Transparency

Cupp noted that greater transparency would not necessarily result in fewer FOIA or sunshine requests. Increased public access to documents would reduce the amount of work on the part of those tasked with responding to these requests. But would that be a good balance of risk and utility for an institution, Cupp asked?

Cupp suggested exercising care in writing documents and communications to avoid unnecessary disclosure of sensitive information, or information that may be misinterpreted. For example, researchers could keep e-mails related to research short and on point. Cupp also suggested that personal e-mail accounts not be used when writing about research as all personal e-mails might become subject to FOIA requests or state sunshine law requests. Cupp suggested that researchers avoid jokes or sarcasm that could be misunderstood.

He also encouraged institutions to make public and strong expressions of support for scientific research involving animals. With the encouragement of faculty members, the UCLA administration in 2007 began making strong press statements backing the research work of the university.




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