Associate Professor in the Office of Medical Education Research and Development and the Department of Medicine, Michigan State University, USA
David Solomon is an Associate Professor in the Office of Medical Education Research and Development and the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. He is primarily working on developing and evaluating techniques for delivering consistently high quality curricula in community-based medical schools where medical students and residents are dispersed over a wide geographic area.
What prompted you to submit a manuscript to one of BioMed Central's open access journals?
I am a strong advocate of open access publishing and was very pleased when my institution Michigan State University became an institutional member of BioMed Central. We all have an ethical obligation to make our publicly funded research freely available to anyone who wants to access it. While there are a number of models for open access publishing, BioMed Central appears to have one of the best and most economically viable models anyone has developed so far. The more successful BioMed Central is, the more pressure it puts on other publishers to start acting responsibly. Additionally, there are the obvious advantages of the speed of publication and the much wider dissemination afforded by electronic open access publication.
What was your assessment of the electronic submission and peer review process?
Overall the electronic submission system is very easy to use and works smoothly. Also, BioMed Central's peer-review process is far superior to traditional peer review. I really like the transparency of making the full history of reviewer comments and author replies/revisions available for anyone to see. This will help establish the credibility of BioMed Central's peer review system and dispel the ridiculous, though pervasive, myth that electronic publication is somehow inferior to paper publication. I also appreciated the ability to monitor the status of the review process in real time.
I have published two articles in BioMed Central's journals. It took just under three months for one article that did not require major revisions to go from submission to publication and about five months for the other that needed the approval of the reviewers after the manuscript was revised. This is far better than I have ever experienced with traditional paper publication.
What do you think you gained from publishing in an open access journal?
The satisfaction of knowing that my research is available to anyone who wants to access it, and that it will be disseminated more widely and more quickly.