What is BioMed Central?

BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model

All original research articles published by BioMed Central are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication. BioMed Central views open access to research as essential in order to ensure the rapid and efficient communication of research findings.

BioMed Central is committed to maintaining high standards through full and stringent peer review

All research articles in BioMed Central's journals receive rapid and thorough peer review. The detailed peer-review policy of each journal is the responsibility of the journal editor(s) concerned. Many journals operate traditional anonymous peer review. Others, including the medical BMC-series titles, operate 'open peer review', in which reviewers are asked to sign their reviews. For these titles, the pre-publication history of each paper (including submitted versions, reviewers' reports and authors' responses) is linked to from the published article.

BioMed Central offers a wide variety of journals and other services

BioMed Central's portfolio of 270 journals includes general titles BMC Biology and BMC Medicine alongside specialist journals (e.g. BMC Bioinformatics, Malaria Journal) that focus on particular disciplines. All the research published by BioMed Central's journals is open access, but BioMed Central also provides access to various additional products and services that require a subscription. For example, certain BioMed Central journals such as Genome Biology publish commissioned review content available only to subscribers. BioMed Central also operates Open Repository, a hosted digital repository solution for institutions.

Starting a new, open access journal with BioMed Central

BioMed Central journal management system incorporates online tools for manuscript submission, peer review and editorial decision-making. We make this technology available without charge to suitably qualified groups of researchers that wish to operate their own open access online journals. Find out how to transfer an existing journal or start a new journal with BioMed Central.

Many BioMed Central journals are citation-tracked and some already have Impact Factors

BioMed Central recognizes the important role played by Impact Factors and other citation-based metrics in governing scientists' decisions about where to publish their research. Regular effort is being made to ensure effective citation tracking of BioMed Central's journals. Over 160 BioMed Central titles are tracked by Thomson Reuters (ISI), and some journals already have notable Impact Factors.

All research articles published in a BioMed Central journal may be freely accessed, re-used and re-distributed

Authors publishing in a BioMed Central journal retain the copyright to their work, licensing it under the Creative Commons Attribution License. This license allows articles to be freely downloaded from the BioMed Central website, and also allows articles to be re-used and re-distributed without restriction, as long as the original work is correctly cited.

BioMed Central supports PubMed Central and other digital repositories, and encourages self-archiving by authors

All research articles published by BioMed Central are archived without delay in PubMed Central and several other international archives. BioMed Central also allows authors to immediately deposit the official, final version of their published article in any suitable digital repository. Several institutions and research funders have introduced official policies requesting or requiring their authors to deposit the articles they publish in a central archive. BioMed Central fully supports these deposition policies and is compliant with them.

Open access is a sustainable model for the publication of biological and medical research

The traditional business model for scientific publishers relies on restricting access to published research, in order to recoup the costs of the publication process. This restriction of access to published research prevents full use being made of digital technologies, and is contrary to the interests of authors, funders and the scientific community as a whole. The traditional subscription-based model is also becoming increasingly unsustainable, as increasing amounts of research is being published whilst library budgets remain static.

In contrast, BioMed Central's open access publishing model treats publication as the last phase of the research process. Article-processing charges (APCs) cover the cost of the publication process to allow free and immediate access to the research articles. APCs ensure transparency and allow publishers to compete to provide the best service at the best price. By coupling the cost of publication to research budgets, APCs ensure that the journal publishing system can scale to cope with an ever increasing volume of research.

BioMed Central is committed to showing that open access provides a viable alternative that better fits the needs of the scientific community.

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