In addition to specifying information that must remain confidential, some sponsored agreements may contain a publication clause. The university will not accept any clause that gives the sponsor editorial control. On the other hand, a clause that gives the sponsor the opportunity to review any proposed publications to confirm that neither the sponsor’s background confidential information nor the sponsor’s proprietary information has been disclosed is acceptable, with certain limitations. Agreement to delay publication briefly so that patent protection of an invention may be sought is also permissible. Specific, appropriate protections and guidelines have been developed for these areas.
Experience has shown that satisfactory arrangements regarding confidentiality and publication delay can usually be negotiated, but PIs should be alert to the potential issues and remember the primary reasons for the university’s policies: to make certain that the exchange of information is not inhibited and that the ability to publish and communicate freely—for students as well as faculty—is protected.