Friday, July 18, 2008

Secrecy on the Rise

Federal policy dictates that "fundamental" research should remain unclassified. However, according to a report released by the Council on Government Relations and the Association of American Universities, federal agencies appear to be incorporating more restrictive clauses into research grants and contracts. The report found 180 instances of restrictive language at 20 research institutions in 2007, a substantial increase from the 138 found in a 2003-2004 survey. The majority of restrictions are from the Defense Department, but other agencies have also made use of them. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Pentagon officials, called upon the DoD, as well as other agencies, to back off the restrictive language. Gates has ensured universities that research funded by the Minerva Project will remain unclassified. But we still advise all scholars to look for secrecy clauses prior to accepting any grants or contracts.

Please comment below if you've encountered these clauses before and have any advice for our readers.


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