27.2 Principles Governing Access to Research Information

(President 7/20/84; amended 8/99; 11/06)
  1. General. The University of Iowa exists primarily for expanding and disseminating knowledge. Therefore, research activities which are subject to indefinite suppression, censorship, or control by a body outside the University ordinarily are not, and should not be, conducted within the University. Where the advancement of science and other considerations, such as the proper protection of the proprietary rights of research sponsors, make restrictions on the access to research information unavoidable, such research activities may be permitted provided that public knowledge is available about the purposes of the research, the identity of the investigators, the amount and sources of funds to be expended, and the University facilities utilized in the research.

    Unless specifically excepted by the Vice President for Research in consultation with the University Research Council, the contents of a funded proposal and related research outcomes will be available for inspection in accordance with II-27.3 below.
  2. Policy on secret research. "Secret research" is defined in this policy as research for which the nature, purpose, and non-proprietary results are not freely communicable. No faculty, staff, administrative officer, or student of The University of Iowa may utilize University facilities for the purpose of engaging in secret research. As used in this policy, "secret research" includes activities designated as "classified" by the federal government. Maintaining the confidentiality of proprietary information does not constitute secret research.
  3. Restrictions on research participation, access, and dissemination. Research conducted by faculty, staff, and students of The University of Iowa is public domain "fundamental research" as that term is defined in National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 189. When proposed University research involves information, technology, or other materials that are subject to applicable export control laws and regulations, thereby restricting dissemination of results and access to and participation in research activities by foreign nationals, acceptable language pertaining to the application of export control requirements must be negotiated with the sponsor prior to the University's acceptance of the award and conduct of the research.
    1. The conduct of research in compliance with applicable export control laws or regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), shall not be deemed to be in conflict with the University's prohibition on conducting secret research.
    2. Compliance with federal select agent laws or regulations shall not be deemed to be in conflict with the University's prohibition on conducting secret research.
    3. The acceptance of confidentiality restrictions on proprietary information if non-proprietary research results may be freely published shall not affect the status of any University research project as public domain fundamental research.
  4. Enforcement. Although it is the responsibility of the Office of the Vice President for Research to ensure that this policy on access to research information is enforced when negotiating grant or contract terms and conditions, it is also the responsibility of principal investigators to call to the attention of the Office of the Vice President for Research any restrictions of which they are aware in grant or contract clauses proposed by sponsors. If questions regarding a project's compliance with this policy arise, or if an investigator requests a waiver of this policy, the Vice President for Research will consult with the University Research Council and may also consult with other senior University administrators as he or she deems appropriate in reaching a decision.
  5. Protection of faculty and staff rights. This policy statement should not be construed to restrict the activities of University personnel who provide private consulting or other professional services outside of their University responsibilities and, in doing so, do not use University resources or facilities.