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Title: Openness in Research Policy
Subject: Research Integrity
Policy No: Res: 2015: 06
Applies: University-Wide
Issuing Authority: President
Responsible Officer: Vice President for Research
Adopted: 01/21/2015
Last Revision: 
Last Reviewed: 10/20/2015


The purpose of this policy is to outline the University’s commitment to the free exchange of knowledge through education and research publications to advance science and to meet societal needs.


Under the direction of the President, the Vice President for Research shall implement and ensure compliance with this policy.


This policy applies to all Rowan University faculty, staff and students involved in the University's research program.


  1. As an institution of higher education and as a comprehensive public research institution in the State of New Jersey, Rowan University is committed to the free exchange of knowledge through education and research publications to advance science and to meet societal needs. Rowan believes that it can best fulfill these commitments with an open intellectual environment that fundamentally facilitates such free exchange of ideas throughout the University community. 
  2. The University believes that vast majority of on campus research projects can be conducted fully consistent with the principles of freedom of inquiry and open exchange of knowledge.  However, there may be situations in which the pursuit of knowledge may involve critically important, but sensitive areas of technology where the publication of research results would not be in the best interest of national security and public interest.  In such cases, the University must have flexibility to depart from the standards of freedom of inquiry in order to serve public interest. 
  3. Accordingly, it is the policy of the university that classified research requiring secrecy may not be conducted on the university campus. 
  4. Since forsaking classified research on campus would drastically change the academic environment of the University, the University may make an exception and approve classified research on case by case basis.  When such exceptions are necessary, it is imperative that each project be reviewed by the Vice President for Research and acted upon in light of its impact on overall research mission of the University.  Therefore, a faculty member considering getting involved in classified research on campus must submit a request for approval to the Vice President for Research providing the following:
    1. Description of the project
    2. Rationale for why classified research needs to conducted on campus
    3. Requirements for classified research
    4. Academic merit of the project
    5. Any potential impact on student thesis
    6. Restrictions on publications
  5. Rowan does not accept publication restrictions when censored by the sponsor or grant or contract.  However, Rowan may permit sponsors an authority to review proposed publications, provide comments and suggestions to the research author to ensure that the proprietary data of the sponsor is not inadvertently disclosed.   Such reviews must be completed within 60 days of the notification to the sponsor unless delays are permitted by Rowan so that the University and the sponsor may screen proposed publications for patentable ideas.  However, the total period of delay should not exceed ninety (90) days.
  6. Student involvement in classified research should not impede progress towards a student’s degree, and the student’s thesis or dissertation.

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