The Information Commissioner's Office has today published guidance on freedom of information legislation and research information applicable to public authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (there is separate legislation in Scotland). There is no specific provision in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 relating to research by public authorities, such as publicly-funded universities, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. By contrast, in the United States, the Freedom of Information Act 1966 was amended so that it only applies to recorded factual information necessary to validate research in federally-funded universities, specifically excluding various types of information, including drafts, peer reviews and communications between academics. The Information Commissioner's guidance seeks to provide some reassurance to the feeling that the legislation has been allowed to go too far and confirms the position that disclosure is not required in respect of every request for every type of information involving academic research. The guidance suggests that the exemptions in the legislation are sufficient, for example in respect of information which is provided in confidence to a university (where disclosure has to amount to an "actionable" breach of confidence) or for commercial interests such as intellectual property rights (where the Information Commissioner must be satisfied that the evidence shows that disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the public authority's or a third party's commercial interests). The guidance rightly confirms that each case must be considered on its merits and notes that there is a public interest test involved in many of the exemptions. It is a matter of debate whether the bar for the proper use of the exemptions has been set too high.