Britain's House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is to conduct an inquiry into the publication of scientific research, amid continued fears that the current system denies many researchers proper access to information.

The committee, made up of members of parliament (MPs) from across the political divide, will focus on the cost of receiving scientific journals and their availability to researchers, teachers, and students who need them for their work.

In a statement, the committee said the inquiry, which will run for several months, will also investigate what impact electronic publishing is having on “the integrity of journals and the scientific process.”

Labour MP Ian Gibson, who chairs the committee, told The Scientist he hopes the outcome will be “an informed system” of publishing that is cheap and effective.

“If research is funded by public money, then it should be available to the public for free,” he said.


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