Monthly Archives: November 2016

Alem Matthees: how an Australian’s FOI request busted open a UK science scandal

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Alem Matthees: how an Australian’s FOI request busted open a UK science scandal

ME Australia

by Sasha Nimmo

In September 2016, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) was compelled to release the data from the 2011 PACE trial, a trial which examined the effect of graded exercise therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy against standard medical care.

West Australian Alem Matthees was one of many people who wanted a closer look at the information from the study.

In March 2014, he filed a UK Freedom of Information Act request for the data, but Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), the institution that sponsored the PACE study, denied his request. On 18 June 2014, Matthees requested an internal review, but QMUL again denied his request. On 15 Dec 2014, he filed a complaint to the Information Commissioner (IC). In October 2015, the IC ruled in Matthees’ favour that the researchers were required to release the anonymised data of the study. QMUL appealed but again lost their appeal in…

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