Do you have experience of government-commissioned research?

If so, you could contribute to the Sedley inquiry into delayed publication of withholding of government research findings.


Sense About Science is seeking information and views about how government commissions and publishes research from the academic community, professional bodies, the civil service, charities, the media and other interested parties.

Research conducted or commissioned by central government is an important part of guiding, developing, modifying and monitoring policy. Although departmental guidelines require prompt and complete publication of such research, there have been repeated allegations in recent years of publication being held back.

It is not known how significant or widespread the delayed publication or withholding of government research is, and there is little comparative evidence of how different departments or agencies behave.

Sir Stephen Sedley, a former appeal court judge, is leading the inquiry and is keen for the research community to share your experience of commissioning, conducting or trying to get hold of government research.

The inquiry is seeking submissions about your experience of government research. It is particularly interested in hearing about:

  • what research contracts say about publication
  • expectations around the timing and nature of publishing government research
  • potential improvements to the way government commissions, conducts and publishes research.

You can read more and submit evidence at the inquiry website.

The deadline for submitting evidence is 31 January 2016.

Please email the inquiry secretary, Sense About Science’s policy associate Prateek Buch, if you have any questions about the inquiry or your contribution.

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