[linux-elitists] UK Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee to conduct an inquiry into scientific publications (fwd from btown@KILMORIE.COM)

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Thu Dec 11 02:29:25 PST 2003

----- Forwarded message from Bill Town <btown@KILMORIE.COM> -----

From: Bill Town <btown@KILMORIE.COM>
Date:         Thu, 11 Dec 2003 10:21:48 -0000
Subject: UK Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee to conduct an inquiry into scientific publications
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The Science and Technology Committee (of the UK House of Commons) is to
conduct an inquiry into scientific publications.
The Committee will be looking at access to journals within the
scientific community, with particular reference to price and
availability. It will be asking what measures are being taken in
government, the publishing industry and academic institutions to ensure
that researchers, teachers and students have access to the publications
they need in order to carry out their work effectively. The inquiry will
also examine the impact that the current trend towards e-publishing may
have on the integrity of journals and the scientific process.
The Committee is inviting written evidence on the following points:
*       What impact do publishers' current policies on pricing and
provision of scientific journals, particularly "big deal schemes", have
on libraries and the teaching and research communities they serve?
*       What action should Government, academic institutions and
publishers be taking to promote a competitive market in scientific
*       What are the consequences of increasing numbers of open-access
journals, for example for the operation of the Research Assessment
Exercise and other selection processes? Should the Government support
such a trend and, if so, how?
*       How effectively are the Legal Deposit Libraries making available
non-print scientific publications to the research community, and what
steps should they be taking in this respect?
*       What impact will trends in academic journal publishing have on
the risks of scientific fraud and malpractice?
The Committee would welcome written evidence from interested
organisations and individuals addressing these points. Evidence should
be submitted by Thursday 12 February 2003. The oral evidence sessions
will begin in March.
In announcing the inquiry, the Chairman of the Committee, Ian Gibson MP,
said "Journals are at the heart of the scientific process. Researchers,
teachers and students must have easy access to scientific publications
at a fair price. Scientific journals need to maintain their credibility
and integrity as they move into the age of e-publication. The Committee
will have some very tough questions for publishers, libraries and
government on these issues."
Evidence should be sent in hard copy to the Clerk of the Science and
Technology Committee, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.  Please send an
electronic version also, in Word format, via e-mail to
scitechcom@parliament.uk or on disk.  Guidance on the submission of
evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm
Further information on the work of the Committee can be obtained from
Committee staff on
020 7219 2793/4.
Previous press notices and publications are available on the Committee's
internet homepage:

Bill Town
Kilmorie Consulting
e: bill.town@kilmorie.com
t: +44 20 8699 9764

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