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Thursday, January 19, 2023

130,000 New Industry Documents Posted & New Fellowship Opportunities for 2023

OIDA Updates

Opioid Industry Documents Archive
We added 127,511 documents to the UCSF-JHU Opioid Industry Documents Archive's Insys Litigation Documents collection. These documents, which arise from Insys’s early years bringing the fentanyl spray Subsys to market (2012–2013), shed new light on the genesis of the company’s speaker program and reimbursement center (See the Insys At a Glance page for more information), both of which have featured prominently in litigation against Insys.

This release is the fourth batch of Insys documents to be added to OIDA; the Insys collection ultimately will contain several million documents that are currently being processed chronologically. Processed documents will be made public on a rolling basis with monthly releases expected in 2023–2024. Information arising from a December 2022 release (UCSF News, Johns Hopkins University News) served as the basis for reporting from USA Today.

Opioid Industry Documents Archive National Advisory Committee Update
We are pleased to welcome four new members to our National Advisory Committee, a group that supports the Archive through expert recommendations on the project’s development and sustainability pertaining to use, transparency, accessibility, impact, and other measures: Sandy Alexander (former Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General), Michelle Muffett-Lipinski (recovery advocate and Founding Principal, Northshore Recovery High School), Melina Sherman (communications scholar, Knology), and Anthony Ryan Hatch (Professor of the Science in Society Program, Wesleyan University). Many thanks to our outgoing NAC member Beth Macy (author of Raising Lazarus and Dopesick) for her remarkable service.

Food Industry Documents Updates

3,600+ New USRTK Food Industry Documents Added
The 3,634 new documents posted today were donated by USRTK and acquired in their ongoing investigations into the influence of large food and beverage companies on academic partnerships and government regulatory processes around sugary beverages and obesity, among other topics.


2023 Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities for Industry Documents Research - Apply Now!
We are pleased to share two 2023 postdoctoral fellowship opportunities at UCSF that will work with our collections.

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Opioid Industry Documents Research and Community Data Engagement - The UCSF OIDA Postdoctoral Fellow will pursue original, publishable research using materials housed in OIDA and work closely with the archive research team to enhance the accessibility and usability of archival materials for a diverse array of communities, with a particular focus on racial and health equity. Fellows will work on a multidisciplinary team including faculty, other postdoctoral fellows and research assistants and will be mentored by and work closely with researchers and information specialists at UCSF. Fellows will be based at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education ( and participate fully in the fellowship program. Fellows will also be affiliated with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the UCSF School of Medicine (

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Tobacco Control Research -
The CTCRE Postdoctoral Fellowship offers diverse educational and research opportunities, including a grant writing seminar, graduate research positions, advocacy training, and individualized documents training. Work spans policy and historical research, economics, and science. Fellows are recruited from a variety of fields including the basic sciences, social sciences, public health practitioners, clinical fields, political science, history, economics, law, and marketing. Fellowship stipends range from $55,500 - $66,600, depending on years of postdoctoral experience.

More about the fellowships and application submission


UCSF Digital Health Humanities Pilot

The Digital Health Humanities Pilot (DHHP) will facilitate new insights into historical health data. Participants from all disciplines (including faculty, staff, and other learners) will learn how to evaluate and integrate digital methods and “archives as data” into their research through a range of offerings and trainings utilizing datasets from holdings within the UCSF Archives and Special Collections (including the AIDS History Project and Industry Documents Library, among others.)

Check out the workshops and sign up!

UC Love Data Week (February 13-17)

Want more information on working with data?
The UC-wide Love Data Week offers free sessions on topics such as data access, management, security, sharing, and preservation.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Our Year in Review... Goodbye 2022!

As 2022 comes to a close, we’d like to say a big THANK YOU to all of you for your continuing support and connection to the Industry Documents Library.

We’re grateful for your interest in industry documents and for your participation in the IDL community, whether that’s through documents research, workshops and trainings, project partnerships, or strategic planning and guidance.

This year we celebrated 20 years (!!!) of making industry documents available online and we appreciate all the ways you’ve worked with us to make the IDL stronger.

Here are some of the achievements you helped us reach in 2022:

17,508,831 documents now available through IDL!
We added 2.3 million new documents to the collections in 2022 -

  • 156 in Tobacco,
  • 20,924 in Food,
  • 2,293,591 in Opioids

  • In collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, we continued to acquire and make available millions of documents created by Insys Therapeutics, Mallinckrodt, McKinsey & Co, Walgreens and Purdue Pharma disclosed in Opioid Litigation for the Opioid Industry Documents Archive.

  • We welcomed two new additions to the IDL Team this year and are very grateful for their needed presence and contributions:
    Melissa Ignacio, IDL Program Coordinator
    Erik-Paul Gibson, IDL User Experience Designer

  • We delivered our Annual Tobacco and Industry Documents Workshop in May, and a follow up webinar to last year's Food Industry Documents Archive Training Institute to help global health advocates learn how to search and use industry documents in their work

  • We hosted three incredible summer interns: 2 SFUSD students as Junior Data Science Fellows and a graduate student as a Senior Fellow in a program cohosted by IDL and UCSF Library's Data Science Initiative.

  • In November, we participated in the first Everlaw Summit and were featured in a fireside chat titled “Seeking Truth & Healing in Our Nation’s Deadly Opioid Crisis.”

  • We added 27 new publications which cite industry documents to our Bibliography, bringing the total citations to 1,145!

  • If you’re able, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Industry Documents Library to help us preserve and provide access to the collections for years to come.

    From all of us at the IDL, we wish you a safe and festive holiday season, and a healthy and hopeful New Year ahead.

    Kate, Rachel, Rebecca, Sven, Melissa and Erik
    Thursday, December 16, 2021

    Season’s Greetings from the UCSF Industry Documents Library

    At the end of another challenging year, we’d like to say a big THANK YOU to all of our researchers for your continuing support and connection to the Industry Documents Library.

    Here are some of the achievements we reached in 2021:
    15,194,052 documents now available through IDL!

    From all of us at the IDL, we wish you a safe and festive holiday season, and a healthy and hopeful New Year ahead.
    Kate, Rachel, Rebecca and Sven
    Wednesday, March 24, 2021

    UCSF and Johns Hopkins University Launch Opioid Industry Documents Archive

    The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Johns Hopkins University announced the launch of the Opioid Industry Documents Archive, a digital repository of publicly disclosed documents from recent judgments, settlements, and ongoing lawsuits concerning the opioid crisis. The documents come from government litigation against pharmaceutical companies, including opioid manufacturers and distributors related to their contributions to the deadly epidemic, as well as litigation taking place in federal court on behalf of thousands of cities and counties in the United States. The documents in the archive include emails, memos, presentations, sales reports, budgets, audit reports, Drug Enforcement Administration briefings, meeting agendas and minutes, expert witness reports, and depositions of drug company executives.  

    The Opioid Industry Documents Archive leverages extraordinary expertise within UCSF and Johns Hopkins University in library science, information technology, and digital archiving. It also relies on scholarship focused on many dimensions of the opioid epidemic, ranging from the history of medicine to pharmaceutical policy to clinical care. Key organizations at UCSF involved include the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies; Department of Clinical Pharmacy; Department of Humanities and Social Sciences; Department of Family and Community Medicine; and Library. From Johns Hopkins University, the project involves the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness; Welch Medical Library; Institute of the History of Medicine; and Sheridan Libraries’ Digital Research and Curation Center.  

    The new archive will provide free public access to anyone who is interested in investigating the activities that have led to the devastating epidemic, which has now contributed to the deaths of nearly 500,000 people. The archive will promptly include new documents as they become available through resolution of legal action against companies that contributed to the deadly opioid crisis. The launch coincides with the universities’ efforts to house more than 250,000 documents produced by opioid manufacturer Insys in the course of its bankruptcy proceedings following opioid litigation.  

    The archive is similar to the groundbreaking Truth Tobacco Industry Documents archive at UCSF, which has fostered scientific and public health discoveries shaping tobacco policy in the U.S. and around the world. This new archive from two top research universities will deliver a wealth of information that experts can analyze to help policymakers prevent another disaster like this from happening again.

    To learn more, read the full press release or contact us.
    Thursday, June 27, 2019

    Archiving the Anthropocene: Introducing UCSF’s Fossil Fuel Industry Documents

    Guest Post By Yogi Hale Hendlin & Naomi Oreskes

    On every front, academics, journalists, and policymakers compare the fossil fuel industry to the tobacco industry. The strategies of delay, exculpating blame by making the consumer responsible, denying scientific consensus, conducting important science purposefully buried while publishing industry-promoting and -funded science, and fostering public confusion over the real impacts of their products, are common in the histories of both tobacco and fossil fuel companies.

    A major difference between the two industries, however, is the timescale and scope of the harms caused. While public health professionals are well underway in coordinated efforts for a “tobacco endgame” – reducing smoking and tobacco prevalence to five percent of the population or less, with the possibility of ending the tobacco epidemic in certain areas within a couple decades – even if all fossil fuel production and consumption ended today, the fallout from the fifty years of delay caused by industry obfuscation will have ramifications for humans and other species for centuries or even millenia. If disruptive climate change continues unabated, the impacts on the planet may be essentially irreversible, at least as far as any humanly relevant scale.

    The Fossil Fuel Industry Documents at the University of California’s Industry Documents Library provides an essential complement to the already nearly 15 million and growing internal industry documents from the tobacco, food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. This new set of documents provides key evidence regarding what the fossil fuel industry knew regarding the catastrophic impacts climate change and its predicted time horizon, when they knew, and how these companies used every means possible to protect themselves and their shareholders at the expense of everyone else.

    These documents come from diverse sources, including the Climate Investigations Center, discovery processes in litigation, and documents published on Climate Files, largely derived from Freedom of Information Requests and lawsuits. While some of this collection’s documents overlap with other online databases, when examined in the context of the other archives in UCSF’s Industry Documents Library, a more nuanced picture emerges amongst the mosaic of shared lobbyists, consulting shared, public relations groups, between the fossil fuel, chemical, pharmaceutical, food, and tobacco industries. Inter-industry analysis can help make sense of the larger patterns across and within industries that have caused irremediable harms to public health, biodiversity, and the natural environment.

    UCSF’s collection of Fossil Fuel Industry documents highlight the mechanisms that have been used to thwart concerted action. A key aspect of this was the early knowledge the fossil fuels industry had about the ramifying consequences of unabated anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and the contrast between this and their public stance. For example, Exxon and other fossil fuel companies’ own research showed in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s that a doubling of anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 would likely cause “major shifts in rainfall/agriculture,” polar ice melt, coupled with “3°C global average temperature rise and 10°C at poles.” Yet they doubled-down on business-as-usual policies of continued and even intensified fossil fuel extraction of oil, gas, and coal, and spent significant amounts of money to create the impression in public that the science was highly uncertain. It is not that these companies were not aware of the opportunities to work towards mitigating the runaway global warming they were precipitating and shifting the direction of their energy companies towards less greenhouse gas polluting sources; they just time and again refused to do so.

    Why is this collection being housed at UCSF? One reason has already been suggested, and is discussed further below: the parallels between the misrepresentation and denial of climate science and the misrepresentation and denial of the harms of tobacco use. This parallel is not just analogical: documents show that many of the same individuals, PR and advertising companies, and think-tanks have been involved in both. The other reason is that climate change is a major global health threat. From the Lancet Countdown to the World Health Organization’s Climate Health Country Profile Project, the public health and medical communities worldwide are in agreement that climate change affects every aspect of health, often disproportionately harming those with the least resources for resilience. The World Health Organization estimates that children 5 years or younger bear 88% of the health burdens of climate change.

    Anthropogenic climate change will define the future of health for humans and life on this planet. It has already fundamentally shifted the geography of disease and increase in prevalence of both chronic and infectious disease. Fossil fuels are the primary driver of climate change.

    Documents like those in this collection will be crucial in helping the public come to terms with the implications of these harms. Consider the current open constitutional climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States, filed by 21 youth plaintiffs against the United States Government on behalf of youth and future generations for actions that jeopardize the constitutional rights of children to life, liberty, and property threatened by climate change. The fossil fuel industry initially intervened in a failed attempt to dismiss the case; now they face numerous lawsuits themselves, both in the United States and across the globe. Over 80 prominent scientists and physicians as well as health organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have submitted amicus briefs. As U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken wrote in her 2016 decision denying motions to dismiss the Juliana v. United States case, “Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.”1

    The Tobacco-Climate Change Connection

    Historians and public health professionals working with documents from various industries have documented the parallels and links between tobacco and climate change. In some cases the parallels are virtually exact, as sentences such as “emphasize the uncertainty in scientific conclusions,” as one internal Exxon memo from 1988 concluded, echo the famous tobacco industry document “Doubt is our Product.”2

    Cross-referencing the different collections are revealing. For example, the American Petroleum Institute (API) attempted to recruit the president and affiliates of the Tobacco Institute in 1997 for its own president and CEO position.

    Excerpt from the February 4, 1997 recruiting letter from Ronald H. Walker, Managing Director of the API to Samuel D. Chilcote, Jr., President of the Tobacco Institute.

    Just as the tobacco industry promoted smoking not as a threat to public health but rather a “personal choice,” this same refrain is now being used by the fossil fuel industry urging people to make lifestyle choices as the solution to climate change. Such industry-sponsored “solutions” shift the blame from the industry to consumers. In the health literature, this public relations move is called “responsibilization,” as it deliberately aims to exculpate the industry from responsibility and delays effective supply-side interventions.

    These documents also highlight the relationships between industry and government and the conflicts of interest that develop when government and industry are intertwined. One notices, for example, a persistent revolving door between government and the fossil fuel industry, of which ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s brief tenure as the US Secretary of State is but one instance. These documents provide insight into how and why industry decisions get made not because of but despite science. While the documents are US focused, the patterns revealed are often applicable globally, because most large oil and gas companies operate internationally.

    The documents offered here are the raw materials of history. Publishing them, interpreting them, and learning about their implications is the basic task of historians, essential for understanding how we came to our present state of affairs. However, these documents can also serve a political, scientific, and moral purpose: helping to make people aware of the long and complex history of industry disinformation and malfeasance, and, at least in part, innoculate the public against further disinformation. As we increasingly face the costs of climate change, they can also provide documentary evidence for legal action.

    The Fossil Fuel Industry documents have been made possible by seed funding from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, and the Samuel Lawrence Foundation. Donors either of documents or funds to make the history of the Anthropocene available to the public are invited to make contact here.


    1 Juliana v. United States, 217 F. Supp. 3d 1224, 1250 (2016).
    2 Oreskes, N., Conway, E.M., 2011. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, Reprint edition. ed. Bloomsbury Press; Michaels, D., 2008. Doubt is their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health. Oxford University Press, New York; Proctor, R.N., 2012. Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition, University of California Press, Berkeley; Brandt, A., 2009. The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America, Basic Books: New York.
    Monday, June 24, 2019

    UCSF Library Launches New Fossil Fuel Industry Documents Archive

    More than 1,000 internal documents from the fossil fuel industry illustrating strategies to cast doubt on climate science and delay policy action are now available for public research in UCSF's Industry Documents Library. The documents, which were collected over two decades by the Climate Investigations Center, include internal memos, reports, correspondence and scientific studies from major fossil fuel corporations and related organizations which detail the industry's research and reaction to anthropogenic climate change beginning in the 1950s to the present.

    "This inaugural Fossil Fuel Industry documents collection marks the beginning of what we hope will grow into a comprehensive living archive to aid us in making sense of drivers of climate change and its unprecedented long-term threats to human and environmental health," says Dr. Yogi Hendlin, Research Associate with the UCSF Environmental Health Initiative, Assistant Professor at the Erasmus School of Philosophy and Core Faculty for the Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity Initiative at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

    The documents will be preserved for long-term public access and can be searched alongside the Industry Documents Library's existing collections of 15 million documents from the tobacco, drug, chemical, and food industries, allowing users to examine information related to industry-funded scientific research, marketing and public relations strategies, and influence on policies and regulations affecting public health.

    The library collects internal documents made available through public document disclosure in litigation, public records requests, archival files, and research investigation. IDL worked with the Climate Investigations Center to preserve and provide access to the documents collected for the Center's online ClimateFiles database. "This partnership with UCSF elevates our ClimateFiles project to the next level," says Climate Investigations Center Director Kert Davies. "With the Industry Documents Library's state of the art search engine and unrivaled archival skills, expert researchers from far and wide will now be able to dig into these documents we have been gathering for some 25 years."

    The Industry Documents Library was created at the University of California, San Francisco in 2002 to house millions of pages of documents produced during litigation against the tobacco industry in the 1990s. Evidence found in the documents was used by dozens of state Attorneys General to hold tobacco companies accountable for the public health crisis caused by smoking, and to negotiate the Master Settlement Agreement in 1998. More than seven million visitors have accessed the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents since they were made publicly available by the UCSF Library, and the collections have been instrumental in furthering tobacco control research and education for over a generation. The Industry Documents Library has expanded to include documents from the drug, chemical, food, and now fossil fuel industries to preserve open access to this information and to support research on the commercial determinants of public health.

    A variety of online research tools are available for navigating the collections, including full-text searching, a detailed bibliography, and access to the API for building and analyzing large data sets. The Library is committed to preserving and providing long-term public access to industry documents for the benefit of scientists, community advocates, journalists, policymakers, attorneys, and others engaged in improving and protecting the public’s health.

    For further information or to contribute documents please contact UCSF Industry Documents Library staff at or @industrydocs.