Call for evidence: inquiry into government research


Call for evidence: inquiry into government research

24 November 2015

Sense About Science is calling for evidence to our inquiry into the scale and causes of the delayed publication or withholding of government research.

We are inviting submissions in particular from individuals in the research community, professional bodies, parliament, the civil service, charities, the media and other interested parties. 

Instances of research publication being held back have caused public concern over recent years, and arise despite rules and guidelines requiring ministers and civil servants to publish government research promptly and in full. However, it is not clear how significant or widespread the problem is. Moreover, there is little comparative discussion about how different departments and agencies behave, or about good examples where potentially awkward research is published promptly.

An initial scoping exercise conducted with researchers, politicians, and professional bodies helped establish the scope of the inquiry. We are now seeking submissions on how government commissions and publishes research, particularly on: the contracts and rules that cover government-commissioned research; expectations around the timing and nature of publication; and potential improvements that build on good examples of difficult research being handled well. We also welcome views on the delayed publication or withholding of government research.

The full call for evidence is set out on the inquiry website, where you can submit your contribution by 31st January 2016. Contact our policy associate Prateek Buch ( for more information, or if you’d like to discuss your submission.

For more about the inquiry, please visit

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Source: Sense About Science

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