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Open Access

What does open access mean?

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Every article appearing in any journal published by BioMed Central is open access, meaning that:

  1. The article is universally and freely accessible via the Internet, in an easily readable format and deposited immediately upon publication, without embargo, in an agreed format - current preference is XML with a declared DTD - in at least one widely and internationally recognized open access repository (such as PubMed Central).
  2. The author(s) or copyright owner(s) irrevocably grant(s) to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the research article in its entirety or in part, in any format or medium, provided that no substantive errors are introduced in the process, proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given, and that the bibliographic details are not changed. If the article is reproduced or disseminated in part, this must be clearly and unequivocally indicated.


BioMed Central is committed permanently to maintaining this open access publishing policy, retrospectively and prospectively, in all eventualities, including any future changes in ownership.

For a more information please read our Open Access Charter.

Can I use a figure or table from a BioMed Central journal?

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Yes you can. Reproduction of figures or tables is permitted free of charge and without formal written permission from the publisher or the copyright holder, provided that the figure/table is original, BioMed Central is duly identified as the original publisher, and that proper attribution of authorship and the correct citation details are given as acknowledgement.

To learn more about this topic, please visit BioMed Central License Agreement.

Can I use an article from a BioMed Central journal?

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The open access articles published in BioMed Central's journals are made available under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license, which means they are accessible online without any restrictions and can be re-used in any way, subject only to proper attribution (which, in an academic context, usually means citation). 

The re-use rights enshrined in our license agreement include the right for anyone to produce printed copies themselves, without formal permission or payment of permission fees. As a courtesy, however, anyone wishing to reproduce large quantities of an open access article (250+) should inform the copyright holder and we suggest a contribution in support of open access publication.

Please note that the following journals have published a small number of articles that, while freely accessible, are not open access as outlined above: Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, Arthritis Research & Therapy, Breast Cancer Research, Critical Care, Genome Biology, Genome Medicine, Stem Cell Research & Therapy
You will be able to find details about these articles here

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