Guidance: Government Social Research: Publication protocol

Civil Service

May 26
11:31 2022

Government Social Research: Publication Protocol

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The protocol details the five principles that should be adhered to in the publication and release of all government social research products and are consistent with the Code of Practice for Statistics, which is statutory. It clearly sets out how social research conducted by or for government should be released; who should be responsible for the release; the timing of the release and the independence of the research. Compliance with this protocol will help ensure that evidence produced by government is released into the public domain in a manner that promotes public confidence and scientific rigour.

  • Principle 1. The products of government social research and analysis will be made publicly available.
  • Principle 2: There will be prompt release of all government social research and analysis, including advance publication of research protocols and analysis plans
  • Principle 3. Government social research and analysis must be released in a way that promotes public trust.
  • Principle 4. Clear communication plans should be developed and maintained for all social research and analysis produced by government
  • Principle 5. Responsibility for the release of social research and analysis produced by government must be clear.

The protocol applies to government departments in England and Wales that conduct or commission social research; the Scottish Government procedures for publishing social research are compliant with this protocol. Non-departmental public bodies and agencies are not obliged to follow the protocol, although as it is a statement of good practice for the publication of social research and analysis, compliance is encouraged.

This update builds on and supersedes the GSR Publication Protocol published in 2015, and is signed off by Jenny Dibden (Head of GSR), Professor Sir Ian Diamond (National Statistician & Head of the Analysis Function) and Sir Patrick Vallance (UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser & Head of the Government Science & Engineering Profession).

Published 1 June 2015
Last updated 26 May 2022 +show all updates
  1. Updated guidance document. We have updated a definition in the glossary.

  2. Updated Protocol

  3. First published.

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