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Washington University Policy on Open Research and Free Dissemination of Ideas and Information

Washington University is committed to maintaining a teaching and research environment that fosters the creation and dissemination of new knowledge. Essential to this mission is a policy of open research that promotes academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. An environment of openness ensures the progress of research in all disciplines at Washington University. It is the policy of the University, therefore, not to undertake classified research with security clearance requirements or research activities, including student theses and dissertations, that involve restrictions on the publication and dissemination of research results. Provision may be made for a short delay in the publication of research results, normally not to exceed 90 days, for patenting purposes or for sponsor review of and comment on manuscripts. Washington University will also not undertake research that would prohibit foreign students, scholars, staff and faculty from participating in intellectually significant portions of educational and research activities on campus.

In rare instances the pursuit of knowledge may involve critically important areas of science and engineering and that are restricted for national security reasons. In such cases, when the principles of openness must be balanced against the best interests of society, exceptions to this policy are allowed but must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Research after consultation with the department Chair and the Dean of the appropriate school.

Washington University values and fully supports all of the many activities of our vibrant research community. Through this policy, the University affirms its commitment to providing an environment where scientific discovery, innovation, and exchange can occur freely and without bias.