New FIPA eBook takes freedom of information to school

In anticipation of the 2013 academic year, the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, with the generous support of the Law Foundation of British Columbia, is excited to announce the upcoming release of Access in the Academy: Bringing ATI and FOI to Academic Research, available for download starting July 25th.

Compiled by Mike Larsen, Instructor in the Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and co-editor of Brokering Access: Power, Politics, and Freedom of Information Process in Canada (UBC Press, 2012), Access in the Academy is one of the first resources of its kind available to academic researchers in Canada.

Although they offer a unique ‘backstage’ look at how, and more importantly why, information becomes (or doesn’t become) public knowledge, ATI and FOI mechanisms remain a rarity in the university classroom. Access in the Academy seeks to change that by exploring ATI/FOI practices as rich sites of data and information gathering for academic researchers. The text demonstrates how patterns of disclosure, secrecy, delay and exemption tell compelling stories of policy formation and message control, ultimately revealing what’s at stake when governments act.

By combining legal reviews of British Columbian and Canadian access legislation with theoretical perspectives on “the politics and ethics of secrecy and revelation,” and plenty of tips for building successful access requests into research designs, Access in the Academy provides readers a lucid, comprehensive, and highly practical introduction to the world of ATI and FOI. Researchers in fields as diverse as political science, criminology, journalism, communication, public policy, labour studies, sociology, anthropology, and library and information sciences will find it a valuable complement to other methods texts.

FIPA is proud to offer this unique resource to the community by donation. It will be available for download through our website, fipa.bc.ca, starting July 25, 2013. But if you represent an institution (a university library, or other public legal education group) and would like to request a copy of our limited-run print edition, please send your request to the contact information below.

FIPA would like to acknowledge the support of the Law Foundation of British Columbia in bringing this project to fruition. Their commitment to advancing the cause of public legal education throughout British Columbia made this project possible.

For more information on Access in the Academy, to request a print copy, or to learn how you can support FIPA’s other public legal education programs, contact Tyler Morgenstern at tyler [at] fipa.bc.ca.