MPs debate Science and Technology Committee's 10th report of session 2003–04, "Scientific Publications: Free for all?"
The Science and Technology Committee adjournment debate took place in Westmnister Hall on 15th December – 9 MPs took part, and a number of representatives of publishers and OA enthusiasts attended in the public gallery.
The discussion seemed to be relatively well-informed about Open Access, and about publishing in general. For those familiar with the topic, it seemed that little new was added by the debate.
The Minister, Barry Gardiner, concluded the debate saying that the Government continued to support a ‘level playing field’ and did not believe in distorting the business environment by favouring any particular business model – repeating the original response to the Science & Technology Committee’s report.
“It is imperative that the quality of research articles be maintained and not compromised by financial considerations or hasty changes to business models. As has been said, the leading journals have significant rejection rates, and it is that that drives up the quality of the articles. If a non-scientist may be allowed to introduce a classical note into the debate, "Male verum examinat omnis corruptus judex". Horace's point was that a poor way to establish the truth was to pay the judge.”
For the full report of the debate, click here