BioMed Central's policy for protecting your personal information

Privacy is an important concern for internet users, and is something that BioMed Central takes very seriously. What follows is an explanation of BioMed Central's policy for protecting users' personal information.

What personal information does BioMed Central ask users to supply, and why?

Registration on BioMed Central is optional and voluntary. Browsing and viewing articles on BioMed Central does not require any personal information to be submitted from users. Nor do these functions require the user's browser to be set to accept cookies.

Some other aspects of BioMed Central's service and other services published on BioMed Central do require the use of cookies, and the supply of information such as name, email etc. This is necessary for security reasons and also for BioMed Central to be able to assure standards of scientific integrity. Users may submit further personal information (e.g. details of research areas of interest) in order to take advantage of present and future personalization facilities on BioMed Central.

In accordance with European Union guidelines, registrants may decline to provide the information requested. They should be advised, however, that BioMed Central may be unable to deliver its services unless at least the information necessary for security and identification purposes is provided.

What further information does BioMed Central track, and why?

In order to offer the best possible service to users, BioMed Central tracks the patterns of usage of pages on the site. This enables us to identify the most popular articles and services. Where users have provided details of their research areas of interest, this information can be correlated, helping BioMed Central to provide a useful service for scientists, offering them the most relevant information based on their areas of interest.

What is BioMed Central's policy on sharing email addresses with third parties?

User information will only be shared with third parties with the explicit consent of the user. If the user has explicitly opted to receive special offer and product information emails from BioMed Central partners, then BioMed Central may from time to time email the user on behalf of these partner companies. However, these companies will not be given the user's details without that user's explicit consent.

What is BioMed Central's policy on emailing its registered members?

BioMed Central may contact members from time to time to draw the member's attention to information that may be of interest. Members may opt out from receiving such email when registering as a member, or at any time thereafter by responding to such an email or contacting customer services.

What is BioMed Central's policy on using demographic information about users for online advertising purposes?

Support from advertisers is important to BioMed Central's model of free access to research articles. Statistical demographic information about the BioMed Central membership may be supplied to advertisers. BioMed Central may target online advertising to specific users on the basis of this demographic information, or on the basis of their past behavior on the site, but information about an individual user will not be passed on to an advertiser without the users' express consent.

What is BioMed Central’s policy on Dryad and data protection?

We encourage you to submit your data to the repository Dryad as part of the submission process. Benefits to publishing your data may include:

  • Discoverability. Making your data available online (and linking it to the publication) provides increased visibility for your work, generating a new pathway for others to learn about your work.
  • Citability. Obtaining a persistent, resolvable, identifier that can be used in a citation as well as listed on your CV will help to bring you credit for your data.
  • Workload reduction. If you receive individual requests for data, you can simply direct them to the files in your chosen repository.
  • Preservation. Your data files will be permanently and safely archived in perpetuity, fulfilling many funder data management requirements.
  • Impact. You will be more likely to garner citations through the reuse of your data.

Note that Dryad is a third party, and we do not have any control over the services provided by Dryad. Any services by Dryad will be solely based on an agreement entered into between you and Dryad. The text below is for information purposes only, and the descriptions may not be correct. For all relevant information about the services of Dryad please visit http://datadryad.org/.

Dryad is an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed articles in the basic and applied biosciences, governed by a consortium of journals. Dryad is a safe, sustainable location for data storage, and should you choose to publish your data, it will increase the likelihood of your article being used in further studies. Additionally, there are no restrictions on data format; Dryad seeks to archive sufficient data to support the findings described in the publication. For more information on Dryad or data archiving, please visit http://datadryad.org/.

Upon submission of a manuscript to the journal, an email is automatically sent to Dryad with the following metadata details:

  • Journal Name
  • Journal Code
  • Online ISSN
  • MS Reference Number
  • Article Status: Submitted
  • MS Title
  • MS Authors
  • Contact Author
  • Contact Author Email
  • Keywords
  • Abstract

When the manuscript is accepted/rejected for publication, another email is automatically sent to Dryad with the same fields, except that the Article Status becomes ‘Accepted’/’Rejected’.

This article metadata contains identifiable information and is stored by Dryad in a secure holding area where it is not viewed or accessed until an author submits data to Dryad. This data is only accessed by staff in relation to services provided. Dryad never shares the information in the automated metadata notices with any outside party except the publishing organization that provided it, in this case BioMed Central. After one year, if the author has not submitted his or her data, the metadata related to that dataset and article are deleted. You can find the complete Dryad terms of service, including privacy policy here: http://datadryad.org/themes/Mirage/docs/TermsOfService-A4-2013.08.22.pdf

Please note that any use, storage or processing of such data submitted to Dryad is subject to the respective terms and conditions of Dryad, as any relationship regarding such will be solely between you and Dryad.

Access for journalists

Articles on BioMed Central will be published electronically immediately upon acceptance. So, the issue of having an 'embargo' on controversial or publicity-sensitive material in the temporal gap between acceptance and publication is not an issue for BioMed Central. Journalists, like everyone else, will have access to published material immediately upon acceptance.

How does this privacy policy relate to authors of research articles published through BioMed Central

Publishing a scientific manuscript is inherently a public (as opposed to anonymous) process. The name and email address of all authors of a BioMed Central manuscript will be available to users of BioMed Central. These details are made available in this way purely to facilitate scientific communication. Collecting these email addresses for commercial use is not permitted, nor will BioMed Central itself send unsolicited email to authors, unless it directly concerns the article that they have published on BioMed Central and/or the journal in which the article was published.

Legal responsibilities

BioMed Central reserves the right to disclose members' personal information if required to do so by law, or in the good faith and belief that such action is reasonably necessary to comply with legal process, respond to claims, or protect the rights, property or safety of BioMed Central, employees or members.

Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns about my privacy?

If you have any questions or concerns about your privacy and BioMed Central please contact our customer services team.

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