Protecting Archives in light of Boston Tapes Controversy

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Dáil Issues, Education, National, Parliamentary Questions

I recently asked the Minister for Education about the security of academic research in third level institutions in Ireland in light of the recent controversy surrounding the legal challenge to research at Boston College. See below for his reply.

To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the measures he will take to
secure academic research particularly oral histories in view of the Boston
College’s failure to protect its work; and if he has any proposals to make in
terms of offering to protect these archives..
– Clare Daly.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 27th May, 2014.

Minister Ruairí Quinn

The position is that the higher education institutions are autonomous bodies

and their day to day operations are matters for the governing bodies of each
institution. However, I understand that universities and institutes of
technology have procedures in place to ensure that research undertaken,
including the treatment of confidential information, is in keeping with
accepted good practice. Indeed, many have dedicated ethics committees to
oversee issues such as this. Furthermore, a policy statement on ensuring
research integrity in Ireland will shortly be launched and articulates the
commitment of higher education institutions to the highest standards of
integrity in carrying out their research. This shared statement of commitment
is intended to ensure full confidence in the Irish research system for
participants, other stakeholders and the international research community.