U.S. States (February 2020)

Legislating Open Government: The Prevalence of Transparency-Related Language in 2019 State Legislative Bills (January 2020)

Portal to Compliance: A Qualitative Analysis of Online Public Record Request Services in Major U.S. Cities (September 2019)

Beast or Burden: Nuisance, vexatious, or burdensome public records requests (December 2018)


Research Projects

The 360-degree FOI audit project reviewed state and local government agencies public record fees through a series of public record requests with follow up surveys and interviews. The inconsistency found in the findings across agencies demonstrate a need for better policies and procedures surrounding FOI administrative practices.  (2016)


National FOI Summit Research Papers from our Competition Winners

2020 FOI Summit (Virtual)

Inherent frictions and deliberate frustrations: Examining the legal variables of state FOI law administration,” by A.Jay Wagner, Marquette University ($500 prize)

Born to fail: Canada’s Access to Information Act reforms, and the global lessons for a meaningful right to information,” by Michael Karanicolas, Yale ($300 prize)

Freedom of the database: Auditing access to structured data,” by Jonathan Anderson, University of Minnesota, and Sarah Kay Wiley, University of Minnesota ($200 prize)

Internalizing FOI-law in a developing country: insights from Colombian public servants,” by Mauricio Astudillo-Rodas, Rutgers University

Secrecy in death records: A call to action,” by Megan Craig, Syracuse University, Madeleine Davison, Syracuse University, Sarah Cohen, Arizona State University, and Jodi Upton, Syracuse University

“Liberating government’s materials: Removing copyright obstacles to transparency,” by Shubha Ghosh, Syracuse University

Who will take ownership of Florida high school football concussion figures,” by Imani Jackson, University of Florida

COVID-19, death records and the public interest: Now is the time to push for transparency,” by Amy Kristin Sanders, University of Texas-Austin

Government transparency (or lack thereof) in the age of COVID-19: Examining the impact and proper scope of HIPAA,” by Al-Amyn Sumar, New York Times, FOIA attorney


2019 FOI Summit (Dallas, TX)

Countering the Privatization of Public Records: How Trade Secrets, Purported Competitive Harm and Third-Party Interventions Keep Government Business in the Dark,” by Amy Sanders, University of Texas-Austin, and Daxton “Chip” Stewart, Texas Christian University ($500 prize)

The Effects and Efficacy of Online Public Records Request Portals for Agencies,” by Alexa Capeloto, City University of New York ($300 prize)

SLAPP-ing Back: Are Government Lawsuits Against Records Requesters Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation?” by Patrick C. File and Leah Wigren, University of Nevada, Reno ($200 prize)

Access to Government Officials in the Age of Social Media,” by Katie Blevins, University of Idaho, and Kearston Lee Wesner, Quinnipiac University

“‘Drag This Out’: Fixing FOI Searches, a Tantalizing Solution to Improving FOI Delays,” by Nate Jones, National Security Archive

“A Constitutional Right to Public Information,” by Chad Marzen,” Florida State University

Privacy vs. Transparency: Tracing Home Address Exemptions in State FOI Laws,” by Jodie Mozdzer Gil, Southern Connecticut State University

“Out from the Curtains of Secrecy: Private University Police Records and State Open Records Laws,” by Josh Moore, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

‘Opening the State House Doors’: Examining Trends in Public Access to Legislative Records,” by Ryan Mulvey and James Valvo, Cause of Action Institute

“Social Media Use and Political Engagement: A Social Network Analysis of Individuals’ use of Twitter to Discuss Freedom of Information in the United States,” by Kayla Schwoerer, Rutgers University

“Assessing Badgers’ Right to Know: Auditing Wisconsin Public Record Law,” by A.Jay Wagner, Marquette University

“Washington State’s Public Records Act: A Battle in the Legislature and Beyond,” by Peggy Watt, Western Washington University