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It has been reported that there will be a debate in Westminster Hall on 15th December 2005 on the report from the Science and Technology Committee on Scientific Publications: 'Free For All?'. This debate has now been confirmed and entered into the Parliamentary schedule for debate.
The report, which was released nearly 18 months ago, was highly supportive of open access in general and repository use in particular. The report represented the largest and most comprehensive consultation of all stakeholders in scientific communication in the UK and its positive and supportive recommendations gave significant support to the development of open access. Most of the recommendations themselves have not yet been taken up and, rightly or wrongly, there is a perception that commercial concerns have been allowed to dominate the government response so far. This debate will allow the issues and recommendations to be considered once more. It is to be hoped that further action and initiatives may be produced that are more in line with the Report's recommendations.