With increasing frequency, public university and government scientists report being the object of intrusive “vacuum-cleaner” requests for voluminous records, including email correspondence. Many of these requests are fishing expeditions to find bits of potentially embarrassing material. In other instances the purpose is to harass, interfere with grant funding or distract from important but inconvenient research to the industry launching the request.

The menu below provides links to the public records law in your state together with a summary of –

    • Exemptions to disclosure that may be applicable to your work. For example, 29 states have university-specific exemptions;
    • Who can access records and under what circumstances; and
    • Rules governing the destruction of records.

Choose your state from the dropdown menu to see the public records laws in each state.

For federal records requests, see Freedom of Information Act.


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