Brechner Center launches open-access Journal of Civic Information

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The Brechner Center for Freedom of Information has announced the debut of the Journal of Civic Information, the first open-access, interdisciplinary journal that publishes peer-reviewed research related to the field of public information accessibility.

The journal, which will include articles from both scholars and practitioners, will publish online quarterly. Topics will include issues regarding access to public records and meetings, court transparency, access to public employees and elected officials, open data and technology, and other related matters, with an emphasis on issues relevant to the state-and-local levels of government. 

"Our goal at the Brechner Center is to produce 'practical scholarship' that addresses the daily needs of people working on the front lines of law, journalism and government," said Frank D. LoMonte, professor of media law and director of UF's Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, which publishes the journal.

"The Journal provides a showcase for the most useful, timely research addressing how we meet the public's information needs in the 21st century. We hope to encourage experts from across the information-management fields to share their ideas about today's most pressing access issues, in a way that's quicker and more accessible than traditional academic publishing."

The journal's inaugural editor is David Cuillier, associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism. Cuillier is a former national president of the Society of Professional Journalists and co-author of the widely used reference handbook, The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records.

The debut issue of the Journal will include the following articles:

  • Countering the Privatization of Public Records: How Trade Secrets, Purported Competitive Harm and Third-Party Interventions Keep Government Business in the Dark, by Amy Sanders, University of Texas-Austin, and Daxton "Chip" Stewart, Texas Christian University
  • The Effects and Efficacy of Online Public Records Request Portals for Agencies, by Alexa Capeloto, City University of New York 
  • Access to Government Officials in the Age of Social Media, by Katie Blevins, University of Idaho, and Kearston Lee Wesner, Quinnipiac University
  • Privacy vs. Transparency: Tracing Home Address Exemptions in State FOI Laws, by Jodie Mozdzer Gil, Southern Connecticut State University

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