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Public Requests for Research Records

Faculty and department personnel should not respond directly to requests from the public for university research records. Requests for records should be forwarded to the campus office responsible for issues related to the type of request, listed below, so that the appropriate procedures will be followed. These offices will coordinate with university counsel as necessary.

These requests often involve interpretation of the several laws and policies that govern the release of information. Regulations such as the California Public Records Act, the federal Freedom of Information Act, and the California Information Practices Act provide for public access to certain records, but at the same time provide exemptions for the protection of personal privacy. Only certain records, or portions of records, are publicly available, and inquiries must be specific and in writing.


Forward requests related to research protocols to:

Animal Care and Use Committee, 2-8855, acuc@berkeley.edu

Committee for Protection of Human Subjects, 2-7461, ophs@berkeley.edu


Forward requests related to projects supported by grants or contracts to:

Sponsored Projects Office, 2150 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 300, 2-2925, plfmiller@berkeley.edu


For requests from the media, contact:

Media Relations, 2-3734

Faculty are also advised to contact Media Relations if sensitive or potentially inflammatory issues are involved. Faculty are invited to call Media Relations to discuss how best to answer questions from reporters and for interviewing tips.


Policy and Law on Access to Records

University of California


Federal

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides for public access to records of Federal agencies. Under the FOIA, Federal agencies must make agency records available to the public, unless the records fall into certain narrow exemptions.


State of California

The California Public Records Act (California Goverment Code Section 6250 et seq.) declares that access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in the State, that public records are open to inspection at all times during regular office hours, and are subject to inspection and copying by every person except as provided in the Act.

The California Information Practices Act of 1977 (California Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.) established certain requirements for the collection, maintenance, and dissemination of any information that identifies or describes an individual. The IPA is an omnibus-type statute that is intended to balance the competing interests of access to public records held by the State government and the right to privacy of individuals.