Openness in Research

The City University of New York (CUNY) is committed to the free exchange of knowledge through education and research publications, while contributing to the public interest. The University believes that it can best fulfill these commitments within an open intellectual environment that allows for free exchange of information.

Classified Research

Although federal classified research serves public interest, it is not permissive of an open exchange of information within the academic environment, as it places restrictions on access to data, facilities and research results. Therefore, CUNY does not accept federal grants or contracts for classified research.


In rare circumstances, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research or designee may make an exception and approve CUNY’s involvement in classified research. A faculty member considering becoming involved in classified research must submit a request for approval to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research or designee. The request should include the following:

  1. An unclassified description of the project
  2. Requirements for classified facilities
  3. Any potential impact of the project on student thesis
  4. Academic merit of the project
  5. Restrictions on the dissemination of research results

Publication Restrictions

CUNY does not accept any publication restrictions, which afford censorship authority to the extramural sponsor of a grant or contract. Sponsors have the authority to review proposed publications, provide comments or suggestions to the author, and/or ensure that there is no inadvertent disclosure of proprietary data. The author shall consider the sponsor’s feedback; however, the author shall make the final decision as to the content of the publication. In order not to delay publications, a sponsor must complete reviews within 60 days.


In rare circumstances, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research or designee may make an exception and accept publication restrictions. The Research Foundation of The City University of New York shall require approval from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research or designee prior to accepting any publication restrictions on behalf of CUNY.

When exceptions are granted, students and postdocs may not participate in research involving publication restrictions unless each of the following conditions are met:

  1. Complete details regarding the terms of the publication restriction are provided to the students and/or postdocs, and the students/postdocs are given an opportunity to meet with the College Research Integrity Officer to discuss the publication restriction.
  2. The College must provide students with alternate projects that may result in a publishable thesis.

A full description of CUNY’s policy on openness in research is available here.