The BMC-series journals

The BMC series is a group of open access, peer-reviewed journals that spans most areas of biological and clinical research. There are currently 65 journals in the series (see complete list). BMC Biology and BMC Medicine are highly selective journals, publishing articles of broad interest; the other journals in the series focus on specific disciplines.

The journals in the BMC series are available exclusively online. Each journal has its own Editorial Board, which can be accessed from the journal's homepage.

Peer-review processes

The journals in the BMC series accept submissions via their online submission system. The manuscript must be accompanied by a cover letter in which the authors should state why the manuscript should be considered, elaborate on any issues relating to our editorial policies, and declare if they have any competing interests. The authors of manuscripts submitted to journals in the BMC series are also asked to include a declaration of competing interests as part of their manuscript.

Articles submitted to the journals in the BMC series are usually sent out to peer reviewers, although submissions that are out of scope for the journal or are of an unacceptably low standard may be rejected without review. Potentially suitable manuscripts will generally be reviewed by two experts in the field with the aim of reaching a first decision as soon as possible. Specialist statistical advisers are used when necessary to ensure that the statistical reasoning in manuscripts is sound; they can be found via the journal's homepage. Reviewers are asked to declare their competing interests, if any.

The biology journals within the BMC series operate a traditional, anonymous peer-review process, whereas the medical journals have an "open" peer review system. Open peer review means that, firstly, the reviewers' names are included on the peer review reports, and secondly that, if the manuscript is published, the reports are made available online along with the final version of the manuscript. The published article will provide a link to its 'pre-publication history', which lists all the versions of the manuscript, all the signed reviews, and all responses to the reviewers since the submission of the manuscript until its publication. Here is an example of a medical article with a pre-publication history.

View a full list of the biology and medical journals within the BMC series.

It is journal policy to publish work deemed by peer reviewers to be a coherent and sound addition to scientific knowledge and to put less emphasis on interest levels, provided that the research constitutes a useful contribution to the field. In addition to their comments for the authors, reviewers are asked whether the writing is of acceptable quality. Where possible, the final decision is made on the basis that peer reviewers are in accordance with one another, or that at least there is no strong dissenting view. In cases where there is strong disagreement, either among the peer reviewers or between the authors and the peer reviewers, advice is sought from an Editorial Board member or a researcher of similar standing. The journals in the BMC series allow a maximum of two revisions per submission.

Responsibility for editorial decisions lies with the Executive Editor for each journal.

BioMed Central is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE); for more information, visit www.publicationethics.org.uk.

Manuscripts are published immediately upon acceptance in a provisional PDF form, based on the author's final manuscript version. A fully structured web version, and accompanying formatted PDF, is made available within a few weeks of acceptance.

As the journals in the BMC series are open access, they do not have a subscription charge. Instead, the journals levy an article-processing charge. Any author who does not have sufficient funds to pay the article processing charge can request a full or a partial waiver. If the submitting author's institution is a BioMed Central member the article processing charge is discounted or covered in full by a payment from the institution. For further details, including current rates, see our article-processing charge FAQ.

Linking articles to other subject areas

During the submission of a manuscript to any of the journals in the BMC series, authors are asked to choose up to two additional subject areas relevant to the content of their manuscript. If the article is published, it will also appear via 'my BioMedCentral' to readers who have selected those subject(s) as areas of interest.

Comments

Readers are invited to comment on any articles published in the BMC series using the 'post a comment' feature. Comments will be moderated by the editorial staff and linked to the full-text version of the article, if suitable. Here is an example of an article with associated comments.

Types of articles

The biology journals in the BMC series consider the following types of articles:

  • Research
  • Methodology
  • Software
  • Database

The medical journals in the BMC series consider the following types of articles:

  • Research
  • Technical advance
  • Software
  • Database
  • Study protocol
  • Debate
  • Case report

A full list of the biology and medical journals in the BMC series is available here.

Debate articles and case reports are routinely screened by the editorial staff before being considered for peer review. Study protocols concerning ongoing research will usually be published without peer review if the study has received ethics approval and a grant from a major funding body (proof will be required).

BMC Biology and BMC Medicine only consider a subset of the article types above; for further information on these journals please see below. The journals in the BMC series do not generally consider narrative review articles.

Further information on each article type is available through the 'Instructions for authors' pages for each specific journal.

Broad-interest journals within the BMC series

There are two broad-interest journals in the BMC series: BMC Biology and BMC Medicine. BMC Biology publishes original research, software, database, and methodology articles in any area of biology. BMC Medicine publishes original research, software, database, technical advances, and study protocol articles in any area of medical science and clinical practice.

In order to be suitable for these journals, articles need to be of special importance and broad interest. This will be determined by peer review and by the advice of a member of the Editorial Board or somebody of equal standing. Articles that are sound but only of importance to those with closely related interests will not be considered for publication in BMC Biology and BMC Medicine, but may be offered publication in the relevant subject-specific journal within the BMC series. Conversely, if a manuscript submitted to any of the subject-specific journals in the BMC series is considered to be of broad interest, the authors may be offered publication in BMC Biology or BMC Medicine, as appropriate.

BMC Research Notes

BMC Research Notes is an open access journal publishing scientifically sound research across all fields of biology and medicine. The journal provides a home for short publications, case series, and incremental updates to previous work with the intention of reducing the loss suffered by the research community when such results remain unpublished. Further information about the journal can be found via the journal's homepage.

BMC Proceedings

BMC Proceedings is an online, open access journal publishing proceedings of conferences, including both peer-reviewed full-length articles and collections of meeting abstracts. Devoted specifically to conference publications, including large collections of articles, meetings of specialized interest and conferences of a cross- or multi-disciplinary nature, each collection is published as a supplement. Content is not restricted to any particular discipline within biomedicine. Further information about the journal can be found via the journal's homepage.

Indexing and archiving

All of the journals in the BMC series are included in PubMed, and many other indexing services track some or all the journals in the series. For further information see our indexing page.

Many of the journals in the BMC series are tracked by Thomson Scientific (ISI). Some already have an Impact Factor. View a list of BMC series journals that have an Impact Factor or are soon to receive one.

Following publication in a BMC series journal, the full text of each article is immediately and permanently archived in PubMed Central, the US National Library of Medicine's repository of open access life science literature. Copies of the article are also deposited at a variety of other repositories world wide to ensure their long-term digital preservation - see our archiving page for more information.

Citing articles in the BMC series

Articles in journals in the BMC series should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal, with two exceptions. Firstly, because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number. Secondly, because the journals are online-only, they do not have issue numbers; each volume corresponds to a calendar year.

For instance, the following citation:
BMC Anesthesiol 2000, 1:2
refers to article 2 from volume 1 of the journal.

Copyright

The authors are the copyright holders of articles published in the journals in the BMC series and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

Contact

For any questions regarding contents, submissions or the peer review process for any of the journals in the BMC series, please contact editorial@biomedcentral.com. All other enquiries should be directed to info@biomedcentral.com.

A full list of the biology and medical journals in the BMC series


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