In limited cases the pursuit of knowledge may involve critically important but sensitive areas of inquiry where the immediate publication or dissemination of research results may not be in the best interest of the involved parties or society. In these instances, KU's restricted research policy applies.
The restricted research policy applies to:
- Any required delay of publication.
- Any indefinite or permanent delay of publication.
- Any limits on access to the research process by foreign students, scholars, faculty or staff.
- Any restrictions on access to campus facilities in ways that are judged to disrupt the overall research and teaching activities of the university.
- Any contract or grant that may have primarily harmful consequences for human beings.
Required delays of publication less than 150 days may be approved administratively by the Office of Research. Any of the other above restrictions included in a sponsored project grant or contract terms will not be accepted by the University of Kansas unless an application for exemption has been granted.
Exemptions + appeals
The Office of Research attempts to resolve restrictions on publication or access to the research process or facilities through negotiation. If these negotiations are unsuccessful, the investigator may apply for an exemption. The merits of the proposed research and the potential benefits to be realized must clearly outweigh the disadvantages of the restrictions. The policy permits exemptions — that is, restrictions on publication or access — if the research meets any of the following criteria:
- Involves unique university capabilities.
- Has very substantial scholarly or educational benefits.
- Constitutes a very substantial public service.
The exemption application must be received by the Restricted Research Committee at least 2 weeks prior to the proposed submission date.
The university will not accept any grant or contract which includes restrictions on publication or access unless an exemption is approved by the Restricted Research Committee or the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Decisions made by the Restricted Research Committee are posted on the University Governance website.
An investigator or a group of 10% or more of the graduate faculty or 25% of the Faculty Senate may appeal a recommendation made by the Restricted Research Committee (and approved by the Vice Chancellor for Research) or may appeal a decision made by the Vice Chancellor for Research that differs from the recommendation of the Restricted Research Committee. Appeals only will be considered if the person(s) making the appeal can demonstrate that one of these two scenarios:
- There were evident procedural problems with the original decision process.
- There is new or additional information about the project that could reasonably change the original decision.
The appeal application must be submitted to the Faculty Senate Research Committee within 2 weeks of the announcement of a decision by the Restricted Research Committee or the Vice Chancellor for Research.