Federal FOIA refers to the federal Freedom of Information Act. The federal FOIA governs access to records in the possession of federal agencies such as NIH, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Veterans Affairs, etc.
State open records laws are state statutes that govern access to records in the possession of state and local governments and other state public bodies, such as public universities. State open records laws vary by state and have various names including: Sunshine Laws, Freedom of Information Laws, Public Records Laws, and Open Records laws. To avoid confusion, we refer to all of these laws as open records laws.
Federal FOIA Exemptions:
The federal FOIA contains nine exemptions designed to protect sensitive information from disclosure. Exemptions 4, 6, and 7 are the most commonly used exemptions to protect research information.