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MPs call for review of use of freedom of information legislation in scientific research

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 26 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d544
  1. Matthew Billingsley
  1. 1BMJ

MPs have called “as a matter of urgency” for new UK guidelines to define how freedom of information legislation should be applied to scientific research, after they reviewed previous inquiries into claims of potentially biased reporting of climate change research at the University of East Anglia.

After reviewing the case, which involved emails from scientists working at the university’s Climatic Research Unit, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee found that the university was unhelpful in dealing with requests for research data made under freedom of information legislation.

But it confirmed that there was no evidence to indicate that the research unit was trying to subvert the peer review process or manipulate data to validate its own …

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