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Access to Information and Freedom of Information Requests as Social Science Data

By: Kevin Walby & Alex Luscombe | Edited by: Paul Atkinson, Sara Delamont, Alexandru Cernat, Joseph W. Sakshaug & Richard A. Williams Published: 2019 | Length:   3 | DOI: |
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Access to information (ATI) and freedom of information (FOI) requests can be used to collect qualitative and quantitative empirical material from government agencies. Hundreds of countries have now enacted ATI/FOI laws, which bestow citizens with the right to request information from governments. There are often two levels to a country’s ATI/FOI legal regime, consisting of a federal law and a series of state, provincial, or municipal ones. In terms of their use and place in the popular imagination, ATI/FOI laws are typically associated with opposition political parties or investigative journalists. Yet more and more scholars from a range of disciplines are using ATI/FOI laws to conduct research and supplement other data collection strategies. This entry summarizes some of the key issues that social scientists may ...

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