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

2022 FOI Summit (Virtual)

1. Home Address Exemptions in State FOI Laws, by Associate Professor of Journalism Jodie Gil, Associate Professor of Business Law Robert A. Smith Jr., Associate Professor of Business Law Kauther S. Badr, Southern Connecticut State University. (First place, $500) 


2. Is It Just Dumb Luck? The Challenge of Getting Access to Public Records Related to Smart City Technology, by Amy Kristin Sanders, Daxton “Chip” Stewart and Steven Molchanov, Texas Christian University. (Second place, $300)


3. Owning the Police: Crime, Copyright and Public Information, by A.Jay Wagner, Ph.D.; Marquette University. (Third place, $200)


4. COVID-19 in NC Jails: Building a Database, by Felicia Arriaga, Dana Rice, Stefania Arteaga, Max Rose, Anna Bianche, Jessie Rios, and Kalley Huang, Appalachian State University.

NC Covid

2021 FOI Summit (Virtual)

2020 FOI Summit (Virtual)

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