I'm sitting at some boring ethics lecture and was surprised that few academics worked with formally classified or otherwise dangerous information.

I'm curious how this knowledge is published, stored, and disseminated in practice.

A few ideas come to mind:

  • Research on the blast radius of munitions
  • Imaging and communication systems for military hardware
  • Culture of pathogens such as Anthrax

What happens if your research was commissioned by the DoD?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Can a PhD thesis be confidential?
    – Ric
    Jul 31, 2016 at 22:28
  • 1
    Many institutions have a requirement that research conducted there be open, not secret. Here is Cornell's policy: "Given the open nature of Cornell University, research projects which do not permit the free and open publication, presentation, or discussion of results are not acceptable. [...] [R]esearch which is confidential to the sponsor or which is classified for security purposes is not permitted at Cornell University." Jul 31, 2016 at 22:32
  • 3
    Usually such research would not be conducted at universities or published in the open literature. It would be conducted within a government or military institute; their results might be "published" in internal communications, but that would be subject to the organization's internal rules. Jul 31, 2016 at 22:34
  • 1
    In my field (communication networks), there is a major conference that has both "open" sessions/proceedings and export controlled or classified sessions/proceedings. See MILCOM.
    – ff524
    Jul 31, 2016 at 22:47
  • 2
    The specific question that is being asked here is unclear to me, however, Perhaps you can edit your post to clarify (in particular: to specify in the title what your question is, not just what it is about.)
    – ff524
    Jul 31, 2016 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


For the US Department of Defense there is the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). It is like PubMed Central but for DoD documents. Some of the content has been cleared for public release and is open to the public. Much of the content, however, has not been cleared for public release and access is controlled by a DoD employees common access card (CAC) and the network that DTIC is being accessed from. Not cleared for public release is not the same as classified/secret/top secret. Access to classified material is again CAC controlled and requires a dedicated computer on a protected network. I think, but am not sure, that DTIC is the gateway to much of the classified literature within the classified network.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .