Professor and Chair, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Brian Haynes is a physician and clinical epidemiologist whose main research activities are in medical informatics, especially in the retrieval, summarization, dissemination and implementation of validated health care knowledge to support evidence-based health care.
What prompted you to submit a paper?
I wrote a paper for discussion that I wanted to be able to give away to a lot of people without worrying about copyright issues and who owned the content. I intended to use parts of it in other articles, building on the responses to it from others. I also didn't want to wait months for it to come out, as it was on a topic that was evolving quite quickly. I also wanted it to be freely available electronically, so people could get at it and I could "send" it to people by giving out its URL. It also had to be listed on PubMed. BioMed Central seemed to offer all that, so I gave it a try.
What was your assessment of the electronic submission and peer review process?
One review was obsessed and obsessive, the other much too brief, but that's about par for the course in article reviews.
What do you think you gained from publishing in an open access journal?
It worked, beyond my expectations! The submission was fun, the reviews were prompt, the editing was professional, and the paper was posted as soon as it was completed. I could also track the number of times it was accessed (5000+ so far). I was surprised at the speed and frequency of the accesses and the comments - the paper got passed around without me having to send it to anyone. I received a number of useful responses and have modified my thinking on some of the issues it raised. Others have taken up the challenge I put in the paper and have written their own papers in response. (They trashed much of what I said, but notoriety is better than anonymity anyday!) Take a look - you may have something to add: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/2/3/