The publication of social research
In January 2008, Scottish Government Social Research (SGSR) introduced a new publication protocol for social research. The guidelines, which have been agreed by Scottish Ministers, provide an undertaking that the publication of social research should not be influenced by political concerns and will be published within a designated timescale.
The protocol draws upon the draft guidelines developed by the UK Government Social Research Unit (GSR) on the publication of research. It also reflects the principles of Freedom of Information legislation to make most recorded information held by Scottish public authorities publicly available to all. It aims to ensure consistency of practice across all parts of the Scottish Government.
Under these new arrangements responsibility for the content, format and timing of the publication of social research rests with the Scottish Government Chief Researcher or another person nominated by them.
The guidelines also aim to reduce the time taken by SGSR in publishing research. The timeline to publication will commence once the research contractors have submitted a draft final report. A period of no more than 12 weeks will be allowed for commentary and revision and for the contractor to make agreed changes and bring the report or research output to an acceptable standard for publication.
We intend to publish the research outputs within 6-12 weeks of the final version of the output being approved for publication by the Chief Researcher or their nominee. However on some occasions this may not be possible, for instance if a publication is to be linked to a planned event (publication of Green Paper, announcement of new policy, or major conference), or when it is agreed to 'bundle' linked research and other analytical outputs together.
Contact: John Galilee, Office of the Chief Researcher (0131 244 8232)