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Open Access Editorial

A vision of the future for BMC Medicine: serving science, medicine and authors

Robin L Cassady-Cain*, Joanne M Appleford, Jigisha Patel, Mick Aulakh and Melissa L Norton

Author Affiliations

BMC Medicine Editorial team, BioMed Central Ltd, 236 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8HL, UK

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BMC Medicine 2009, 7:55  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-7-55

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/7/55


Received:21 September 2009
Accepted:7 October 2009
Published:7 October 2009

© 2009 Cassady-Cain et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In June 2009, BMC Medicine received its first official impact factor of 3.28 from Thomson Reuters. In recognition of this landmark event, the BMC Medicine editorial team present and discuss the vision and aims of the journal.

Editorial

BMC Medicine recently celebrated its 5th anniversary of publishing high quality research with an editorial reflecting on our progress and on developments for the journal in 2009[1]. Now another highly anticipated milestone has been achieved with the announcement of the journal's first "official" impact factor of 3.28 by Thomson Reuters.

While one can discuss the pros and cons of the impact factor system, and others have done so tirelessly [[2-4] for example], it cannot be denied that the receipt of an impact factor is a major event in the life of a young journal. As such, this is an opportune moment to present our vision and aims for the future of BMC Medicine.

In this era of translational medicine, clinicians must understand the latest relevant information that may influence the practice of medicine. Whether one is a practicing physician, a clinical researcher, or a member of the lay public, understanding how specific scientific research will affect clinical practice may be difficult, especially when that research comes from an area outside of one's own personal experience and expertise. We expect that BMC Medicine will play an increasingly important role in facilitating the understanding of biomedical discovery and in appreciating the connection between these discoveries and clinical practice. This understanding and appreciation will guide future research in all fields of investigation that impact on the management of human disease.

The journal will accomplish this through the publication of high quality research, supported by interpretation of this work in accompanying reviews, minireviews and commentaries to outline the wider implications and potential future directions of the research. We are committed to publishing high quality studies that fall into one of three general categories: clinical investigations with clear and immediate ramifications for medical practice, clinical research that does not have immediate ramifications for medical practice, but that will inform the direction of future research, or basic biomedical work with a strong potential to influence clinical research.

We see a need for increased collaboration between basic and clinical researchers, and we believe that BMC Medicine can facilitate this process. In order to achieve this, we will publish our basic biomedical research articles with accompanying pieces highlighting the importance of this research to a wider audience and outlining how the research might inform clinical research or practice in the future. An example of this is the commentary by Rejko Kruger[5], which explains how the results of Jeanne Latourelle and colleagues' research on genetic mutations in Parkinson's Disease (PD) [6] increase our understanding of gene penetrance in PD and comments on how those results relate to current ideas about genetic counseling for PD.

Further, the addition of reviews and minireviews summarising important developments in current key fields will increase the accessibility of research and educate non-experts regarding how current research affects clinical practice or disease management, For example, the recent review by Brian Coburn and colleagues discusses the use of mathematical modeling to predict the disease course of swine flu as well as outlining the important parameters for pandemic preparedness[7].

No vision of the future of BMC Medicine can be complete without considering our authors. As editors, our service to BMC Medicine's authors is as important as our service to the medical community. Therefore we will continue to uphold the three principles recently expounded by Raff and colleagues [8]: that the peer review process should be fast, friendly and fair.

Research needs to be published in such a way as to ensure that the importance, timeliness and potential of the findings are clear to the entire medical community. The editors of BMC Medicine are committed to the rapid dissemination of research throughout both the biomedical and clinical communities worldwide, while continuing to provide an excellent and efficient service to our authors. We look forward to working with you, and for you, in the times to come.

References

  1. Appleford JM, Cassady-Cain RL, Patel J, Norton ML: BMC Medicine celebrates its 5th anniversary.

    BMC Medicine 2009, 7:3. BioMed Central Full Text OpenURL

  2. Garfield E: The history and meaning of the journal impact factor.

    JAMA 2006, 295:90-3. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  3. Not-so-deep impact

    Nature 2005, 435:1003-4. Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  4. Petsko GA: Having an impact (factor).

    Genome Biology 2008, 9:107. PubMed Abstract | BioMed Central Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL

  5. Krüger R: LRRK2 in Parkinson's disease - drawing the curtain of penetrance: a commentary.

    BMC Medicine 2008, 6:33. PubMed Abstract | BioMed Central Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL

  6. Latourelle JC, Sun M, Lew MF, Suchowersky O, Klein C, Golbe LI, Mark MH, Growdon JH, Wooten GF, Watts RL, Singer C, Gldwurm S, Pezzoli G, Zini M, Saint-Hilaire MH, Hendricks AE, Williamson S, Nagle MW, Wilk JB, Massod T, Huskey KW, Laramie JM, DeStephano AL, Baker KB, Itin I, et al.: The Gly2019Ser mutation in LRRK2 is not fully penetrant in familial Parkinson's disease: the GenePD study.

    BMC Medicine 2008, 6:32. PubMed Abstract | BioMed Central Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL

  7. Coburn BJ, Wagner BG, Blower S: Modeling influenza epidemics and pandemics: insights into the future of swine flu (H1N1).

    BMC Medicine 2009, 7:30. PubMed Abstract | BioMed Central Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL

  8. Raff M, Johnson A, Walter P: Painful publishing.

    Science 2008, 321:36. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

Pre-publication history

The pre-publication history for this paper can be accessed here:

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/7/55/prepub